How are you feeling today, dear friend? Boy, demo work in the house, then a sleepless teething baby with a dairy allergy, then a 1000-year flood, now strep?! You poor thing, what's next... I'm afraid I shouldn't ask. Hopefully, just a peaceful healthy mellow spring and summer! Yes, that's what I'm wishing for! I hope you feel better very soon.
Here's a little project I've been meaning to share with you. Last summer, before our family traveled to Europe to visit family and friends in a whirlwind vacation, I made little gifts to bring to our hosts. Most of those were the pot holders I've written about here before. But for the young women among our friends and cousins who hosted us, like my cousin Clarisse (who reads this blog from Central America where she is traveling by tandem with her boyfriend!), I sewed little pocket pouches.
I didn't take photos of the half a dozen pouches I made last summer, but I did make one for myself at the time. Here it is: black linen on the outside and flowery fabric on the inside, with a fun button. It is small and perfect to store and carry make-up.
These are simple pockets, made with 2 squares or rectangles of fabric and a contrasting lining. I've used this straightforward process to make sandwich bags with velcro, or a pouch with a snap, or a grocery bag with handles before. But I was inspired by Amy Karol's painted clutch in Bend The Rules With Sewing to make them foldable with an elastic loop and a button, instantly dressing up this little pocket. I love that idea!
Before our big trip last year, I also made a couple of pockets to store our portable DVD player and its accessories for travel. These came in so handy (and so did the DVD player...) and, thanks to a couple of layers of flannel inside, have kept our electronics safe from bumps in the travel backpack.
Lately, I have made these pocket pouches as gifts in a size that is perfect for storing a journal and a pen or to use as a cute evening clutch.
Black and white with a kick of yellow for my friend Erika...
Brown and periwinkle for a secret santa gift for Emily last Christmas...
Linen and teal flowers for our friend Kristina (terrible photo, sorry)...
And just this week, red with bold peonies for the birthday of my college best friend Mary Ann (who just got engaged!!).
I love how each fabric combo results in a totally different look. It is such a fun and fast project with satisfying results, perfect for using fat quarters or large scraps in your stash. I may post a tutorial for making this type of pocket soon. They really are super easy and turn out so cute! In the meantime, instructions for making a clutch with awesome custom-painted fabric are in Angry Chicken's book.
Jenny I love the way you use color and coordinate your fabrics in projects! You take a simple pattern and turn it into something extraordinary. I have that book, and love the idea of stamping or stenciling onto the pouch as well. I know that some people wonder "Why make something to hold the portable DVD player when you can just buy something instead" but what I love is that you can pick the fabric, make sure it is the perfect size, and instead of looking at the ugly black case it probably came with, you have a beautiful alternative.
You asked how things are here, so I'll give you a quick rundown. Everything is cleared out of the basement and we have a dehumidifier going. We had a hot water heater installed (tankless!)yesterday so I got to take a bath after almost 9 days without hot water. You know we've been under strict water conservation orders in Nashville anyway, but thankfully that's been partially lifted. With strep throat and a terribly achy body I had to get into the bathtub for a soak, it's all I could think about all day! I figured after the whole family didn't bathe for 9 days or wash clothes or dishes for that long, I'd conserved enough extra water for a bath.
Not much crafting going on here, up until I got sick Sunday afternoon I'd been making 100s of lunches for the residents (mostly Egyptian immigrants) of a flood ravaged apartment complex. My plan had been to volunteer there for Mother's Day, but I only got as far as making food before the strep knocked me out. Crafters were represented among the volunteers, however! Ann from Mason Dixon Knitting was there, she wrote about it here and NPR also did a story on this community here.
The husband is off work today, and hopefully we will at least get somewhat back to what normal looks like for us. And hopefully I'll have some curtains to show you next week!