It is in the bag!

Simple formula for lined bag with your choice of size, handle and closure!  So easy it is already “in the bag”.


Working with new sewists, I am continually on the look out for quick to make and clever useful projects.  More experienced seamsters can whip these out in batches. Early in the game sewists can experience easy success!    Teacher gifts, party favors, so many uses!  I am considering small bags from theme fabric to house a bar of hand made soap for an upcoming bridal shower.

Start with scraps if you like.  You will need two same size longish rectangles.  The formula is as follows:

Desired bag width plus 1 inch for seam allowances.  Desired height of bag times 2.5 to 2.75 for a generous flap.  If you have a specific item to bag, measure it now!

Play around with what you have on hand to start with and have some fun!

Right sides together, with a quarter inch seam allowance, sew both rectangles along one short side.

Open this.  Press the seam allowance towards the lining, and under stitch.  Under stitching will roll the seam towards the lining so this edge looks really clean.


View of back side of bag after under stitching and top stitching!


Press and top stitch with a fancy stitch if you like.  If you plan to close your bag with hook and loop tape, include one side of the tape along the edge of the front of your bag now.


For a firmer flap add a bit of fusible interfacing!

Align your work and trim off any excess fabric that may be caused by the under stitching.    With right sides together, pin the pieces together and draw a fancy shape for the flap, or leave it straight.  A hex ruler might be a nice tool to keep both sides symmetrical.  Stitch this seam.  A straight seam would under stitch nicely!

Optional “wrap” the corners of your fancy cut flap.

Make a strap!  A 14×3 inch rectangle folded rst lengthwise, stitched with a quarter inch seam turned and top stitched works great.  As does ribbon, webbing or twill tapeimage

Pin your strap that has been folded in half with raw edges aligned to the raw edges of the bag and the folded edge towards the center of the bag.  Set it just below where your flap ends and the bag begins so that it ends up near the top of your bag.  Baste in place.  In the photo my strap raw edges extend past the raw edge of the bag. This adds security and keeps the selvages on the strap from showing on the finished bag.



Now on for the tricky part:  See above, pull the bottom of the bag so that it covers the strap.  Pin the bag (both layers) to the outside cover only of the front of the bag on the right and left sides.  Then slip the lining of the bag over the front of the bag.  This basically turns the bag wrong side out and the lining will form a loop on top with the outer bag also forming a loop on the bottom.  The bag portion will be tucked up into the flap, but only just past the strap.    The remainder will be the flap.  If you are creating a specific size bag to fit a particular item.  Now is the second good time to measure.  (The first would be before you cut the fabric.) In the photo I used clips, as I had lined these bags with PUL.



Side seam stitched with “L” seams!

Align right sides together, and make a 3/8 inch seam along this edge.  Making sure to back stitch over the strap to secure it.

Make sure the second side of you bag is lined up and symmetrical to the side you just sewed.

Create two “L” seams along this edge.  Start at the top and just about a half inch after you sew across the many layers of the sides of the bag.  Pivot and stitch to the edge creating a seam that looks like the capital letter “L”.  Then a few inches later along this edge, make another “L” seam that serves two purposes.  It leaves a clean and sturdy opening for turning and finishes the side seam of the bag.  A small bag needs a smaller opening than a larger bag.


Second half of “L” seam!

Suggested ratio would be to leave an opening half the length of the bag side.


Flip it the bag right side out, this may take multiple flipping to be sure the lining is on the inside.  Poke out corners with a handy tool (chopsticks work great here!).  Pin the opening closed with the raw edges neatly tucked inside.  Top stitch narrowly to ensure that the opening is securely closed.


Complete the closure by adding the other half of the hook and loop tape to the inside of the flap, or add snaps, buttonholes and buttons, or whatever makes your heart happy. Kam Snaps make my heart happy!  I get mine locally at Hip Stitch and would be glad to show you how easy they are to apply.  A pattern with measurements, and possibly kits will be available in July 2016.

This makes a great snack bag, holiday gift bag, cosmetics, or think fusible fleece for an electronics bag.

