Monday, 11 August 2014

let's talk christmas fabrics


It's always around this time of year I start to think about getting organised for Christmas. Ok, ok, If I'm being truthful I often don't get much further than the thinking phase. Good intentions and all. Lucky I love the planning part so much. Planning what new things to make, what fabrics I'm going to work with, what supplies I have and what I'm likely to need. It's probably my very favourite bit!

It's been my goal for a few years now to have a house completely covered in homemade decorations. And would you know it, little by little I am slowly getting there.

Last year I finally finished sewing each of the kids a Santa sack, from some of my very favourite fabrics. Gosh the kids just love those. Pulling them out on Christmas Eve always creates some crazy excitement.


There's also the homemade advent calendar, that we fill with fun activities (and sometimes the odd little treat) for the month before Christmas. Huge hit with the kids. My eldest begs for me to put it out each year.



I added some new bunting to our decorations as well, so we have quite a few different strands of bunting to hang around the house. As much as I love the sparkliness of tinsel, the clean up afterwards, definitely not-to-much!

I love the look of homemade buntings around the house. They are timeless and they're washable and iron-able (not to mention top stitched like mad), so they're hopefully going to look good for decades.


We've got quite a few home made tree decorations, but I've got some big making plans in that department. So many, many plans- so little time!


One thing I'm pretty fussy about though is Christmas fabrics. I figure if I'm going to spend all that time sewing something special, and it's something that we are going to bring out year after year, I may as well make it out of fabric I really love.

Sadly, I'm finding there isn't much I'm loving at the moment in the way of Christmas fabrics. Don't get me wrong, I've scored some beauties in the past. Alexander Henry has had some stunning prints.

Err no, I'm not talking about their pin up Christmas fabrics. Not that I have anything against people who want those kind of fabrics. I mean whatever floats your boat and all. I'm making things for children in this house though!

What I'm talking about is their classic Letter to Santa (now that's my kind of Santa), Santa's sparrows and Angel Cakes prints. Those fabrics are all kinds of right in my opinion.

While we're talking amazing Christmas prints, let's not forget this Belle and Boo print, which might just be my favourite Christmas print ever. Goodness, those illustrations are just perfection.


I've been trying to narrow down exactly what makes something I'd label a "timeless Christmas fabric". It guess it comes down to this- I love classic prints with beautiful illustrations. Prints that have just that right amount of nostalgia and whimsy, that remind you of your very favourite Christmas books you read growing up. Fabrics that aren't going to look tacky in 3 years time, when I have a big "What was I thinking?" moment.

I definitely don't like creepy looking Santas. Hmm, does anyone like the creepy looking Santa prints? My Santa needs cherubic, rosy cheeks and sweet eyes and a gentle beard. Forget the bristly beards and shifty eyes. Because let's face it, when you start to think about it Santa is just a little bit creepy. So Santa really shouldn't look like an old man you might actually run into on the street.

Hmm, what else? I'm not so big on murky or crazy colours for that matter either. Weird animals at Christmas?
Why, I ask? Just, why? I don't understand those fabrics at all, not for Christmas anyway. I'm sure someone out there is loving the weird animal Christmas fabrics, but they aren't going to be finding a home in my house any time soon.


Perhaps I am not looking in the right places? Perhaps there are some amazing Christmas fabrics out there that I just haven't seen yet. That's what I'm hoping anyway! Do you guys know any great Christmas fabrics that are just too good to pass up? Timeless beauties that just simply must come to live at my house?

Hit me with them! I'd really love to find a couple of new prints to add to my Christmas fabric stash!


18 comments:

  1. I'm assuming that the carousel horses you are considering to be a Christmas print? If I'm right, you might want to widen you search. I don't consider the carousel horses to be a Christmas print myself, if it wasn't for the odd hat, I'm not even inclined to consider it a "winter" print. (I know that in Australia Christmas does not happen during the winter season, but the decoration you want is winter based.)

    I'm just saying that perhaps looking beyond what is labeled as Christmas might help you find what you want.

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    1. Oh actually I meant the print sitting on top of the carousel print :) Although I do think the carousel print is cute (although not what I would typically think for Christmas).

      I think that's a really great idea to widen my search and something I will start doing! It's funny that I have quite a lot of winter prints. Something i've noticed now you've pointed it out! It's not something I've done deliberately actually. There's such a lack of nice "Australian" warm feel Christmas fabrics out there. I'm not really into Santa wearing swimmers or those types of prints. Winter style fabrics still work though, as we still talk about Santa coming from the North Pole.

