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Last-minute gifts in less than an hour


It’s about that time when we all realize that our dream of making personalized elaborate gifts for everyone on our list may not happen. Even though our hearts are in the right place, there is only so much time between now and the big day. In the midst of the chaos that inevitably happens around the holidays, I have to resist the urge to buy everyone slippers at the mall.

We’ve got this! We’ve got sewing skills and we are going to make handmade gifts if it’s the last thing we do! To help your gift-making motivation, I’ve put together a collection of my favorite quick-to-sew gifts that are perfect for almost anyone on your list.


Purl Soho’s Pure and Simple Quilted Blanket is just as simple to sew up as the name implies. These blankets are made with Nani Iro’s quilted double cotton gauze. This pre-quilted fabric has double gauze on one side, muslin on the other, and batting in between. Go get yourself some of this dreamy-soft fabric, add some binding, and you’re good to go!


Fancy Tiger’s Moon Pendant is elegant, simple, and easy to make while binge-watching your favorite show. The kit comes with one 2.2″ wood hoop, a bolt, two nuts, a center plate, and a backing piece that will help keep the back of the embroidery looking neat and tidy. I’ll take five, please!


The Dopp Kit is my personal tried-and-true gift for any occasion. For the winter holidays, I like to add a little bag of cookies or some handmade beauty products inside to turn the gift from “thoughtful” to “you really love me, don’t you?” This Dopp Kit tutorial by The Crazy Tailor has great instructions and is the perfect pattern to get you started.


The Village Haberdashery recently shared this oh-so-easy cross stitch notebook tutorial. First off, this is brilliant because everybody loves a notebook. Secondly, it comes together quickly and doesn’t look too crafty. I’m in.


I’m so glad that we’ve collectively decided to withhold from all those non-sewers out there that the tote bag is the easiest item to sew. Thanks to the tote bag, we will always be the “thoughtful one that sews” at every gift exchange. With endless possibilities and customizations, the tote bag will always be there to save the day. Try this Easy, Easier, and Easiest Totes tutorial by Purl Soho to get you started.


Our good friend Devon, at Miss Make, has a great tutorial for a fabric calendar cover. Even if you’re not a calendar person, this tutorial can be used to create book and journal covers too!


Finally, here’s a tip from the quilter’s bag of tricks: Hot pads are the perfect stash-busting gift. All you need is a few squares of fabric and a bit of binding to make these gifts that everyone will love. Check out Make it, Love it’s Hot Pad Tutorial for an easy step-by-step guide to making your own personalized hand protection.

Katie Whittle


Katie teaches new skills through in-depth tutorials, sewalongs, and articles for Seamwork Magazine and The Colette Blog. She's all about encouraging sewers to try new techniques and create a personalized wardrobe that makes them feel great!


Amy Morris

December 20, 2016 #

Did just thus over the weekend! 2x Kindle covers and a little apron!!

Lois Ann

December 20, 2016 #

My husband loves the little moleskin notebooks! What a fun, unique way to make them special.


December 21, 2016 #

Thanks for all these ideas :)

Jenny Sandoval

December 21, 2016 #

I’m making Liberty of London 1/2″ double gold binding, y’all! This is for my sewing friends and I’ve saved this for last because it’s the quickest.


December 30, 2016 #

A bit late maybe, but lining the ovenglove/hotpad with Insulbright will make your gift go from “Oh, that’s nice” to “Wow, this is awesome. Let me take this roasting pan out of the oven. No, let me… She gave it to me! See, it has my Initials on it! Haha, I will never burn my fingers again, its like a invincible glove…” (True story.)