Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tutorial: Passport Wallet

After a long time, I'll do as I promised: behold the passport wallet tutorial!

Before anything, remember I've done it a few days before traveling, and I was DYING to do something on my sewing machine. So the fun was in making it, and not worrying if it was perfect. And having only made one purse with my machine before this project, imagine my skills with it...

The project started on paper, of course, but I added things as I went. Don't mind the crooked sewing, and go ahead!

The drawing I've made before starting cutting fabrics was sort of like this:

I've measured my passport (it's 9 x 13 cm), and then I've added a few centimeters around. I also wanted to have pockets I could use for credit cards, and I've ended up adding another pocket behind the one for the passport. Concept done, hands on!

Don't forget to add to the measures below, so you have sewing margins. 0,5 cm each side are usually enough.

Cut the plain fabric:

- one piece 10 x 11, for the passport pocket
- one piece 16 x 11, for the pocket behind the passport
- two pieces 7 x 11, for the smaller pockets
- one piece 16 x 22,5, to be behind all pockets (the back of the wallet)

On the patterned fabric:

- two pieces 5 x 11, to close the smaller pockets
- one piece 16 x 22,5, to be the exernal part of the wallet

Also cut a piece 16 x 22,5 cm of filling.

First sew the pockets: the one behind the passport on the back, and the passport pocket over it. Now sew the small pockets on the back fabric. Then sew the pocket flaps apart, and after that sew them above the pockets. Finally, make the sandwich with the internal part (with all the pockets already in place), the filling and the external part, wrong side out. Leave a space without sewing so you can turn the sandwich the right way.

Turn eveything inside out, and push the corners with a pencil or even a knitting needle. Sew the opening to close.

I've chosen to close out the wallet with buttons, but you could also make a flap with velcro - one of the buttons got ripped out in the middle of the trip, because the backpack was a mess during our long walks.

But it's cute to close it with elastic, and you can fill the wallet as much as you need and things are hold tight in there.

That's it! Very simple and made in two hours. It's very practical during travels, because you can keep everything inside it, and the size makes it easy to find inside the purse. I hope you enjoyed it, go ahead and leave a comment! If you have questions about any steps, just write me about it. Have you ever done any project like this, without much planning, from the top of your head? Let me know!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Another tip I got by e-mail from mini-purses!

Get the tutorial here. They teach how to do the simple version, flat, and the one in the picture, fluffy. I'll start following this site, it's really well-done!
I hope to post the tutorial for my passport wallet today, so... stay tuned!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Recreating nature

Quick post: look how beautiful this is!

Believe it or not, the moss is embroidered! Lots of french knots! Nice effect, right? Great to practice the stitch - with a plus of not having to worry about watering!
By Keyka Lou, via Whip Up.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas project: Nativity scene in cross stitch

Like I said in the previous post, I've postponed all my other works in progress to dedicate my time to this one: a nativity scene in cross stitch. I wanted to do something for Christmas, and I've always wanted one of those real nativity scenes, with all the figures. It just happens that they're either too expensive or too ugly - so, looking at my old magazines, I found the pattern. It's the biggest project I've ever made in cross stitch, and I'm learning new things with it. For example: it's a whole lot more work than it looks. You know, cross stitch is kind of automatic, it's just a matter of following the design. But I've already found out a little secret: it's better to follow the colors from left to right (which is the direction I follow in the stitches). Look what the project looks like now (well, actually, I've already stitched a little more, but you'll see what I mean):


Do you see the scene? It's the shepherds, the pattern has 3 parts, the one that will go in the middle, bigger than the one in the picture, is baby Jesus in the crib, and the third one is the wise men. In the end, each part will be in a frame, with little hinges will connect them. I think it will look pretty.
But what I wanted to explain is this: I thought it would be easier to stitch everything that had the same color at once, before moving on to the next color. And because of that I need to count the little squares on the fabric every time I start a new piece of the design.
Now guess what happened... I've missed a square, of course! With such small stitches it's hard not to miss (especially because I'm only stitching at night, after doing everything else I had to do...). Do you see the twisted line coming out of the embroidery? At first I thought of adapting the design to my mistake, but I've got to the conclusion that it would just distort it. So the project that already looked hard to get done in time is even farther from finishing!
Have you ever done cross stitch scenes? How did you like the experience?

Starting it over

Look at that... since my last post, I've been on vacation, had my dream travel, got back to work and lots of things happened between one and the other. But I want to go back to the blog, and I have a few things to tell: before travelling, I've made a passport wallet - a very simple wallet, that's been a little damaged during my trip. I've also started, since Christmas is getting closer, a little project that I want to finish soon: a Christmas scene in cross stitch.
I've noticed that the photo in my last post has turned out HORRIBLE, I think I'll have to get another one.
So get ready: I'll soon post a tutorial for the passport wallet I made up by myself, and details of the other (many) works in progress that are sitting and waiting for me - until the Christmas scene is done!

Learning a new kind of embroidery

Mary Corbet's Needle'n'Thread is an endless world of discoveries. At least for me! I have embroidered in cross stitch for a long time, but it's really hard to find a more elaborate pattern around here. I'm not sure why, but it seems like everything that is sold about embroidery in Brazil is easy-to-do cross stitch. Is it prejudice from the editors? Or is it the public that doesn't enjoy detailed works? Whatever it is, when I've got to know this blog, I was charmed by it! Mary knows dozens of embroidery techniques, and she now decided to teach the base to what is called "thread painting": long and short stitches. It's delightful to make it, the project she prepared to teach the technique is really easy to follow, and the result is beautiful! I can hardly wait to see it finished!
Look what I've done so far (I'm really behind, by the way...):

If you want to follow her lessons, go to the project index.
I've started with the wrong fabric, wrong threads, wrong colors - and even so I'm loving the results! Of course it's not coming out perfectly, but it's sure fun!


Let's see if it works this time, ok?
I've lost count of how many blogs I've started and abandoned, so let's see how this one goes. I have many great people to follow that blog about this theme: everything handmade.
For starters, Mary Corbet's Needle’n'Thread, who will come up in my posts with a certain frequency, I'm sure! She was the one who gave me a reason for my next post, so enough with this "welcome" stuff and let's talk about crafts!
P.S.: there's a version in Portuguese for this blog, I'll try to keep them both updated. If it suits you better, check it out!