So, before I join the masses with the Top 5 lists, I'll squeeze in a quick Christmas post (well it is still before twelfth night - just). There's actually a few me-made and sewing/knitting/crocheting/crafting-related things to show you, so let's go in chronological order I suppose!
Ivy wreathI made this wreath at the beginning of December, intending for it to go on the door to our flat. However, I hung it up for some pictures before I put a nail in the door, and decided I actually liked it far too much for it to go outside, where I would only see it intermittently. The wreath base is shop-bought, and I made the decoration with felt, covered wire, and ribbon.
Christmas dressI bought some cute retro printed cotton in November to make this year's Christmas outfit, and this dress was originally started (but not completed) for some pre-Christmas drinks with friends. As it was by that time only a week to go and I hadn't made a start on a Christmas dress, I figured I'd just finish this one, it being suitably festive (and also stretchy: key when doing the amount of eating I tend to do at Christmas...).
This is a bit of a bodged together pattern, a modified combination of a BurdaStyle Magazine pattern, and my stretch block. The lapped curves of the sleeves and the skirt were judged by eye rather than properly drafted, but they work well enough (well, apart from the skirt needing a leeeeetle more overlap - there is a safety pin preserving some sort of decency in these photos).
It is made from a fairly hideous velour knit that was given to me by my mother-in-law. I cut them with the nap running from bottom to top to minimise the shiny-ness, and it actually doesn't look too bad made up into a dress. To finish the neckline, hem and sleeve hems I just turned the edge under and topstitched it, first stabilising the neck and hem with bias tape.
The bodice ended up being a bit too short, so I just added a strip of fabric as a sort of midriff band. I underlined this with powernet, hoping that this would give a nicely defined waist on the dress, but the strip was a bit too long and this didn't really work. Never mind! I covered this up with the sash from my Budapest dress, which didn't look quite as glamorous as intended - it would have looked better with a slimmer waist, but I work with what I have! All in all, this isn't my best ever make (and was only ever intended to be a stunt dress), but was comfortable to wear and definitely festive.
Gifts for othersI only made a few small bits and pieces for other people this year. Once again, I'd intended to make a shirt for my husband, but once again time slipped away and it didn't get done... Oops! I've promised it as a new-ish year gift instead, so we'll wait and see if it does appear. Other than that, I made a necklace and a brooch for my mum, a pair of earrings for my sister, a pair of earrings for a friend, and a scarf for my husband.
The necklace is identical to the one I made myself a couple of years ago, as she's always admired it, and shares the same taste as me for bold and bright jewellery. The brooch is crocheted, just "freestyle", starting with a chain loop. The backing is interfaced felt. I made Mum another brooch ages and ages ago (before starting my blog), and she's always asking me to make more. Unfortunately I freestyled the first one and can't remember quite what I did... I'm not as pleased with how this one turned out, but Mum still likes it.
The two pairs of earrings are both effectively just covered hoops, but done in slightly different ways. The turquoise pair (for a friend) are made from wooden curtain rings, covered, then another row of singles worked around (or maybe doubles, I can't actually remember). They're quite large, about 2 inches across. The black pair (for my sister) use a smaller "silver" jewellery hoop, and I included black glass beads in the second row of stitches.
The scarf for my husband is almost exactly the same as the one I made for my dad last year, just shorter (2 balls of wool rather than 3) and again joined with a twist so it sits better when worn.
So, I think that's Christmas done and dusted, I'll leave you with my new favourite mug (a gift from my husband), which of course I use solely for Earl Grey tea, hot...