Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest post: Susan of CRAFTERHOURS

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Today, Susan is visiting us from Crafterhours, a blog also run by her colleague and friend, Adrianna. Susan is the kind of crafter that works from her gut and I have to say, the photos on Crafterhours are just awesome! Reminding me once again the importance of good photos (my Achilles heel!)

Crafterhours is full of great crafts!
Like this homemade crib bumper:

A glamorous nursing cover (I was tickled to see I used this same material for a clutch a few weeks back)

And this stunning quilt!

Few things make me happier than a home garden.

And I’ll just let this photo speak for itself.

So now, the moment you've all been waiting for! Susan is here to share with us her awesome Upcycled T-shirt Pouches! As soon as Back-to-School Month is over, I am off to make a heap of these for my two boys! Welcome, Susan! 

Hi, Meremade readers! I'm Susan from crafterhours. My co-blogger Adrianna and I make stuff. Stuff for ourselves, stuff for our homes, stuff for our friends. And a lot of stuff for our kids. It's a double-edged sword for them, really. It's great if they love it... but sometimes they're crafty lab rats for us to try new things on. Today I think it's worked out okay. I've made a super simple pencil pouch for my preschooler. She's getting new colored pencils for her 5th birthday and they need a place of their own. The older they get, the more stuff they have with pieces and parts that need a "home".

I've made various sizes of these here and here, but this one is scaled for pencils. I like to work with knit for these because I can upcycle tees with cool graphics or make use of knit scraps left over from other projects as I've done here. The stretch factor makes for a nice variable-capacity container and it lies flat when you're not using it for storage. Here's what you need to make your own:

Medium or heavyweight vinyl cut to 10" x 5 1/2"
Two 10" x 5 1/2" rectangles of fabric (I prefer knit)
1 yard of trim that's at least 3/4" wide (could be bias tape, twill tape, ribbon)
One 9" zipper

Start by stitching your zipper on to the top edge of your vinyl. Sometimes I pin it and sometimes I eyeball it. Just remember to keep your pin holes along the edge where it will be covered by your trim. After your zipper is sewn onto the vinyl, flip it over and trim a hole in the vinyl so that when you unzip the zipper you can reach inside the pouch. Otherwise... it won't be a pouch. More of a practical joke.

Again keeping the pin holes on the edges where it'll be covered by trim, pin the vinyl to your rectangles. I like the added strength of two layers of knit fabric. If you're using a graphic from a tee, the inside and outside could be different prints. But if you want to void the warranty and live dangerously, it'll work with just one.

Stich it down as close to the edge as you can. It'll wiggle a little. No biggie.

Fold your trim in half and stitch it all the way around the perimeter, taking care to catch all of the layers. I used a 5/8" ribbon and it was a little too narrow, so I had a few problems with this one as far as stitching. Note to self and the crafty bloggy world: 5/8" is too narrow.

And that's it. Easy peasy. Okay, you don't have to look all that hard to see the stitching that would've been better off with a bit wider ribbon. But that's okay. Just because it's not perfect doesn't mean it's not good. That's my mantra lately.

Bags with a transparent vinyl window make me disproportionately happy. I like to see what's in there. So I use these to organize travel gear, craft supplies and small toys and games. I think they make a great handmade gift that can be repurposed. And now my preschooler's pencils have a handy place to be.

Thanks for having me, Jennifer!


  1. Oops! I meant to include this link in case folks have trouble with the vinyl sticking. I haven't had a problem. But different machines do different things!

    Thanks again, Jennifer!

  2. I'm still thinking about all of the possibilities with this tutorial!! It's a keeper! Thanks again for guest posting!!

  3. I love the peekaboo window and the bold stripes. Very nice!

  4. I love the color choice and the use of vinyl!


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