From over-planning the menu to deciding the house needs painting in time for the big day, our strive for seasonal perfection apparently knows no bounds. However, in reality, our guests tend to be friends and family who care as little for the shade of grey I have chosen for the porch as they do for the ‘interesting twist’ I have applied to the roast parsnips! All they really want is to share the day with people they love, indulge in too much food and wine, and exchange some well-chosen gifts! Considering all the above, and knowing the therapeutic qualities sewing brings, we have brought you an array of smaller makes, from decorations to gifts and accessories to help keep the stress at bay. As a child, one of the Christmas traditions in our house was to make a new decoration for the tree. From attempting a reindeer without a pattern aged 7 (not my most successful project), to simple stars, my mum and I tried them all! Perfect projects for little hands include the Gingerbread Garland (p.15), Dainty Tree Decorations (p.28) and the super simple Stocking Advent Calendar (p.84) to name but a few. For more of a challenge, try the irresistible Home for Christmas decorative banner (p.30) and for gorgeous gift ideas how about the Pretty Pouches (p.36) or the Take Note Books (p.18), all wrapped up in the Furoshika Wraps (p.60). So never mind stash-busting, think stress-busting as you embark on the makes in this issue and in a nutshell, by the time Christmas is here you’ll have it all sewn up... (sorry, I couldn’t resist)!