If Exploration and Adventure are your thing– whether traveling the world or taking hour-long, one block-long walks with a toddler– we have tons of fun ideas for you today. So many of these would make really thoughtful, unique gifts too. Enjoy!

Make It

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Cherie of Studio Cherie shows you how to make these cozy Fleece Boot Socks here at Sew,Mama,Sew! They’ll keep you warm and dry.
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Make a handy Wet Bag with Jess from Craftiness is not Optional, for wet clothes on the go. If you just finished swimming or hiking on a rainy day, this bag will come in handy!
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Randi from Dukes and Duchesses designed this Explorer Sash with removable tools, perfect for the young explorers on your holiday gift list.
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Make a Summer Camp Utility Apron with Lizzy House’s tutorial here at Sew,Mama,Sew! Lizzy designed the apron to feature her fabric collections, and we think it would make a fun apron for collecting treasure on long, wandering walks.
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Holly from Chez Beeper Bebe says this Nature Explorer Bag is one of the best things she’s ever made, and we can see why! Her free PDF pattern and tutorial includes a list of the items she included in her bags, with sources for purchase.
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We absolutely love the simple, practical design for these Mittens from Trula Kids.

About the Designer: Trula is a mother of two living in Barcelona. She tries not to let the madness of every day life as a working mother get to her. So she sews, and draws and takes pictures. But mostly sews– clothes for her kids and their friends, who constantly challenge her with their demands for pink, princesses or cartoon characters considered cool amongst the 2 – 6 year olds. But she sneaks in her ideas of clean and simple design and more often than not, they find a compromise.

Bag a Day

There are so many beautiful bags to love out there… We’re sharing one bag tutorial every day this month for you to sew and give.

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Keep food cold or hot as you set out on adventure with this Insulated Picnic Tote designed by Vanessa from Punkin Patterns for Sew,Mama,Sew!

Related tutorials you might just love: 1-2-3 Sew
 Insulated Lunch Sack, Picnic Blanket with Rock Pockets, Child’s Teepee-Style Tent, Toy Gathering Bucket (for treasure!), Pea Pod 
Hip Carrier Tutorial, Sushi Roll Changing Pad with Diaper & Wipes Pouch, Sweet Dreams Nap Mat

Buy It

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This handcrafted Wooden Compass from A Remark You Made will steer you in the right direction! (We also love their Wooden Gift Tags…)
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We love the craftsmanship in this Hip Bag for Men from Dragonfly Accessories. This particular hip bag is made of sturdy olive green cotton canvas, and would be perfect to take along on adventures.

Here are just a few fabrics perfect for some of today’s projects. Click on the fabric images to visit the Sew,Mama,Sew! shop:

Dena’s choice Liz’s choice Kristin’s choice

Mix It

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These Chocolate Granola Bars look delicious, whether you’re headed out for exploration or snuggling up on the couch at home!

Print It

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Clemence from Oh the Lovely Things has a nice set of free Gift Tags for you to download and use this holiday season.

Win It

Tweet #handmadeholidays or tag us on Facebook this week for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew!

Comment on today’s post for a chance to win one of these books!

Sewing Basics: All You Need to Know About Machine and Hand Sewing

Author: Sandra Bardwell
Publisher: Abrams Books, STC Craft

Sewing Basics is the ultimate encyclopedia for sewing at home. This thorough guide covers everything from choosing fabrics to operating a sewing machine to hand sewing, fitting, fine-finishing, trouble-shooting, and more. Whether the sewer is trying to decipher the symbols on a printed pattern, line a pocket, work French seams, or fit a muslin, she’ll find what she’s looking for here, all precisely explained and illustrated with hundreds of step-by-step photos. Both for beginners learning how to hem and for more experienced sewers who need help mastering advanced techniques, Sewing Basics is an invaluable reference tool sewers will want to keep within easy reach for many years to come.

Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase

Author: Suzanne J.E. Tourtillott
Publisher: Lark Crafts

Take the challenge! Craft challenges are all the rage among online crafting communities, and this new series— the first ever on the subject— marries the popularity of repurposing with the appeal of the “new pretty” aesthetic. This time, it’s the common pillowcase that’s undergoing uncommon transformations in 28 beguiling projects, ranging from patterned pinafores and aprons to decorative, embellished boxes and quilts. A friendly and informative basics chapter introduces the key techniques, delicate ink and watercolor illustrations show essential assembly details, and all necessary templates are included. There’s plenty of handholding for beginners plus a wealth of novel ideas for more advanced sewers.

Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life

Author: Julia Rothman
Publisher: Storey Publishing

What’s the difference between a weanling and a yearling, or a farrow and a barrow? Country and city mice alike will delight in Julia Rothman’s charming illustrated guide to the curious parts and pieces of rural living.

Dissecting everything from tractors and pigs to fences, hay bales, crop rotation patterns, and farm tools, Rothman gives a richly entertaining tour of the quirky details of country life. From the shapes of squash varieties to the parts of a goat; from how a barn is constructed to what makes up a beehive, every corner of the barnyard is uncovered.

A perfect gift for gardeners, locavores, homesteaders, and country-living enthusiasts alike.

Sewn Toy Tales: 12 Fun Characters to Make and Love (US Winners Only)

Author: Melanie Hurlston
Publisher: F+W Media

Melly & Me present a fun and fabulous collection of personality-packed designs that will have readers sewing adorable toys in no time! Each of the brightly colored characters is a joy to sew for all abilities, making them the perfect gift for children or adults, or a trendy home accessory. Projects combine simple sewing techniques with funky fabrics, embellishments and color palettes to add zing and excitement to readers’ sewn toy creations. Easy to follow step by step instructions, quirky photography and full-size templates make this book a delightful gift as well as an irresistible addition to sewing collections.

Fast, Flirty and Fun: Easy Quilts from Fabulous Fabrics

Author: Sarah Bisel
Publisher: Martingale & Co.

For every beginner who’s eyed today’s fabrics and yearned to make an eye-catching quilt—this is the book! Novice and experienced quilters alike will find oodles of inspiration in the contemporary colors and fresh designs of these 11 exciting projects.

* Discover the secrets of color, value, and fabric selection for creating quilts with visual impact.
* Learn a variety of easy methods for cutting, piecing, and appliqué.
* Enjoy whimsical appliqué motifs that include a giant birthday cake, a bird, jumbo circles, and more.

Don’t miss our Handmade Holidays photo pool, and check out our 2010 Handmade Holidays list for more fabulous ideas.

7 ~ Passion for Teaching + Learning
6 ~ Passion for Sewing
5 ~ Passion for Organization
4 ~ Passion for Relaxation
3 ~ Passion for Clothes
2 ~ Passion for Play
1 ~ Passion for Accessories

We respect the copyright of all crafters. All photos are used with permission from the artist.