Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas presents, wrapping, and other seemingly endless things.

Christmas for 14.  This year.  Next year, it'll be Christmas for 16, because my sister-in-law is pregnant with little Alex and my sister is pregnant.  (I just hope it's not a girl, because she's said that she'd name it Liberty.  Poor kid.)  I spent 15 hours wrapping yesterday (arms hurt!) and we're almost done and cleaned up.  15 hours, might sound a bit excessive, but I'm chief wrapper here.  Which means that I'm not just wrapping up my give-away presents, but my mom's and grandmother's as well.  And, well, Christmas for 14!  That's only a little over an hour apiece, right?  And when you have huge presents, like a new travel system for Alex (Grandma is a big believer in useful gifts and Nikki and Grace wore out the old one) they take more than one person and almost a whole roll of wrapping paper to wrap!  I thought about taking a picture of my tree with the packages piled around it, but my house is a huge mess right now still!

Handmade gifts are king in my house.  Above is Ricky's present--he's into trains, and has been insisting on wearing his outgrown railroad stripey overalls, so I made him new ones.  The picture isn't exactly what the finished product looks like because I made an oops cutting.  See, McCalls 6592 is insanely short.  I made a child 4, but cut it to the length of 6.  And somewhere in there, I cut the back piece wrong.  Not only did I find out after it was all sewn together, but I didn't have more ticking to recut, so I fixed it, but made the fix into a design feature... which is a post for another day!

Gracie asked for a "pink dinosaur" so I raided my scrap bins and bought a copy of the Melly and Me Dilbert pattern because it was the cutest I could find.  And I'm telling you without my smallest tube turner, I never could've turned those spikes!

Lizzy's favorite animal is giraffes, so I bought Simplicity 2613 on a dollar sale and the gold fringe for it's mane.  The fabric was a donation.  It's some sort of upholstery fabric that came to me in a huge box of "I was cleaning out a sewing room and can you use this" fabric.  It's a velvety, heavy weight stuff that looks like it's backed in some sort of canvas.

For Nicole, well, her current favorite book is Anna Dewdney's Roly Poly Pangolin to the extent that I can easily recite it!  We bought her a copy of it to take home for Christmas, but there weren't any commercial pangolin toys, so I dug around the internet and found an anteater pattern.  See, pangolins look quite a bit like anteaters--the ears are different, and they have armor plating.  Rather than sew on individual scales, which I was pretty sure wouldn't be baby proof, I found some quilter's cotton with a scale pattern on it.  I wish I had taken a picture for you, but with everything going on, I forgot!    Joanna got new pjs--I let Grace choose fabric for it, as well as for Uncle Geoff's new jammies (Nikki chose one, too, because when he's at home, he practically lives in his jammies), as well as her Uncle Shane's and Dad's pj bottoms.  Mom got an IOU, because I was running short on time, and I also made fleece blankets for presents out of more donated fabric.  (Fleece blankets were made out of donated fabric, too which = free present)

To finish Geoff's and Grace's last Christmas request, I had to borrow a sewing machine.  (This was how I discovered that I don't like drop in bobbins!)  I knew my machine was overdue for servicing, but I didn't expect it to slow to a crawl.  It's happened before, so I know what it means--it's dirty and needs cleaned and oiled!  So I'll take it in sometime in the next couple weeks.

Grace's final Christmas wish was for "Aunt Laura, will you make me a warm nightgown for Christmas?"  With flannel 60% off and mom in tow for senior citizen discount day (which made it 80% off), how could I say no?  And if I'm making something for her, I have to make something for Nicole, too, so that's how they got matching nightgowns made from the Peekaboo Pattern Shop's (it's offline for maintenance, so don't worry if the link doesn't work) Sugarplum Nightgown pattern.  I made it in both girls' favorite colors--pink and purple!  So that's my gifts this year.  What are y'all making?

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