Monday, December 19, 2011

Guest Post: Crafted By KatieB

Hello, Mommy by day {Crafter} by night" readers! As the
big day gets closer, I hope that you are all staying up late at night trying to frantically finish all of your handmade gifts! 'Cause, really, we can sleep in 2012, right?


{Me and my display at my first holiday bazaar}

I'm Katie and I blog over at Crafted by KatieB. I'm that person that sees something and thinks, "Well, I could make that!" This means that I have a few handmade things hanging out around the house, and a whole lot of supplies down in the craft room! Since my youngest started school last year, I've been working on emptying the supply pile (so I'll have room for new stuff, of course!). Feel free to head on over to my blog to see what all of that paper and fabric has become. Now let's get down to business!


I've designed a fabric portfolio that has many uses. It's a simple gift that will go together quickly but will become essential to the person lucky enough to receive it! I keep a couple of handmade cards (5.5" x 4.25"), a book of stamps, a few addresses and a pen in one of mine. Whenever I had a few extra minutes as I wait in the car, at the doctor, etc., I'm able to pull it out and pen a quick note to a friend. It will hold 8-10 cards. The other goes to the store with me, keeping my grocery list and coupons handy. They'd also be useful to hold a notebook and business cards or two of the small brag books full of pictures of your favorite little one(s).


The first step, of course, is to gather your fabric.
This is a great way to use up some of your larger scraps. If you prefer to use
fat quarters, you can make two holders with one main fabric fat quarter and two coordinating fat quarters. For one holder, you'll need one main fabric fat quarter and one coordinating fat quarter.
You will also need:
light weight fusible interfacing
a piece of Warm and Natural quilt batting
matching thread
one button, 1/2" to 5"8" (with holes, not shanks)
and a piece of thin elastic cord or hair elastic without a metal clasp
For one card holder:
Press your fabric and cut to the following measurements:
Main fabric cut one 12 1/2" width by 8" height
Coordinating fabric cut two 12 1/2" W by 8" H
Coordinating fabric cut one 4" W by 5 1/2" H (Stamp pocket)
Batting cut one 12 1/4" W by 7 3/4" H
Interfacing cut three 12 1/2" W by 8" H
Interfacing cut one 4" W by 5 1/2" H

From your stack of cut pieces, pull out one of the large coordinating fabric pieces and the
small pocket piece. Press them again. Remember ~ if you iron with a back and forth
motion, you'll cause your perfectly measured piece to be come distorted.
Apply your fusible interfacing to the back of each piece.

Fold your larger piece in half with wrong sides together as shown and press along the upper {folded} edge.
For the pocket, fold it in half as shown with right sides together and pin sides.
Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew the left and right edge of the pocket.
Turn to right side and press, making sure to
get those corners to a nice point!
Top stitch along the top of both pieces, using an 1/8" seam.
This is a great place to add a decorative stitch.

Next, place your pocket with the unfinished edge down along the unfinished
edge of the larger piece that you folded in half. Place it 1 1/2" in from the right edge of the larger piece. Pin in place.

Using approximately a 1/8" seam {I line it up with the right edge of the keyhole in my
sewing machine foot as shown above}, attach the stamp pocket by top stitching down the left and right sides.

Next, press your last piece of the coordinating fabric. Press and apply interfacing. Lay your pocket piece down on top, lining them both up together along the bottom and sides. Pin in place. Baste along the bottom and edges of the pocket portion with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Now to attach the elastic that will eventually go around the button to close the book.
Most of the time, if black matches my book, I simply use the larger elastic hair bands that do NOT
have the metal clasp. This time, I used white elastic cord. Cut one piece approximately 5".

Fold either the hair band or your elastic in half and placed as shown above on the right side of
your coordinating fabric. In this photo, it's placed slightly above the top of the pocket. It's actually best to place it right where the large pocket meets the lining. That will make it so your button is in the middle of your holder once finished. Make sure that the folded portion is long enough for the 1/2" seam allowance and to fit over and around the button you've chosen. Carefully baste in place.

Before I go onto the next step, I like to pin the end of my elastic down just so it doesn't work it's way back when I'm sewing the holder together. Once this is done, take your front piece {this will be the cover}, press it and apply the interfacing. Lay it face down on top of the lining/pocket piece.
Then, center the batting on top of that. I've had you cut the batting just a bit smaller than the main body since it tends to stretch a bit. Pin all of the layers together, making sure to leave an opening along the bottom approximately 3" long. Sew around with a 1/2" seam, making sure to reinforce at each end of the opening.

In order to make sure that the corner seams are strong, I like to overlap and end each seam at
the corner, rather than turning and sewing. It seems to give it just a bit more strength.
Once you're finished sewing it together, trim the corners. I also like to trim along
the bottom where the stamp pocket is located as it gets a bit thick there.

Turn your holder to the right side by pulling it through the opening you left.
Using something somewhat pointy, poke your corners to make sure they end up
with a sharp point.

Carefully press along the edges, making sure that the fabric is completely turned as you go.
You might avoid the elastic holder ~ not sure if those melt!
Pin your opening shut.

Top stitch around the entire piece, again using approximately an 1/8" seam.
I like to back stitch a couple of times when I get to the elastic.

Lay your piece down with the inside part facing up.
If you have a cutting mat with measurements, this is super easy.
Measure in 5 1/4" from each end and place a strip of masking
tape. This will give you a straight edge to sew along without having to mess with
fabric markers or pencils.

Just to confirm ~ this photo shows where you're going to stitch. The edges that the arrows are pointing to are the 5 1/4" measurement lines. Stitch from top to bottom along the edge of the tape on those edges ONLY.

Your last step is to close the book and determine where to apply your
button. If you put the elastic right where the inside pocket meets the lining, you should be able to hide the thread from the button inside the pocket. Otherwise, make sure your thread blends well with the inside lining.

And you're done!

Thanks to Ashley for putting together a month of wonderful posts and for hosting the link party each week.

Happy holidays from my family to yours.


  1. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Would it make a difference if I didn't use the batting, or is there something i could use instead? Was wanting to make one soon for a conference! Thanks a bunch!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I honestly love reading every single one! If you have a question you would like answered- be sure to include your email so that I can get back to you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley