Sewn by Hand (Lark Crafts, 2011) by Susan Wasinger collection allows stitchers to be eco-friendly and mobile. With 20 items ranging from fashionable pillows and patched jeans to useful pincushions, sewers will produce gorgeous results even as they experience the simple joys of traditional stitching. This project will provide you with a portable sewing kit and useful sewing knowledge.
This clever little kit carries all the tools-of-the-stitching- trade. Even better, the very making of it teaches you all the stitches a competent hand seamstress will ever need. It’s a tiny treasure that holds your gadgets, your notions, and a good bit of your stitch wisdom, too. Here is the perfect project to make your very own. The cover design can be done as shown, or you can create your own inspired design. Okay, so maybe it crosses the line from sewing to embroidery, but who cares? It is beautiful and deceptively easy to do. Once the pieces are cut out, it’s perfect to work anywhere.
About 5 x 7 inches closed, 11 x 13 inches open
- 1/2 yard of felt in charcoal gray
- 1/4 yard of felt in green
- scraps of cotton prints and felt for the cover design
- embroidery floss in blue and green
- heavyweight thread
- 1/4 yard of thin black elastic cord
- a few inches of 1/8-inch black elastic
- small hook, two buttons, small wad of stuffing
- standard sewing basket
- embroidery needle
For the Felt:
Choose 100 percent wool or wool-blend felt because it will hold up better under heavy use. The polyester or acrylic felts pill, are static-y, and have a tendency to “catch” so things don’t slide in and out smoothly. The wool/rayon blend felts are available even at the big-box fabric stores.
- Cut gray and green felt for the kit as shown above. Stack the pieces as shown and pin in place.
- Fold up the bottom flap to make the larger inner pocket. Sew along the sides to secure, using heavyweight thread and a running stitch.
- Fold the left-hand flap in half and sew around the right and bottom edges. Stuff with batting, then sew the top closed to make the pincushion.
- Using your small sewing scissors as a guide, cut out a triangle of felt that is about 1/4 inch bigger than the scissor blades all around to make a scissor pocket. Place a small piece of cardboard in the large center pocket of your kit to keep you from sewing the pocket closed while you stitch it into place. Use a simple overcast stitch to attach the triangle. Sew down both sides and sew about 1/4 to 1/2 inch on the top edge to hold the scissors firmly. Now cut a tall skinny rectangle about 1 1/2 inches wide x 4 1/2 inches tall to create a place for markers or a tape measure. Position it next to the scissors pocket. Use the cardboard piece as before, but this time a simple running stitch works to attach the pocket.
- Fold the right-hand flap in half and pin. Topstitch down the folded edge and leave the needle and thread attached for now. Cut the top edge at an angle starting about 1/2inch lower than the folded edge, as can be seen in the photo opposite. For the tiny notions pocket, cut a 2 1/2-inch square of gray felt. Cut a 1 1/2 inch-wide slit in it, about 3/4 inch from its top edge. Using a blanket stitch, sew around the perimeter of the slit. Sew this square into place at the bottom edge of the folded flap, being sure to sew it to the frontside of the flap only and not go all the way through to the backside. Topstitch around the perimeter. Now topstitch around the sides and bottom edge of the entire right-hand flap to make the flap pocket, this time sewing through all the layers. At the angled top, sew a topstitch through the outer pocket to finish it but not to close it. This pocket will hold a packet of needles.
- Cut a piece of grey felt 3 1/2 x 6 inches. Roll it up like a cigar and check to see that your thimble fits snuggly on the end. If necessary, trim the roll until it fits the thimble. It should be tight. Sew the seam in the roll to secure. Sew a one-inch piece of black elastic on the green felt as shown in the photo opposite. Use little X stitches on either end to secure.
- Sew buttons on the right- and left-hand flaps to close them when the sewing kit is packed up and on the move. Center them top-to-bottom and sew them on the edge of the flaps adjacent to one another. It doesn’t matter if the buttons match–in fact it’s more charming if they don’t. Tie a thin piece of elastic cord around the base of one button, then tie the two free ends together to make a loop that will go over the other button to close the flaps.
- Use the instructions and illustrations on the following pages to embellish the exterior flap and finish the edges with a decorative stitch. Once that is completed, finish the kit by adding a way to close it. Center and attach a loop of elastic cord on the bottom edge of the back of the sewing kit. Make a double knot in the cord and sew back and forth over the knot to attach the loop to the kit. Trim the ends of the elastic cord to finish. On the front cover, center and attach a store-bought hook or a button if you’d prefer. The loop of elastic should fit over it with just a little stretch to keep the cover snugly shut.
More from Sewn by Hand:
Reprinted with Permission from Sewn by Hand by Susan Wasinger and Published by Lark Crafts.