Still Time to Sew a Fabulous Gift for Christmas

Easy patterns to make for gifts that require little to no fitting. As seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog.

There may be only ten days left until Christmas, but you still have enough time to sew a gift for your sister, mom or BFF. Seriously, you can do it! We’ve picked five easy patterns that don’t require any fitting or complicated sewing. And remember, homemade gifts are better than store-bought!

Easy patterns to make for gifts that require little to no fitting. As seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog.
Make Butterick B6250 out of French terry just like this inspiration cardi from Sundance and the recipient will looooove you. Choose a soft knit that looks good on both sides.

Easy patterns to make for gifts that require little to no fitting. As seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog.
2) We love the thought of this waterfall vest in a lightweight sweatshirt knit—so cozy! Use Butterick B6244 but omit the sleeves.

Easy patterns to make for gifts that require little to no fitting. As seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog.
3) Blanket capes and ponchos are trending big-time this season, and this pattern (Vogue Patterns V9038) will sew up lightning fast. Look for soft, blanket-like wool and fleeces.

Easy patterns to make for gifts that require little to no fitting. As seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog.

4) Robes are always popular gifts. This kimono-style robe pattern (McCall’s M7297) lets you have fun with print mixing and color blocking.

Easy patterns to make for gifts that require little to no fitting. As seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog.

5) A girly apron is perfect for your friend who loves to cook. Try McCall’s M7305 and look for fun cotton prints at your local fabric store.

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Happy holidays from your friends at the McCall Pattern Company! We’re going to take the rest of the month off from blogging, but we’ll still be active on our other social media through December. Thanks for reading this blog in 2015 and we hope you stick with us in 2016. Merry Christmas!

 

Holiday Gift Sewing: Backpacks

RTW backpack inspiration for sewing one of your own. As seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog.
RTW inspiration: women’s backpacks.

Here’s another gift idea that won’t take you long to sew but will be much appreciated: a backpack. I made this backpack (below) last summer and it quickly turned into one of my favorite makes.

Sew a backpack with Butterick B6072
To sew this backpack, I used Butterick B6072:

Butterick B6072 backpack and soft cases pattern.

The pattern is pretty straightforward. If you have basic sewing skills and are comfortable sewing zippers, you should be able to make it without any frustrations. Here are the things I did differently from the directions:

  • I used a dual-slider handbag zipper from Coats that I got at my local Jo-Ann’s. This is that double-zipper feature that allows you to open the backpack from wherever you like, rather than only at the zipper end.
  • I chose not to interface the fashion fabric as advised, because I wanted a soft and lightweight backpack that had no structure and could be rolled up and packed if I wanted to. Definitely interface or interline if you want structure, as in the product photo above.
  • I lined the side pockets.
  • I added a faux-leather closure to the front pocket.

The ikat-like brocade I used came from B&J Fabrics here in the Garment District, and I lined it with a bronze poly satin I got at Jo-Ann’s. (I love the lining! It’s very luxe-looking and it makes this backpack look expensive, I think.) The straps are from a black linen we had in our stash here at work.

Some more photos for you:

Backpack made by the McCall Pattern Company blog using Butterick B6072. Interior.
Backpack made by the McCall Pattern Company blog using Butterick B6072

In other news, I’m nearing the end of my 2014 holiday DIY frenzy. So far I’ve made three aprons, a quilt, a poncho, a nightgown, and am finishing up two makeup bags. The end is in sight! How about you? Are you making gifts this season?

Follow The McCall Pattern Company’s board Holiday Gift Patterns on Pinterest.

Holiday Gift Sewing: Make a Vest

black vest sewing inspiration. The McCall Patten Company

My colleagues and I are in full-on holiday sewing mode. Time to make gifts for friends and loved ones! We’ve pinned here a whole bunch of gift-related patterns to sew, just in case you need some inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, my first completed gift this season was inspired by some leftover black wool alpaca I had in my stash (by Alexander Wang, no less!) and RTW vests like the ones shown above. I wanted a boxy shape that didn’t require me to do much fitting, if any, on the recipient. So no darts or princess seams. Just a zip front and a satin lining. Fast and easy.

Black alpaca zip-front vest made by Meg Carter of the McCall Pattern Company.

That’s my finished vest, above, as modeled by my coworker Karen. She’s a little taller than the future wearer of this vest is, but you get the general idea of how my vest wears. Boxy and loose.

For a pattern I actually used a ’90s McCall’s quilted vest pattern that I bought on Etsy a few years ago. You can sew the look, however, using K3731, B5927 (omit sleeves), or B5359. As I mentioned, I lined this vest with a medium-weight black satin crepe from my stash. I was able to attach the lining to the vest completely by machine as the stitches are hidden by the furriness of this particular alpaca. Besides alpaca, I recommend making a vest like this from faux fur, pre-quilted fabrics, or wool felt.

What gifts are you sewing this year? I’ve got three aprons, a poncho, a nightgown and two makeup bags on my to-sew list before December 25th. My colleague Gillian is making gloves, and she’ll be blogging about that here soon. (Have you ever made gloves? Me neither, but apparently people do, because our glove patterns sell well.) Keep watching this blog for details about what we’re sewing for the holidays, and remember to check this Pinterest board for easy-sew gift ideas. And have a happy Thanksgiving!