Sunday, September 23, 2007

Getting started on Christmas!

Doesn't it just freak you out that it's not even Halloween yet, and the stores all over have Christmas decorations out????? I was in BJ's the other day and just about fell over at the sight of Santa Claus and reindeer in the store - I guess I haven't been paying attention to my really busy calendar lately..... It really freaked me out so I decided I would have to get started myself!!!! But I am certainly NOT buying any of those plastic, tacky bright "theme-y" Christmas things.... OK, I've gotten into the happy habit of making most (if not all) of the Christmas presents our family gives to others myself. Last year I did these things I called 'Cozy Cuddlers', and I also did some "Pocket Pals'. They were things you would put into the microwave and heat up, then put at the foot of your bed, or on sore muscles, and the pocket pals went into your pockets on cold days to keep your hands toasty warm! They were simple, but useful presents and I think most of them were appreciated. I also did some flannel PJs for family members - I will probably do some more of those again this year. I am striving to come up with something else that is more appropriate for each different age group in my family. I have all ages to make gifts for, so I will need lots of different types of things. Let me know if you have any great ideas!!! I have been searching the web for crafty ideas and so far have found several things I'm itching to get started on. The first one I decided to start on is the pencil/notebook case. I originally thought I would just do pencil rolls - they are SOOOO cute! But then I decided it would be nice to have some paper WITH the pencils, just for ease of usage. (Is that really a phrase?) Anyway, I found a very helpful tutorial online at One Red Robin. I decided to do it very similar to hers, but added a touch here and there. Her measurements were in metric, so I converted them a little just for my brain to work easier. I may actually change it up a little more next time I make one - maybe make the size more towards holding crayons, maybe try my hand at embroidering a little somewhere!!! Oh the ambition! So, I took pictures all the way through, and thought I would post my own tutorial of how I did it. So here goes nuthin'!
I am a picture taker (as opposed to a photographer), so please wait for the pictures to load so you can enjoy every little detail... ha ha!

I am not a seamstress - so please forgive any misnomers! (or malapropisms - thanks Anna!)
Finished Colored Pencil and Notebook holder

First a materials list for you:

1 - Outer fabric: 15 3/4" x 11" (I used an upholstery fabric for mine - I liked the weight)
1 - Interfacing same size as above!
1 - Inner fabric same size as above! (I used some quilting cotton print)
1 - Pocket fabric: 15 3/4" x 7"
1 - Pocket trim piece: 15 3/4" x 1 1/2"
2 - Pieces of Ribbon or Strapping 8" long for the ties (finish ends so they won't fray)
**I made my own ties with extra fabric double folded then edge stitched.
Thread to match fabrics, or contrast if you like - the point is the thread will show (I used white, I'm lacking in the colored thread dept)!

**Seams were sewn 3/8".

Step 1 - Iron Interfacing to wrong side of outer fabric piece.
Here is my outer piece with interfacing ironed on - I guess I need to get better at cutting, there's a little overlap, but it can be trimmed off.

Step 2 - Place trim piece right side to right side on one of the long edges of the pocket fabric. Sew using a 3/8" seam, Iron seam flat, then turn under and hem upper edge leaving 1/2 inch or so trim showing. It helps to iron this hem also before sewing.

Here's my trim piece ready to be sewn, and below it's sewn, but not hemmed yet...

Step 3 - If you're making your own ties, do that now... The way I did mine was pretty simple. I cut two pieces of my inner fabric 2"x8", then double folded the edges and topstitched the open edge. They turned out about 1/2" wide.

This is showing the trim piece on the pocket, and the ties I made, getting ready to layer it for sewing to the cover fabric.

Step 4 - Now it's time to put it together!!! Lay your inner fabric right side up, place pocket fabric right side up, lining up lower and side edges. Lay tie pieces just above pocket fabric, making sure to leave about 3/4" hanging off of the edges. Layer outer fabric, WRONG side up, on top of all of this and pin well! Make sure to pin ties down well so they don't migrate!

Layered all together, pinned and ready to sew together!

Step 5: Sew together starting in the middle at the top, making sure to secure your stitches at beginning and end, and leave an opening on top of about 4 inches to make it easier to turn. I also double stitched over the place where the ties were attached, just for extra strength. Once you have the layers together, iron it nice and flat, then whipstitch it closed and topstich around 1/8" to finish the edges.

Step 6: Start your pencil marks from the topstitching on the side edge, and make parallel lines every 3/4 inch. This is where you will sew the little pockets for the pencils. I made 10 pencil slots, and one notebook slot.

The notebook that will fit is one about the size of a composition book. I didn't have a composition book handy, so just stuck a notepad in there for the picture. I hope you enjoyed this, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments! I think I may try doing this with colored fabrics which would match the pencils, and a quilted notebook pocket too... we'll see!


Anonymous said...

OH I can't wait to read your tutorial when i'm not falling asleep :) For the pockets... I took the fabric i wanted to use for the pocket, twice the height plus an inch for seam allowance, folded in half longways, sewed the long seam, turned the tube inside out and put the seam in the middle of the inside of the pocket, not at the bottom of the tube, did that make sense, then ironed it flat, then i layed it on the lining fabric before i stitched the linings together and stitched it down at the bottom... then i made vertical stitches for however wide I wanted the pockets to be. I didnt' sew the outside edges because once you sew up the sides of the lining it will automatically sew them shut. I think I'll be doing another one, so I'll try to take pictures for you! :D

Lucy said...

I love this. You have inspired me to get started now. I think I would like to get my Christmas done by Nov. 1st if I can. I am gathering tutorial for help. I know my kids will love this one! I have set the goal of not buying anything if I can help it.

Jeanne said...

I love your colors. I can see this wovling for my knitting needles. Great Idea.