Happy sewing!  Joanimage









Variations on the “fly”

I can’t tell you how many times I have made up a pair of boxers from the First Choice boxer pattern, or how many copies I have purchased.  It is far and away my family’s favorite.

Lets face it, there comes a time when your kids will no longer wear something “Mom made” out in public.  That is a sad day for those of us with a need to sew. Years ago when we were potty training, I saw so many cute novelty fabrics at my LQS, that I just had to make something.  Then I found the First Choice Boxer pattern, and made up a few pairs for my 3 year old son.  I was tickled to find fabric with Scooby Doo and Blues Clues. He was intrigued with the fly.  They were sweet, cute, and he would wear them, not much else but, his older sisters were ok that he was not running around starkers like a 3 year old would given the choice. These fit the bill as they are not meant to be worn in public, and serve well as PJ or lounge wear.

Ironically, this turned into a long pair from flannel, and both daughters begged me to make them as gifts for all their friends, who in their teens would wear them in public.  Luckly now we are past that stage too.

My youngest is soon off to college and I let him know recently that we will need to weed out some of his older, now capri length and way too small pj pants as they are not fit to be seen in by someone other than his parents. And that is debatable.  Dug through my flannel stash and picked out a few pieces that would be acceptable “lounging around the dorm” pants.  The kind that would be ok to be seen in by the friends of room mates that will pop by unexpectedly.  Or hang out indeterminately.

Recently I taught a couple classes at Hip Stitch in the boxer shorts.  My students had trouble with the fly, and here I am going to show you an alternative method to make a modified fly.

First, cut out the shorts (eliminating the fly facing part).  the front will look like this:


Here I serged the edge of the fly.  Easy to confuse with the front edge of the leg of the shorts. Be sure to mark the center front of the shorts on your pattern at the top front just an inch or two in from the front edge.

Love this older Bernina that was rescued from being in storage for 30 years.  I thought it was a 30 year old Bernina, but it is a 50+ year old Bernina and a beast.  I have used it to sew shade cloth for the garden.  I love it.  The bobbin loading in the back, not so much, but this one is a work horse.

With the RST make a seam from this center front mark in a straight line towards the section where the fly ends and the curved front crotch seam begins.  I use a long basting stitch here if I later plan to open the fly.  About an inch and a half before the fly ends, change your stitch length to a 2.5 or 3.  Back stitch 5-6 stitches and continue down the front of the shorts making the crotch curve with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  When you get to the end back stitch and flip the shorts over, and half way between the seam you just made and the raw edge of the shorts, make a parallel seam back up the front of the crotch to the point where you changed your stitch length and back stitched earlier. Here you will leave the needle in the fabric and pivot to sew out towards the edge of the fly.

Before you get all the way to the edge, fold the top layer back the amount of the serged edge (3/8 inch or so).  Cut your threads and remove the shorts from the machine.

Now is the time to top stitch that folded back edge.

Open them flat. and give them a press.  With the wrong side up.  Flip the fly section over to the left, so you can see that little bit of exposed right side of the fabric.  Starting at the top, stitch on this edge only to about an inch from where you stitched off the edge in the last step.  Start a gentle curve towards the center seam of the shorts and  stitch over the first line of stitching.  Stop and the second line and back stitch.  Here I back stitched to that inner line of stitching.

And there is your modified fly.  If you would like your fly to be operable and open.  Remove the basting stitches after you have put in the elastic.

Inseam.  Center the center seam across the center back panel.  Often, either the front inseam or back inseam will be longer than the other,  Important here to center it, and trim off either edge evenly.

Shorts hem.  Here I am using my favorite #20 foot on a newer Bernina.  It is perfect for a fold over 1/4 inch twice and stitch hem.  You can line the upper edge of the hem with the inside of the toe of the foot (move the needle if you like) and go.  Really nice even edge stitching.  I use it all the time to top stitch.


