Have you ever wondered, if you could choose from a whole shop/storeroom full of supplies…what would choose and what would you make? That’s exactly the position these crafty business owners are in. So… for this month’s sponsor spotlight I thought I’d get nosy…I asked this lot what they were making, what their personal favourite products were and their top tips for last minute gift making! I also managed to get pics from MOST of them….so you can see the people behind the scenes…like little elves they are…getting all those orders ready for all you ambitious gift sewers out there…oh and a few discount codes in here too…so keep your eyes peeled for those!
Amy from A Splendid Stitch:
I’m just about to start sewing McCall’s 6885, which was our ‘Outfit of the Week’ for the week of 2 November. It’s a fantastic shirt dress pattern, and I’m going to make view D in our burgundy Madeleine poplin. I’m really loving shirt dresses at the moment – so comfortable and easy-to-wear! I find I can wear them both for work and for going out, which makes them really versatile. Well, right now, it’s McCall’s 6885. 🙂 For fabric, I currently have a big crush on our Atelier Brunette viscose challises: I love their weight, drape and silky feel. They’re really unusual: very different than other viscose challises. I’ll be expanding our selection soon: can’t wait! With the cooler temperatures, I’m also really loving our French terrys and ponte di romas. I’m thinking of making a sweatshirt dress next using our black Steffi French terry. Is 30 November last minute? I don’t usually start thinking about Christmas gifts until mid-December! LOL I’ve been loving the ‘Handmade Holidays’ series on ‘Sew Mama Sew’: there are so many fabulous gift ideas here! If I had time to sew Christmas gifts (and I don’t think I will this year!), I would probably veer towards making aprons, pot-holders, makeup bags, makeup brush cases, and tote bags: they’re pretty easy to sew, and I can see my family and friends really loving these. 🙂
Current Discounts: 10% off with PORTIA10 plus Black Friday sale is running until 11:59 pm on Monday ie TONIGHT! (20% off all patterns and fabric with the BLACKFRIDAY20 code).
Dorte & Simon from Dragonfly Fabrics
I’m working on the Kanerva Blouse from Named Patterns and using our lovely mustard silk blend, I’m hoping to get it ready for the party season. I am also sewing up a few quick Grainline- Lark Tees in gorgeously soft warm cotton jersey, perfect for winter layering and the Lourdes cropped jacket in boiled wool.
My favourites at the moment are the Ponte Romas as they are so easy to sew and they are a great quality. Also the boiled wool of course, the beautiful new velveteen in teal and the herringbone pure wool for skirts and winter garments such as jackets, coats or pinafores. We have just created a DIY-kit to sew your own cosy mittens with boiled wool. It’s a fantastic way to make your own presents or it’s perfect as a gift for someone who likes sewing and making.
Current Discounts: 15% off with DRESSMAKING until 20th Dec
Right now I’m making samples for my new book! Sorry, I’m not telling you what they are just yet. Currently on my “to sew” list If I ever have the time are: an idea I’ve had kicking around in my head for ages for a cosy oversized sweatshirt and a coat version of the zip jacket in my current book Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking. My Fulwood dress is a constant favourite with students and MIY Collection customers and I must admit to having made a fair few myself – there are just so many ways you can make that pattern. I’m also loving my new kits – what’s not to like about just opening a lovely box of everything you need to just get sewing without wondering what will be the best fabric to use?! A little heads up…..the Fulwood dress will also be available as a kit soon!!PJ trousers, definitely, every time are a handmade Christmas gift winner. Quick to make and cosy to wear so you know they’re going to be well used. Win win. I made 3 pairs last year and have a sell-out master class of students making them in early December.
Sammy from Sew Crafty
I am deep in to Christmas stocking making for my friends new little ones and trying to decide if it is a good idea to re-visit tartan trousers after 15 years. I love this Floral jacquard because it reminds me of Dior and this Slate star jersey which I have just made in to comfy PJ bottoms. Monograms or initials on gifts are a great way to personalise a gift and can make the simplest make look gorgeous. Try adding beads, embroidery or iron or ready made motifs to purses or make up bags for the girls, and camera straps or coffee mug cosies for the boys.
Current Discounts: 20% off with portia20
Clare – Swedish Tracing Paper
My focus at the moment is the Makers Workbook, created by moi! It’s been quite a journey! But I’m really pleased with the result and (if I may say so) I think it’d make a rather lovely Christmas present. There’s a load of descriptive text about its features, and photos at www.makersworkbook.com. The 10% off code MAKERY is still in action and can be applied to both STP and the workbook. I’m making the slowest Moss skirt ever! I’m blaming the dark evenings, but I’ve had success putting in my first ever zip fly, and just need to knock up a waistband. I’ve used a wool mix (impossible to press – gah!), but I’m telling myself it’ll look fab with thick tights and boots. My favourite product at the moment is the Workbook. I’ve started using my copy and, it’s made me just think that bit more carefully as I’m going along. I’ve already looked back at the record of a shirt I made my Boyfriend (it was a bit too small) to see what changes I would need to make to a second version. A last minute gift. No one could resist a little Narwhal for their tree could they?!
