Happy Friday! It's been a weird week--I'm ready to move on to the weekend. Maybe you are too?
Some new pattern pieces for a Document Envelope (blog post) are available today, so we are going to combine it with another of the "Just Pattern Pieces" documents for the $5 Friday special. So this week you can order the Document Envelope + Tablet Computer Sleeves as a zip file.
If you just want one of them, or already have the Tablet Computer Sleeves, each of these is also available individually. So here are the options:
Both (zip file) - $5
Document Envelope - $3
These are "Just Pattern Pieces" documents, so there are relevant notes, but step-by-step instructions are NOT included.
If you aren't familiar with the Just Pattern Pieces documents, these are all the same basic construction technique. Many of my patterns use this same basic construction, so rather than rewrite the same instructions over and over for these simple pouches, I offer the pattern pieces for people who already know the method.
I think of this technique as the "sandwich method": sew the pouch, attach pouch to the lining back/flap piece, sandwhich the pouch/lining back/flap piece between the exterior back/flap piece, sew them together, turn right side out, and finish.
I sew these basic pouches all the time because they are really quick to make, and easy to customize by adding hardware, embellishments, buttons, etc. They are excellent production patterns for stocking your shop or getting ready for your next show.
The Tablet Computer Sleeves have been available for a while, and the basic idea is there are pattern pieces for either an iPad without a cover, or an iPad with a SmartCover.
Here is one with a large tuck catch for the closure:
Obviously, the pouches can also be used for all sorts of things besides iPads/tablet computers. Use them for storing small projects, or as a clutches. There is something I find adorable about the size of these--I just like the size and find it sweet for some reason.
The Document Envelope is basically a big, big pouch. It is designed to carry paperwork, magazines, etc.
The flap on this is wide and shallow, so I sewed a line of stitches where I wanted it to fold down. This works great, but it is REALLY hard not to get a pucker at the end. Even using the walking foot gave me a pucker, so if those puckers bother you can skip stitching the fold crease and just press really well to make a crease.
Since the flap is so long it works best with a closure at each end. I used long-prong snaps, but magnetic snaps, buttons, or some other closure could also be used. I didn't include VELCRO placement with this document. I like VELCRO and sort of like the ripping sound (??!), but the thought of a piece of VELCRO this long gave me the shivers.
Once you are finished, press the flap really well into in its closed position, and then lay it face down to cool.
Because it is made from larger pieces of fabric, it could use some additional support. But it is also just fine with just interfacing/fleece. If you don't had some additional structure it will be a bit floppy until you put stuff inside, but that's ok too. It is fabric, so being little soft and unstructured is perfectly alright.
But if you want to add more structure, you can add extra interfacing (more in a minute), use a heavier fabric, quilt the lining, make the exterior from pieced fabric, etc. I think the Document Envelope would be awesome for patchwork, since the additional seams of the pieced fabric would give it more firmness.
If you want to use extra interfacing, you can try a few different things:
1. Use a double layer of interfacing on the exterior fabric (test on scraps of your fabric first).
2. Apply interfacing AND fleece to the exterior fabric, and then use a heavier fabric for the lining.
In general, I use woven fusible interfacing on the exterior fabric, and fusible fleece (or batting) on the lining. But I do experiment and vary it depending on my fabrics. For example for the brown and pink batik one, I used woven interfacing & fleece on the exterior pieces, and then a heavier utility fabric for the lining. It turned out great.
2. Use hair canvas on the exterior pieces.
I don't see people using a lot of hair canvas in accessory sewing, so let me explain what it is for anyone who hasn't encountered it yet.
Hair canvas is made from a mixture of hair, polyester, wool, and cotton. The hair comes from horses or goats, and is obtained through grooming. Not sure why they list wool separately--maybe just to differentiate between the sheep hair and the other hair. I did a little research to find out where this hair comes from, and found this discussion thread at Burda interesting. Apparently, being able to take home the hair used to be one of the perks of being a stable boy!
Hair canvas is meant for use with medium to heavy weight fabrics, so to use it with quilting cotton, first use a layer of woven fusible interfacing to build up the fabric. Using it on just the fabric is going to result in some incompatibility, which probably means a wrinkly mess, or the interfacing won't adhere long term, or both. Don't do it...
Now that you want to try it out, let me tell you the bad news-- hair canvas is expensive and can be hard to find in person.
It looks Joann only carries it online and in full bolts. If you see it at your local Joann's in person, leave a note.
Fabric.com carries it and has a great price--$8.38. Hair canvas is $12.49 per yard at my local fabric store (Fabric Depot).
Make sure to order the fusible kind. I've tried the sew-in and don't see much point in it for the things I make. I'm sure it has its purpose, but for accessories I try to keep this interfacing out of the allowance (more in a minute), and since sewing it in requires it end up in the allowance, it doesn't work for me.
Trim away all corners and maybe even cut away some at any seam intersections. Now for the most important part...KEEP it out of your seem allowances. Cut the piece so it does not extend into the seam allowance. I attempt to avoid sewing over it at all. Below is a photo example. The stitching is pretty close to the hair canvas, but never passes over it.
This isn't as big a deal for larger things, but if you are sewing something small and the hair interfacing ends up in your allowance, it is a total pain. Once it is fused to your fabric, there isn't really anything to be done about it, and if you sew it into the allowance you may be looking at tossing out what you were making. The stiffness it gives is not forgiving in the seam allowances.
Ok, have a great weekend!