Today’s project is my brother Bill’s Christmas gift. Man gifts are difficult for me. Bill’s idea of pampering differs radically from our sisters’ ideas. He said:
“Men do not pamper themselves. We do not need perfumes, bubble bath, scented soap or soft things with which to cuddle. We like to be uncomfortable because we are real men. An assortment of exotic beers....perhaps a gift card from Best Buys...or some BBQ ribs for the grill w/BBQ sauce?”
The wood tray was painted with Valspar Island Orange (2010-2) and Valspar Cabin Plank (2011-10) (per Chez La Vie blog) and finished with a glossy sealant. In retrospect, I should have painted the inside of the handles Cabin Plank, too. Besides serving as the base of gift baskets, trays can be used on a dresser top or bathroom counter to hold stuff.
Bill wears the rattiest robe on the planet. I can’t stand it. So, a new kimono robe was made using the pattern from Amy Butler's In Stitches: More Than 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects. Based on advice from my husband for whom I’ve made this robe before, the pattern was lengthened by 12 inches. It took me forever to fold it as I wished, so it’s not getting unfolded for a photo.
Leftover fabric was used to make bags for the exotic beers Bill suggested. The actual bottles will be purchased at the last minute and each inserted into a bag and boxed separately before shipping at Christmas.
Beer Bottle Bag Tutorial
Sized to fit most beer bottles (specialty or generic); adjust if needed.
Step 1: (to make one bag) Cut 2 pieces of main fabric 7x10½ inches.
Step 2: Cut 2 pieces of contrast fabric 7x2½ inches.
Step 3: Cut 2 pieces of flannel 7x12½ inches
Step 4: Place one piece of fabric right-side up on table—short sides at top and bottom. Place the contrast fabric on top, matching raw edges along the top short side. Pin in place and sew a ¼-inch seam. Repeat for the other half of the bag. Press seams toward bottom of bag.
Step 5: Place one piece of flannel on table—short sides at top and bottom. Place the 2 pieces of fabric panels (right-sides together) on top of that. Then lay the other flannel piece on top of that. Pin in place.
Step 6: Sew a 3/8-inch seam around three sides, leaving the top (with the contrast fabric) short end of your bag open. Trim corners and then trim the three sewn sides to about ¼-inch.
Step 7: Turn right-side out. Moving around the top of the bag, turn under ¼ inch and press. Turn again another ¼ inch, press and pin in place. Top-stitch 1/8 inch around the bag’s top.
Step 8: Insert your specialty beer bottle and tie a ribbon around the bag (bottle neck area).
For a printable PDF version, click here
A little something from Hermès is included as I really do have a thing about respecting the inspirational origin of my project. I added a small journal and a new natural-bristle, wood-handled toothbrush—I don’t know why the latter, maybe because we always need new toothbrushes and men don’t think about such things. Since Bill likes reading, I’ll tuck in whatever latest book comes out near Christmas in his favored science fiction genre and add a Best Buy gift card for purchasing a DVD of his choice.
This concludes my series of pampering gift projects as I’m completely out of siblings. I’ll have to work on my in-law’s gifts when my budget recovers.