travel (or not) sewing kit

My next Zakka Style project is this wonderful little sewing kit — so wonderful, in fact, that it is the featured project on the book’s cover:

source: Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Flickr photostream

The project is simply labeled “sewing kit,” and it got me thinking. For me, this would be for my on-the-go tools. I’d throw it in my bag with some kind of hand stitching work-in-progress and head out to wherever I was going. I have one of those and use it often. (I made this one as a present, so gift recipient, if you’re reading this, act surprised when you get it!) But the point is, for someone who doesn’t sew regularly, this would likely be their sewing kit. Period. To be dusted off if they need to reattach that button. Well, for those cases, their one-and-only kit should definitely be as cool and cute as this one.

This was another home run from the Zakka Style design collective. (Specifically, the author of this pattern blogs here.) I loved the design, the no-pattern-pieces-just-rectangles simplicity, and the special touches such as the binding on the pockets’ edges. It’s a great scrap-buster, too. Not just the “oh, it’s less than 1/4 yard, so it’s a scrap” kind, I mean the cutoffs — strip here, rectangle there, throw ’em in a ziplock bag kind of scraps. I didn’t even have to slice into any of my linen yardage; the largest piece you need isn’t even 10″ square. Here are my notes:

  • Having championed the glorious scrap-busting qualities of this project, I wasn’t about to leave the house to go buy leather thongs for the closure. I used strands of satin cord instead.
  • Speaking of the closure, step 6 tells you just to position the cords/thongs in their rightful place in the sewing kit sandwich, prior to pinning around the fabric and stitching. Even pinning such things is never enough for my (apparently wild) sewing. I basted the straps inside the seam allowance, and then I used a few temporary hand stitches to hold them straight while the layers were being sewn together. (Some of you may remember that I did that with the straps in my tote tutorial as well, although there I used safety pins instead of the hand basting.)
  • I left a 3″ gap when assembling the layers, instead of the prescribed 2″. I was glad that I did. I almost always increase what’s called for in those circumstances because I hate for it to be a tight squeeze when turning it right side out.
  • Due to a batting layer combined with a 1/4″ seam allowance, I used a walking foot for the assembly.
  • I don’t have rubber stamps and fabric ink, though if I see one more adorable use like this, I’m bound to go out and get some. For this project, I embellished with a couple of embroidered flowers instead. Look at me, not putting a bird on it!

So, while in the past I would have considered this project as a gift for only my sewing friends, now I kind of feel the opposite. Sewists probably already have some kind of travel kit they use. This is perfect for the lesser-sewn folks out there! ;-)

Zakka Style Sew Along

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