Jun 16, 2012

Adventures in Sewing

In college, I was a technical theater major and I absolutely loved my costume design classes.  When we were getting started, our professor would give us patterns to sew to get everybody on the same page.  I remember blowing through that pattern like it was timed.  Hands in the air and all.

My grandmother loved to sew and even had a part of her basement partitioned off for her work area.  Since she baby sat my cousin and I before we were in school, one of my earliest memories was crawling underneath the table where she would cut fabric amidst all of the scraps thrown in the box under the table and try to find two pieces that were cut exactly alike.  Every item in that room smelled like dust and old cigarettes.  My grandma quit smoking when she found out I had asthma but some smells don't disappear even over time.  

When she died, the sewing machines and whatnot were divided up and I got this one.  I don't honestly think I've even opened the case.  It was brought home from Kansas City and it was immediately put into the attic.  Corey's brought it down a few times for me and discreetly put it back when I didn't use it.  I found a pattern for a cash wallet with envelopes that I've been thinking about making.  The pattern was hopelessly difficult to follow so I cut the pieces to size and decided to wing it.  I hoisted the suitcase up on the counter and hit the buckles.  Guess what?  It smelled just like dust and old cigarettes.  Normally, I can't stand the smell of cigarettes but it took me straight back to being there with her and doing something she loved.

I've decided to name her Helga because she's a temperamental old broad.  The whole project took around two hours because I had to relearn how to sew. 

The sizes I cut from the pattern looked pretty good and were easy to put together.  I decided that I would like to have three envelopes and somewhere for my checkbook to go.  I'm going to have to figure out something to do with my cards because while we don't have credit cards anymore, there are still quite a few that I'd like to have with me on a daily basis.  License, insurance card, PetSmart card, etc.

I didn't want to add zippers to the envelopes so I just sewed about two inches on either side of the opening where you would stick the cash in so it was able to lay flat but not easily slip out.    I did it while it was inside out of your couldn't see the majority of the thread.  Another thing I changed was that the cover felt super flimsy so I improvised.  A box of cereal was exactly the length of the insert that I wanted to add some substance.

The almost finished project!  The checkbook fits perfectly and since I went with zipper-less pouches for cash it was a snug fit which is exactly what I wanted.

It is obviously blow money day because I had cash to throw in here. :)

Since I haven't figured out the card thing yet, I'm going to solve it with a ribbon for now.  It holds all of my envelopes closed and I even shook it and my cards didn't move.

I haven't had a chance to use it out in the world yet but so far I'm really happy with it.  Next time I need to sew something, I doubt it will take as long as this project did because of the learning curve.

Total cost?  Around $4 for the fabric.  I already had the thread and ribbon from my St. Patrick's Day wreath.

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