We’re gearing up for Easter her at the Bean Casa! I’m so excited! Between Christmas and Easter… I’m not sure I can tell you which one I like better. Seriously.
One of the traditions here is the annual Easter Egg hunt, which involves first hunting down your Easter basket (which always contains wonderful surprises) and then searching high and low for all of the Easter Eggs that have been hidden. You can read about last year’s right here. It was a blast watching Sophie “hunt” for eggs. This year I’m sure she’ll be just giddy with Easter excitement! Charlotte… well I’m sure Charlotte will sleep through most of it, but that’s ok. We’ll get plenty of cute photos of Sophie searching, and Charlotte sleeping.
This year, for one of Sophie’s surprises in her basket, I wanted to give her an art folio. Similar to this one, but I knew that if I told Husband dearest that I wanted to spend $8 on just the pdf pattern, that doesn’t even include all the money spent on the supplies, his skin was going to turn green and there would be a lot of “discussion” about why we should save that $8 and spend it on something else. Knowing that I didn’t want to have that
painful enlightening discussion, I decided I would test out my sewing skills and simply make my own:
Yep. That’s how I roll over here at my house. I make things. It looks awesome, works like a charm, and I can’t wait to give it to Sophie in her Easter basket… er… give it to the Easter bunny who will then place it in the Easter basket he provides… things just got weird… anyways.
Don’t the crayons just look so snug and happy? I thought about using an elastic and button closure instead of velcro, but the velcro does a great job of catching any possible run-away crayons when this gets inevitably tipped upside down. So I stuck with velcro. Yup, I sew and make jokes! Husband is so proud.
So… do you want to make one for your little one? If you do, read on!
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Fabric – I used scraps that I just had lying around. You’re going to need an outside/straps fabric, an inside main, and then an A, B, and C for the pockets (My A and B matched but yours don’t have to. You could have them all the same, or all different, go crazy! It’s your creation!)
Interfacing – Not necessary but I used it (fusible fleece) to give my Folio a little more structure
Ruler or Measuring Tape
** I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance unless I say otherwise**
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Your interfacing, outside and inside main are all going to be the same size. You’re going to want a 9 3/4″ wide by 14″ tall rectangle for all three. Once you’ve cut out the interfacing and inside main fabric, go ahead and fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of the inner main per the instructions on the package. Then it’s done and you don’t have to worry about it later. You’ll also need two 3″ by 10″ rectangles out of the outside fabric (these are for the straps). This is what you’ll end up with (interfacing is fused to the other side of my inner main).
Then, using fabrics A (crayon pocket), B (misc./stickers pocket) and C (paper pocket) you’ll need to cut fabric 6″, 8″ and 11″ long (respectively) and 9 3/4″ wide. Fold B and C in half, with the right side, or patterned side, facing out, so that you have two pieces that are 4″ x 9 3/4″, and 5 1/2″ x 9 3/4″. Then iron them so that the folded side is a nice crisp fold.
Then, take your A piece, and fold it in half with the right sides together, width wise. Pin up the loose ends on the opposite side of the fold and sew it up using a straight seam and 1/2″ seam allowance, making sure to go forward and backward at the beginning and end.
Turn A right-side-out and press it flat. Do the same thing for the two straps. Fold them in half, length wise, with the right side facing in. Pin up the long unfinished side.
Then sew it up on the pinned side. Turn both straps right-side-out and press. You are welcome to then topstitch the straps on all long ends, but I didn’t. Then topstitch one long side of A, and the folded ends of B and C. (You can pin it first if you would like to make sure the fabric doesn’t move, but if you’ve pressed it well enough, it should just lay flat for you so you can topstitch without using pins).
Now, at this point, here’s what you should do (and what I didn’t do but this would have made my job a WHOLE lot easier). On piece B, pin all the sides down together so the fabric doesn’t do any goofy wiggling while you’re attaching the velcro. Cut your velcro into a 5 1/2″ strip. Then pin one side of the velcro, laying it width wise, to one end of your inner main (on the fabric side, not the interfacing side) about 1 1/2″ from inches from the edge. Take the other piece of your velcro and pin it 1 1/2″ inches from the rough edge of your B pocket. Using a zig zag stitch, attach both pieces of velcro by starting at one corner of the velcro, and stitching around the entire piece. I used a long, close together stitch. Note: Do not pin the velcro near the folded edge of B you’ve just topstitched. Make sure you attach it near to the unfinished edge.
