Sunday, 15 December 2019

Secrets revealed

In the last week I have been out for Christmas Lunch or Dinner every day of the week, which is good for reducing the washing up at home but not so good for the figure :) Two of the lunches included the need for a Secret Santa gift to be produced on the day.

For my first project, where the intended recipient is an embroiderer, I pulled out a long-term orphan block and set to incorporating it into this Embroidery pouch. The pattern is from the book Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi which I had made before and you can read about here

The original pattern calls for a slightly different patchwork block for the front cover but I had only to add a border to my orphan block to make the pattern work.

I fussy cut these sewing motifs from some scrap fabric for the applique on the back of the pouch

and added a small cross-stitch pattern, some needles and pins and a reel of metallic thread to the inside of the pouch to finish off the gift.

My second Secret Santa gift was another pouch but this time a boxy pouch and the pattern was again from Patchwork Please.

I have also made one of these pouches before and if I had read about my earlier attempt at this pouch I could have saved myself some unpicking! Once again the instructions for adding the zipper panel to the front and back of the pouch had me thoroughly confused, so my first attempt just didn't work. After thinking about the construction method overnight I realised what was needed and redid the stitching. This time, though, I have written my own instructions in the book so that when/if I attempt another of these pouches I will not make the same mistake again :)

I was keen to use up my stash for these projects so the exterior of this pouch is made from some lovely lilac linen fabric that I brought back from Latvia a few years ago and have come across again in the sewing room re-do.

The interior of the pouch is a floral cotton light furnishing fabric that has been in my stash for ages. I added a nice wooden button to the front, popped a scented candle and sewing-themed pin in the pouch and wrapped it up ready for distribution.

I am happy to report that both of the recipients of the pouches seemed pleased with their gifts, and appreciated the fact that they were handmade, which is always nice to hear!

These two projects are the only two that I have made from this book and I have now made both of them twice, maybe next time I ought to think about trying a different project although it is always tempting to fall back on the tried and tested, isn't it? 


  1. Well, I'd be awfully surprised if they weren't pleased. What thoughtful gifts! Smart thinking to make notes for the next time you stitch the box pouch, so you don't need to sleep on it again (I do that too). Sounds like you've had a great week!

  2. Such beautiful Secret Santa gifts! I know what you mean about lunch/dinner out during holiday season, it's fun but so hard to keep up with the diet!

    1. Thanks Cristina the diet has well and truly gone to pot inn the last week and I don't see any hope of improvement in the next couple of weeks either :( The New Year will have to herald some strict cutting back I fear!

  3. I would be really pleased to receive those secret santa gifts. I love it when someone takes the time to make an item for me.

  4. Fabulous secret Santa gifts! Handmade items are definitely the best for gifts of all sorts. It sounds like your note to self will make that boxy pouch a little easier next time around :)

  5. Oh, such pretty pouches! I love the little extra touches in the embroidery case, and that purple linen is just gorgeous. This kind of 3D project flummoxes me, so I admire that you made it all come out so nicely in the end :)

  6. Both are great gifts. Yeah to not having to cook!!!

  7. Hi! Those are both really great gifts. I know about re-doing the same mistakes twice, so now I read my old post before starting the same project again, just like writing up the instructions in your book.

  8. Beautiful gifts! I always think I'll remember, so rarely write notes on a pattern. Of course, I rarely do remember. Out to lunch every day sounds wonderful - I'm sure you've slowed down now.


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