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Topic: sewing gifts for b-day parties - I have anxiety!  (Read 3985 times)
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vegbee
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« on: December 17, 2007 07:43:55 PM »

my monkey has just started preschool and we are swamped with birthday party invites for 3 and 4 years olds.  I guess everyone just invites the whole class.  Good for monkey, who is a party animal, but bad for mommy's pocketbook who would rather spend her money on fabric  Roll Eyes

Presents for all these kids?  I really, really do not want to go to toys r us every week to do the totally random gift that will end up landfill in 3 weeks.  So, I'm thinking that I can make something, and what I make, mainly, is clothes.

Is it acceptable to give a kid a item of clothing for their birthday (from my monkey, of course).  How about fun things, like twirl dresses for the girls (maybe with a little doll in a matching dress?  That still puts me at the toy store, though.)  Dress up clothes for both boys and girls?  Princess dresses I'm sure would be a fav for girls, but maybe cowboy outfits or uniforms for boys? 

Help me think outside the box here (okay, I mean, think for me please?)

Keeping in mind I don't know these kids at all, and maybe don't want to put in a huge amount of work for something that may get tossed entirely.  What do you think the other parents may think about handmade clothing/items for gifts?  What will the kids' think?  How much of a bummer is it to not get a toy?  Will my monkey become the preschool pariah for giving crappy, homemade birthday presents?

Am I overthinking this? 
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LoopedyLoop
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2007 09:08:19 PM »

I don't think you are over thinking this at all; I completely understand! How about making crayon rolls for the kids? You could do a frilly print for girls and a cowboy print for boys. It wouldn't require much fabric but it would be fun to make! And you can get crayons for less than a $1 at the grocery store or Walmart. I've seen tuts everywhere for them. My daughter, Kate, is 18mo and I plan to make her and her little friends ones for bday parties, etc. I figure it's something they could get use out of for a while and not just the standard "landfill" toy like you said! BTW - I'm totally making Kate a scoodie next week once I get my new machine Smiley Will post pics.

Jenny Smiley
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jeha
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007 09:36:02 PM »

I think preschool age kids are openminded about where toys come from.  My daughter seems to prefer handmade gifts. I think the creativity that went into the making of an item inspires more creativity in playing with the item.  My daughter also prefers playing with a cardboard box over most toys.
Also, I think handmade is becoming trendy, so that should take care of the moms.

Things you could make, cloth books with buttons and zippers to practice, or a fabric version of paper dolls,
I've always wanted to make a cloth recipe book for kids with no cook recipes. So you could just throw the whole book in the wash when it gets dirty.
Tote bag with kids name on it.
Have you seen that post about the birthday crown, thats what i want!
I think dress up clothes are a great idea as well.

Now if only I could get over my anxiety about giving homemade Christmas gifts. Cheesy
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loralie
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007 08:23:29 AM »

I like to make name pillows - the kind where each letter is a separate pillow...if their name is short!  Or you could do a monogram of their initials or name on a pillow.  Or just a BIG pillow with one letter.

Kids really seem to like personalized stuff.
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2007 01:30:22 PM »

I think made gifts are *far* superior to bought gifts -- but not everyone thinks like me (pity, eh?  Cheesy). That said, I'd still go with handmade gifts, but would avoid clothes. The coloring apron/roll sounds great to me, in fact, it's on my short list of kids' gifts, along with 'ugly' dolls, pillows - animal shaped (snake, dino, etc.), or square/rect with some design - totes, and simple quilts.

The only reason I'd stay away from clothes, even dress up clothes, is sizing, but that's just me.  You have great non-clothing ideas (scoodies, especially), so whatever you come up with will be amazing.

This is an interesting discussion, because in general, giving hand made clothing gifts is hit-or-miss. I don't want to give my mom a shirt I've made, but that's just me. I would, however, give her a totebag, quilt, wall hanging, placemats, etc.

As for the preschoolers being happy with whatever -- yes, absolutely. Unfortunately, it's the blonde moms in SUVs who give me anxiety!

QB
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vegbee
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007 01:50:16 PM »

Oh, these are all excellent ideas! 

I would venture away from clothes also, except I've got a pretty good idea of size for some of them, at least the girls.  I feel pretty safe about twirler dresses for girls, since I've haven't met one yet who doesn't go a bit goofy about them (some fun- get a bunch of preschool girls in twirly clothes and watch the mini-mosh pit  Cheesy).  One of my daughter's friends who I made a twirl dress for 6 months ago still thanks me every single time I see her for the twirl dress.  She's so serious about it too, I feel like she's setting me up to make her another one.

Quote
As for the preschoolers being happy with whatever -- yes, absolutely. Unfortunately, it's the blonde moms in SUVs who give me anxiety!
Well, its who its really all about anyway  Grin 

I'm going to do something daring today.  As all us moms (and a few dads) stand around waiting for our kids to come out of the classroom, I'm going to ask how they feel about handmade gifts.  It's wacky, I know.  I feel it may be gauche to just let it all hang out there, but at least they'll be forewarned Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007 02:11:06 PM »


I'm going to do something daring today.  As all us moms (and a few dads) stand around waiting for our kids to come out of the classroom, I'm going to ask how they feel about handmade gifts.  It's wacky, I know.  I feel it may be gauche to just let it all hang out there, but at least they'll be forewarned Cheesy

*gasp* ASK?  Shocked vegbee, you *are* living on the edge..... Cheesy

QB

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SpottedFrog
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2007 08:14:13 PM »

ROFL I always ask!
Granted, I started with the distant cousins, moved into long time friends & now and starting on the more-or-less total strangers, a.k.a. parents of daughter's classmates.

I tend to phrase it like so "so, what would kiddo like for his/ her birthday?" (pause) "ok. Well, you know I really like sewing, would you like to see a handcrafted gift?" (pause, if the reaction is positive) "anything specific he/she could use or would really like?" It gets easier from there. I have gotten a cool response to the handcrafted portion of that conversation, that kid got (the evil that is)Polly Pockets.

Funny part is, mom was way more excited about the last couple gifts than the kids were! One even asked if she could give my name to someone else because they really liked the item. Of course I said yes!

Additions to you list of home-made stuff that isn't weird:
Aprons
pirate stuff like vest, sash, head scarf, boot tops
backpacks
specialized bags for specific toys (when mom says "could you make something for the legos?")
play mats
nap time blanket & pillow sets (I've done this by request twice, really big hit both times)

No Fear!! I plan on asking a mom tomorrow what her son would like- the invitation was a G.I. Joe hummer card....party is Sunday so not much time Smiley
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vegbee
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2007 08:54:40 PM »

*shame*

I haven't asked yet.  There is a super huge crowd of blondies in heels after school and they scare me  Shocked  BUT, I've made a crayon roll for the birthday party a whole day after christmas (weird enough, my husband wants one now too Huh then again, everything I've walked out of the sewing room with lately he's said that he wants one for himself.  Do I not sew enough for him?  He asked me to make a 'powersword' for him the other day.  Maybe its an early midlife thing.)

O.k.  Good ideas Penlowe!  I'm sure this thread will be useful to other people looking for ideas  Smiley
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2007 06:22:32 AM »

The other way you can present it that you normaly do these to sell but if her daughter would like one you can gift it Wink If you say it with the same attitude as the stockbroker who is telling you what all his clients bought today (i.e. free advice) they will be more receptive.

Make some business cards with your Etsy site, if they are working moms vs. the sit around & eat bonbon's type they will be more open to it I think.

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