Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

December Challenge

GailAnn | Posted in General Discussion on

It’s the 3rd already, my friends.

Some years ago, I gave up on Peace on Earth, in my lifetime.

So Peace in our homes.

Good will to all.

I will Comfort, those who I know are hurting.

I will feed those who I know are hungry.

I will cloth those who I know are cold.

I will visit those who I know are sick.

I will show Love, Kindness, and Patience to those whom God places in my path.

I will minister to each one to whom I CAN minister and I will be thankful for a warm bath, a good book, and a soft bed at the end of a busy December day.

I challenge all of you to the same.  Gail

Edited 12/3/2007 9:25 am ET by GailAnn


  1. rodezzy | | #1

    I finally made two lap quilt tops on the last weekend/week of November after Thanksgiving.  I never finished all of the Christmas Stockings, however, I have time since they are for presents.  I'll be completing whatever I can and having a great vacation come the 17th of December thru J-2-08.


  2. Josefly | | #2

    I'm scrambling to make pants for the men in my life - just pull-on, elastic/drawstring waist, casual knock-around, almost pajama-like pants from luxurious-feeling Tencel gabardine I found. Seven pairs - not sure I'll get it all done in time for Christmas presents. Then three handbags for the women. Plus a couple of beaded necklaces for some friends who have Christmas-time birthdays. Hope I get it done.

    1. Teaf5 | | #3

      If you don't get all the gifts done in time for the holiday, wrap each in a beautiful package with a "coupon" promising to finish them in January. This happens so frequently in our family that our children think there's something wrong with a Christmas without at least one "coupon" gift!

      1. Josefly | | #5

        Great idea. That may very well happen this year. Last year, I gifted my daughter with some beautiful red merino wool yardage, a pattern, and notions. It's become part of her stash - one of those things she's afraid to cut into, I think. She's relatively new to sewing. So I can see the same thing happening - all my men opening a box with a photocopy of the pattern I'm using, the fabric, and good wishes until January!

  3. solosmocker | | #4

    December is a challenge in and of itself!!! But here goes my list:

    I need to finish 3 more already cut out half sewn bags for gifts for the females in my family.

    I need to START (Yikes!) shopping for the rest.

    And I would like to start on a winter jacket for myself out of Vogue 8307. I have a great fleece from Malden Mills that I think will look sharp.

    and last BUT NOT LEAST is welcome the arrival of our blessed little twins into the family, God willing.

    That's my December in a nutshell. I can't believe one week is down the drain already. Gotta hustle!

    Here is the bag I just finished today. Hope you like it. It is made from the same pattern as the last one, McCall 4400, and out of some very old wool ( 20 yrs) that I felted recently.

    For what its worth my lifelong nickname is Bunny and recently when in my favorite fabric haunt they had an entire coil of ribbon with little bunnies on it for 1.00. I bought it so now I can put my "label" in everything I make. I don't know which I will run out of first, fabrics or bunny ribbon! So you will see it in the lining tucked in the edge of the pocket.


    1. Josefly | | #6

      Omigosh, again. Your bags are so beautiful, and your work just perfect. I love the bunny, Bunny. Good luck with your goals for the month. I'm sewing like a madwoman, feeling a little manic, as is usual for me in December.

    2. rodezzy | | #13

      Absolutely and amazingly beautiful and functional.  You are a wiz at these bags.  Great job.

    3. MaryinColorado | | #24

      Very nice, I like the felting alot.  Cute idea with the bunny ribbon.  I had that nickname for awhile, but "lost" it along the way.  There were always so many Mary's that it seemed I was always getting nicknames...

    4. TrishyBob | | #38

      The bag is gorgeous.  You did a great job.

  4. Josefly | | #7

    GailAnn, your December goals are lovely and meaningful - putting aside so much of the insidious commercial and mercenary stuff that interferes with the best spirit of the season. As I re-read it I want to pull back a little myself.

  5. Lynnelle | | #8

    Greetings All:

    First I would like to say many thanks to GailAnn for sharing her words of encouragement.  This holiday season seems to more frequently bring out the least appealing in people which is a complete contradiction of the season's intentions.  So, thank you for taking the time to remind us of the truth.

    It's been a long while since I last posted here.  November was a rather rough month.  Yet through the storm, I managed to get some sewing done.  I made a skirt and two pairs of pants (wearable muslin and actual pair). 

    Today, I will attempt to fit a jackit in preparation for an upcoming class on lining at Pattern Review.  Before I register for the class, I want to make sure that the jacket fits well.