      Actually I'd love some cute nativity fabrics too? But I'm not sure I've seen any...

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    2. Have you been to equilter? (Not sure how their shipping rates fare...) They have 10 items under "Nativity" Not sure that any are "cute."
      I'd also consider looking under snowman, snow, snowflake, presents, gifts, mistletoe, candy, cookies, etc. in addition to Christmas, reindeer, & Santa

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    3. I will go and have a look at equilter, I haven't shopped there before! I'll definitely use some of those search terms as well. Thank you :)

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  2. Your Christmas pieces are just fantastic!! I do so love handmade touches around the home for Christmas and your santa sacks are just too awesome! You nailed the fabrics friend! Such timeless fabrics indeed!!!! I have started on ornaments but have yet to get completely organized yet.....you have inspired me through this post to start some lists of what I would like to create! Love the idea of a bunting! Happy week you! Nicole xoxo oh and the pin up fabrics are crazy!!!

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    1. Oh thank you Nicole :) How great that you are starting on ornaments already. I like to plan and get supplies early as I often have to order from overseas to get the fabrics I want (our selections over here are often less than inspiring). I need to get better organised to start the sewing earlier as well... I usually find myself madly doing it the month before Christmas, and never fitting as much in as I had hoped!

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  3. Wow, your Christmas sewing is beautiful and prolific. I have been thinking about making a permanent Advent calendar myself. I always buy the cardboard type with a tiny piece of chocolate behind each door, which I cut with a paring knife so each of my two kids can have a tiny bite. It's nice but a pernament one would be wonderful. Did you use a pattern or is that your own design? Is it okay with you if I try to make one like yours?

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    1. Jennifer I didn't use a pattern- I just made it up. It really wasn't hard though, just a few squares sewn onto a rectangle. I drew some lines on the big piece of fabric and measured it out so the squares would look close to evenly spaced out :) Then I added some loops and bound it. We hang it up with long stick through the loops.

      It's not perfect (not even close) but the kids wouldn't notice. I'm honoured that you'd like to make one like mine. Of course you can!

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  4. I love your Christmas sacks, bunting and advent calendar. I think you are in the right track that it has to be nostalgic kid like and timeless to last the test of time so that you can bring these out when the grandchildren come over (yes, one day........in the future):

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    1. Oh grandchildren! Hopefully one day a LONG long way off. You're right though, I'm hoping the decorations will stand the test of time and not look too wacky dated (if you know what I mean :)

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  5. I love all of those fabrics. How organised are you. You inspire me every time I read your blog you really do. The advent calendar, I've wanted to make something like this for years but never have never gotten around to it!! Your beautiful bunting. Your home is going to look so beautiful at Christmas and the fact that it is all made by you makes it even more special. Hmmm do I have any Christmas fabric I wonder.......

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    1. I do love the planning bit. I wish I was a little more organised on the "doing" part :) Usually that happens in a mad dash the month before Christmas. If you need to order fabrics from overseas though, it's good to start thinking about it early. It's such a lot of fun making stuff and nice when you can pull them out year after year.

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  6. I love all your Christmas sewing it looks wonderful. I am just thinking about some Christmas sewing for presents but I like the idea of Christmas bunting. I have always wanted to make some for the house and Christmas themed bunting would be a great idea. If I am looking for fabric I always head to my local haberdashers it is a wonderful shop and I am sure they will have some Christmas themed fabric later in the year. Also I would use colours that are Christmassy such as reds, greens and golds.

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    1. How nice to have a great local store near you! We have one local store (chain store) near us that won't get Christmas fabrics in until much later in the year. Sometimes there's a gem in there... sometimes not! The Christmas fabrics are always super $$ though.
      Good idea to keep the colours safe. I have made lots of red and green decorations as well for the same reason!

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  7. I love all your handmade christmas things, and the fabrics you sourced are beautiful. They remind me of christmas cards we used to get in the UK with gorgeous illustrations. Lovely. I don't have any advice on sourcing fabrics here. Hopefully some google searching might track some down. Good luck. T

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    1. They are a bit like Christmas cards aren't they? I'm a sucker for beautiful illustrations!

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  8. I love a homemade Christmas myself. Luckily I started with some homemade Christmas items from my Grandma and some lovely homemade ornaments from my husband's Grandma. I finished my daughter's stocking many months ago and hope to finish my sons in time. I don't have any Christmas fabric's I am crazy about. I do love your advent calendar and that is on my list of Christmas treasures that I want to make.

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    1. How lucky are you? Handmade and handed down decorations... not sure it gets better than that! Well done on finishing the stocking- she'll love that :)

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