Saturday, 19 November 2011

Sketchbook pouch tutorial and new resolutions

Instead of having New Years resolutions, I recently made some "until New Years" resolutions. They are thus:

  1. No new clothes I don't make myself, apart from socks and maybe a pair of boots (the zip on my knee highs broke).
  2. No buying fabric or yarn. Buying notions- interfacing, thread, zips, patterns- is allowed.
The idea behind these restrictions is to save me some money, clear out some space, and get round to enjoying and actually using the fabrics and other bits and bobs (ribbon, beads, etc) that I already own instead of living in fear of "ruining them".

I also have another habit changing project on at the moment. I've been using a sketchbook diary since September 1st, in an effort to get my drawing skills up to scratch and conquer the pathetic fear of the blank page. Unfortunately, overwhelmed by drawing at uni and spending too much time away from home, I missed a lot of days in October. I realised that if I had my sketchbook diary with me, I could draw anywhere- but I didn't want it to get too bashed about in my handbag.

So I decided to make myself a sketchbook pouch (of course, I'm too tired after making this to actually fill a page today ;) ).

If you want to join in, you will need: thread, rotary cutter/scissors, marker/chalk, outer fabric, lining, batting, safety pins, pinking shears, a button/snap closure/velcro, stuff for decoration (patches or whatever).

Start by cutting out your fabric, marking how big you need it by laying out your sketchbook and adding 2.5cm all round as seam allowance as well as a flap at the top. Cut your lining as a mirror image of your fabric. Cut out your batting to fit within the rectangle body, minus the flap and seam allowances.
Note- It's a good idea to be overly generous with seam allowances. Remember, you can always cut off a little more if it's too big, but if it's too small then your sketchbook won't fit!

Place your fabric right side down, add your batting, then form a sandwich by placing the lining right side up.

Now along the top edge, including the flap, fold the edge of the fabric over (covering batting if needs be):

Then fold the lining under so the raw edge is hidden in the middle. Pin in place.

And sew:

On the right side of your fabric, mark out your quilting design and baste the 3 layers together with safety pins. I wrote "DRAW EVERY DAY" as my design.

Quilt your piece, removing the safety pins as you go along. If you want a bold design, use a contrasting thread. If you want something more subtle, use a thread that blends in with the colour of your fabric. I chose bright red thread.

Decorate the rest of your piece. I sewed on an Om patch and then quilted a circle around it, following the edge of the patch with the edge of the presser foot to keep it neat and accurate (I am notoriously rubbish at sewing circles!)

Fold your piece with right sides together and pin the bottom and side seam. Sew.

Clip your raw edges using pinking shears to stop fraying. If you don't have pinking shears, neaten up the edge with scissors and finish it off with an overlocking or zigzag stitch. Turn the pouch the right size out.
Add your closure. My machine has an automated button programme that makes sewing button holes a doddle. The button had a shank and was easy to sew in place on the opposite side.

That's it really! You should now have a pouch that's perfect for keeping a sketchbook safe from leaking pens, lost lipglosses, snacks, and other hazards lurking in your handbag.

If anyone asks them what's in your pouch, tell them it's an iPad with only a drawing app.

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