‘Tis the season when Christmas Fabric goes on sale and we start dreaming of what we can make – for next year.  Starting our Christmas makes a year ahead is an idea full of wonder and wisdom, but it’s nice to have new ideas. Come with me!

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Image source: flamingotoes.com

Retro Ruffled, Applique Towels

Bev from the Flamingo Toes blog designed a little ruffled lovely with a delightful retro vibe. You’ll need a 36” width for each ruffle, so a yard of fabric will yield plenty. If you have a ruffler attachment it will be your BFF for this project, but if not, two rows of basting stitches that can be easily pulled will work just fine for gathering. Ric rac is kind of the universal symbol for retro and Bev includes a great hint for keeping the ends from fraying. Follow her wise sewing sequence – ruffles first, appliques second for happy stitching! Click here for the Retro Christmas Towels tutorial on the Flamingo Toes blog.

My Banded “Warehouse” Dish Towels

One year, I needed a super-quick-to-make gift for the women in our family and happened upon a thrifty pack of kitchen towels at our local warehouse store. I took them to the fabric store, matched them up with coordinating fabrics and purchased 1/4 yard of fabric for each towel set. At home, I cut 4-1/2” strips of each fabric then turned and pressed 1/4” under on each long side.  Next they were pinned flat to the towels 4 – 6” from the end, and edge-stitched securely. Some towels had trim or ruffles added, some were had a pieced band from several fabrics and others has just the fabric band. They were such a hit that they became my traditional gift when we’re all gathered together for Christmas. I don’t have a picture for you because . . . they’ve all been gifted!

Bistro Half Apron 

Since we’re thinking about Christmas Fabric in the kitchen. . .  The One-Hour Bistro Apron designed by Jona of the Stop Staring and Start Sewing blog will be a great project. too. You’ll need just one fat quarter of fabric for the main apron piece and 1/2 yard for the ties plus thread. As Jona says, plan carefully as “your apron will only be as pretty as the fabric you choose.” If you have a turning tool, this is the time to use it. It will make your tie turning time much jollier! I did note that the Bistro Apron is sewn with a 1/3” seam allowance. This is unusual and you may want to put a large sticky note on your machine to remind you. Click here for Jona’s tutorial.

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Image source: naptimecreations.com


We might as well round out the kitchen Christmas Fabric makes with a handsome potholder. Especially when they’re the cool “Scrappy” Potholders designed by Emiily for her Naptime Creations blog! You can plan out your sequence or just go for the unplanned artistry of random fabric selection. Emily padded her potholders with layers of quilt batting she had on hand. But, I’m a big fan of safe supplies for anything that will take this much heat. Look for Insul-Bright heat resistant batting in your local shop or online and purchase coordinating cotton thread for stitching. They’ll both take the heat without melting or burning while they protect your hands! Click here for the Potholder tutorial on the Naptime Creations blog.

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image source: thecottaagemama.com


One year after Christmas, my son’s mother-in-law enlisted my help in creating 10 pairs of Christmas Pillowcases. They were given as wedding, shower and Thanksgiving gifts and everyone enjoyed using them for the upcoming holiday. And, they’ll enjoy them year after year! I made the pillowcases super-quick to stitch by rotary cutting all the pieces in one session. I planned my fabric combos, but you could make stacks for “grab and design” as you go. Click here for the Christmas Pillowcase post I found on The Cottage Mama blog. Be sure to follow the link in the post for her 15 Minute Pillowcase tutorial.

Are you inspired and ready to shop? Head out to find those deep, delicious Christmas Fabric discounts, stock up and start planning. These are simple projects that let the fabrics shine.  And, just one or two sewing days a month will produce a tall stack of ready-to-give pretties in no time.Merry After Christmas Sewing!!

About the Author

Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community. Follow Annette and more of her sewing adventures on her own blog, www.sewfullife.com.

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