Thursday, April 8, 2010

a binder and two kinds of pouches

Today is my sister, Laura's, 28th birthday.  She will be very disappointed that I shared her age; I think she is trying to figure out a way not to get so close to 30.

For her birthday I made this binder cover, notebook pouch and coin pouch in matching fabric.  She asked for a lap desk, but I ran out of time (as usual).  So I hope she can settle for these.

This binder slipcover was super simple.  I just measured the length of the closed binder from front to back and added seam allowances.  Same thing for the width of the binder.  After embellishing (I'm still having a hard time sewing ribbon on straight), I sewed up the flaps and slid in the binder.  I am extremely impressed at how the binder fit on the first try!  I must be getting better at accounting for seam allowances.  She can use the binder to house all the pages that will eventually go into many a published book.

I also wanted to give her an easy way to carry around a small notebook to jot down book notes.  I didn't want to make a full-size notebook pouch because I wanted her to be able to carry this around in her purse (I think this turned out to be about 6.5 x 7 inches).  I made the pouch without a real notebook, so I hope she can find one that fits.

And there is plenty of room in the back to carry writing utensils.

This coin pouch was a bonus.  I saw this tutorial one day and desperately wanted to have one.  I knew it wouldn't take much fabric, so I decided to make one for Laura.  Plus, she is the one who supplied me with that bundle of zippers and clasps so it seemed appropriate to use one of each on a project for her.  The front pocket was made with clear vinyl so she can slip an ID or something in the front . . . a picture of a gorgeous man maybe?. . . it's her birthday.  I added a pocket to the back as well for extra organization.

I would typically have said here that you can never have too many pockets, but with this project, I will refrain from this bold statement.  I thought it would be triple the delight to add an interior pocket, but the pouch is just too small.  Every time I practiced unzipping the pouch, the pocket was open and the lining would not stay in place.  So I hand sewed (and glued) the pocket shut.  Maybe she won't notice.  So the lesson learned here is to go easy on the extra pockets with projects that can fit in one hand.

My plan is to have one of these for myself before the end of this weekend.  These are so cute and fast it would almost be a waste of my time not to make more, right?

I hope the sis enjoys her gifts.  Nothing large or expensive, just special.  Happy writing, Laura!


  1. I made a little coin purse recently. It was the first time I've ever tried to work with a zipper and it was kinda hard. It looks like you did it a little different, maybe I'll try it that way next time!

  2. Michelle, I love the little zipper pouch. So cute, and pretty fabric too!