Holiday Traditions and Sewing: Fabric Coffee Sleeves

When I was younger, my sister and I had a tradition:  we would pig out on Thanksgiving food, and then sit on the floor with all of the sale papers that came with the newspaper, and we would make a plan. This plan took into account door buster sales and times, our top priorities for shopping (this was at the height of the Old Navy Performance Fleece craze for me, so naturally more scarves and hats were a priority for me), and our need for food (which was always breakfast at Chick-fil-A).

After we made our plan, we watched movies, went to bed early, and woke up to the Christmas season, in which we listened only to Christmas music (back then, in Atlanta, it was on 24/7 after Thanksgiving on Peach 94.9). And we woke up early. Like, dark-thirty in the morning early. Like, four o’clock in the morning. An ungodly time. We were those girls. And we loved it.

The first year that didn’t happen, it was weird, as firsts always are. And I was thinking about that this morning because this year, I have some more firsts. My first Christmas married to my wife. My first west coast Christmas.

And y’all:  a west coast Christmas, especially in southern California, is really different.

In my previous homes, I could count on cold weather to mark the season for me, but as my friend Becky pointed out on her blog this morning (she lives and gardens in Florida), when your weather doesn’t change much, you have to look for other ways to set the season apart.

As Otis can tell you, we have to find comfort where we can.

Otis sink

I look for holiday traditions, like the somewhat-sacred (for me) Christmas issue of Southern Living. 


I make lists and lists for gift-giving, and when I’ve got my act together, I make Christmas gifts.

finished dolls

I plan my Thanksgiving and Christmas meal menus, and I consult hand-written family recipe books for the flavors of home.

menu planning

And of course, I hit up Starbucks for my peppermint mocha. Which is pretty much the taste of Christmas in a lovely red cup. And this year, since I’ve gotten into sewing, I’ve got a fabric coffee sleeve to use instead of the same old cardboard.

coffee sleeve

I found the tutorial on One Crafty Home, and her instructions are easy to follow, with plenty of photos to guide you through. (I have the highest respect for crafty bloggers who include lots of photos. You will notice that I don’t have photos of my process. I am a mere student in a world of sewing goddesses. Also, the addition of photography to the process of sewing, for me, would likely result in a lot of profanity, tears, and eating of ice cream. I want to be a goddess. One day.) Her instructions also include a printable template for cutting out fabric.

My mom has said that I might need a twelve-step program for my sewing, but I see no harm in making such cute, functional little things like the fabric coffee sleeves. The best part? They’re easy to make in bulk, and they make great gifts. Pair it with a coffee shop gift card and a fun coffee mug, and you’ve got a perfect gift for your favorite coffee-drinking hostess, friend, or family member. And if you want to pair it with a peppermint mocha while you ring in the season in your own way, who am I to stop you? Cheers.

6 thoughts on “Holiday Traditions and Sewing: Fabric Coffee Sleeves

  1. Dana, i love you and your sewing projects. I need those coffee sleeves SO badly. not to mention the dolls (which i have mentioned AT LENGTH so we all know how much i love them.) Mom is up here, and she lives in Florida “right now” – we are prone to adding that disclaimer because we all know she’s only down there because she feels she should be, and not because Florida was her choice, and so on) – and she has learned to mark the seasons in non-weather ways when she’s at home. She’s gotten better at it: however, today when we saw a few flurries out, i saw sheer joy at our tremendously cold weather. so with her, it only works so much. 🙂

    1. As Paula Deen once told my mother, “The love is returned, honey.” 🙂
      I’m so glad your mom is there, and I can’t wait to see what kinds of fun sewing projects come out as a result of her visit. I can completely understand her joy at cold weather (and snow flurries!!). The day it rained, I felt like I could just run around the apartment looking out every window. If I saw snow, I might just collapse.

  2. The weather thing DOES make it difficult at times to distinguish Christmas-time from other times of the year.
    I’m in Houston, and just a little while ago, I was walking around my neighborhood and saw some Christmas lights. I thought to myself, “That guy hasn’t taken his Christmas lights down yet?” before realizing… ooooooooh….
    Oh, and I also wanted to acknowledge CARSON MCCULLERS!

    1. Oh yes. Love Carson McCullers – The Heart is a Lonely Hunter has really been coming back into my writing life a lot this year as I’m using it to teach myself about that form of omniscience. Plus – SO GOOD! It makes my heart hurt in the best way.
      And I know what you mean about the weather and the Christmas lights. If I see any of those big inflatable snowmen around here, I might just fall over. Snowmen? In Southern California? Ha! Ha, I say!

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