Posted in Projects on Friday the 30th November 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi everyone, it’s Dani from Pocket or Two. I’m really excited to share my idea for two festive gift makes that look impressive, but don’t take too long to make: the Minimalist Wallet from Noodlehead. The pattern itself can be purchased as a pdf pattern direct from the Noodlehead website and everything else that I needed to make the wallets was kindly provided by Minerva.
The wallet comes in two sizes - small and large - so I decided to make one of each to show you the different options. Both have a space for cards, a zip up pocket and another open pocket at the back of the wallet. The large version has three card slots and will also fit a normal sized mobile phone in the open section at the back, so it can be used as a clutch wallet. The small version has one card slot only and is small enough to fit into your pocket.
There are quite a few options for customisation. The pattern is designed for two different fabrics. Minerva very kindly let me have free range on the materials for this project, so I chose two fabrics that are great for bag making for the outers: a metallic blue Vegan Leather
and – this is something I’ve wanted to try for ages – a Cork Fabric
(with metallic flecks). The vegan leather makes the wallet look professional and the cork is just something really different (and quite on trend in the bag making world at the moment!) Both fabrics really lend themselves to the wallet as they are stable so hold the shape well.
For the lining fabrics, I chose an orange and white Polka Dot Quilting Cotton
to compliment the blue and a Leopard Print Quilting Cotton
for the cork lining. This is the fun part; you can really go to town on customising the wallet for the gift recipient here. If they’re a cat lover – why not add a cat print for the inside wallet? Harry Potter fans? Why not add their ‘house’ print inside. The possibilities really are endless.
With the vegan leather, I used a leather needle (size 90) and a stitch setting of 3.5 for the topstitching. It irons well on a hot setting with steam (just be careful not to imprint the iron holes onto the fabric, if you leave your iron on for too long!) The ‘leather’ softens with heat but then goes back to normal once cooled, so don’t worry about that. I also decided against using interfacing with the vegan leather as it’s a stable fabric anyway, I didn’t think that it really needed it. For the cork, again, I just used the leather needle but it would work just as well with a 90 in a universal needle. The cork is also fine to be ironed on a hot setting. With the cork, as it’s thinner, I used interfacing, as per the instructions.
I really like to use a Chunky Zip
in these wallets. They’re going to get a lot of use, so you want to use something that will withstand it. With the metallic ones, you can then chose the hardware to match the metal as I have done with these two. For the button tabs on both versions, I decided to use the outer material – the pattern uses either leather or the inside pocket fabric for the tab – because it was the more rigid of the two. As I was using the Heavy-Duty Hardware
, I wanted the tabs to be able to handle these and I also preferred the look of the main fabric for all of the outer. Again, these tabs can be customised to suit your recipient’s tastes. If you are using the inside fabric for the tab, I would recommend using a heavier-weight interfacing. I used my Prym Vario pliers to install the hardware but the pack also includes the tools to be used with a hammer. Another way to customise the wallets would be to either make a fabric zip pull or to buy a charm for the zip pull.
These wallets really make lovely festive gifts: the patterns take around 2 hours to make and don’t use a lot of fabric. You can get a wallet (and more) out of one fat quarter of each fabric. The trickiest part is when you come to turn the entire wallet out. It is useful if you have a point turner, but you could use a pen (with the lid on) or something similar to push out the corners. The main thing is to be patient, and to make sure that you push out the corners from each pocket. The prep time is minimal and, if you were making a few, would be easy to batch cut and sew. You don’t need an overlocker to make these, just a regular machine (and a leather needle if using the vegan leather). They’re so easy to personalise, which makes a thoughtful gift that looks great! If you have personalised labels, you could add one to the wallet or wrap in tissue paper and ribbon to give it that final hand-made touch!
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 17th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
When Minerva Crafts gave me the chance to try out some Anchor Variegated Embroidery Threads
I jumped at the chance. I have a bit of a thing about variegated threads, I love them, both in traditional and contemporary embroidery. Some of the colourways add subtle colour changes to your sewing, others include several different colours to make it pop. This is a little embroidery I stitched for a quilt block using Anchor 1349.
Shortly after I received a lovely parcel in the post of six Anchor threads, a gorgeous Fabric Fat Quarter
by Timeless Treasures, together with a length of Aida Band
. Aida band comes in different widths, colours and stitch counts. This one is 5cm wide, in ecru, with 16 stitches to the inch, which is my preferred size. With it’s woven edge Aida band is ideal for adding a little embroidery to aprons, towels, bibs, pillowcases, it’s also great for making bookmarks.
I decided to make an embroidery project wallet. I always like to have a little stitching project in my bag, usually cross-stitch, which I can do when I’m out and about, I call it borrowed time stitching, doctors waiting rooms, café’s, train stations…I’ll stitch anywhere! Currently my projects are in plastic ziplok bags, effective but not very pretty.
I wanted my wallet to have a pocket big enough to hold a 5” hoop, somewhere to keep scissors safe and lots of little pockets to keep embroidery threads in. I usually keep my threads on the plastic reels with the number sellotaped over one end, the Aida band would be the perfect size.
I cut three 7” strips of Aida band and embroidered each one with a different stitch, herringbone, buttonhole and chevron, to keep with the embroidery theme. I used a different Anchor thread for each one too. Making mini stitch samplers is a good way of seeing how a variegated thread stitches, how the colours work in reality. These three bands would make nine pockets for my wallet.
I cut a 7” x 14” piece of my main fabric for the outside. I managed to position it so two birds are perfectly positioned on the front. I used a coordinating piece of Kona Solid fabric for the inside. I interlined the inside piece with iron-on interfacing to give it a bit of support with the various pockets. I also cut a piece of scrap batting to soften it, I make quilts so I have lots of scraps, but a piece of felt would work just as well. I ironed another layer of interfacing onto the batting to give the wallet a bit of structure.
I made a simple pocket from another rectangle of fabric and added a felt bird shape from felt to make a little needleholder. I stitched it on using Anchor 1349 along the wing line, adding a French knot for it’s eye.
I used a walking foot on my sewing machine for most of the project as it copes much better with varying thicknesses of fabric. I stitched the pockets on, stitching vertical lines down over the Aida to make nine little pockets.
I layered everything together using clover clips to hold it in place. I find these much better than pins for bulky items. Just before I sewed around the edge I inserted half a childs hair elastic in the back to make a button loop. I stitched round with a quarter inch seam, leaving a gap at the bottom for turning. One tip when stitching narrow bulky seams is to move your machine needle as far right as possible so most of the foot is over fabric, rather than half on and half off.
Once I’d managed the fiddly job of turning the wallet right side out I pressed it and edge-stitched round. I love the way the birds have worked out on the front.
Finishing touches included a self covered button on the front for fastening and two lengths of ribbon inside to keep the hoop and a pair of scissors safe.
If you fancy making an embroidery wallet, this is what I used;
Timeless fat quarter
Kona Solid fat quarter
Anchor threads 1349, 1347, 1325
5cm Aida band in cream
Medium weight iron on interfacing
Batting or felt
Square of co-ordinating felt
Self cover button
I’m really pleased with my embroidery wallet, it’s in use already, it’s perfect for sitting in the garden for a bit of stitching!
Thanks for reading,