Sorry I don’t have a better picture. I didn’t realize until almost the very end that I hadn’t attached the velcro and so I wasn’t able to get a good shot of me doing it. Plus white inner main fabric + white velcro + white thread = not a good shot of how to sew on the velcro. I know that there are also stick-on types of velcro, but having never used it before, I’m not sure if it has any staying power or not. Have any of you ever used it? Let me know!
Anyways, once you’re done sewing on your velcro, it’s time to put your whole thing together. First, you’re going to need to find the center of your inner main. You can do this by simply folding it in half and marking the spot with pins or a sewing marker.
Now, take your inner main and arrange it so the side with the velcro is facing away from you (fabric side up, interfacing side down) and the non-velcroed side is facing towards you. Lay pocket A on this side, about 3/4″ about the center line with the topstitched edge facing the velcro and the other edge facing down towards the center. Pin pocket A to the inner main and then attach it by sewing along the long edge facing the center, making sure to stay close to the edge of pocket A.
Let’s make the crayon compartments! Mark one half inch from both sides on pocket A. I find it easier if I mark both the top and the bottom. Then find the center between these two points and mark it. You’ll need three compartments between the center and each 1/2 inch mark, so measure that out and mark it. From there simply sew along your marks starting at the top, and sewing to the bottom of pocket A so that you have six neat little compartments going across.
Now, on the bottom half of the inner main lay the C pocket down so the topstitched edge is facing the center and the unfinished edges are all lined up on the bottom. Do this with pocket B next so that the topstitched edge is facing the towards the center and the unfinished edge pieces are lined up with the bottom of the inner main and the unfinished edge of C. Like so:
Note: Your B pocket will have velcro sewn onto it near the bottom. Again, mine doesn’t because I’m a moron. Don’t panic.
You’ll also want to lay the one of your straps, with the two unfinished edges lining up with the other unfinished edges on the bottom and the curve of the strap facing in towards the middle. My two ends of the strap were placed 5″ apart so that it ended up being the same width as the velcro. Sorry I didn’t take a picture of this. But here’s a ridiculous …erm… really precise illustration of what I’m talking about:
Pin all the unfinished edges so it’s secure and then baste the bottom edge. Next, grab your outer piece of fabric and lay it on top of your inner main creation so that the patterned side is facing down towards your inner. Now that your right sides are together pin around the whole thing. You’re going to down one long end, across the short end that has your straps attached and up the other side.
Trim the edges so you’ve got 1/4″ seam allowance around all three sides. Also, clip the corners (without clipping the seam, so that it lays flatter when you turn it). Once you’ve done this turn the whole thing inside out. Now this is the point in which I slapped my forehead with my hand and said, “Dang it! I forgot the velcro!”. It ended up working out in the end, but it was kind a lot of unnecessary maneuvering in order to get the velcro attached at this stage. So heed my advice, do it earlier.
You’re almost done! It’s the home-stretch now!
Take the open edge and fold your outer fabric and inner main in on each other and pin. Then take your second strap and pin it so the unfinished edges are between your out and your inner fabric and the curve of the strap is facing out.
Finally, topstitch around the entire Folio. Hint: If you get to the corners, and have a hard time beginning the next row because it’s too thick, stick a piece of cardboard or something underneath the back part of your sewing foot so that the foot lays even. This should help your machine begin the next row through the thick corners.
And voila! You’re done! The only thing left to do is stock-pile it with crayons, paper and stickers!
Not bad! I’m really excited for Sophie to start using it. It’s going to be great for places like church, or car rides when we need to occupy her with quite things. I hope you enjoyed the Crayon Folio Tutorial! As this is my first tutorial, let me know what parts are confusing, or don’t make sense and I’ll try to explain myself a little better. Happy sewing!