Monday, July 18, 2011

Elizabeth - no peeking!

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth, if you're reading this, click away! Don't want to ruin the surprise... unless you're reading this after your birthday, of course. :o)

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Much thought went into what I could get for Elizabeth for her birthday - jewelry? cute note cards? a picture frame for her puppies? something for her classroom? a new lanyard for school? a Vera bag? But nothing seemed right. Nothing was quite what I was hoping for. Thankfully, though, I came across a blog (that I can't put my finger on right now) that had a link to a travel set. The set included a zippered case, a silky blanket, and a sleep mask. I tucked the idea away, thinking I might make one for Christmas.

Rather serendipitously, I got my Jo-Ann Fabrics coupons in the mail last week, just as I was beginning a new little project. Hubby and I headed off to see his parents for the weekend, and my MIL took me shopping. Yay! We happened to stop at Jo-Ann's, and all the ideas clicked. Bold black and white floral pattern. End-of-the-bolt fleece. It was meant to be! I purchased 2 yards of the floral pattern, and all of the end-of-the-bolt fleece - about 1.75 yards. Lucky for me, the fleece was extra wide. I was able to use my coupons on each cut of fabric. Woo hoo! I also bought a zipper foot and some elastic.

After laying the fabric out on my dining table, I realized that since the fleece was so wide, I could actually use it width-wise for the length of the blanket. Sweet - lots of extra fleece. I sewed all around the blanket, right sides together, and trimmed the corners before turning right side out. I then topstitched all the way around the blanket with white thread. I like it!

The blanket is actually twice this width - I had to fold it over so you could see the edges!

Next, I traced my own sleep mask onto a piece of scrap paper, and used that as a pattern. I cut a layer of floral and a layer of fleece, and then sewed them together with a very small seam. I notched all the edges so that the curves would be smooth. I then realized that I had forgotten to add elastic, so I ripped a few stitches, added elastic, and sewed it back up. A little more topstitching - done!

Then I had to decide how to make the travel case. I debated making just straps to go around it, and perhaps adding a pocket to the blanket for the sleep mask. I realized that I had forgotten to buy a zipper, so that case idea was out. Eventually, I settled on making a tote bag to fit the blanket. Using the extra fleece for the sides and the floral for the front and back, I fashioned a little tote! I added a pocket to the front with room for the sleep mask and an mp3 player, and I lined the tote with silky fabric.
Isn't it cute?
I love how it turned out!

2 comments:

Andy and Kristen said...

Get OUT! You made that?!?! AMAZING!

OK, that's it. Time for my sewing lesson.

-stephanie- said...

I loves it!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm requesting a hand-made birthday present from you after reading all these amazing crafty blog posts!!!!! I need to steal my mom's sewing machine and start playing around with it! (o: Inspiring, Linnea!