With 100 shopping days to go until Christmas, now is the time to start thinking about sewing Seasonal Gifts. Sewing for others I find so rewarding, giving the gift of handmade and my crafting time gives me another reason to sew and be creative.

In this post I will be using this gorgeous Floral Fabric with tips on sewing for gifts and reviewing the awesome Mimi G men’s shirting pattern. So, if you are looking to sew for others, here is how I created a one of a kind gift that he loves in…just three evenings!

I choose to make a shirt for my husband Harvey using Simplicity Mimi G’s 8427 Pattern.

One of the main reasons was the cut, the variations on cuffs and collar and how versatile the pattern would be to sew again and again. Looking through Minerva Crafts huge range of floral fabrics, I choose a Viscose Fabric as it looked a soft handle, perfect for a casual shirt and would fit alongside the other floral shirts in his wardrobe.

To sew for others, do check out what they wear and if you can have a look through their wardrobe even better. I know I was going to stitch a floral, slim shirt and researched this season’s collections from his favourite shops.

I used 2 metres of fabric to make the shirt and stitched with a ball point 80 needle to stop any pulls in the feed dogs. The fabric was amazing to stitch I would recommend it for dresses, skirts and tops too. It also has the right about of brush to sew for September and the florals make me want to hang onto Summer for a few more weeks.

It doesn’t slip when being cut out with a tissue pattern and the same when being stitched. The pattern can be pattern matched but I did minimum with this pattern to create florals matching on the yoke, sleeves and cuffs. I cut out the pattern to make the most of the florals and less of the off white background.

The collar and cuffs were interfaced with lightweight Vilene Interfacing. If you want more stability in the collar and cuffs I would use a medium weight interfacing or you could starch it, but it depends on the look you want. The design is to have the collar buttoned up and does recommend a lightweight interfacing but my Harvey prefers an open neck on a casual shirt and next time I will use a higher weight facing! It’s all in the details to make that perfect gift. 

The clear instructions and diagrams made this shirt go together really quickly. I used one of his favourite shirts as a block to tailor my project to. I stitched up the shirt knowing that the sleeves and sides would need amending. To amend I use a water erasable embroidery marker (as it’s easier than pins and washes out with a cotton bud) and measured the RTW shirt against my make as on the picture. This is a great tip as if you are fitting and you don’t have the person there you can use their clothes instead.

So…you want to know after these tips, if he liked it and if it fitted…

 A big fat yes! And here are the best bits of the fit…I used the chest measurements for a 15in collar and using the RDW shirt as a guide, it fitted at the collar and chest. Hooray!

 I made the straight cuff version and a square placket (opposed to a pointed version on the pattern) which were the perfect cuff length.

The yoke and back detail also fitted. The inverted pleat personally would be removed if I made it again. But again, this is personal taste.

I must admit I did a little happy dance when the shoulders and cut all worked out. This was my first men’s shirt and I was delighted with the cut and how much Harvey loved it!

So, if you are thinking of making Christmas gifts for others this year, seriously go for it! That warm glow when someone wears something you have made if amazing! And it’s totally bespoke. It’s worth the time to find out what they like, wear they shop and a quick snoop around their wardrobes for inspiration if you can.

It is also great for your sewing confidence and with such a wide range of haberdashery and fabrics and Minerva Crafts you can order it from the comfort of your home.

Samantha writes a creative craft blog www.crafternoonteas.com and hosts Crafternoon Tea Parties and Events www.crafternoonteahostess.co.uk in the Midlands and beyond!