Friday, May 1, 2009

Man Gifts - 1 of 3

With Bats’ birthday a few days ago, I was again faced with the difficult task of figuring our what the heck to make for a guy. I know it’s a pain for me, I figured it was a pain for other people. Hence this incredibly long list of links, tutorials, ideas, and inspiration. This ending up being kind of huge, so I’m splitting it up into three parts and posting one per day.

Today is: Things to Wear

No one wants to snuggle with a frigid boy. Why not make him a hat, gloves, or a scarf to keep him toasty? You can turn an old sweater into mittens and a hat, Simple Up shows you how. Instructables has a tutorial on how to sew a scoodie, which is a scarf/hood combo. Need a gift for a Firefly fan? Emisanboo on Crafster posted instructions for a Cunning Jayne hat. What about a Cylon hat? And if you’re not in the mood to sew/knit/crochet, Etsy seller Rachel’s Threads makes these awesome scarves from socks.

Know a guy who loves to express himself through his clothing? Try personalizing some for him. Craft Stylish shows how to reverse appliqué. The tutorial uses a tote bag, but this technique can easily be applied to clothing. Looking for tips on traditional appliqué? Andrea Zuill has a great tutorial. You can also find tips on Whip Up. This idea is shown on a onesie, but it would be just as cute on an adult. LemonVerde has a great tutorial on how to do printing fabric. You can also head over to Spoonflower and print your very own designs on fabric for something totally personal. Cut Out and Keep has a great tutorial on how to transfer images with just turpentine. If he prefers to express himself with his footwear, how about a pair of custom painted sneakers? Canvas sneakers can be had fairly cheaply, and all you need is some paint. If you’re not an artist, find images you like and transfer then using transfer paper (this can be found at most fabric stores). Check out Flickr for more ideas.

* Keep his feet comfy with handmade slippers. The Sew Green blog offers a tutorial for slippers made from recycled blankets. Here’s a tutorial for crochet slippers. Here’s a big list of links and tutorials.

* Purl Bee has a great tutorial on how to make a little boys tie. I imagine this could be easily adjusted to make adult ties as well.

* Do his pants fall down? How about a nifty patchwork belt?

* Pajama pants and boxers are pretty standard guy gifts and very easy to sew. Just find a pattern at your local fabric store.

* Fabric cuffs might be a nice accessory. Just cut two pieces that measure about 3” wide by the wrist measurement plus about 2” (you need a little for seam allowances and overlap). Decorate how you like by embroidering, printing, appliqué, etc. Put your two pieces right sides together and stitch almost all the way around, leaving a gap for turning. Turn, press, and do a little edge stitch for stability about ¼” from the edge. Then just sew on some snaps or Velcro.

The most important thing is to think about what he'd really like. Try to find fabric with his favorite characters, sports teams, foods, whatever. Pay attention to what he needs, what makes him happy, and how he expresses himself. I make toys and plush for Bats pretty often because he loves collectibles and displays tonsof toys and statues.

Next up: Useful Things

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