Holiday Gift Guide 2019: handmade

By Molly Hamilton
on October 05, 2019

This week my youngest son announced that, "there are only twelve more Wednesdays until Christmas!"  I was a little shocked but, of course, remembered that Christmas does come quickly and "twelve Wednesdays" is about 3 months.  So, while there is time, I realized I need to get on the ball with some planing both personally and for Folkwear. While many ideas from last year's gift guide are  great gifts, and we'd love to inspire you with some updates and expand on this list!



As mentioned previously, the 269 Metropolitan Hat is a great gift and relatively quick sew.  We recently added the option for a PDF version of this pattern as well as our paper pattern.  So, If you are in a pinch you can print it at home the same day you purchase, and it only takes 7 sheets of paper to print at home!  With minimal pages this is a great PDF option and we have a tutorial for "how to" use a PDF pattern if this is new to you.  To select the paper or PDF version just use the drop down menu on the product page when ordering.


The 271 Sunset Wrap is another great pattern that is one-size-fits-all and a quick sew!  This beautiful wrap can be sewn in a wide variety of fabrics.  So, depending on location and climate of your gift recipient (or yourself) you can choose a good weight for the season. This pattern is also available in paper or as a PDF.  To make your project even easier and more fun, we have a "sew along" blog post for reference!

Recently, I saw this wrap made with a border print and self-fabric fringe on the long bottom edge - so great!!  Lots of Nani Iro fabric has a subtle border print and would drape nicely!  Stonemountain and Daughter currently has it in stock.


Folkwear also has a collection of amazing bag patterns available for a quick gift to sew.  The  #146 Bags From Around the World PDF includes 6 different bag patterns!  Or, you can choose to get just one bag pattern: French Reticule, Japanese Carpenter's Bag, Native American Bandolier Bag, Thai Shoulder Sling, Turkish Drawstring Bag, and Uzbek Coin Pouch

The Japanese Carpenter's Bag is a great one for storing rolled up PDF patterns or those long rulers and tools in shops and studios.  The Thai Sling is a great carry-all bag, and the smaller bags make wonderful re-usable "wrapping" for lots of gifts.


(Pictured left to right in the order of the list above)

AND we have a very limited number of Japanese Carpenter's Bag Kits and Turkish Drawstring Bag Kits which include fabric and supplies to go with the printed pattern. These kits can be a great gift for a sewing friend! 

Additionally, check out our FREE carry all bag pattern that we have available as a PDF!  This could be a great low stakes first attempt with a PDF pattern if you haven't used one before. 


For the knitters and crocheters, we have a variety of knitting and crocheting patterns available. You may chose individual patterns and purchase them as PDFs or we offer 2 different knitting bundles that are paper copies and sent via mail: Women's Sweaters and Women's Warm Weather Tops.  

For a couple of quick(er) projects, the Blonde Bombshell Bolero Sweater, or the  free PDF pattern for the 1950's Stole that is a one size and simple project!



We hope you are ready to tackle the fun (though sometimes time consuming) gift making and giving coming this holiday season.  I've got plenty of ideas now and will be starting a few projects this coming week.  




Free Pattern - Kimono Ornament

By Molly Hamilton
on November 20, 2018

Free Pattern - Kimono Ornament

This pretty little ornament is a great way to use up those beautiful fabric scraps you have left over from your sewing projects!  The ornament uses origami techniques to make a tiny kimono that you can hang on a tree, in a window, or tie to a gift wrapping.  Make a batch of them with your fabric scraps - it is fun and quick!  It is also a great project to do with kids (you can just provide them the sewn together rectangle)! 

Instructions are below, and you can download and print them out here (complete with illustrations).

You can make these ornaments out of fabric, or paper following similar instructions. If making from paper, only use one piece in the dimensions given. 

Materials needed:

  • 2 pieces of coordinating fabric, 4 ¼” x 15 ½” (11cmx39.5cm) each
  • Thread and needle for slip stitching
  • Skewer or craft stick (about 4 ½ inches long)
  • Iron for pressing
  • Glue (optional)
  • 6” (15cm) cord, yarn, or string to hang kimono ornament, optional


Step 1

Begin with two rectangles that measure 4 ¼” (11cm) wide by 15 ½” (39.5cm) long. Fold under ¼” (6mm) along one short end of each rectangle and press. With right sides together and pressed-under edges aligned, stitch a ¼” (6mm) seam on three sides, leaving the pressed end open. Turn to right side, press lightly, and slipstitch opening closed.

Step 2

Select a favorite side, depending on the design of your fabric, and orient rectangle with favorite side facing up and one short end closest to you. Mark the center of the top short end. Fold under top edge 3/8" (1cm) to the back and press.

