It’s the holiday season…

Yes, I know it’s not the holiday season – it’s over.  But now that Christmas is over, I can freely write about some presents that I made.  This year, I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get it together mentally.  I had a hard time getting into the holiday spirit in the first place.  I felt very busy, and not able to get anything I wanted done.  For whatever reason, this year I just felt off.  Despite all my issues, I still managed to get some homemade presents made which I am pretty proud of.

I wanted to give my boss some small gift and I knew that she liked wine.  But instead of doing the predictable thing and buying her a bottle of wine, I made this nifty insulated wine tote.  I found the directions on some random site and it was labeled “Internet Archives.”  I think it used to be a project on a site by a Kathryn Goodman, but not sure if it is still on her website.  I realized this when I had trouble with one of the sections and couldn’t find anything on the web that would help me decipher the directions.

Wine tote fabric
Making the handle. Here you can see the outer wine bottle fabric and the inner lining fabric, which is wine corks!

What was confusing to me was making the bottom.  Part of the problem was me misinterpreting where it said “bottom” thinking they meant bottom of the fabric fold not the actual bottom of the bag.  The directions also weren’t quite clear that you had to make two triangle folds in order to get a square-ish bottom.  It must have assumed you have made flat-bottomed bags before.  I ended up figuring it out with some other youtube videos that were making similar bags.


This bag has you measure 3 1/2 inches from the triangle point, but when I did this the bottom was more rectangular than the picture showed.  When I measured around 2 inches from the point, the bottom had a more square shape, which I preferred.  The result of my adjustment is shown above.

There!  A successful homemade Christmas gift.  I put some wine trivia cards in there as well to round it out.  One more thing – I used this insulated batting that I got from Joann Fabrics.  Not sure how well this will insulate since the top is open, but it did give it an authentic feel.

insulated batting

Another announcement I’ve been meaning to make – I’ve started cross-stitching!  I will get more into that in another post, but I secretly had been working on this cross-stitch pattern that I got off Etsy for my boyfriend who is a big fan of the TV show Archer.

Get Ants

I know that makes no sense, but it was funny when I started it.  Here is the finished panel:

Thats how we get ants

It pretty much only makes sense if you are fans of the show.

It actually came out much smaller than I realized.  Even though I had the measurements, I guess I didn’t picture how this would look finished.  I decided to make a pillow with this and found this handy tutorial online.

Making the corners
This is me making the corners

The only issue was this tutorial gave directions for a specific size cross-stitch design that is 6″ x 13″.  I did some quick math to adjust the front panels to the measurement of my cross-stitch.  They ended up being pretty narrow, which I also was not expecting.  The front panels barely show up at all in the finished product but…meh!

I was able to stitch the narrow panels to the cross-stitch fabric well enough as the tutorial directed.  I picked out this great martini fabric since the Archer character often drinks these often but also because the colors matched my design pretty well.

pillow back

It’s smaller than I imagined a pillow should be, but still I think it came out pretty good.  He seemed to like it as well.

The panels are so narrow, they barely show up in the front, but it still works.
The panels are so narrow, they barely show up in the front, but it still works.

More cross-stitching to come, I promise.  I’m really enjoying it and I even bought more nerdy patterns on Etsy.

Well that was all I had time for this holiday season – two gift projects.  I admire people who can pull off many homemade gifts and think it would be great if i was able to get to a place where I can sew multiple gifts for most of my friends and family.  Maybe some day, but for now I have my tiny accomplishments.  Happy New Year everyone!

5 thoughts on “It’s the holiday season…

    1. I almost forgot to do this as well! I didn’t take as many as with other projects, but luckily snapped a few before I gave them out. I’m sure people would send you pics – especially if they are using the gifts. A pic of them in action may be better anyways!

      Liked by 1 person

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