Sunday, May 6, 2012

Zakka-Style Amy-Style - i heart bright linen!

hey! remember how excited i was about buying Rashida Coleman-Hale's book Zakka Style at the Sewing Show? cause Lindsey at LRStitched and Amy at Sukie: Don't you know who i am? were coordinating a sew-along?

yeah, i haven't been keeping up with that, what with the bee blocks i've been catching up on.

until this week!

this is week 5 of the sew-along, and Kerry of Very Kerry Berry made up a super cute version of the 5th project in the book, the patchwork pencil case.

i sewed up one pencil case on monday, the day that Kerry posted hers, and i even took pictures right away!

zakka pencil case

i used recycled blue linen for my case, from a pant suit set i thrifted a few months ago. when i bought it, the lady was all impressed about the deal i was getting for the brand that it was... i don't think she was that happy when i told her i was going to cut it up and make a quilt out of it!

zakka pencil case closure

for the patchwork accents, i used two polka dot prints that i picked up in abbotsford the day of the FVMQG sew-in.

zakka pencil case pens

and i lined it with grey kona. do you like my background? ha! that's the leopard print towel i use to pad my ironing board. adding a towel makes a HUGE difference in how smooth my fabric ends up. it's like magic!

and did you notice the pens in my pencil case? the Pilot FriXion pens? have you tried them? what do you think?

but back to the pencil case itself!

so i made one, i took pictures of it right away, but then i didn't post it... because i COULDN'T STOP MAKING THEM!


is this not slightly excessive?

i started out making one for a dear friend, using leftover shirting fabrics.


(do you like my photoshop attempt to show the inside and the outside in the same photo? i haven't quite mastered the magic wand, as you can slightly see on the side of the upright case, but it still looks pretty good to me!)

after i made that one, i thought i'd make for his partner, who's also become a dear friend. i always think of pink when i think of her, and i had this fabulous fuchsia linen. i paired it up with purple polka dots, and decided that i might as well make two, if i was making one!

purple pencil eater

but then i started thinking about how their home is decorated in more natural colours, if still vibrant, and even though *I* always think of bright pink, that might be more about her personality than her style. and i also had this lovely rusty orange linen...

so i made two of these, with a bit of a sunrise colour combo.


i didn't sew a strap for these ones, i used a strap off of the shirt that i was recycling for the linen. i redid the topstitching to match, and then used several yummy sketchy prints for the patchwork and the lining.

that would be enough pencil cases for anyone, but then i thought of the My Precious QAL, and what's more precious in my world than Melody Miller fabric? so i made a set of Ruby Star Spring pencil cases too!

ruby star

i made these ones a bit longer, because i saw that some folks were using them to hold their rotary cutters. when i tried that with the cases i'd already made, i didn't think they were quite tall enough. i couldn't quite make up my mind how long i wanted the flap to be, so these two are just an eensy bit different from each other.

i lined them in a great lime green linen that i bought as yardage. i kinda want to do a full quilt with it! i made my closure band using the selvedge, which made me start thinking about all the fun pencil cases that i could make using selvedges... but no! i must stop the obsession!

however! i did discover a few tricks, in case you wanted to make your own!

tip #1 - the instructions tell you to trim your patchwork band before you topstitch it, but i'd topstitch before you trim. that way, if your machine is cranky for the first few stitches (which many machines will be, since it's 4 layers of fabric), you'll trim off the wonky stitches.

tip #2 - you might not want to trim the band at all, if you dislike the slight gathering on the flaps on my pencil cases. or, i think it would be super cute if you widened the end of the flap, creating even more gathering through the band!

tip #3 - if you're using recycled linen, or really, any fabric with a looser weave, i'd suggest stay stitching the section where you leave the opening for turning. that is, sew a line in the seam allowance of the opening to prevent it from stretching as you turn the case right side out.

tip #4 - even with staystitching, i still think moving the opening from the base of the flap to the side of it makes it easier to get a smooth line. you can make it larger, if you want, which will lessen the stress on the opening as you're turning it.

