Give luxe for less this holiday season!

Related tutorials you might enjoy: 9 Easy Holiday Party Accessories + Patterns, Boho Leather Fringe Bag, Gifts for the Glamour Girl, Holiday Party Clothes + Accessories


Today’s Guest Curator: Sara from Now Try This…

From Sara:
I’m Sara! Doctor by day and enthusiastic sewist by night… When busy London permits me time, I love dreaming up projects, tackling new techniques and nosing around to see what other people are making. This year I have also taken a baby step into the blogging world and now enjoy reflecting on favorite projects at Now Try This…

Christmas is a great time for sewists and crafters to shower a bit of holiday love on those around them, with handmade items you simply can’t find on the high street. So what about the hard-to-please mother-in-law, the super-cool teens or the man in your life? Here are some ideas for beautiful, luxury gifts they will be amazed to discover are handmade…

Make It


Butter-Soft Leather Tote Bag
Chloe of Boxwood Avenue has a great tutorial on making a beautiful Butter-Soft Leather Tote Bag. Chloe writes that she sewed this up as a holding measure while waiting to invest in a handbag, but the end result has such a clean, effortless style about it we think it might even top a high street contender. You could whip this up in a soft, easy-to sew faux suede; wow in a vibrant, metallic faux croc; or go all the way and make this from real, butter-soft leather in a loved one’s favorite shade.


Luxury Insoles
These Luxury Insoles from Now Try This… are really simple to make, but you can get very creative with them. They will protect the insides of a most treasured pair of shoes. For Christmas, they would be wonderful made up in sheepskin for a cosy layer in winter shoes and boots!


Handmade Silk Tie
If you’re stuck for ideas for the men in your life, try this step-by-step Handmade Silk Tie tutorial that Morgan Meredith of Thread Theory Design wrote for Britex Fabrics. You could make a beautiful handmade tie in stunning silk!


Luxe Blanket
For those who love a bit of knit and purl, Naomi of One Avian Daemon has a tutorial for a simple but beautiful knitted Luxe Blanket. Why not choose a soft, luxurious yarn in a rich color for a wonderful gift for the home?


Faux Fur Winter Gilet
Manju’s post on her self-titled blog is full of inspiring finished-article photos and a really in-depth review of the pattern she chose to make up her Faux Fur Vest. While Manju’s post isn’t a free tutorial, we think the tips and photos are enough to inspire your own design or success with a favorite vest pattern you may already own. There are loads of increasingly affordable luxury faux furs now available, both on the high street and online, so you can really hand-pick the look you want.


Rosabelle Hat
Our Rosabelle Hat at Sew Mama Sew from Wendy Talené of Elsewhen can give you luxe style with a simple and versatile cloche design. It’s easily made in any size for any season.


SJP Knock-Off Wool Cape
Wool capes are even more popular this year! Kristin here at Sew Mama Sew shows you how easy it is to make a SJP Knock-Off Wool Cape for less.

Mix It


Homemade Peanut Butter
Cate in the Kitchen suggests this fun and indulgent Homemade Peanut Butter (with a maple and vanilla twist!) as a handmade gift for foodies. Package in decorative jars with a beautiful ribbon or a hand-written tag for a yummy gift for the “big kids” you know.


Festive Figgy Chutney
Kate has a great recipe for you at The Veg Space for a Festive Figgy Chutney, a handmade, edible gift sure to impress any host! It’s perfect for posh cheese courses. Kate reminds us that chutney needs to “mature” to really taste its best (a month as a minimum), so get this on the hob now so you can put it away… before giving it away!

Print It


Joyeux Noel!
Missie has a chic, free Joyeux Noel! printable at Lost Bumblebee, which comes in three colors. It would make a stylish and lovely card, tag or place-setting.

Win It

Comment on today’s post for a chance to win one of these prizes!
Tip: If you’re hoping to win a prize that notes “US shipping only,” include your state in your name (i.e. Beth in WA) so we can confirm residence and avoid any disappointment on your end. Shipping range is determined by the generous companies that contribute prizes.

17” x 24” Folding Cutting Mat from OLFA

(US + Canadian addresses only.)

About OLFA + the Folding Cutting Mat:
OLFA is an industry leader in quilting and crafting tools. When you use OLFA cutting tools, you know that your cuts will be precise, and this will be reflected in the finished product.

When traveling to a class or retreat, a small mat is easiest to transport, but you crave the usefulness of a large mat. With the new OLFA Folding Cutting Mats, transportation is easy without losing the functionality of a full size mat. The wavy cut of the seam connects when unfolded to provide a continuously smooth surface for cutting. Be confident that you can cut anywhere on the mat, including across the seam, without any missed threads.

Sew!: Exclusive Cath Kidston Designs for Over 40 Simple Sewing Projects

(US shipping only.)

Author: Cath Kidston
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Sew! is a treasure trove of simple projects all made using Cath Kidston’s popular printed fabrics. Reflecting her love of vintage-style patterns, the fabrics feature fresh colors in delightful and unexpected combinations. There are 43 fun and useful projects, all shown in stunning, close-up photographs complete with full-size pattern and on an enclosed sheet for each project, step-by-step instructions and templates.

All the techniques are clearly explained in an introductory wealth of fantastic ideas and tips for variations, allowing you to customize the basic designs are you wish!

Handmade Bags In Natural Fabrics: Over 25 Easy-To-Make Purses, Totes and More

(US + Canada shipping only.)

Author: Emiko Takahashi
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

Make your own charming purse, tote, clutch, satchel or eco tote with with this fashionable bag making book.

Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics offers patterns for twenty-five basic bag styles along with sixty variations and the know-how to customize each bag to suit any style— from sweet-and innocent to minimalist to counter-culture. There is no better project for the eco-conscious crafter than a simple cloth bag. In addition to bag sewing patters, basic sewing lessons teach the fundamentals of bag sewing…

Emiko Takahashi, a fashion and textiles designer, provides easy instructions and bag sewing diagrams, as well as a sheet of fully-sized pattern pieces for each handmade bag project—plus easy lessons on the basics of hand-stitching drawstring casings, corners, edges, straps, and simple flourishes. Cotton and linen bags are always useful and they lend a carefree, laid-back touch to any warm-weather outfit. Each bag can be machine-sewn, but they are designed to be made in natural fabrics that are lightweight enough to be easily sewn by hand. With Takahashi’s expert guidance, beginning sewers with little or no previous experience can learn to make these understated and elegant handbags.

Check out our 2014 Handmade Holidays list for more fun, creative ideas.

Here are 2015 gift ideas:

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