So, I was pleased to be able to squeeze out a few me-made Crimbo-pressies for loved ones in time!
For my Mummy (who has recently decided to take up knitting again) I made this storage roll to neatly keep the set of x18 pairs knitting needles I bought for her off of Amazon. I made it from some lovely soft pink 'n' red floral cotton drill, plain red cotton quilting fabric, cotton wadding (all pre-washed) and some shop-bought bias binding. It was straightforward working out the measurements - and I custom-sized each little "pocket" to fit the different sized pairs of needles (which run from 2mm up to 10mm in diameter). In places the fabric was 6 layers thick + 1 layer of wadding - and my faithful Novum coped very well.
Knitting Needle Storage Roll - made for my Mummy :)
I was also able to use my Prym Turning Set (the same as this one here) which is a set of 3 different sized plastic tubes along with matching rods/sticks that along you to very, very quickly turn tubes inside out. I used the 'S' for tunnel widths from 9.5-16mm to make the ties for the needle roll - and it was dead easy to do with that handy gadget :) I think you could very easily DIY this gadget at home (perhaps I should investigate and do a blog post?).
For my Aunt (who's a keen and excellent cook) I made some hot handle covers - which will keep you from burning your hands on saucepans on a hot hob. I made a little cardboard template, and quilted layers of calico with x3 layers of cotton batting (per side) along with a cream/red/green floral cotton on the outside. Then I bound the edges with a forest-green bias binding.
To get the sizing correct, I based the self-drafted pattern (if you can really call a 1-piece rectangle with rounded corners a "pattern" ?? LOL!) on some worn out handle-covers I already owned that I bought years ago from Lakeland Limited (they now sell a slightly different style). The covers should slip over the handles easily - but not slide off unexpectedly... after all you don't want to burn those mitts eh ;)?
The handle covers were a big hit + I'm now commissioned to sew her some pot holders too ;) (Luckily and frugally speaking too - the fabrics for these all came from my stash apart from the binding - yay!).
Hot Handle Cover for Saucepans - made for my Aunt
For both projects I used a self-made cardboard template to help me pre-press the curves in place into the bias-binding; thus making it much easier to sew into place :) Nevertheless, there were a few occasional uses of the seam-ripper and a bit of re-stitching going on LOL! I also found Wash-Away Wonder Tape to keep the binding in position a fab time-saver (easier than a zillion pins ;) !). Plus, using the fine-tip of a sewing awl very handy to keep the edges of bias-binding from twisting out of place under the presser foot on my sewing machine... as my fingers are a bit too big to manage this task alone.
I had tried to use a bias-binding presser-foot for my machine with very little success. The foot couldn't cope with the masses of layers - and made a real mess of the test-sample I tried. People - always do a test when using a new foot!! (You can see the book The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible by Wendy Gardiner and Lorna Knight that I first blogged about back in February this year in the left-hand corner of the photo above to help me get the best use out of the foot... and I shall try again on something far less bulky soon hehe!).
Ohhh... and do please keep your eye-out for a special post from me on New Year's Day... as my little blog turns 2 year old, so I shall again be celebrating the anniversary with a GIVEAWAY. The giveaway details to follow... and it will be open to both UK and overseas entries :)