About Elastic.The pattern has a nice way of butting up the ends of a heavy elastic band.  It is necessary to connect the ends this way on heavy elastic due to the bulk.    I prefer to use a softer PJ elastic which can be seamed a half an inch from the raw edges.  In the photos I changed machines Start at the top of the elastic, sew all the way to the bottom, and all the way back to the top. Open the elastic and top stitch a quarter inch from the edge.  I like to measure a well fitting pair of shorts to determine the elastic size.


On the side seams, not pictured, I serged the seam, flipped it to the side, and top stitched with this foot.  I love how that looks.

Back to the elastic.  First, fold down the top by about half an inch and press.  I am usually in too much of a hurry to wait for my iron to heat so I baste this top edge down.  The basting stitches are easily removed later.


Mark the elastic in quarters, and pin the back (seam) to the center back panel. More on that center back panel in a moment. Pin the quarter mark to the side seam (not the side panel to the center back seam).  Stretch the elastic, line it up with the edge of the fabric and with a longer stitch length, sew to the next quarter mark.

I hold the back of the elastic with the left hand pulling behind the machine, and the front of the elastic in front of the machine is held by my right hand.  My job is only to stretch the elastic, and not to pull it through the machine.  The feed dogs are taking care of that.


When you get around to where you started, pivot and sew down the elastic to the other side. and go around once more, remembering to keep the elastic stretched as you go, so the fabric is evenly stitched around the elastic.


And here are your pants.  If you have made an operable fly, you could add a snap or two to keep it closed when not in use.image

Hope this helps!  If you would like to sign up for a class, I would love to help you find your love of sewing too.  You can find me at Hip Stitch!









Earth Box under cover



When I first saw the Earth Box at my local garden center, I thought it was a pricey planter good for folks who live in an apartment with a tiny balcony.

Later I learned about the benefits of sub irrigated planters.  They make a lot of water wise sense when gardening in the desert.  I love that they are a small finite space that you can clear out and plant in a short amount of time.  I have a few now, taking advantage of end of season sales over the years. And, yes, in addition to raised beds on the ground.  I have some on the balcony!

The funny thing about living in the desert is that the variations in temperature during one 24 hour period can be pretty dramatic.  From near freezing in the morning  to upwards of 70-80 in the afternoon. Makes germination tough.

Discovered years ago that beans will not germinate when temps get over 90 degrees.  We go from an early spring where it is too cold for seeds to germinate outside, to too hot in a manner of weeks. This leaves a short window of time for bean germination.   I have taken to germinating inside, and have used all manner of purchased pots to do so.  Recently I found a newspaper pot maker on Amazon.  Love it.  It takes some time to roll up enough pots, but a ruler and yesterday’s newspaper, a glue stick and something nice on TV are all it takes.  Fill them with good potting soil, then carefully stand them up shoulder to shoulder in a tray, pop a seed in each one, and cover it, then water the tray.

Suddenly it was like Jack and the Beanstalk at my house.  Tall little bean plants needed bigger digs, and quick.  I planted a row of peas on one side of the earth box, and a row of 8-9 bean plants on the other side.  Now what to do to keep them from freezing.

Measured the interior dimensions of the box, and with this nifty tool,  cut 1/2 inch PVC pipe to fit.  Using eight 8.5 lengths and two 24.5 lengths, four elbows and four elbows with a third opening (side outlet)   to make the upper corners,

My little contraption looked something like this:image


It was very easy to assemble.  It will somewhat contain tall willowy flowers or legumes, but more importantly, it will support a special cover made of garden fleece.  These little covers make a world of difference to tender young plants.  Like wearing a sweater, it seems to take enough of the chill out of the equation that gives those green babies a fighting chance.  I had a 10×12 foot piece of the light weight stuff.  I cut two 12 x 12 squares for each end and a 30 x 36 rectangle to cover the top.  I sewed 3 sides of each square to . the 36 inch end of the rectangles.  This made a nifty little cover that was loose enough to pop on, but to keep it on I used a large binder clip.

