A stitchy weekend

I got to do a bit of stitching at the weekend – I haven’t had much of a chance recently – and it was lovely to get the sewing machine going and have a dig around in my fabric stash. The reason for this stitching? Well, a long time ago I made an online pal a crochet hook wrap:



I always wonder how well my makes stand up over the years, so it is very reassuring when someone comes back to me for something else. My friend asked me if I would make a wrap for her daughter – I was so pleased, and so delighted that she is passing on her crochet skills to her little girl.

Very fortunately, because I couldn’t find my project notes for the original version (see how efficient I am!) from back in 2012, I have recently written a crochet wrap pattern for a book that’s coming out next year.  Here’s how it looks inside. Lots of pockets, little and large…with a space for scissors too.





The raspberry coloured lining is a shot cotton from Kaffe Fassett, and the spotty linen is by Sevenberry in a shade called Heather. That lovely cross hatch is from (of course) Carolyn Friedlander’s glorious Architextures collection.

Here’s how the wrap folds. It’s the first time I’d made this pattern using patchwork sections – I love the way it panned out. I like to make a nice distinction between the patchwork and the main fabric, so I used my own tutorial to remind me how to insert some more of the shot cotton in the seam (that’s the real advantage of formally writing tutorials and patterns…. I can’t lose them…).



Here’s the wrap all finished. I really hope the recipient enjoys it and finds as much fun in crochet as I have over the last few years.



Over the next couple of days I will have the sewing machine on overtime, making a stocking for another online friend… I made one each for her 3 boys a couple of years back, and she now has another gorgeous little boy… so another stocking is required!  Just hope I can get it to match – guess what, I can’t find my original project notes!!

Anyone want a job as my secretary?

Tutorial: Mini Art Wrap

Art wraps close up

These little wraps measure 5.5″ x 7″ (18cm x 14cm) folded, and 10″ x 16.5″ (25cm x 41cm) unfolded. There is room inside for a small notebook/sketch pad (A6 size) and 16 full size pencils/pens (2 to each pocket).Flowery art wrap 2

Please feel free to use this pattern in any way that you wish, but I would very much appreciate a link back to this tutorial, or at least to my blog, if you are going to make art wraps for sale – many thanks!

The fabrics used for the flowery art wrap in this tutorial are from my wonderful blog sponsors: My Fabric House.

Art wraps

Project Requirements

I’m not specifying how much you need of each fabric to complete this project, because you can mix and match the fabrics you use, but the absolute maximum you will need is a couple of co-ordinating FQs and some contrast fabric for binding (and there’ll be left overs from the FQs!). You’ll also need low loft fusible fleece and medium weight iron on interfacing (you can read more about this, my favourite combination for providing structure without bulk, just here). You’ll also need a quilting ruler, a fabric marking pen – I mostly use my wonderful Chaco Liner Pen – and an iron and pressing cloth. A Sewline glue pen, or other washable glue stick, is also really useful, but not essential – pins will do!

Cutting List

The outer part of the wrap is made up of 3 sections, as you can see from the picture below.
Left panel (panel 1 in pic): 6.75″ x 11″
Middle panel (panel 2): 9″ x 11″
Right panel (panel 3): 2.75″ x 11″
Fusible fleece: 10.5″ x 17″

Outside art wrap

Main ties, cut 2: 18″ x 1.75″
Tie tabs, cut 2: 4″ x 2″

The inner section is made up of one piece of main body fabric, and 2 pieces for the pocket.
Main body fabric: 17.5″ x 11″
Pocket outer: 17.5″ x 4″
Pocket lining & binding: 17.5″ x 5″
Iron-on medium weight interfacing for main body: 10.5″ x 17″; for the pocket: 4″ x 17″ (not always necessary)

Step 1: Make the ties

1) Fold the first tie in half lengthways and finger press to form a crease (picture 1 below). Unfold, and fold the 2 edges into the middle crease, pressing them into place with an iron (picture 2). Fold in half, then press again and finally stitch the long open edge as indicated in picture 3 (don’t worry about stitching the narrow ends – these will be hidden). Repeat these steps for the other tie.
Pic 12) Next take one piece of tie tab fabric and fold in half lengthways, finger pressing the fold, then unfold again (picture 1 below). Fold the 2 edges into the middle fold line and press with an iron (picture 2). Keep the edges folded in and fold in half widthways this time, finger pressing again (picture 3). Unfold and press the 2 short edges into the crease you just made (picture 4). Now Fold down the middle again – you should have created a nice little square (or close enough!) with all of the raw edges hidden.

3) Now to attach the tie tab to the one of the ties you created earlier. Place one end of a tie into an unfolded tie tab, with the end of the tie positioned next to the short crease in the tie tab and pin or glue into position (picture 5). Fold the tie tab again, and then stitch as indicated in picture 6.
Pic 2

4) Repeat for the other tie and tie tab.

