Ginger Made: Renfrew for Mom!

Pardon the photos– it’s just so dang dark these days and nearly impossible to take good pics!

Happy holidays, everyone! Hope you’re enjoying celebrations with dear ones and staying warm (if you’re in the northern hemisphere, that is)! Like some of you, I bet, I swore off handmade presents this year. I’ve spent far too many Christmas Eves feverishly knitting at 2:00am, desperately trying to finish a gift before the morning. Not this year! No handmade gifts, and no stress for me! But when I spotted this gorgeous, heathered wool jersey at Mood, what could I do? It’s my mom’s favorite color, and I knew I could make her a top quickly and easily, so I broke my vow.

This is yet another Renfrew top, a versatile pattern that’s a snap to fit and sew. Since I only needed two yards to make a version with long sleeves and a cowl, this sweater turned out to be a serious bargain and, in my opinion, a lovely gift. Wool jersey and sweater knits are perfect for sewing for others– you don’t have to do much fitting, but the wool adds a luxe quality to the finished object that’s really nice (plus it’s WAY faster than knitting a sweater for your mom… and your dad… and your sister… don’t ask me how I know that!)

So what about you? Did you stay up later than Santa making homemade gifts? What are your favorite handmade gift ideas?  Are you addicted to the Renfrew pattern, too?

Ginger Made: Ridiculously Easy Liberty Scarf!

OK, I shouldn’t even be posting about this as it’s SO EASY IT’S STUPID, but just in case you guys are interested in a no-brainer gift, here you go!  My mom is a big fan of Liberty of London, so I picked out a nice print (Purple Mauverina, if you decide you can’t live without it, either) from Purl Soho and bought 1 yard.  I ripped it in half crosswise (perpendicular to the selvedge edges), which left me with two rectangles, each sized 18″ x 53″.  Sallie recommended that I try out the narrow rolled hem on my Brother 1034D, and wow.  It’s AMAZING.  My brother-in-law glanced at it and couldn’t believe that the serger was making a finish so nice (“Wow, it looks like it’s from a factory!”), and really, I couldn’t either!  I did a narrow rolled hem on all four sides and voila, a handmade gift in about 5 minutes.  The most time-consuming part of the whole project was deciding which Liberty print to use (and the hardest part was saying no to Tana lawn for myself!)!

A hem so beautiful I could cry!  But can you tell I wasn’t really sure what to do at the corners?

I had planned to place the two rectangles wrong sides together and stitch like that so the wrong side of the fabric could never be visible, but it seemed like it would be too bulky.  Then I thought I would seam them at one end to make a super long scarf, but that was nearly 9′ long and seemed a bit crazy.  This little baby scarf is perfect for tucking into a blazer or tying into a funky bow, as my ma has demonstrated for us here (oddly enough, the top Mom was wearing on the day that I gave it to her PERFECTLY matched the scarf… spooky!).

I’ve deliberately left this image uncropped so you guys can see my sister shoving her hands down the back of her pants like the little lady she is.

OK, can we change the subject briefly?  Let’s talk summer movies for a minute!  Which movies are you looking forward to?  What have you already seen?  Any recommendations?  I saw a special preview screening of Moonrise Kingdom last night, and I really liked it!  It’s offbeat and funny, like Wes Anderson’s movies usually are, but this one was a little different from his others (pleasantly so).  I entertained fantasies of going to wilderness camp as a kid, and was really into hiking, canoeing, and trying to find Native American trails and artifacts, so I could relate a bit to the kid in this movie.  Plus, it had my favorite actor and my favorite actress playing a married couple– say what?!  Love!  Go see it!

How about The Avengers?  Thoughts on that one?  I found it totally entertaining, even though I wasn’t familiar with all of the superheroes or their backstories.  In the more highbrow department, have you seen the trailer that came out today for Baz Luhrmann’s version of The Great Gatsby?  I have to say, I’m not really sure what to think about that one.  Gatsby is my favorite novel (and I was an English major, folks– that’s a serious statement!), buuuuut I’m left a little underwhelmed by the trailer.  I’ll go ahead and say that I’m not the biggest fan of Baz Luhrmann… I tried and failed three times at staying awake during Moulin Rouge!  I’ve still never seen anything past the first 20 minutes of that movie!  The casting seems a little weird to me, and the whole production looks so glitzy and Baz Luhrmann-y that I’m a little worried that my favorite book has been trampled on.  Sigh… English major problems…  🙂  What do you guys think?  Excited for Gatsby?  Apprehensive?  Love Moulin Rouge and think I should give it another try?

Finally, Battleship— has anybody seen it?  I wonder if it’s as unintentionally hilarious as it seems like it is.  Special bonus question: which board game would you choose to make into a movie??  My vote is for Operation, although that could end up as a gore fest in the Saw camp!