    My December challenge is to take one day at a time and to have some big fun while traveling in Europe (trip coming up at the end of the month)!

    I hope all is well with everyone and I am excited to be back.  Below are some pcitures of my finished garments.


    1. solosmocker | | #9

      Hi, Lynelle! so great to have you back! You did great on the slacks. I left a comment on your blog re the pants. What style of jacket are you making? I envy your trip to Europe. Any fabric shopping on the itinerary? I know you have had some challenges. I am glad you have able to fit some sewing in. It certainly provides a bit of Zen! At least when all is flowing smoothly, LOL! I guess the word is out, I will have to sign myself out ,Bunny

      1. solosmocker | | #10

        today I finished Bag #3. Three down and 3 to go. I figure this is my last week sewing so the heat is on!!! This bag is the same flower applique but instead of wools I used a cotton decorator canvas fabric. It could go into Spring. The inside is exactly the same as the red plaid bag. This is the end of the appliqued flower bags. The next ones are the same pattern, McCalls 4400, but with just fabric. I have some really yummy fabrics all cut and ready to go and can't wait to show you all. GailAnn, thank you for the beautiful thoughts. So beautifully said. Bunny,aka, solo

        1. Lynnelle | | #11

          Hi Solo!

          Aaah, you're the bunny! =)  I was trying to send a reply message on the blog, but was unsuccessful.  I'm still new to this blog thing.  In fact, I just figured out how to put pictures on the site instead of a bunch of broken links. =)

          Thank you for your comments and support.  Indeed things are still tense around here, but I think I am dealing with it much better than a month ago.  The trip to Europe will definitely be a change.  I am excited to go and even look forward to the LONG flight.  My return flight is a bit sketchy - two plane connections one in Europe and one in the States.  I am going to try to visit some fabric stores while in Amsterdam.

          I had hoped to work on the jacekt Simplicity 5792 this weekend but things didn't go as planned.  I wanted to do some pre-fitting before the jacket class on PR.  But, since I didn't get to do that, it looks as if I won't be taking the class.  That's ok.  I can work on other projects in the meantime.  I can still do some fitting and make another pair of pants. 

          I just love love love your bags.  I simply adore the flower and the contrast plaid.  You have such a great eye for matching colours and design.  Awesome!  I can't wait to see the others.



        2. rodezzy | | #15

          I agree, it can go into spring.  Good job.  I love the calming colors.

          1. solosmocker | | #16

            Thanks Rodezzy and Lynelle. The next bags will be worked on tomorrow, I hope. My SIL travels regularly to Amsterdam and just loves it. Hope you have a great time. Sounds like some wonderful R&R is in store. solo

          2. solosmocker | | #18

            Thanks, Rodezzy, for the nice comments, greatly appreciated. Today I managed to almost finish two more bags. Tomorrow for sure. Then I have a third wool bag, different pattern, that I embroidered, so it will be fun to start on a different style/pattern. Tomorrow will be a sewing blitz. My darling daughter gave birth to two beautiful twins this past Saturday. We left NY and drove down to be with them all for the past two days. I will be going back to Mass. 4 days a week starting next week to help her out. The babies are healthy and beautiful. Mom had an emergency csection as toxemia set in and her BP was sky high. She is doing much better now and we are very grateful for all of our blessings. So I will be squeezing a lot of shopping and sewing in this week up coming before I go back. Under the gun!!!solo

            Edited 12/11/2007 9:20 pm ET by solosmocker

          3. Josefly | | #19

            Congratulations, Grandma, on those long-awaited twins. Travel with the angels. So glad to hear your daughter is better, and hope she will recover quickly from surgery. What a wonderful Christmas gift. Can't wait to see the babes in their christening gowns.

          4. rodezzy | | #20

            Wow, this is the second set of twins in our threads I believe, that's so wonderful.  I'm so happy everything went well.  Life is so precious and it's good to know someone is there to help.  You are a great parent also.  Your family has been blessed for sure in these events. 

            Your work is wonderful and I'm always looking forward to seeing and hearing what you've been up to.  Keep up the good work.  Happy Holidays to you and your family, I sincerely wish all of you safety in your frequent traveling and all other endeavors. 

