Thursday, March 6, 2014

#HandmadeBirthdayClub2014 February Gift

Last year I saw a post on Instagram for a Handmade Birthday Club. What??? You get in groups of 12, and each month that someone has a birthday that month, you make that person a handmade gift. Over the course of the year you will have made 11 gifts. On your birthday month, everyone sends you a gift. That means that you get 11 awesome handmade gifts!!! Yes please! Sign me up!!! It has been so much fun!

We didn't have any birthdays in January, so February was our first month. I was totally behind on sending out my gift, but I'm really happy with what I made and want to share it. I'll be linking it up with Ellison Lane's Crafty Traveler Series here. (Go check out the series if you haven't been following along with it already, it's great!!)

Last year I took the year off from bee's and swaps. I did not do a lot of sewing for others, and having this birthday club group has been really exciting! I love the feeling of planning and making things for others. Though I have plenty of things I'm WAY behind on in regards of making for others, I'm trying really hard to not get behind on this one. It'll be a good year. :)

Ok, so what did I make??? I don't even know what to call it. I kind of just made it up, and improvised as I went along... which makes me really insecure about if  the recipient really likes it or not. I am happy with it, otherwise I wouldn't have sent it, but I must say it does have some personality to it. ;)


It's a travel pouch. Both sides look identical, and have the outer pockets that velcro shut so you don't lose anything that you put in them while traveling.



I have seen a lot of travel cases, and even made one before, that I really like. But I haven't seen many, if any at all, that are fully zipped. I like the idea of having a "book" that you can open, but I also like zippers that ensure that nothing will fall out. This is made so it is 1" thick, so you can fit a lot of bigger things inside without busting the seams out.


The zippers were the trickiest right at the ends, but I think this worked well. :)


Add in a little personality where the zipper came up short. I did measure... wrong apparently. :) It would also work to use to zippers and bring them together in the middle of the handles. But I kind of really like this! If you want to carry some long knitting needles, or a ruler or something, you can have it stick out the little zipper part. Is that stretching it too far? I don't know. I really like the added weirdness?? I think I might just make it this way again.


Open it up and it is full of pockets and whatnots. Let me show you...


Both sides where the red flower fabric is, are big flat pockets. For rulers, paper, whatever. English paper piecing papers or already joined projects, etc.


On the one side there are three smaller pockets. I contemplated securing some with velcro, but decided not to. What do you think? Would you prefer a few more velcro closed pockets? Maybe some smaller ones to hold pens?



The other side has a zipper pocket and a little needle book for your pins and needles.


The center red things are for your thread. Or the other day I saw someone put bobbins on this. Great idea!

The hardest part making this was putting the final binding on. I hope Karen doesn't look too closely to my stitching, because I'm afraid it isn't so amazing. Hopefully it's not too noticeable. If I were to make it again, I think I'd make it just a little bit wider, I can't even remember the final measurements, but I know the inner side pockets were just a little short to fit my 6" square ruler. I think a 5" one would fit. But that might be nice to bring along. I based the measurements off the zipper, but since it's not long enough, I guess that doesn't matter. It would be cool to have one that I could fit my 7" x 10" (maybe it's a little bigger?) cutting mat in. Then this really would be the perfect travel companion!!! So adjust the size, and perhaps add a few more closed pockets? but maybe not. Probably at least one pen pocket. I would also top stitch the handles. I totally spaced that part. But it's fun. With the zipper closure, you can really just put random items in there and not need to worry about them. 

What do you think the rest of my birthday club group? Do you want a similar item? What changes would you make/want? Maybe I'll make it a few more times. :) 

It feels so good to be blogging again (I should probably say, to blog again. since this is only one blog post) ;) and sharing something I've made! Wahoo! What have you been working on?

Ps. Did you notice some new buttons on my blog??? I think I like them! AND I think I've basically finished my Patterns and Tutorials pages. I am REALLY happy with where they are going anyway! This has been a LONG work in progress, trying to get them to a point that I'm happy with. Now to figure out my Made page. I feel like if I can get my blog cleaned up, and to a point I'm happy at and can feel organized with, I'll be a lot better at blogging. Kind of like never wanting to go in the messy room. It just isn't enjoyable. Thanks for hanging out while I get things cleaned up. :)



  1. Hi Diane! This is just what I have been missing! Beautiful and practical! I shall travel soon with my hexie Project and had something similiar in my mind - thank you so much for a great idea and fantastic result! x Teje

  2. Sad I missed out on that one. It's wonderful. Just the thing to take a project securely with you. I like a few open pockets myself.

  3. This is such a cute project!!! I love it! I've been playing with the idea of something like this for a while now, but haven't got up the courage to make it! LOL! I think I'm scared of the zipper, I know how to install a zipper, I'm just not sure how to do it with the square shape.....any tips? I think it turned out great!


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