Friday, September 21, 2012

Bring on the zippers!

When I was in grade school, one of the "hot" things to have was a cool pencil case.  I know.. this sounds miniscule but we all had the same copybooks & folders & uniforms & socks & well... everything.  The only things that were unique were our shoes, our book bags and our pencil cases.  My best friend, Judy, had THE COOLEST one and I wanted one so badly.  It was denim and it looked like a pair of jeans with cute little pockets on the outside.  It was made of softer denim and was just like a well worn pair of jeans.  Sigh.  I eventually did get one after years of loving hers but mine was lined with plastic which only made it stiff and well... it just wasn't the same.  I eventually gave up my pursuit but always kept that memory, lol!  It's the little things!

Recently, I've been perusing patterns for purses to make for my nieces.  But I got sidetracked because my youngest niece is a little too young for a purse so I decided to make her a pencil case.  I found this great one by Sew 4 Home that even had a little extra pocket on the outside.  The pocket is intended for a cell phone but since she's too young for that, I changed the dimension slightly to accomodate a small notepad.  I also eliminated the caribiner since 1) I couldn't find one in a decent coordinating color and 2) I saw no need for a caribiner on a 12-year-old's pencil case. 

My biggest nemesis when sewing is zippers.  I recently found out after reading some blogs that this must be a very common fear because so many of them that addressed the zipper fear.  One of them even stated "installing a zipper will immediately take you from a beginner to an intermediate sewer".  Hmm... I can relate to that.  I had only ever sewn one and that doesn't really count because it was in an intro sewing class (when I bought my big girl sewing machine) and it didn't serve any function whatsoever.  When I made my son's elaborate christening gown nearly 16 years ago, I got crafty and completely redesigned the back to avoid the zipper.  If something that called for a zipper couldn't be made without it, I avoided it.  It's not as though I thought I couldn't do it... I just feared frustration and completely ruining whatever it was I was working on.  I knew I could do it.  Just needed to take the leap.  If zipper installing officially catapulted my title to intermediate, then so be it!  And since it's just a pencil case... why not give it a whirl?  My fear is now conquered; yay me.  And (bonus!) the zipper actually works.  whew!

All this for a simple pencil case! 

I chose some fabrics from Heidi Grace's Botanical line.  I thought it was very cute and it also enabled me to use a smidge of her coordinating scrapbook paper to cover the ugly Staples label at the top of the notepad.  :)  The case was very, very easy to make.  I even finished off the inside with a French seam.  It's large but knowing my niece, I suspect she'll have it filled up in no time.  I'm hoping she doesn't have her heart set on a well worn denim pencil case complete with cool jean pockets on the outside.  ;)

I also made her a coin purse out of the same materials.  I never knew how these little snap frames worked (and they're not easy to find!) and was intrigued by it.  I found this adorable lunch money coin purse tutorial at Petite Purls by Rashida Coleman-Hale and had to make one.  Her photos & instructions are superb!  I actually like Rashida's much better (the fabrics she used are so cute!).  But, I wanted to make mine to coordinate with the pencil case so that's what I did. And instead of a button, I appliqued a heart on the front.  Voila!   From start to finish, it took about 90 minutes; I had to work in some reconfigurations because I couldn't find the same size snap frames as the tutorial used.  The next one will be quicker.  And there will be many; I had to buy a package of 25 of those snap frames, lol!

Now I just have to get these packaged up and mailed out to her before the school year gets away!  And then go find some more things to put zippers into!

Thanks for checking in.

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