Sewing Handmade Gifts for Children

My niece will be two and a half years old tomorrow. She's at a fun age where she's getting really talkative, and she loves to play and run around. Being an aunt is such fun! I'm sewing gifts this Christmas, so she will be opening up handmade gifts this year.

Fun Friends from the Sew Fun book.

The practical side of me thinks whipping up a bunch of leggings and stretchy pants in fun colors and patterns is a great idea. Pants are useful, which my sister and brother-in-law would appreciate, while also being fun for my niece as she's into picking out colorful outfits.

But then I think opening up clothes on Christmas just isn't as exciting as a new toy or doll. And want to be a fun aunt! I think I might have to make her both leggings and a doll.

I saved some scraps from the baby quilt I made my niece before she was born. It would be neat to turn those scraps into a doll that she could carry around and play with, and tuck into bed under her matching quilt. 

The doll pattern I have in mind is in Sew Fun: 20 Projects For the Whole Family by Deborah Fisher. The Fun Friends dolls are a simple shape, with dresses made from piecing scraps. The dolls' hair is wild and fun, made of ribbons or rickrack.

The doll faces also have a neat detail, made by stitching a child's drawing of a face onto the head fabric. I'll have to slyly get my niece to draw me a face! I've never tried sewing toys or leggings before, so I'm excited to give both projects a try.

What do you like to sew for children for presents? Do you err on the practical side, or tend to make fun creations? Or maybe, like I plan to, you do both? I can't wait to hear. 

 

 

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For Children & Baby
Abby Kaufman

About Abby Kaufman

Abby Kaufman is assistant editor of Stitch magazine. When she's not scoping out new fabrics for her collection, Abby enjoys outdoor activities, and spending time with her husband and two dogs. 

11 thoughts on “Sewing Handmade Gifts for Children

  1. Why don’t you kill two birds with the same stone and make the doll dressed in leggings that are the same as the ones you make for her? That way the clothes are connected to the ‘fun’ gift. They don’t have to be the same design, just the same material.

  2. I have nine grandchildren. I make most of the birthday gifts as well as Christmas gifts. I said “most,” because my husband may make the boys a handcrafted toy. I knit, paint (I am an artist), embroider (hand sewing!), or (hand and/or machine) sew their gifts. This past year I have sewn clothes for their American Girl Doll or their realistic baby doll. For the two (oldest girls) birthdays this month I gave them a small painting with a Bible reference…their choice. Depending on the age and circumstances, I will give options.

    This Christmas I will be embroidering necklaces, and if I have the time (hehe), also sew something for their dolls. The boys will get bootie slippers as well as a hand made toy.

    The savings for the holidays is considerable as I could not purchase such a quality gift for each at the cost of the supplies alone.

    For me, there is great pleasure in making and creating.

  3. I like to make fun and practical things. This year I am making a Christmas quilt for each of my children and their families. That means I will be making 6 quilts. My plan is to make 12 individual blocks and strip piece them together. then add batting and binding. One block will have all their names embroidered on it. It will be done all on the machine and washable. I want all of them to be able to enjoy it for all the season. Minnie

  4. I believe in letting the kids in my life know I value them so I try to make most gifts (plus it’s fun for me!). This year I have made 3 busy books and a hobby horse.

  5. I believe in letting the kids in my life know I value them so I try to make most gifts (plus it’s fun for me!). This year I have made 3 busy books and a hobby horse.

  6. The first thing that popped into my head was a sock monkey. That in of itself is not different or unique, but if you took the basic sock idea and used different socks, then embellished to compliment the piece, it could very well end up as a well-loved treasure in a little girl’s life!
    Good luck

  7. The first thing that popped into my head was a sock monkey. That in of itself is not different or unique, but if you took the basic sock idea and used different socks, then embellished to compliment the piece, it could very well end up as a well-loved treasure in a little girl’s life!
    Good luck

  8. The first thing that popped into my head was a sock monkey. That in of itself is not different or unique, but if you took the basic sock idea and used different socks, then embellished to compliment the piece, it could very well end up as a well-loved treasure in a little girl’s life!
    Good luck

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