We have woken to some frosty mornings recently after a little teaser warm spell, and those beans are happy in their little mini green houses.  I believe they were providers.  They are my first beans to plant each season.  Helps to soothe the urge to garden when temps are still a bit too cool. Here you can see the remains of a newsprint pot, peas, beans, lettuce and some ever present morning glories, which will be pulled shortly.image

Their neighbors, the sugar snap peas came up surprisingly well.  Peas can handle cooler temperatures, but the little shoots are often fodder to birds and rodents.  The covers give them a chance to get bit enough to be ignored by these ravagers of the garden.

Another season extender is the Wall of Water. This is a pea plant or two, and a sun gold peeking out of the top.  Love Walls of Water. They allow me to plant a few tomato plants each week, when the moon says it is ok.  More on that one in a bit.  Happy planting!image

Fat quarter pop up

There is a nifty concept by fat quarter gypsy  called a stacking  pop up. It is basically a heavy duty metal spring that is enclosed in two closed bottom cylinders.  The concept is fun, hip and cool, it is easy to make, but it seems it is not so easy to understand the written directions.  I got mine at Hip Stitch in Albuquerque.  Love shopping local!

This is what I did.

I went home with the instructions and a package of three different sizes of springs, which one would assume would be Small, Medium and Large.  Like Starbucks, the sizes are not straight forward.  The package instructions are for a Medium, Large and Extra Large.  Somewhere there must be a small, right?

For the smallest size in the pattern and kit, which happens to be a medium, you need to cut the two rectangles 26.5 x 9.5 inches.  and two circles that are 8.5 inches.  Nifty, this fit nicely on the 1/3 yard fabric in the instructions.

The instructions call for the interfacing to be cut larger than the fabric.  I like to use fusible interfacing, and I always cut the interfacing smaller than the fabric.  Years of cleaning stray fusible bits from my iron and trimming bulky seam allowances have taught me to cut my fusibles a bit smaller.  So armed with a 9 inch strip of fusible, and a 9.5 inch strip of fabric, I fused the entire length of the strip.  this left about a quarter of an inch on each side of the strip unfused.  Glad I did this, it came in handy later.


The spring kit came with templates for the circles, but in cutting out the 8.5 circle, you would loose the next size up, the Large Circle.  I did not want to do that, but I wanted a nice circle, so I looked through my cabinets and found that the largest Fiesta Ware Bowl we own is – you guessed, 8.5 inches in diameter.  So I traced it, however, I used black interfacing on my fabric, and the lines were hard to see, so I put it on my cutting surface and used a rotary cutter.  At 8.5 inches, one could trace the circle from a sheet of 8.5 x 11 copy paper as an alternative.  Once both circles are cut, mark with a reasonably sized mark quarter marks around the circumfrence.  You will use these twice, so accuracy is key.

The instructions had a lot of photos to show you how to place the tag into the side seam of the tube.  I am not a big label person, so in my rush to get this done, I skipped the label.

So next up is stitching the tubes.  Quarter mark the tubes, making sure to mark the bottom of each tube if your fabric is directional.  I used the cameo fabric from the Riley Blake Ardently Austen collection, and I wanted to be sure Jane’s head was right side up.image

Pin the quarter marks of the circle to the quarter marks of the tube.  Then with the tube down and the circle up, stitch around the circle with a quarter inch seam.  Remember that quarter inch we left unfused above.  It is handy here, as a fused fabric is less flexible and forgiving than an unfused fabric.  The pattern does not call to clip these seams, which would weaken them, so I was glad for the little bit of flexibility that unfused end gave me.Craftsy has some nice tips about sewing curves to straight, here.   It helped to slip my left hand under the circle to help to guide the straight sides of the tube.  You will find one way that works best for you.   A fellow seamster told me that he likes to run a line of ease stitching, or basting around the edge of the tube, (just less than a quarter of an inch.  Says this helped that fabric behave nicer.image

Repeat the above steps for the second tube.  Then, hard to see in the directions, place the two tubes, (that are still inside out) together at the circle ends.  Match up those quarter marks to each other (interfaced sides of the circles will be facing each other.  Offset the seams of the tubes so that one is east and the other west (will reduce bulk later).  and stitch the two circles together at the 1/4 inch seam line.  Now you have this long awkard tube with the middles sewn together.

