So as promised, here is a tutorial for an earring/jewellery wrap designed for use when you’re travelling. The fabrics I’ve used here were all provided for me by the lovely people at Abakahn, the ideal place to go for this project because they have pretty much everything you need.
This one is made specifically for earrings, but it is, I’m sure, easily adaptable, by making different size pockets. There are 7 pockets in this version, 6 that are 2″x2″ and one that is 2″x4″ and each of the pockets is closed with velcro tape for absolute security. Folded up, the pouch measures about 5″x4″, so it’s the ideal size for slipping into your luggage – and you can be sure that all your bits and bobs will remain safe and untangled.
The trickiest part about this whole make is using the organza. I will not lie, working with this kind of crazy sheer fabric is pretty tough going, but if you take your time with making sure your cutting lines are exactly on the grain lines, then you’ll be fine. I’ll talk you through it!
You will need:
Around 9″ by 12″ of outer fabric (I used this pretty cord)
Around 9″ by 12″ of inner fabric (I used this lovely lightweight dobby in cream, but any light to medium weight fabric would be fine)
12″ by 6″ (at least) light-coloured organza (I used this)
29″ ribbon for ties (I used this navy grosgrain)
9″ by 12″ medium weight iron on interfacing
9″ by 12″ low-loft fusible fleece
Fabric glue pen or stick such as a SewLine pen (my latest discovery – it’s SO brilliant!), or you can use pins, but be prepared for some hard work!
90/4 ballpoint machine needle (for sewing organza)
90/4 standard machine needle (for sewing through the velcro)
Preparing your fabrics:
1) Cut your organza. You need to make sure that the piece you is cut very exactly with the grain of the fabric otherwise it slithers and wobbles all over the place, and the finished pockets can look a bit of a mess. Here’s how I did it: I cut a piece of organza as straight as I could (using the selvedge as a guide) measuring a generous 12 by 6 inches. I then pulled threads on both the long and short sides until I had something that looked like this. See that lovely straight grain line?
I then trimmed off those excess threads, and cut 2 very beautiful rectangles measuring 2 1/2″ by 8 3/4″.
2) Cut 2 pieces of the inner fabric measuring 3 3/4″ x 8 3/4″ and 7 ” x 8 3/4″ plus 2 pieces of medium weight iron-on interfacing (or interfacing of your choice) to match. Iron on the interfacing following the manufacturer’s instructions.
3) Cut 1 piece of outer fabric 8 3/4″ x 10″ plus a piece of low loft fusible fleece (or interfacing of your choice) to match. Iron on the fusible fleece following the manufacturer’s instructions.
4) Cut 2 pieces from the outer fabric measuring 8 3/4″ x 2″ for the binding.
5) Cut 2 strips of velcro measuring 8″ x 3/8″ (it’s fine to cut the Velcro lengthwise to size – just don’t use your best dressmaking scissors!).
6) Cut 2 strips of ribbon measuring 14″ and 15″.
1) Take your pocket binding pieces and iron in half lengthwise, then unfold and fold the long edges to the middle crease you have just created. Press, then fold lengthwise down the middle and press again.
2) Put a thin line of water soluble fabric glue (I use my wondrous SewLine glue pen) on both the inner sides of the binding (hope you can see the glue here):
Place one of the long edges of the organza and place against the middle fold of the binding:
Then fold the binding down:
4) Dot glue along the underside of the loopy part of one of the Velcro strips, and stick into place in the middle of the binding on the wrong side of the pocket like this, leaving 3/8″ at either end of the binding:
Now you can stitch the Velcro and binding into place simultaneously. Using your heavyweight machine needle (9/40) make a row of stitching along the top edge of the binding and along the bottom edge, making sure you are sewing through the velcro as well as through the binding.
5) Repeat steps 2 to 4 for the other pocket.
6) Using a fabric marking pen, make a line 2 1/2″ up from the bottom long edge of the smaller inner fabric piece.
Using your glue pen, put a few dots of glue along the hook piece of Velcro. Place the top edge of the Velcro against this line (leaving 3/8″ on either side of the fabric), and press firmly into place.
Now sew all round the edge of the Velcro to keep it in place, again using a heavyweight needle.
7) Repeat step 6 with the other piece of hooky Velcro on the larger piece of inner fabric, but this time only measure 2 3/8″ from the bottom edge.
8) Now, using the Velcro, attach one of your completed organza pockets to the smaller base piece. You will have huge quantities of organza overlap (I’ve been really generous with my measurements), so you can trim it down now.
9) We’re going to sew through the organza now, so you need to swap to a 90/14 ballpoint needle to avoid damaging or puckering the organza. It’s up to you where you sew your pockets, but start with the inner pockets and work outwards. Sew from the bottom of the pocket towards the binding like this:
When you reach the binding, sew over it like this:
Until you reach the other side and your needle makes a stitch into the body of the wrap like this:
Now, leaving the needle down in the fabric, lift the presser foot on your machine and pivot the pocket through 180 degrees, and sew back over the binding:
This makes the top of the pocket extra-secure. Stop when you get to the other side of the binding:
Now fasten off your threads. Repeat this process wherever you want your pockets.
9) Repeat step 8 with the larger inner section and the other prepared organza pocket. When you’re done creating pockets, swap back to your normal heavyweight needle.
10) Now it’s time to put the 2 parts of the inner section together. Place the top of the small section and the bottom of the larger section right sides together and stitch with a 3/8″ seam. Press the seam open on the wrong side and then top stitch close to the seam on the lower section, i.e. not on the upper row of pockets! The finished inner section should look like this:
11) Baste or zig-zag the ends of the ribbon on either side of the RIGHT side of the inner section. Fold and pin the ribbons to the right side of the inner so they don’t get in your way when you are sewing the wrap together:
12) Place the inner and outer sections of the wrap right sides together, and sew round the edge with a 3/8″ seam, leaving a 2-3 section open at the top to allow you to turn the wrap right side out.
13) Once I have sewn round the edge, I like to create rounded corners at the top of the wrap, so I mark these and then stitch – it’s really up to you whether you bother with this or not. On this pic you can see how I’ve marked the curves ready to stitch, and you can also see part of the opening ready for me to turn the wrap right side out:
14) Trim the seams to 1/4″ then turn right side out. Poke any corners out with a knitting needle or similar implement and then press thoroughly with your iron, keeping it at a cool temperature because of the organza. Turn in the edges of the turning hole (the glue stick is great for sticking these together neatly) and then top stitch all round, very close to the outer edge of the needle wrap.
15) Finally, fold up the wrap and tie the ribbon by taking one ribbon one way round the wrap, and one in the other direction. Now you can trim the ends now if the ties feel too long. It reduces fraying if you cut the ribbon on the diagonal – and, if you have some Fray Stop, now would be a good time to deploy it.
Your finished wrap should look something like this:
Now, put your earrings in the pockets, and you’re all set for your travels! When you are taking out your jewellery remember to tip items out of the pockets, rather than fish them out, it’s much easier that way.
I do hope you enjoy using this tutorial – with many thanks to Abakahn for the lovely supplies!