A Handmade Christmas

Here we are, all 25 of us, semi matching, post Christmas lunch standing on the front lawn, big grins in toe and happy as Larry.

This story starts two years ago, when someone (me) wanted us to all buy matching Australian ugly Christmas rashies to wear in mum and dads pool on Christmas day. Due to our poor planning by the time we looked into it they where completely sold out. Then there was last year. I had just started my sewing adventure and wanted to make everyone something that matched but didn’t quite have the skills yet, well fast forward six months and my skills exploded as I was sewing things left right and center.

Picture this. Mid June, I message my cousin Tara saying “hey how would you feel if we all had matching handmade t-shirts for Christmas?” She replies with a simple “that’s a great idea”. So what do i instantly do? I send out a group message of course, which very quickly escalates!

It very quickly became apparent that a plain t-shirt was not going to be what I made everyone. And from there, there was no backing out!

My family contains 25 people:
– 9 men
– 9 women
– 7 Children
I got them all to send me through photos of something that they would like (or a general idea), and then found a pattern that was similar to the picture/suggestion they had sent me.

The men where easy. Seven of them wanted shorts so I whipped up a pair of Trigg shorts and couldn’t believe it when only one of them didn’t fit the toil. This is a great pattern, its super easy and the new size ranging really is a better fit. I would highly recommend this pattern!

The two older men – my Dad and Uncle both wanted button down shirts. So I put out a post on Instagram and was not disappointed with the responses. My dads birthday was in August so I whipped him up a shirt for his birthday to test the fit and was pleasantly surprised. My uncle on the other hand was one of the last outfits I sewed and I was well over it at this point. I regret not testing the fit.

Then there was all of us women! I think I speak for everyone (or just myself, whatever this is my blog) in saying that i did a pretty bang on job to test and fit everyone. There was only one of my cousins that I made a toil twice for (and only because she didn’t like the straight up and down of the York pinafore- so I hacked it) but everyone else’s toils fit relatively well straight out of the hat.

Kids! I love sewing kids clothes as gifts, but sometimes it can be tricky knowing what size to make, this was especially the case with the two newest members of our family. I had a slight freak out three weeks before Christmas that Aggie’s dress wouldn’t fit her as she went from chunky monkey to 6 month old very Fricken quick. Alas it did fit!
I must admit though, i made Rex’s shirt twice as i wasn’t paying attention when I cut out and sewed the shirt together and had completely sewn the wrong size.. oops.
As for those three Bennett girls, I bought just not enough pom pom trimming for two out of three skirts – it was a very what the fuck moment.

So here they are!

This is my family

This is us,
My mum in a Darling Rangers dress by Megan Nielsen
Dad in a Tropical shirt by Wardrobe by Me
My two brothers and Deniz in Trigg shorts by Elbe Textiles
Carlie in a Jessica Dress by Mimi G
And me in a Lisa Dress by Tessuti patterns (i think we all know this is my current favorite dress?)

The Bennett’s and Cully’s
Stephen and Kane in Trigg Shorts
Tara in a Penny dress by Sew Over It
Annie in a York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet
Linda in a Kalle Shirt by Closet Case Patterns
And the three girls Mabel Nell and Elsie in simple rectangle gathered skirt (i cant remember the pattern..oops)

The Codd’s
Richard in a Tropical Shirt by wardobe by me
Jan in a Union st tee by Hey June Handmade
Ben and Steven in Trigg Shorts
Danielle and Rachael in Hinterland dresses by Sew Liberated
Aggie, Rex and Toby all in patterns i can’t remember

In total I made 38 outfits. This includes all the toils I made for everyone to test the fit. This whole project really helped me with my sewing skills this year, and i don’t think i would be half the sewer if i hadn’t given it a go.

Would I recommend anyone else do something like this for a family this big?

Was it 100% worth it in the end?

There probably would have been more photos on Christmas day, but I got a little merry drinking Gin and just enjoyed the day.

Until next time!

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