Decide which will be the outside and which will be the lining.

Pop the lining inside and push all around the inside of the circle.

imageSlip the spring in between the two tubes.  Place four safety pins equidistant around the tube (going thru both layers of fabric)  about 1.5 inches from the bottom of the tube where the circle joined the tube.  This will keep the spring out of your way when you stitch down the top.  Then carefully cut the tape with short sharp scissors.  The spring will try to pop up, and remain contained by those safety pins.

imageMake straps for hanging, or tying closed.  This is a simple project, using long strips of fabric being folded towards the center, and folded again, as in bias binding.  A ribbon or elastic will work well here too.

Fold over the top 1/4 inch and again 1/2 inch.  I found that the un fused 1/4 inch on the edges of both tubes was a nice edge to fold.  Alternatively one could use a bias bound edge for a fun pop of color.  I started stitching just before the ties were inserted, went around the circle and stitched over the ties once more before finishing my seam.image

If the metal tubes are not available, or you prefer your project to be easily washable, try inserting a tube of Annie’s soft and stable in between the tubes instead.

Easter is around the corner, try adding handles to your collapsable pop up and make a basket!

Must dash, today is a good planting day, so need to get some gardening done!






Basic Half Apron

A sweet native lady came into the quilt shop where I work last week.  She wanted some aprons made.  They were going to be donated to some of the elders in her community for a special celebration.

I offered to teach her how to make them as she plans to continue to donate aprons in the future.  She brought in a yard and a half of two prints.  We found some coordinating fabrics for waistbands, and went to work.

She wanted the apron skirt to be about 18 inches long and 32 inches wide with a double pocket in the center.  I would prefer an apron that is as wide as the bolt of fabric, for a fuller skirt.  I cut the pockets at 9 inches tall and 18 inches wide.  The waistband top pocket trim and ties were cut from three 5 inch by width of fabric (44″) strips.  The top of pocket trim was trimmed to 18x 3.75 inches and the remainder of that strip was fused to a 4.5 inch wide interfacing. Disclaimer… I used both a solid turquoise and a turquoise grunge for trim for two separate aprons.  Which do you prefer?

Starting from the outside in:

Ties were made by folding in half RST (right sides together).  Then the end was creased at a 90 degree angle.  Starting at the fold, follow the crease and turn at the spot where your 1/4 seam allowance should begin on the long side.image


Trim, turn the ties right side out press and top stitch.  I like to use a seam guide to make this job easier, faster and more accurate.  image

Apron Skirt:  make a narrow hem on each side of the skirt, and a one inch hem across the bottom. Press these edges, then press the skirt in half,  press a crease down the center front, then fold the skirt in half twice more.  Press creases at this point about an inch from the top edge.  This will mark the spot for pleats later.

Waistband:  Fuse interfacing to wrong side, fold in half and press (wst).  See the top band.  Then press under 1/2 inch along one long side.  Mark the center of the waistband on the unpressed side.  I just fold and finger press a small crease.


imagePocket:  Fold top band in half lengthwise (wst) press.  Open and fold raw edges to almost meet at center.  Press again.  Fold in half and press.  This will look like double fold bias tape.  After it has cooled, open and sew the right side of this band to the wrong side of the top of the pocket,  wrap it around and top stitch to the front of the pocket on the edge of the band. The photo on the right shows one solid band opened and the lighter print band wrapped and ready for stitching.  Since this strip was cut on the crosswise grain, there is some stretch in the fabric.  Use Sandra Betzina’s taut sewing to eliminate puckers here and on the similar waistband application.

Place the pocket face down on your pressing surface.  Press under 1/4 inch or more on each side and the bottom, then fold the pocket in half and make a good crease in the center.

