Archive for June, 2008

* Pencil bag

Posted on June 20th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Projects with Instructions, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

This linen+colorful bits idea has apparently been percolating in my head for 3 years, with a sidetrack using gray wool a while back. The pattern’s made up as I went along, but it’s a pretty basic design that’s all over the Japanese craft books. I was very pleased with myself for getting the zipper+lining topology right on the first try. :P

I rather like it plain, but I’m tempted to add some embroidery, or maybe Gocco or stamps like Scrapabee’s awesome stuff (warning: her site has music on autoplay).

Sketchy instructions: you need a 9 inch zipper, 10×12 inch rectangles of the lining and outer fabrics, and 13 inches of binding.

1. Stack your materials like this: lining right side up, zipper right side up with the tape edge along the 10 inch side of the lining fabric, outer fabric right side down and with the 10 inch edge aligned with the others.

2. Use a zipper foot and stitch pretty close to the zipper (takes a little feeling around since the zipper is inside.)

3. Fold back the fabrics to expose the zipper. Iron flat.

4. Topstitch along the zipper.

5. Trim the other 10 inch sides to be even if needed.

6. Fold everything around to make the same zipper sandwich on the other 10 inch sides like you did for step 1. Sew like step 2.

7. Now when you go to fold back the fabric and expose the zipper again, you’ll end up with a tube. To topstitch, you have to upzip the whole length, and scrunch to get the very end where you can’t unzip any more. It works, I swear.

8. Zip it up and iron flat, making sure the zipper is centered. Trim the ends straight, and so you only have about half an inch of zipper tape at each end.

9. Fold binding around the corner and over the raw edges. Sew on with a zigzag stitch, folding the end around the other corner. Repeat for the other side.

Hmm, this is hard to explain without pictures. Well, good luck if you try my instructions.

ETA: Yucaree took pictures for all the steps!  Thanks!


* flower dish

Posted on June 16th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

A little fabric dish from a Japanese craft book (ISBN 4834722996). It turned out a little flimsier than I expected, so I’d use heavier fabric next time.



* peg board spool rack

Posted on June 14th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Craft Room.

Found this scrap of pegboard while we were unpacking, and decided it would make an easy spool rack.



* Library bag

Posted on June 12th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

I live ~13 blocks from the library, so I made this bag to help me lug my books back and forth. It’s the helpfully-named Library Bag pattern by Hop Skip Jump out of the Crafter’s Companion. For some reason my handles always seem to buckle up, so this time I tried 2 pieces of bias tape sewn back-to-back with some decorative stitching. Seems to have done the trick. I also pleated the pocket instead of scrunching it, since it seemed to look better with the tiny polka dot fabric I used.

My sister found me the super cool fabric. This barely made a dent in it.


* wood spirographs

Posted on June 8th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry.

Spirographs on little wood disks. I did some bigger ones for coasters too.


These required some trickery to make. I had to tape together a jig of wood discs to hold the center one still and to put everything at the same height so the spiro would spin properly.



* Vicky-T Earrings

Posted on June 2nd, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry.

These are shrinky-dink earrings that I made with my spirograph and a hot pink sharpie. They remind me of something VickyT, the keytar player in Cobra Starship, might wear. In fact, VickyT, if you are googling yourself and come across this post, email me ( if you like them and I’ll send them to you. Hahaha, that would be so awesome.



* spirograph + shrinky dinks = nostalgia overload

Posted on June 1st, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Paper Crafts.

I’ve been playing with my spirograph a lot the last few days, working on a book proposal before I came to my senses and realized that no way in hell do I have time to write a craft book. Anyway, I had fun coming up with ideas, so I’ll post a few of the ones that turned out cool.

First up, spirograph on shrink plastic. I tried this first on some smooth shrinky stuff that I already had, but it smeared too much. This type has one side textured so that it doesn’t smear.

Necklaces. One has a little hole punched in it, and the other I cut a bigger hole from the center for stringing.


Pushpins ala the famous Wee Wonderfuls tutorial. I found some little short “sequin” pins made for applique that are just perfect pushpin-length. (btw, I wasn’t going to include these in the proposal since it’s not my idea, but they clearly had to be made once I saw the necklaces.)




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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!