tip #5 - if you move the opening to the side of the flap, you'll need to either handstitch it closed or else topstitch more than just the bottom of the flap. i chose to topstitch my entire flap, even on the first few cases when i was still turning it through the bottom, just because i think it looks better. plus, if you start and stop on the back, your backstitching isn't as obvious. bonus!

of course, you could just follow the instructions in the book, cause they're pretty darn good too!

fan of cases

oooorrrrrr.... if you perhaps didn't want to make your own, and you'd rather have one of mine.... leave me a comment! which ones are your favourites? i'll draw a name at 11:59PST next Sunday, May 13th, and i'll send you your choice of case. (except the shirting one, it's already reserved, but you knew that)

think of it as a bonus for reading all the way to the bottom!

what should i do with the rest of them? i'm thinking that a few of these might end up as guild doorprizes - they'd be fun, wouldn't they? i'll save your favourite for you, don't worry!


Amy said...

Super cute! I love the one made out of the pantsuit! A fitting second life for that fabric, regardless of what the salespeople think!

Unknown said...

Love the first one the suiting with the polka dots. I love them.

Unknown said...

Love the one out of the suit it is too cute. Live the chance to win

AlwaysInspired said...

I LOVE the orange! These are so cute and handy! I might not loose all my pencils and pens if I had somewhere this cool to keep them!

Nicole Maki said...

I absolutely loved reading this because my experience was the opposite - took forever, vowed to never repeat it. LOL.

Reading this makes me think I maybe should give it another go - this time with a little more WOO-HOO-ness.

The orange one is gorgeous but I have one of my own, and the book so it's better to give it to someone else. Thank you though.

Great job!

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

You are bionic! The Melody Miller is obviously my favourite! x

Mom said...

LOVE the sunrise one. You could use it as a mother's day gift (hint, hint).

Cal said...

Seriously, love them all! Love linen in general, and I had not thought to recycle it, but I wish I had! Great idea. My favorite is the orange one, with the sunset colors, but really, they are all lovely color combos.

Berene said...

Darn, I see that Mom has favourited the sunrise one and is hinting for it as a Mother's Day gift. It was my have too but I aint arguing with Mama! So best you give it to her. Good on you for cutting up the pant suit. Who wears those things these days anyway?? And look what a fab pen case it made. If you pick my name I'd go for the pants suit one then, since it has a good story and I like dots and blue. But I have to fess up that although I did read to the end, I skipped out the middle bit about the tricks, since I wasn't planning on making one myself. :-D

felicity said...

Sunrise for me too please! I looove the orangey red/orange combo. Runner up: fucshia linen. Thanks for the giveaway, Amy!

Cherie said...

I really like the blue one as that's more my colour. It's funny to see that once you started making them you could stop! Some things are so easy you think, Hey I'll make one more..which turns to five!
I'm planning on buying the book today!
Maybe you should make a few to sell?
Thanks for the giveaway =D

Arita said...

I love the orange one but your Mom gets that first. They are all pretty.

Red said...

I've never commented before, but I love your blog, and I love the orange pencil case! love the blue polka-dot one too.

Tammy said...

They are all lovely - I would be happy to win any of them. I don't have any RL crafty friends so would love to own something handmade that wasn't made by me!

Caillean said...

I love the Red/Orange and the Melody Miller versions. Tough to decide. But I probably won't win anyway...

Nancy L said...

I love the Melody Miller version and the Red/Orange combo too! I definitely need a case for my rotary cutter. Oooh and making one or two for guild prizes would be awesome too!

verykerryberry said...

Beautiful variations, love the first one with the suit fabric, such a great colour!

Wendy said...

Gorgeous, I'm madly in love with the first one. I can't believe you made so many of them!

I know I've missed the giveaway but wanted to tell you I like them anyway ;0)

Paul said...

I won one of the ones with the green frayed closure straps at the guild meeting!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails