vietnamese sweat shop/handmade holidays

so, having a million people to get gifts for, and being on the “i’m saving for a big catholic wedding budget,” and having the skill set of sewing, and having a huge fabric stash…it only made sense to give handmade presents this holiday.

surprisingly for me, i actually started on my huge to do list in advance, finished way before schedule, and even had time to do a couple of extra.

this year i decided to do little drawstring bags, and fill them with goodies. easier said than done. after about the first three i was dreading my decision. there was so much ironing, cutting, adding interfacing, matching seams, boxing corners, etc. i even made the drawstrings versus using ribbon or cord, because i’m ocd and i wanted everything to match perfectly.

my mother’s favorite colors are green and blue, so it was very easy to pick fabrics for her, because those are two of my favorite colors too. if you recall, i made one of these for my sister, with pockets on the outside. well, my mom special requested pockets on the inside. there was no pattern for there, so i had to get creative. i think it actually worked out fairly well!

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my future MIL likes the same colors, but has a different aesthetic, so i chose these fabrics for hers


my future SIL, who i haven’t met yet, said she likes pinks, and pastels in general. she is pretty young, so i went with this playful print for her


my aunt loves yellow, so she got this ray of sunshine


my good friend ashlee loves halloween, so i went a little nontraditional with hers. if you recall the alligator pattern i tested awhile back for louise, she recently sent us all another one to play with…a bat. i knew this was perfect for ashlee!


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my assistant loves pink, gray, and white, so hers was simple to piece


for my aunt sigi, i went very earthy and vintage


i have been saving this fabric for my friend cheryl, who is part german, and i just knew this would meet her fancy

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for my ba (grandmother) i just had to use these cute little asian girls. i think my mom and aunt were a bit jealous, lol



for my boss, who loves red, and is very spiritual


*i originally planned to post pics of everything that went into the bags, but i figured that was doing a tad too much, lol. mostly i included chocolates, fun socks, teas, lip balm, cd’s, gift cards, etc…just things that were personal to each recipient. i didn’t take a picture of this bag by itself, but you get the idea

for my friend’s daughter who is obsessed with disney


for my crafty friend danielle, who has a birthday in january, i just went ahead and made her present early


and for my brother i did something a little different…tried my first zippered boxy pouch. it was somewhat successful. i didn’t pull the lining fabric down enough before sewing around the zipper, so it gets slightly stuck. but, i prefaced that it was a labor of love, and had its imperfections, and i think samuel appreciated it anyway. hey, i even made zipper pulls! this fabric was a thick faux suede…i liked it a lot.

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i even made myself a bag


and also a travel laundry bag, with applique letters, as well


here’s (most of) the collection



in total, i think i made at least 15 bags! don’t think i will be making any more for a while. however, i do still have this adorable one for sale in my etsy shop (wink, wink!)


have a few more things to post before i can do my big year in review

❤ xtina