Thursday, 6 November 2014

Portable handsewing kit? Yes please!

My husband and I are heading out for a little holiday soon, and I wanted to take along some crafty goodness to enjoy while on the move (and while sedentary on the beach). I didn't want to bring along any knitting, because yarn is hot, and we are going someplace hot. And I can't bring along my sewing machine, that is just asking for trouble at the airport! So I decided to give English Paper Piecing a try, as small, portable, handsewing projects seem perfect for travelling. 

I have been admiring (aka: obsessing over) many crafty Instagram accounts that feature their Passacaglia quilts from Millifiori Quilting. I have my eye on this book, but at the moment, can't afford to drop the money to obtain it. So my sights will have to be set a little lower in the meantime. I made a couple practice flowers to make sure EPP was a technique I was capable of doing, and enjoying. It turns out..... I love it! It is so relaxing and gives you a good sense of accomplishment when you see your pile of finished pieces (and they add up quick!). Also, who doesn't like fussy cutting? Excellent. Decision made. EPP is coming to Hawaii with me! Now I just have to come up with a way to transport my supplies and works-in-progress in a compact yet stylish carry-all. 

Enter this portable handsewing kit! 
Front view
Back view
I had an idea in mind of what I wanted (small and compact, accordion pockets to hold supplies), but didn't have a pattern to work with, so I decided to wing it and see what happens. While I am trying to be more creative and original in my crafting, sometimes I find that difficult. I don't live in a void, and it seems like everything has been done before! So, full disclosure, I was inspired by similar totes I saw on Pinterest, and I did have to research how to make the accordion pockets. 

I made three pockets inside, two small and one big, to hold my mini sewing kit, pieces, and fabrics.

Inside view
 My mini sewing kit is contained in the packaging from a small eyeshadow palette I bought from Sephora last year. I love interesting packaging, and couldn't bear to throw it out, so I'm glad I found a use for it! (Otherwise I'm a hoarder....) My kit includes a bobbin loaded with silvery-white hand quilting thread, small embroidery scissors, my grandma's old needle threader, a magnetic mouse to hold my needles, two binder clips, and pieces for sewing. 

Mini sewing kit
Also, I made a little view finder for fussy cutting hexies. Worked like a dream!


Spot those fussy cuts
I used my trial flower blocks of fussy cut Charley Harper hexies to decorate the front and back of my kit. I used fusible web to fix them in place, then stitched over the edges with a short, skinny zigzag stitch. Thank goodness for fancy stitches on my sewing machine, because I have Singer to thank for those adorable arrows on the sides. Finally, two snaps to hold the cover closed, and I have a delightful sewing kit to travel with!  

I am please with how this tote turned out, and am even more proud to say that it's a Laura original! Now I am super excited for our trip. Getting to show this tote off in exotic locales is going to be so exciting!