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Tried and tested handmade gifts using free patterns

Handmade gifts are a contentious issue, and I've learnt from my experiences to only make them for people who really appreciate the love, time and thought that has gone in to creating something. There's no doubt that a handmade gift is truly special, and it can be really rewarding making something for someone who you know will love what you've made. Here are a few ideas from things I've made before - it's by no means an exhaustive list but will hopefully give you something to think about. Not pictured, but other things I've made include personalised Christmas stockings, monogrammed Christmas decorations, lingerie bags (using Liberty lawn, they were lovely!), knitting needle organisers, quilted wash bags, knitting project bags, and even oven gloves for a children's kitchen. To be honest, I've made that many handmade gifts, people have run out of ideas of what to ask me to make, so the irony is, I might not be making any at all this year!

Quilted pouch

The Craft Passion Pouch is described as a zipper pencil case, but I think it's a perfect gift for makers. I've made one for my mum for her knitting bits and bobs, and loved it so much I made one for myself. Thanks to the gusset, it's actually very spacious and the piping really adds something. I hand quilted this one, which wasn't the quickest process, but it really was worth the effort of quilting. It makes it so tactile and squishy.

PJ Bottoms

Available as a free download in Adult and Children's sizes, the Walk the Plank PJ Bottoms were a hit when I made them for my daughter last year and are available in a broad range of sizes. I made hers in jersey but I've also made a grown-up pair in supersoft brushed cotton.


Noodlehead Pencil Pouch

This Noodlehead Canvas Pencil Pouch is a go-to pattern for me, from last minute school teacher gifts to children's cases, and I finally made one for myself when sewing samples for the website, which I use every day. It's a great base pattern which you can make taller, shorter, wider, change the shape of the top or quilt, as I did here.

Cross Back Apron

I needed to make an apron for my sister and took the Seasalt Cornwall apron as my inspiration. I used the Purl Soho Cross Back Apron to give me an idea of size, dimensions and basic construction, but I wanted to do mine in one piece and with a front pocket so drafted the rest to fit my sister.



Noodlehead Cargo Duffle Bag

This isn't the quickest of makes, but the Noodlehead Cargo Duffle Bag is so satisfying! If I was to make it again, I wouldn't sew the lines as close together - not only did it take longer, it used more thread than anticipated. You could even scale it down and make a mini version of it... or even a teeny tiny version for the little one in your life.


Adding detail

Adding extra details such as embroidery, monograms, piping and woven labels can make a handmade gift even more special.