Step 2: Make the outer section

1) Stitch together the middle panel and the left hand panel, along the 11″ edges, with a 1/4″ seam, then press the seam towards the centre panel fabric, as shown.
Pic 62) With right side facing, on the outer edge of the middle panel, measure 4″ from the bottom right corner and mark. Pin the ties, one on top of the other, at this point, with the bottom edge of the ties aligned with the mark you made, with about a 1/2″ overlap, as shown in the picture below.
Pic 73) Now position the right hand panel, on the right hand edge of the middle section, right sides together, sandwiching the ties and pin in place, as shown below:
Pic 84) Stitch a 1/4″ seam along the line indicated in the picture, and then press the seam towards the middle section of the outer body, as before. This picture shows how the completed seam on the wrong side:
Pic 95) Take the 10.5″ x 17″ piece of fusible fleece and fuse to the wrong side of the outer section , following the manufacturer’s instructions. Because I don’t like my wadding/interfacing cluttering up my seam allowances, the fleece will be a little smaller than your completed outer – position it centrally.

6) Top stitch about 1/8″ from the 2 seam lines on the centre panel fabric (not essential, but it looks good!). Strengthen the area where the ties are placed, stitching a little rectangle and cross across the seam line and  through the end of ties, as shown.
Pic 12 7) You’re done with the outer section for now – hopefully it will look something like this: Pic 10

Step 3: Make the inner section

1) Iron the interfacing to the main inner body fabric, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Once again, because I don’t like too much interfacing in my seam allowance, the outer fabric will overlap the interfacing a little – position it centrally. Once you’ve done this, put to one side whilst you make the pocket.

2) Iron interfacing to the outer pocket piece if using (this isn’t absolutely necessary if you are using heavier linen or cotton/linen mix fabrics for the pocket). Pin the pocket and the pocket lining right sides together, with the top edge aligned. The pocket lining will be an inch longer than the pocket, as shown in the picture:
Pic 33) Stitch a very careful 1/2″ seam along the top edge of the pocket. Then open up and press the seam so that seam allowance is against the lining fabric, as shown in the picture:
Pic 44) Now fold the lining over the top of the pocket front edge so that the 2 fabrics are wrong sides together, but there is a 1/2″ of lining showing at the top of the pocket to create a bound effect. Top stitch the binding edge, as indicated by the red dotted line.
Pic 55) Position the wrong side of the completed pocket section against the right side of  the main inner, aligning the bottom edges. Pin in place, then zig-zag stitch or baste along the 2 short sides of the pocket and the bottom edge, to keep the pocket and inner nicely aligned whilst you are sewing the pockets.

6) Using a quilting ruler and an erasable fabric marker, mark the pockets divisions. Working from the right edge, the pocket widths are as follows: 6.25″ (this includes the seam allowance), 1.25″, 1.25″, 1.25″, 1.25″, 0.5″ (this is an empty bit to allow the wrap to fold neatly), 1.25″, 1.25″, 1.25″, 1.25″ (the last pocket edge is the left hand edge), as shown in the picture. Keep these as parallel as you can – the important thing for a good looking finish is to keep them all at a 90 degree angle to the top edge of the pocket.

Pockets on art wrap

7) Stitch the pockets making sure that you make reverse stitches at the top of the pockets, as shown below – remember these are going to take a lot of wear and tear, so you need to know that your stitches aren’t going to unravel. It’s also a good idea to pull the loose ends of threads through to the back and knot them. Tedious, but more secure in the long run. Here’s the look you are aiming for:

Pic 13

Step 4: Putting it all together

1) The final stage! Pin the the inner and outer sections right sides together and stitch the bottom and the sides with a 1/2″ seam, making sure that you don’t trap the ties in your seams. Don’t stitch the top edge yet.

2) Mark the seam line of the top edge and then use something with a curved edge (a drinking glass is good) to mark the curved corners of the top edge, as shown in the picture, then trim the curves you’ve made to create a 0.5″ seam allowance.
Pic 153) Now stitch the top edge, with its curved corners, leaving a 3-4″ gap for turning. Turn through and check that everything is as it should be, before turning the wrap inside out again to trim the seams and clip the curves.

4) Turn right side out and push out the corners with a blunt pencil or knitting needle. Press the wrap really thoroughly, using a damp pressing cloth to get a really neat finish, and ensuring that you turn in the the seam allowance edges of the gap you left in the top seam. You can stitch this gap closed with a ladder stitch (here’s a great video tutorial for ladder stitch) if you like, but I usually just temporarily glue or pin the edges in place and rely on good top stitching to make it look perfect (I hope…).

5) Now for the very final step – top stitch round the entire art wrap, keeping as close to the edge as possible. You might find you need to swap to a machine needle that copes well with lots of layers (a 90/14 is good) if you have been using a finer needle up until now. Here’s a close up of my top stitching (mostly because I am quite proud of it…!):

Pic 16

And that’s it! All you need to do now is fill it up with your art supplies, fold & tie!  I hope you can work out how to do that bit….

Flowery art wrap

Please remember that this is freely provided, so if you have any difficulties with the pattern 0r (no, surely not!) criticisms, word them nicely! I have proof read it several times, but I’m bound to have missed something, so be kind..

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