Step 3

Fold top corners down (toward you) to meet at the center and pin in place. Press.  Measure 5 ¾” (14.5cm) down from pointed end at top. Mark and fold along this line, bringing lower end up to the back. Press.

Check measurements: from tip of point to lower edge should be 5 ¾” (14.5cm) and from tip of point to upper edge should be 3" (7.5cm).


Step 4

Mark a line level with the point and fold top edge down behind entire piece.  Press.

Whole piece now measures 5 ¾” (14.5cm) from top to bottom.

Step 5

Fold ½” (13mm) along each side edge toward center.

Then fold back the back layer so that it is flat and makes a “hood” at the upper corners, creating small triangles.  Press.

Step 6

To form casing for skewer, fold top edge and flattened triangles to back 1/2" (13mm) (the center point protrudes above this fold). Press.

 Step 7

Turn over and slipstitch folded edge to back of kimono. Insert skewer through casing; trim ends to desired length. To create hanger, tie a 6" (15cm) length of thread or cording to each end of skewer.

Winter Style Guide - What to Wear?

By Molly Hamilton
on November 10, 2017

233 Glamour Girl Dress

Winter is full of holidays and holiday events that call for slightly more formal or festive attire than what we normally don.  Below, we have some suggestions that may help with the age-old question of, "What should I wear?".  These suggestions range from more formal ensembles to separates that can add a pick me up to the classic staple pieces in your wardrobe.  And, we are including fabric suggestions and sources for each pattern.  We hope you feel fabulous at the many events from the office party to parade, or from a ceremony to celebration.  Whatever tradition you follow, we wish you warmth and joy!

Spice it up with Separates

We all have our favorite go-to basics.  Here are some ideas to refresh your style!

111 Nepali Blouse

The Nepali Blouse is traditionally made of velvet.  Need I say more?  This wrap and tie blouse drapes nicely and is a great pick me up for any closet.  This could be dressed up or down to suit your needs.

Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics has some beautiful silk/rayon velvets that would be perfect!

126 Vests form Greece and Poland

The mid-calf Greek vest stands out to me the most.  It would be great in various fabrics ranging from lighter weight to a sturdy wool or blend.  I've been noticing a lot of longer jackets and dusters this fall, so this is very on-trend! 

Vogue Fabrics has beautiful wool boucle coating, designer wool fabric, and wool flannel.

118 Tibetan Panel Coat

This pattern has so much potential for expressing your creativity and style.  Try this pattern to create a one of a kind wearable art piece with function and style that is perfect for the holidays!

Let you imagination run wild with this one!  Hand-woven pieces are great in this; holiday themed are fun; or make from some classic, dark wool solids.

114 Chinese Jacket

The Chinese Jacket pattern is a versatile design.  The pattern features three lengths.  It that could be constructed in a vibrant, rich colored silk to wear as a top or even a lightweight wool as outerwear.







Dresses and Complete Looks

139 Vietnamese Ao Dai

This beautiful pattern can be crafted to a more formal garment if desired.  The tunic has the flow of a dress and the pants drape nicely underneath.  Gorgeous in a silk brocade, and certainly a showstopper at your holiday gathering.

Marcy Tilton has some gorgeous brocades that would be fabulous for this pattern (or for the 114 Chinese Jacket above).  Fabric for this pattern should be more flowing, or have more drape, than fabric for 114 Chinese Jacket.

215 Empire Dress

I can't stop envisioning this dress in a silk velvet.  The option of hemming to "street-length" would modernize the look as well. 

Michael Levine has a huge selection of silk velvets (at a reasonable price).

148 Black Forest Smock

This pattern would be lovely in a lightweight wool or corduroy. The pattern can be made as a dress or shirt.  It also has great potential for handwork and decorative stitching - perfect to add winter or holiday themed embroidery.  If you have any mother-child pairs,the 110 Little Kittel pattern is just a child-sized version of this.

Beautiful wale corduroys at Harts Fabric, here.

233 Glamour Girl

This elegant dress is a stunning option.  It can be made as knee length, mid-calf, or ankle length.  This would be a lovely vintage look to ring in the New Year with style.

Perfect in a rayon crepe, like these from Harts Fabric.

256 At the Hop

Who's ready for some fun?  This pattern already has the instructions for an alpine applique!  Or make your own holiday applique for this skirt (ornaments, tree, snowflakes, etc.).  Perfect for any event where festive clothes are needed!  The sweater will keep you warm on cool days (also come with a winter scene!).  

Fun holiday themed fabrics here from Fabric Depot would work for making the skirt, or shirt, or for making a cute applique.  