Current Discounts: 10% off with MAKERY
Susan from Sewbox
Well I could say I was progressing well with a short straight skirt ready to wear with thick tights and flats for the xmas season but in reality I Am actually in the very early stages!! Am making in liberty cord which in my opinion lends itself well to this style and the prints are vibrant so plain top and coordinating tights sets them off. Must get a move on and get it finished. Following on from above my personal favourites at the moment are the liberty needle cords. So right for the season and again the prints are rich, vibrant and worn with a plain coordinating colour really shows them off to their best potential. I am making felt hearts with a bit of liberty cord on the front to attach to special Christmas presents easy to do and quite therapeutic. Am adding a bit of lavender and trecipient can keep the heart and hopefully knows the present has been packaged with a bit more of an effort involved!
Current Discounts: 10% off all Liberty cords 1 December to 14 December Code: PORTIA10 Sale now on
Josie from Fabric Godmother
My last make was a linden sweatshirt that I adore. (Pictured left.) It’s one of my all time favourites that I can “knock up in 45 minutes” patterns, made here in our checked jersey and navy roma. Currently I am making a Cypress cape from Sewaholic in Cassie technical fabric. I am hoping that it will keep the drizzle off when I cycle to nursery (also planning to make a matching one for my daughter to wear on the back of the bike to keep her dry). I am also making a pencil skirt out of faux leather in gold, it is going to be my Xmas party skirt!My current favourites change between these…Alexia (for a pencil skirt), Pixy (some kind of shift dress), Ramone (A kimono). Top tip for a last minute handmade christmas present is a luxurious kimono, they are quick to make and do not need too much fitting so easy to make as a surprise gift!
Current discount: PORTIAXMAS will give you 10% off till Xmas eve!!
Lisa from White Tree Fabrics
I’m currently making up one the ingenious UHandbag kits, namely the Sugar Loaf Pouch. I love the fabric in this pack! It reminds me of a Cath Kidston print. I’m desperate for a new make-up bag so I thought rather than pay Cath Kidston for a new one, I’d have a crack at the Sugar Load pouch. I’m taking photos and making notes as I go so I can create a WhiteTree blog post from it. The notions and fabrics are all fab and the instructions are crystal clear and easy to follow. Right now, I keep hanging my nose over all of the Art Gallery Fabric jerseys. There are some fantastic designs, my personal favourite just happens to be called Maker Make! 😉 Although they do have some florals, there are plenty of abstract designs. These fabrics are currently flying out the door as fast as I can get them in. For quick gifts, the Sew Over It complete kits can be whipped up in an afternoon. There’s the tie kit, the knickers kit, the lampshade kit and now the matchbox kits which are the perfect crafting project for any age….you can make them yourself or sit and help your young ones create gifts to give to friends and teachers.
Current Discounts: 20% off with MAKERY
Hazel from Remnant Kings
I’ve just finished making Republique du Chiffon’s Raymond jacket with our gorgeous ex-designer wool , lined in silk for a little extra luxury touch. I’ve kept the buttons minimal to let the fabric do the work on the relaxed shape and fit of the jacket. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be my winter staple! My favourite products at the moment are our new boiled wools (which landed in store this week and will be online asap) which are the perfect weight for coats and jackets. I’m all about outerwear this year as I love the detail and techniques you get to use in these kinds of projects. So much so have been planning lots of jackets and coats to give to people as gifts this year which is probably a little ambitious! But for a simple Christmas make, you could use some of our Christmas print cottons and make a bottle bag and pop a bottle of the recipients favourite drink. A really easy and quick make that adds a personal touch.
Current Discounts: 10% off with MAKERY10
The Team at Girl Charlee
We’re currently making Christmas stockings and gift bags (well Jen is bless her!) with our “Fairisle Deer” (more of the red/green stock coming 10th December) and “Love” fabrics We’re also making a start on the Girl Charlee Blog – so keep an eye out for our first post soon! Our current favourites are a classic stripe ponte, this arrow on blue cotton jersey is perfect for festive makes; and we’re also crushing on this modern air prairie stripe and buffalo plaid. Top tip for a last minute handmade/diy christmas gift?? How about a free pattern for a baby onesie – or for an adult version… we love this Kigurumi tutorial from Helen P you can use any Girl Charlee cotton jersey knits or sweatshirt fleeces.
Current Discounts: 10% off with MAKERY
Stephanie from Elephant in My Handbag
Mermen are flying out of the door at the moment – Fantastic alternative gift or Christmas decoration. Lampshade kits are proving very popular too; OR Finally ….Star Wars fabric is flying out (excuse the pun eh Steph?) ! Perfect for Christmas crafting for the Sci Fi fans in your life! Elephant in my Handbag is a family owned craft and fabric business based in Hawkhurst in Kent in the south east of the United Kingdom.We make it our mission is to find interesting and exciting things for you to use to create unique projects. Why the name?! Well, when the kids can’t think of a word we always go… “Elephant? Gazelle? Giraffe?”, so elephants hold a special place in our hearts. And I do love a handbag ! – Mine is a little on the heavy side (although there aren’t any elephants in it !)
Current discount: 10% off your first order with MAKERY
Phew! So there’s a few more ideas (and discounts!) to be going on with!!