Next, align the center fold of the pocket with the center fold of the apron.  Make the top edge of the pocket parallel with the top edge of your apron.  I used a three inch ruler as a guide.image.jpg

Edge stitch starting at the top band.  Down one side, across the bottom, then up the other side.  Turn and make three stitches across the top then make a row of parallel stitches back down the side, back and across the bottom. image.jpgThis time, stop and sew up  next to that center crease, across the top three stitches, then back down and around to get back to where you started. image

Pay attention to the under layers of the corners that like to poke out to say hello.  When you get close to them, just take a pin and push them back under before stitching that area.



Pin the wrong side of the skirt to the right side of the waistband (without the 1/2 inch fold). Leave an inch of the waistband on either side of the skirt.  Pin the center creases, and make a half inch pleat where you previously creased the skirt with the iron.  Adjust your pleats so that the skirt with pinned pleats lays smoothly across the waistband.  Make a seam with a half inch allowance here.

Enclose ties:  image

Open the waistband.  Place the raw edge (or selvedge) along the right side of the waistband.  Fold the seam just made above up towards the waistband.  Pin.  Make a tiny pleat in the tie, and pin.   Fold the top of the waistband back over the tie so that the folded edges of the waistband meet.  Make a secure seam here that attaches the tie to the band.  If your selvedge is wide, trim it first, so that it does not show when this is turned right side out.image

Repeat for the other side.  Flip the waistband over and top stitch to secure in place.  Be sure to tuck under all those pesky raw edges.  Remember Sandra Betzina and her taut sewing here, and puckers will not be a problem!

Done,  imagetime to make another one? image

Gardening under cover

Staring at the end of January, wondering when spring will ever arrive, I got the itch to plant some seeds.

Planting by the Moon always conjured images of the witch in Rapunzel and her magic garden.  However I am looking at Farmers Almanac Gardening, and found that the last couple days of January this year are good for starting seedbeds!  So, on a sunny Saturday, with visions of a magnificent harvest like this,


Gathering Apron pattern designed for picking produce.  Holds up to 4 pounds easy, with five pockets to separate different varieties. Pattern is sold at Hip Stitch

I pulled the remains of last summer’s garden from a 4×4 raised bed.

The soil seemed to be low, so in one corner, I dug a hole about 18 inches deep, and placed tree limb cuttings my friend and I scavenged from what a neighbor was giving away last October.  Why plant wood in your garden?  In the spirit of hugelkultur (making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood) I covered that area with the soil from the next hole, added a couple logs and move around the circle till it was complete.  The wood behaves like an underground sponge, absorbing excess moisture and then releasing it back to a soil that is somewhat drier. The wood eventually bio degrades completely. Until then, I believe the roots of the plants will figure a way to wind around them.  I had two half empty bags of garden soil that topped off the ensemble nicely.

Mr. Mischievous Odin couldn’t stop  himself and helped to put holes in the soil.  He makes great company in the garden!

The basket in the middle collects compost that feeds the soil below, keyhole style.

Did a quick inventory on my seed stash, and found several varieties that do well in cooler temperatures. Mostly some form of brassica and mache, sometimes known as corn salad.  Some will germinate, some will not, but in a week or two some little green thing will poke it’s head out of the soil and make me happy.  All of these greens can go in a nice salad, and give me something to do while waiting to plant melons and squash in April.

After these were scattered in the bed, I looked for the sugar snap peas I wanted to plant around the edges, so they could climb up the barrier I installed to keep my furry friend from getting in again!  I like to buy them by the pound, so that they can be planted several times in a season.


The PVC idea came from a too-short hose.  Holes drilled every 6-8 inches allow for more even water distribution. One of the corners is a 3 way elbow that my hose end fits in snugly.  Turn on the faucet and tend to something else for a bit.

The garden trellis keeps my friend from planting his toys in the soft soil, and does double duty to hold up the reemay and  plastic layers that cloche the little plants from the elements.  It is a hopeful gamble.  More sewing in the garden.  I cut squares of reemay off the corners of the big fleece blanket and sewed them together like four darts so it fits snugly over this garden bed like a loosely fitted sheet.  Sew reemay before it goes outside, just take my word on this!

