My first handmade Christmas presents

It’s been a busy week or so round our way: my husband’s mum and stepdad came to visit us before flitting off to beautiful Thailand for four months of beach-lounging, Thai cookery and general lazing about (very much deserved of course but we can all allow a little envy!).  Then it was the work Christmas party on Thursday to which I wore my very own handmade dress for the second time in a month – yay!

Having the in-laws over meant that I could give them their handmade Christmas presents, which I’ve been itching to share but haven’t been able to for obvious reasons. I really wanted to make them something but had to think carefully about what I could make that they could take away with them. And then I thought – dressing gowns! Of course! Nothing better than relaxing on your own sun-drenched terrace, sipping iced lemon tea and flicking lazily through a paperback… in a custom-made dressing gown.

I hotfooted it to Walthamstow market for the fabric as I knew I could get some good deals, have lots of choice and still not break the budget. My pattern (Butterick B5537) called for SIX METRES of fabric which seemed ridiculous. In the event I got four metres for each gown as I wanted to reduce the length to something more summery anyway. It took just less than three metres of fabric for each in the end.

Dressing gown B5537

For Ann’s I chose a beautiful satin that just drapes gorgeously. It was a slippery little bugger to sew though. I gave up on adding a pocket in the end because it slid about like a drunk little stitchandwitter weaving her way home from a xmas works do. My pinking shears did not like this fabric one little bit. They chewed at it, rather than slicing through it, which means although the dressing gown is lovely and neat on the outside, it’s a different story with the seam finishes on the inside. But another lesson learnt nonetheless.

Dale is not a slinky slippery silky fabric sort, thank goodness. For him I chose a brushed plaid cotton, which may just be a touch too warm for where he’s going but he said he going to wear it anyway, bless him. Much easier to sew and since it was the second version, much quicker too. I didn’t get a pic of Dale’s on the dummy but here it is neatly folded and ready to wrap!

Dressing gown B5537

This is a pretty easy project if you want to try it, although if (like me) you’re used to the excellent instructions that come with Colette patterns then trying to work your way through the illustrations and slightly cryptic details may be frustrating at first. I still have so much to learn when it comes to understanding regular patterns.

But never mind all that – here’s a picture of Ann and Dale in all their handmade finery!

Ann and Dale in their dressing gowns!

Bon voyage Ann and Dale! We miss you! We love you! xxx

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15 thoughts on “My first handmade Christmas presents

  1. What lovely presents! Really thoughtful too.
    I’ve been hankering after a silky dressing gown/ wrap (I blame watching House of Eliott ) & this looks fabulous. I can bet it was a challenge to sew being all slinky & all that, but it doesn’t show so you must have done a good job.

    • Ooh now you’re asking… it was two different shops actually in the market as I went on a Friday afternoon and there were no stalls – bah. One was Saeed fabrics (I got the silky fabric from there) but I can’t remember t’other one. Amazing value for money! You are so lucky to live near there!

  2. I love these! My sister is off travelling in January too (India/Thailand/Australia) so I’m making some silk/cotton pjs for her xmas present.

  3. Oh my god, these are FAB! I just love the floral satin fabric, such a beautiful dressing gown. And holy cow, 6 meters?!!!! Yowsers – good job you have access to bargainous fabric, if I made that from the fabric available over here it would probably cost more than it’s weight in gold (even at the 4 meters you ended up buying)! Two really lovely, thoughtful presents – two very lucky recipients!

    • Heheh thanks Suzy! From my old memories of B’fast’s fabric choices – is it still just that place by City Hall? Anywhere else you can recommend a quick visit to when I’m over visiting family?

      • Yup, the Spinning Wheel at the side of the City Hall is still the main one in Belfast. If you don’t mind the trek, the best fabric shop we have is Craft Woman at Kilroot just outside Carrickfergus.

      • The spinning wheel! Ah I remember getting material for my formal dress there many years ago. Good tip on Craft Woman (hilarious name) – I might have to check it out at some point 🙂

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