Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Junior Legal Pad Portfolios / Covers

I know there are people who have completely abandoned paper. I am not one of them. Paper is still the choice for writing down the grocery list, just in case the partner goes to the store before I do. Or because the kiddo discovered he was now out of his favorite cereal. Paper also gets used when I am part of an on-line conference and I need a way to take notes while the video is going (no, I do not generally have 2 monitors or 2 computers going at the same time).

Seeing paper around in their standard issue format is boring. I like having better covers for the paper. So, I am always on the lookout for different ways to sew covers. In the past, I used the pattern that was part of Quilting Arts Gifts 2009/2010 (see ). The pattern is pretty quick to make. My dislike of the pattern is that I have a hard time visualizing what my final product will look like as she has some parts that end up upside down. 

I tend to pin ideas and my latest try out of one of those was to make the cover available from the Cottage Mama ( I like that I can easily see what I am going to get for a final product. When I think I understand an item and I plan to offer it in my Etsy shop or at craft venues, I'll make a number of them at the same time and work assembly line style.

A mental and creative challenge is always picking out the variety of fabrics that I want to have go together. I often start with a feature or theme fabric and then build out from there. Building out can happen in picking colors from the theme theme and finding fabrics that I have that match. Then I also want to find a variety of textures or different scale of images. With the Cottage Mama's tutorial, she has five different fabrics going into the final product. So, I was doing a lot of color combinations at one time. I had to take a couple of breaks in between as my mental and intuitive process would get depleted.

As she says, you do not have to do all the pockets the way that she has them. Having less pockets will make the construction go faster and the thought process for picking fabrics happen quicker too.

Her instructions are pretty straight forward. I think that her fabric D directions do not actually match her cutting instructions. Either you can hem the fabric D (which is what I did) so that the pocket is deeper or cut the piece slightly longer (so you can do the fold over and still have depth).

She used fabric covered buttons which has a nice coordinating look. I have a wide selection of old buttons that I have been gifted with over the years and I like finding a button that seems to match.

I am hoping that some people make like these as a Mother's Day gift. Give her flowers that will last a bit longer than the cut ones or even potted plants (I do not have a green thumb). Come find these and other fabric choices in my Etsy store.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Zippered Pouches - So Many Uses

Two years ago, I think, I started making zippered pouches. With my own internal quality standard, I wanted a pouch that did not have raw edges. Erin Gilbey's Neat 'n' Tidy Zipper Pouch tutorial fit my standard.

Many independent pattern designers offer free tutorials to give you a sense of their style of writing and illustrations. Erin's instructions were clear and well documented. I also like that I can easily see how I can make modifications and still stay "true" to the pattern directions and be successful. All of her patterns are well written and she provides quick response time when asking questions. There's also an active Facebook Group for lovers of her patterns.

Erin's basic shape uses two fabrics - scraps really. Who doesn't have scraps? And some batting or flannel or not for the inside. And, as a person who quilts too,  I have batting.

These zipper pouches are great for holding change, keys, various small chargers, store customer cards or other small notions or office supplies. The zipper pouch could easily be a gift bag for a debit card.

If you do not want to make your own, I have some of these in my shop: