Every year I make Christmas gifts for the family, usually on a theme. This year, I wanted to make a small difference in the amount of textile waste that accumulates in our nation. Rather than buying new fabric, I found some large men’s shirts at a thrift shop and used those as my source material. A few extra scraps were added in (like the red linen and Star Wars print), but the rest of the cotton and linen were repurposed.
Couples and families got tea towels made from the fronts and backs of the shirts. I played around with little Dresden plates to evoke snowflakes or poinsettias! The blue one went to my brother and comes from my late Grandfather. The linen shirt was first used in a quilt made for my son. I felt my brother would appreciate the sentiment and style. The other blue rosette went to my parents for a similar reason – and the contrasting “petal” was a scrap from my son’s outfit he wore home from the hospital!
I have a few unmarried brothers-in-law who I didn’t think would appreciate holiday towels. Instead, I turned a fine cotton shirt into bow ties for them! I almost couldn’t bear to cut into the shirt. The pattern matching and detail were exquisite! But I am glad I did – the bow ties turned out so nicely! My brother got one of these as well, and as he is such a sharp dresser, I also made a hand-rolled matching handkerchief (or pocket square). The brother-in-law who received the Star Wars bow tie had instructions to open it before going to see Rogue One. If we lived closer, I know we would have enjoyed seeing it together.
Being apart at the holidays isn’t our favorite, but I hope it’s made a little sweeter with lovingly made and thought-through gifts!
Hoping you feel loved and cherished this holiday season!