Before I start to talk about my project for the Zakka Style sew-along I just wanted to tell you a little bit about the book. When I first saw Rashida's book I thought 'that looks nice' but left it at that. I've been a little bit blah about sewing and quilting books lately, I have a tendency to buy them and never use them, and so this year I decided I would only buy books that grabbed me by the throat and screamed at me to get them.
If you haven't bought Zakka Style yet, I really recommend you do. Hopefully as this sew along progresses it will give you the throat grab you need and decide it's actually one of those books that will be really useful. The projects are varied but none are too complicated that you couldn't make them, even as a beginner sewist, and on the flip side as a more experienced sewist, they are well set out, with clear instructions and many projects are super quick. It's great to be able to whip up a little something something in an hour, especially when it's a last minute emergency gift. When Christmas, baby showers or birthdays come around this is a book you can grab and whip up a little gift that is perfect.
So, onto my project - the sewing kit. I'm a huge fan of sewing kits I can shove in my purse and carry around with me. Bigger than a needlecase, but not so huge that it takes up the whole bag and with a handy pocket or 3. I like to have a kit for every hand-sewing project I have on the go - with appropriate needles, little scissors and the correct thread tucked inside. It makes it easier for me to grab on the way out the door.
I found the instructions really easy to understand, the only changes I made were to use double fold binding for the ties because I didn't have any leather (and didn't have the patience to wait for some to arrive!) and I used a vilene fusible fleece from Gone to Earth that I fused to the lining before I attached the pockets. This kind of fusible fleece is perfect for pillows and bags - it's lightweight like a cotton wadding, but really helps prevent things shifting about and once fused it's basted super firm - no need for pins. I use it for every pillow I make - I really can't recommend it enough.
I enjoyed making my first sewing kit so much that I made another...and another...and then couldn't stop until I had 6. They all came together so quickly and were such a pleasure to sew.
The fabrics I used are a black denim carolina chambray, (which is more of a charcoal grey) instead of the linen that was used in the original pattern. I'm not a huge fan of sewing with linen, by choice I will use something that has the look but behaves better. Carolina chambray is amazing stuff, it has such great texture and the colours are really wonderful. It can be tricky to find, but if you do find it, stock up on multiple yards because you will not be disappointed, I promise! (Fat Quartershop has a few colours in stock)
My printed fabrics came out of this bundle from Sew Fresh Fabrics (if it's showing as out of stock give the girls a shout and they can re-list for you!) - my coral stash builder. You know, I don't think I have any coral in my stash apart from these prints, which is a tragedy as it's such a fantastic colour. 2 FQs made 4 kits. The other 2 kits are made using some of Bonnie and Camille's new line for Moda, Vintage Modern (pre-cuts are available now) which also looks great with that dark linen-look carolina chambray.
I used aurifil thread in 50wt in a mid grey throughout all of these kits - it's colour 2625. Aurifil are sponsors of this sew-along, but this thread I bought, it's one of the 2 or 3 colours I have on hand all the time, and I buy through choice, not through being sent it and obligated to use it. 50 weight thread is my go-to choice as well. That's the orange spool. It's a great hand sewing thread, a great machine piecing thread and a beautiful thread for almost invisible quilting. If you're as rubbish as me at quilting, you need invisible stitches.
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED
And don't forget to follow along in the sew-along, the full list of blog entries can be found here and the flickr group is here. Join in with us and sew along - if you have any questions along the way we're here to help out!
Just in case you wanted to use double fold binding ties for your sewing kit, I've put together a basic how-to below.
First up, cut strips 1.5" wide along the straight of the fabric grain (so that means running selvedge to selvedge). This is to make sure your ties aren't stretchy and nice and strong.
I made mine 18" in length which is a bit longer than the pattern suggested, but I just like a long tie.
Now fold your strips in half, wrong sides together, down the full length and press with a hot iron.
Open out and fold in each edge towards the fold, again wrong sides together. Press.
Fold in half along the length again and press
Using a straight stitch and sewing as close to the edge as you can, sew all the way along the length of the folded strip, and across the end too. (If you want a tidier finish you can tuck the end in on itself and press before sewing).
Repeat with the other strip and there you have it - super simple ties. These are great for all kinds of projects, such as drawstring bag ties, or for wrapping up gifts instead of ribbon.
If you make a sewing kit this week (before April 29th) link up for a chance to win a $30 gift certificate to Zip It. Link up over on Lindsey's blog - here