When I started dating Curtis (who is now my fiance) he came with a rather large group of friends who have been together since high school. This group of friends is tighter than any group friends I've ever had. I guess that is because most of my friends come in singles, not a group. At first it was pretty intimidating because they are so tight knit that you feel like an outsider (it's 3 years later and sometimes I still feel that way), but eventually they became my friends as well. Every year "the friends" have what we call "Friendsmas". It usually in January to give people a little time to recoup from Christmas. Before I came along, everyone bought a gift for EVERYONE (we are talking 13 people!! $$$$$!!!), so I suggested that we draw names and just buy for one person. At first they were not supportive of the idea but then we came to a compromise. We would make "stocking stuffers" for everyone in the group ("stocking stuffers" consist of something that costs no more than $5 OR is homemade) and then draw a name and buy a big gift for ONE person. This year I made padded cases for sunglasses/eyeglasses for stocking stuffers. Some people liked them, some couldn't give a shit at all. That's usually the way it goes, you can't make everyone happy. *shrug* This year I drew our friend Sean's name. He just recently finished welding school. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he gave me specific things. Specific things are great but they lack the element of surprise. So I got him the specific things he asked for and I also included this welding cap. I found the free pattern on flickr here and the instructions for the pattern are here. Now I don't know if you are familiar with welders or welding caps, but when I was a kid I remember my dad and Uncle welding and they always had pretty wild looking welding caps (flowers, paisley, bright colors, etc.). I guess the louder and busier the better when it comes to these caps. Well, Sean is a simple man who is not too into wild or busy, but I still wanted it to be fun. So I decided to make him a reversible one. One side wild and fun, the other side plain black. This was my first attempt at sewing a hat of any kind. It actually came together surprisingly easy. Did I also mention that I was running short on time and had to throw this baby together in a matter of an hour and a half? I'm glad that it came together so easily. I think it's the first project I have ever done that I didn't use the seam ripper, not even ONCE! I impressed myself. I didn't have time to take the greatest pictures because we were in a hurry to leave the house. We were already 15 min late (we were also the second people there! go figure!). I think he liked it. It's hard to tell, he's not an excitable kind of guy. He thought that I bought it at first until someone asked me how I made it and then he overheard and said "oh you made this?! Nice!". I wish I had a need to make more of them, but he is the only welder I know.
Here is a picture of the sunglasses case