The weather is getting colder, and we have a handmade holiday on our minds! Handmade gifts have heart, are better for the environment, and, if you opt to buy, it supports independent artists!
If you want to have a totally handmade holiday, now is the time to get started. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be posting about recycled gifts and giftwrap you can make yourself and great handmade finds for sale!
Really, it was like kismet. My girlfriend’s birthday brunch was on Sunday, and on Saturday my booth at the Cabbagetown Chomp and Stomp was right next to the lovely Lightdaughter Press. Since my friend is back in school, I picked up one of their journals printed with “Today you will be happier than a bird with a french fry” printed on the cover. To make the gift extra special, I decided to make her a little cozy to keep it in along with her favorite pen. I just love that her gift is a combination of a purchased handmade item and something handmade by me!
Want to make your very own journal cozy? Here’s how!
sewing machine or needle and thread
Start by measuring your journal. If it’s is more than 1/4″ thick, you’ll want to add twice the thickness of the journal to your width to make sure it can slide in. You’ll want to cut the fabric to the width of your journal plus 2″ (plus thickness, if necessary). The length of the fabric should be twice the length of the journal plus 6″. Cut the ribbon to the same width as the fabric plus 1/2″.
Fold your felt lengthwise to the height of your journal to create the pocket where it’s going to go. About 2″ from the top of the short side, slide your ribbon in between the fabric with the wrong side facing the short side of the fabric (pictured to the right). Pin along the unfinished sides, making sure you pin the ribbon into place.
Sew a 1/4″ seam along both sides from the bottom to the top of the short side, making sure to backstitch five or six times at the top and bottom.
Turn the sleeve right side out. Here’s the part that will take a bit of finesse if you’re machine-sewing.
To sew the pen pocket, you’ll need to divide the sewing into two parts. Before you start stitching, measure 1″ from the left seam and pin along that line. Do not pin the ribbon down…that’s where the trick comes in. Start sewing at the bottom of the sleeve, and sew until you’re underneath the ribbon about halfway. You don’t want to sew the ribbon down, you want to work under it. Do several back stitches before taking your project out of the machine. Put your project back in, but now you’ll want the ribbon on the other side of your presser foot. Pick up where you left off and continue sewing to the top of the short side.
If you’re sewing by hand, you shouldn’t need to stop in the middle like on a machine. Just be careful not to sew the ribbon down, or the flap won’t close.
I chose to trim the top flap at an angle so it would be easier to insert into the ribbon closure, but that’s totally optional.
Give everything a press with your iron, and you’re done! You’ve got a great little handmade gift that has your own personal touch and supports a handmade artist at the very same time! Everybody wins.