Holiday Gift Guide - Gifts to be Sewn

By Molly Hamilton
on October 29, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide - Gifts to be Sewn

Holiday Gift Guide

Here in Western North Carolina we are feeling the season change.  The days are are shortening, the evenings are cool, and the leaves have turned and are dropping.  So, naturally we start looking ahead to the cozy months, months of sewing and creativity . . . and of course the Holidays!  Below, we have a list of wonderful  gift ideas that you can make from Folkwear patterns so you can get a jump start on your handmade holiday gifts.  

Quick for Children:

109 Little Folks PDF Pattern

An international collection, featuring eight(!) patterns and a variety of optional handwork techniques.  This pattern is no longer available as a paper pattern, but we have an easy to use PDF available!  Dress your sweeties up in a Japanese Kintaro, Mexican Dress or Baby Shirt, Korean Booties, Nepali Chupa, Moroccan Djellaba, or Turkish Tunic and Bloomers.  These are easy and quick patterns, and you can make them more personalized with embroidery, homemade tassels, or other handwork which are included in the instructions (or adorable monograms).

225 Childhood Dreams (image above)

Although, this pattern cam be made for day dresses of even special occasions, it also has all the makings for a really nice nightgown.  The choice of fabric and trim can change the look and use of this garment.  It was always a Christmas Eve tradition in my family to open a gift of new sleepwear.  This has carried on from my parents to my children.  This would be a perfect pattern for that tradition. 

What traditions do you have for family's Holiday?  


Wearable and Quick with Little-to-No Sizing or Fitting Required 


269 Metropolitan Hat (above) 

I'm a sucker for a great hat!  It's always fun to find one that is both interesting and practical.  This patterns shows options for decorative fabric rosettes that can be fashioned out of the hat fabric, contrasting materials such as lace, tulle, or glittering silk, or entirely replaced by a vintage brooch or dramatic button. This pattern can be made in 3 sizes, and there are just three pattern pieces: Brim, Band, and Crown.  Constructing this in a wool or felt will certainly help keep your loved one warm!  

129A Japanese Tabi Socks

For the person who has everything!  This unique gift provides warmth and protection for the toes with flip flops or by themselves as comfortable at-home slippers to protect your floors. Traditional to Japan . . . .  A quick, easy, and inexpensive gift!

129 Japanese Hapi and Haori

You can make three garments from this pattern - all of them easy to fit (with lots of ease built into the patterns).  The Hapi is a shorter, unlined cardigan-type jacket that is easy to sew.  The Haori is slightly longer, lined, and similar to a kimono.  This pattern also comes with the Japanese Tabi sock pattern.  These are great garments to make for women or men (sized for both), and are perfect lounge-wear, though I made a Hapi for myself that I use as a light jacket to wear out and about.

113 Japanese Kimono

This classic pattern is for an unlined kimono (yukata) and is a great gift for anyone (sized for women and men).  Our pattern includes instructions for shibori dyeing, sashiko embroidery (image above), and for making an obi or sash.  So, you can make this a unique gift.

132 Moroccan Burnoose

A unique gift, this cape is dramatic when worn un-traditionally over modern clothing.  On trend right now too!  Our pattern details different ways of wearing and draping the finished garment.  No fitting required - just a vision and some great fabric.

For the Home:

302 Victoria's Boudoir 

This pattern has 7 parts to choose from.  The piece that really stands out for me (sweet and simple) is the Potpourri Sachet!  This would be a fun thing to make and have for quick gifts for friends and family - and you can use up your awesome fabric scraps.  There is a recipe for the potpourri blend or you can get creative with your own blend.  

304 Nursery Days

This pattern has 5 parts to choose from.  The Teddy Bear would be so sweet with many fabric choices.  The Pillow Sham has great potential for customization with fabric choice, added embroidery, or applique.  Kids love gifts with their name or favorite things featured on them.  The size of the Quilt would make a nice throw for anywhere in the home (not limited to cribs)!

305 A Japanese Interior

This popular pattern has 8 parts to choose from.  The pattern includes tips for handwork and dyeing techniques.  The Decorative Curtains (Noren) would be a great way to show off some of your handwork skills!  There are 3 different shapes of pillows to choose from as well.  An adaptation for these could be to make them heat friendly (filling with buckwheat or rice and dried herbs), and use them to warm up on a chilly day!  Or, do your own indigo dying and make the pillow covers or quilt.  Oh, did I mention Quilted Sleeping Kimono adaptation instructions using 113 Japanese Kimono?


We hope this helps you with some great ideas for gifts to make your friends and family this holiday season.  To make it easier for you, all of these patterns will be on sale through November!  And, keep a look out for our Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales at the end of the month. 

And, we would love to see what you make!  Tag us on social media (#folkwearpatterns) or send an email!

Happy sewing!!