Thursday, August 27, 2009

The search for beauty

I like pretty things. That is a given. However, I usually go for comfort over fashion. Even though I love so many of the fabrics that I see and buy lots of them, I can not quite spend the money for some of the well-known names. I am content and pleased with JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby just as I am content to buy clothes from Target and Old Navy. And this is why I was so shocked today.

I had a sewing circle at my house last night. It was our third, but the first one for me to host and help the others make a project that I had made before. We had decided to make either the crayon roll or the drawing notebook inspired by Skip to my Lou. The biggest problem with this is that I have made many of the notebooks, but only two of them were the same and that is because I made them at the exact same time. I always try to improve them either changing the size or the amount of interfacing. Don't get me wrong. I love them and I think that they are great gifts, but I have never been 100% happy with them. This is mostly because of the deforming of the front due to the pull from the crayon/pencil pocket on the inside. Even after all my changes, I still had not found perfection, but thought the pattern was well worth sharing anyway.

The girls came over and made two beautiful notebooks. I did not sew because 1. I had no one to sew for and 2. it is hard to concentrate on sewing while also helping others to sew. I am not a multitasker. I didn't even remember to take the pictures of everyone hard at work even though the camera was sitting out for that very purpose. Pictures or not, everyone got done, early even, and I got new ideas on how to improve the pattern. That is what I love about the circle. That and you get to be a sewing geek with other geeks. Yay!

Well, then I woke up today going, "duh!" I was just chilling out last night watching everyone sew thinking I had nothing to do while in fact, I know two little boys who are going to the beach with us and would love a drawing notebook. So, I set out finishing my demo project from last night and getting a second one made. And that is where I ran into trouble.

I have not had to go to the store for supplies in a while. It has been great finding things that I want to make and just grabbing for the prettiest or best suited fabric and thread. Today I tried, but failed. It made me so sad. I had made Gabriel's with the left over firetruck material from Eli's, but didn't have enough for a second one.

When I started to make Jack's the plain blue canvas was just too depressing.

Making Gabe's notebook seemed to be an ordeal with the machine getting stuck on corners and other little annoyances. I thought that I just didn't want to sew.

Then I went and got fabric that I liked. I made the changes from last night.

It made all the difference.
At the beginning of the day I was so worried that Gabriel's present would be better than Jack's. I hated to do that to a 4 year old. Now, even though Jack won't know it, he is getting the PERFECT notebook.

And I found that beauty does matter. Making things that will be worn or used is great. Making those things well (straight seams, symmetrical, etc.) is what we strive for. Making those same things pretty is just satisfying.

Modifications to the DIY Pencil and Drawing Pad Holder:

To make the notebook smaller, I use a length of 10 1/2 in. This allows for 8-10 crayons or pencils.

When using crayons the width need only be 14 1/2 in.

The crayon pocket needs to be 7 in. wide.

The crayon/pencil pocket needs to be 11 3/4 in long. When attaching the pocket to the inner lining you need to draw lines on the inner lining AND the pocket. The inner lining spacing is like the original: 1 1/4 in. on ends and 1 in. for the rest. The lines on the pocket should be 1 3/4 in. on the ends and 1 1/8 in. for the rest. When sewing the pocket on, start in the middle and match the line on the pocket with the line on the lining. Just bunch it up, there is not enough material for a pleat.

When sewing the pocket to the lining, start about 1/4 in. from the top edge. This leaves a free bit of fabric so that you have something to hang onto when trying to replace your writing utensils.

And that is my perfect DIY Pencil and Drawing Pad Holder.

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I would love to take up sewing someday if i didn't have to use any patterns or do any measurements...I have NO patience!!! You go girl! Sounds like you're a real pro!