            Happy Holidays!!!!!  XOXOXO

          5. solosmocker | | #21

            Thanks so much, Rodezzy. We are truly blessed. DD comes home from the hospital today and all are healthy and beautiful. Can't top that for a Christmas gift! I hope you have a blessed and wonderful holiday w/ your family as well. Are you spoiling those nieces?I finished last night bag # 4 of the six I need for gifts. I should finish number five tonite. Is my house a mess? you don't want to know! But since we will be gone for the holidays I am not to worried about it. Priorities, ya know!This bag is made out of some really beautiful silk suiting that I recently resigned myself to probably never needing a suit made from it. It is embroidered w/ silk ribbon. the fabric came that way. I have enough for probably two more bags. The leather appliques are faux tooled leather which I thought would echo the swirls of the ribbons. I like how it came out. I am so anxious to start a new bag pattern but am keeping with this style because I just have it down pat and speed is of the essence at this point. Here goes:

          6. Crazy K | | #22

            Oh MY.......those are absolutely beautiful.......and the detail!!  Wow!  Big Wow!!  And congratulations on those new babies.  I'm sure you're relieved that mom and babies are all fine.  What a Christmas gift!!  I had my first in December....tomorrow to be exact........40 years ago and my second was born on Christmas Eve 38 years ago.  My how time flies.

            Merry Christmas!


          7. Crazy K | | #23

            Well, I failed the October and November challenges miserably but things are now getting done.........one thing at a time.  I have made snowflakes for grandson's teachers; snowflakes for a neighbor that asked if I would make some for her; embroidered a shirt for my uncle, two aprons (one full and one half) for my aunt; some embroidered handtowels for those 'little something' gifts.  I still have hooded towels to do and a toddler sized blanket for a birthday gift but it will get done........in baby steps perhaps but it will get done!

            I do believe I'll make it!! Whew!


          8. dionna | | #25

            Great job on the bags I have packed away my sewing for now I have to find a new apartment I have to move because of lack of repairs by the owner and a rodent problem  

          9. solosmocker | | #26

            I sure hope you find something soon. You must be more than anxious. Thanks again, to all, for the lovely comments. Your encouragement and kind words are truly appreciated. I am going to bore you with my last attempt, at least for a good while, with McCalls 4400. I finished this bag tonite. This is the only bag that gave me grief. The fabric is velvet and to say it shifted was an understatement. I used my walking foot but when I sewed the leather part on it was like it was ice skating on the machine! I won't do that again any time soon. The next is quite different and I probably won't finish that till Monday, but will have made my goal. Tomorrow I really really have to clean some house. I also have to hit town with the big blizzard coming. We will see how big this storm is! As long as we have power I don't mind being snowed in! Mary, my mom and I have the same new too! So a nickname was in order from the very start. solo

          10. Josefly | | #27

            Nobody would ever know you had trouble dealing with the slipping fabrics. Beautiful job! I've had some trouble finding the magnetic closures in anything but a much smaller size (at Michaels). Did you order them online?

          11. solosmocker | | #29

            No, I got my magnetic snaps at Joanns. I just found the big giant regular snaps that I think I will put into my next bag. They are so cool. Just imagine a big giant snap. They have those at Joanns too. Actually they have all sorts of handles and bag hardware. solo

          12. Josefly | | #31

            Thanks for the source of the magnetic snaps. I think I've seen the other snaps you're talking about at Hancocks - just like the old fashioned small metal snaps, except approximately an inch in diameter, come in silver or black?

          13. solosmocker | | #32

            That's it. You'll see one in the following pics. I finished my last bag. Hooray! The sweatshop is closed and now I can do some shopping. This bag is from McCalls 5068 and the embroidery has been hanging around for a bit. I got the last stitches in today. It is made from lavender cashmere. Sounds decadent, but was a tremendous bargain. It is lined w/ quilting cotton and has a neat pocket configuration. I am so relieved my bags are all done. Now to get them packed up. That sounds easier than it is. Finding boxes has been difficult but will do a big search while I am shopping tomorrow. solo

          14. Gloriasews | | #33

            Wow!  Gorgeous!  You put a lot of work into this one.  Love the lining, too.


          15. Josefly | | #35

            I want to add to my other post in another thread about this bag (which is just gorgeous) - I see the giant snap you used in this one. I like the look of it very much, and as usual, you have done a beautiful job with all the details.

          16. jane4878 | | #28

            I didn't get my Nov. challenges done, but I did complete my husband's jacket. It's not great, but he can wear it around the house or hunting. I'm getting quite a bit done for me. I started making little clutch purses for the women I work with.
            They're fun to do and less stressful than a larger project. I bought a ruffler awhile ago and got the kinks figured out so that I could do the ruffles on the purses. I really HATE gathering. After that, I'll work on blouses for me or a cape.

          17. MaryinColorado | | #30

            That is so cute!  I love the bracelet handle!  Thanks for the "tutorial", I have been wanting to do some grommets, but was afraid to give it a go.  Hey, as I was looking at it, it occurred to me, I am going to try using a drill or dremmel tool to cut through the layers for them.  Of course, I'll be using scraps for the trial.  Thanks for sharing!  Mary

          18. jane4878 | | #37

            I missed putting the boning in the first clutch and it turned out quite well.  It was made of a heavy poly Chinese brocade, so it was quite stiff with the heavy interfacing.  The next one I put the boning in and it was a disaster--all twisted.  I think I might have had the boning a little to long and it messed with the seams at the ends.   The grommets went OK--the dremel idea sounds like a plan.  The hardest part was cutting that little hole.  The biggest challenge was finding the "bracelet" handles.  Real bracelets are too short and the ones she had are wayyyy too expensive for 6 purses.  I raided teeny bopper stores with fashion jewelry and bought gold and silver link chain necklaces and chokers and cut them to size.  The recipients can always upgrade the handles in the future if they wish.  I've been busy getting ready for Christmas and need to get back to sewing. 

          19. MaryinColorado | | #39

            I found a wonderful silver chain type belt with lots of "charms" on it that will work wonderfully.  My grand daughter and her friend have lots of ideas for keyrings and such with it too.  It has silver hearts, lockets, etc like a charm bracelet so will be really cute as a purse handle when I can get a round tuit.......Merry Christmas!  Mary

          20. solosmocker | | #40

            Raya, congratulations and blessings on a healthy baby boy. What a delight! I hope you heal up real soon and its all a dim blur. Jane, I am dying to see this bag. What great ideas from you and Mary on the handles. I may try that one next, the teeny bopper store! solo

          21. jane4878 | | #41

            I'm in between basting the turkey and DH gave me a digital camera for Christmas, so I'll try and post photos of 3 of the clutches.Merry Christmas everyone!
            Janep.s. I bought the chains at Claire's, Ardene's is a similar store--all cheap jewelry and accessories for the teens and tweens.

          22. jane4878 | | #42

            Finally, a few photos of past challenges including December's. The armistace blouse is a bit rumply I'm afraid. It's photographed with a peach coloured pashmina in the middle to make the front stand out from the back.

          23. MaryinColorado | | #46

            You've been very productive, wish I could say the same!  Congrats on the new camera!!!  How fun!  Cute clutches,  the blue floral dress has me daydreaming of Spring, we have about 8 inches of snow that stuck and it is so cold here!  Very nice clothing!  That blouse is very feminine and pretty!  All looks great!  Mary

          24. jane4878 | | #48

            Thanks Mary,

            I had 9 weeks off so that certainly helped my productivity.  I'm back to work now, so hopefully I can make the time to keep going. 

          25. TrishyBob | | #45

            The purses are beautiful. I will have to try one as I think they would make fantastic gifts. It looks like you did a great job. Thanks for sharing.

          26. jane4878 | | #47

            Thanks, they're a fun way to use up scraps.  I'm getting more and more proficient at them after making 5!  I'm going to to make a couple for me now.

            Edited 12/28/2007 1:37 pm by jane4878

          27. rsolish | | #36

            Dear Solo
            congratulations on the twins!! c-section is not fun i should know- i'm back on the discussions but not yet sewing after having a complicated c-section 3 weeks ago and have a cute and healthy boy added to our family.i'm not really recovered yet so am taking it real easy, take good care of your daughter and have fun with the twin grandchildren.missed you all this weeks and hope to get lots of good ideas, so as soon as i'm able to sew i'll be raring to go!

          28. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #44

            Congratulations on the arrival of your little baby boy!  (I'm just catching up on reading the discussions here.)  Hope you are recovering nicely.  Take good care of yourself, and you'll be sewing again before you know it, making beautiful things for yourself and your family.

          29. User avater
            VKStitcher | | #43

            I'm just now catching up on reading here...Congratulations on the birth of the twins!  Glad to hear your daughter and the little ones are doing well.

            Wishing you safe travels on your trips to and from Massachusetts.

    2. Josefly | | #12

      It's good to see you back on this forum. I had wondered about you, especially when the December Challenge thread was introduced, and no word from you. Have a wonderful trip to Amsterdam. My husband and I visited there, years and years ago (1977?) and loved the city - everyone was so friendly. I hope your experience is as delightful as ours was.