Last fall I planted cabbage, lettuce and peas under cover, and they are doing nicely!  The uncovered peas produced a few pods then succummed to the first frosts.  No peas yet from the covered plants below, but I am hopeful they will jump into action once the weather warms, and give me something to munch on when I am putting out tomatoes in March. They are covered in plastic and get water when I remember it about every three weeks.


Eliot Coleman, I hope you are right with your four season gardening advice and the double cover method of growing in winter.

Owletts – Wallets with Owls.

 Be wise with your finances.

Years ago I was intrigued with a lazy girl pattern. I have not seen it in my local quilt shops lately, but found this link to the wonder wallet on line.  Perfect scrap project!

After making many of them for gifts, I noticed that there was a significant amount of wear at the corners.  So I thought that interfacing the entire outside of the wallet would be a good idea.

Also with the multi layers of fabric that bottom of the little wallet got super bulky really quickly, causing more wear on the wallet, and my supply of sewing machine needles.
So after much thought I made some revisions to how I constructed this little gem.

If the cover of the wallet wraps all the way around and all the raw edges of the pockets are enclosed in top stitching on the bottom, that would solve the bulk/wear/and corner turning problems I had encountered with the original design.

imageFirst, find three small prints that coordinate nicely.  I used these from Cotton and Steel that I found at my LQS.

Cut the outer layer and lower pocket 5.5 x 16 inches. medium pocket 5.5 x 5 inches and tall pocket 5.5 x 6 inches.  I used a woven fusible interfacing, which I cut the same size as the outer layer and lower pocket, and two pieces that were 5.5 x 2.5 and 5.5 x 3 respectively.  Cut a 1.5 inch strip of hook and loop tape.

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong sides of the fabric,  for the two smaller pieces, fold them in half and give them a nice press so that you can see where to apply that interfacing on one half of the piece.  Make sure that they are still 5.5 inches wide!  With these two pieces folded in half, edge stitch along the folded edge.

imageOn the largest piece. Mark a light pencil line four inches from the bottom of the longer piece on the wrong side of the fabric.  Fold up the raw edge to meet this line.  It will look like a two inch hem.  Then bring the raw edge of the other end to meet the first raw edge, and press.   The piece with both edges folded in will measure 5.5 x 8 inches.image

Fold it in half lengthwise, and mark 3/4 inch from the fold on both layers, both top and bottom of each end.  This is so the velcro can be centered.image

Place the cover on the table with the folded raw edges down and the smooth side up. On the side with the two inch fold, pin the soft side of the hook and loop tape to the edge of the cover between your markings.

Start stitching on the edge, like you would top stitch straight across, get to the hook and loop tape, stitch across it, and just before you get to the end of the tape, stop with the needle down, pivot and sew across the short edge of the tape, back across the bottom and up to the top again.  Then edge stitch to the other end of the line.

This puts a double line of stitching across the top of the velcro strip.  with a loop around the lower part of the velcro, and will secure it in place.

Layer the other two pocket layers behind the short one with the velcro attached.  Pin only the pocket layers, so that the three layers move independently from the rest of the wallet. It is important here, that you pin from the outside in, and that your pin heads are hanging over the outside of the fabric.  Flip this pocket layer down, and back around to the other side of the wallet.  You will only see the the back of the tallest pocket from this angle.image

Next, take the six inch flap and bring it up and back over itself, so that all you see is interfacing on either side.  add two more pins that also are pinned from the outside in.  from the side it will look like this:


The bottom of the little wallet will look like this with multiple raw edges and folds.  image

Stitch the longer sides with a scant 1/4 inch seam.  image

Remove your pins and start turning right side out by lifting the top layer over the whole assembly and pulling what is left out from under it.  Poke out the corners with a chopstick or other handy turning tool.  It will look like a bit of a mess.  We will need to do some turning.  Find the pockets and flip them over to the other side, poke out some more corners and here you are!


Top stitch the edges starting at the top of the pockets, and when you get to the top, be sure to loop Around all four edges of the corresponding part of the hook and loop tape in the center on the edge that would fold down to meet its counterpart.