    3. rodezzy | | #14

      Great pants.  You've been working your little heart out.  Excellent!

  6. cynthia2 | | #17

    What a wonderful sentiment.  Thanks for sharing.  God bless you and your family during this Christmas season.  Cynthia

  7. sewtimely | | #34

    I'll take that challenge!  Lovely message.  May you be blessed with a Gloriously peaceful Christmas.

    We will not have peace on earth until there is  peace in our homes.  A good place to start.

    I'm thankful for the days that I have went to bed exhausted, not from shopping, working, looking for unneeded gifts: but visiting sick, those in the jail and putting together gifts, not for family and friends of "what to give someone who has everything" but hours spent putting together bags of soap, shampoo and candy to inmates and fruit baskets for lonely and ill homebound.

    You're message inspired me to not slow down now.  Too many sick, poor, hungry to take care of.  thanks.





    1. GailAnn | | #49

      A thousand times over, you will recieve more than you give.  Your rest will be deep and pleasant.  Your children's children will arise up and call you blessed.  Gail

      1. sewtimely | | #50

        How inspiring.  Thankyou.  The satisfaction of using God given talents and not burying them is too rewarding to not want to do more. 

        Christmas was wonderfully peaceful.  Now I'm trying to get started early for the gifts I want to make so I won't wear myself out trying to make them at the last minute.  I have two Christmas wallhangings I started before Christmas that couldn't get done in time.  My goal is to have them done this month and they'll be all ready for next year.  I've got high hopes. 

        I have a niece wanting to learn to sew and I'm anxious to help her.  I feel most blessed when giving time that doesn't belong to me in the first place to someone else. 

        As we watch the year slip away I hope that its prosperous and rewarding to all who give away what's been given to them.

        Have a lovely day.

        1. GailAnn | | #51

          And now January is half over.  Not a moment too soon to start next years projects.  Gail

          1. sewtimely | | #52

            You're so right, and I'm learning more every year, the time goes quicker and my sewing goals get higher.  I don't know how to do it all, but if I start now.....

            I am starting today a formal for my 9 year old niece.  her first formal.  It's a girl scout father/daughter banquet.  My DH is taking her since her father's out fo the picture.  She is thrilled over the dress that we picked out and the fabrics.  Fushia and sheer "eggplant" (dark brown/purple) with irridecent dots.  It's lovely and I'm a bit apprehensive at my first attempt at a formal of this kind (2 layers, and the top going to have to be a perfect fit. She's 9 and it's a misses pattern.  The straps are just the sheer fabric so obviously, the top is going to have to fit perfectly, or fall off!

            I'm starting it today and going to have her try the test pattern tonight. 

            Then I'm going to start a quilting class and if I can get those finished I'm not going to put off starting on next years Christmas sewing too long.

            There's so much I want to do!


          2. GailAnn | | #53

            With regard to the formal for a 9 year old.  If you can refer to Claire Shaeffer's book, Couture Sewing Techniques, she demonstrates how to make an interior belt of grosgrain ribbon, sewn to the wrong side of the bodice, and snugly fitted to the body.

            I've used that technique many times for young and not so young figures.  It works every time!  The wearer doesn't have to "fuss" for her modesty all night either.  Gail

          3. sewtimely | | #54

            Thanks a lot! I appreciate the advise.  I don't know where to go for this one.  I haven't done a formal for that age before and a bit nervous about it.  I will look for the book tonight!


          4. GailAnn | | #55

            Page 129.

            In this area there is a organization of girls called "Rainbow Girls".  I don't really know much about them, they may be a branch of the Masons or Odd Fellows, perhaps even the DAR.. ........Anyway back when I used to sew for others I did several formals for "Rainbow Girls".

            I also sewed for an adult woman who was as small as a child.  In fact she purchased much of her daily wardrobe in the children's department.  Her husband is an Illustrator and she often had formal dinners or other events to attend.  She always said that I made her "Grown Up" clothes. 

            I found all of those gowns to be very fun, exciting and creative to make.  I probably enjoyed sewing then more than I ever have, before or since.  Gail

          5. sewtimely | | #56

            I can imagine why you enjoyed it so.  You get to make life size Barbie doll clothes.  I love the formals and the fabrics.  Like I said, not so sure about sewing them yet.  This dress will be crepe back satin and a sheer over it.  Gathers and petticoat.  Lots of pretty stuff.  Hope it ends up pretty as it started.


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All