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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Letter Case

Hello Again,

I love all things hand crafty, not only crochet. Crochet is my passion but I do do other handy work as well. Yesterday I sewed myself a letter case! And I am going to share the process with you.

As most of you know I majored in English Literature. And during the course of my studies we of course read a little Jane Austen. So two years ago when I was at a book sale, I found Jane Austen's Sewing Box and I just had to buy it. After that I was so absorbed in my studies that I did not actually make anything from the book. Yesterday however I decided it was time to break out the sewing machine again. I am sure that these projects are supposed to be hand sewn but as I am currently preparing for a craft market and I have a lot of crochet to do I decided to save time and machine sew it.

I decided on the Letter Case partly because I already had some material that I could use and partly because I am an avid fan of writing hand written letters and posting them to my friends and family. I am not going to share the whole thing with you but I will share the basics and what I did to change it. I won't share the pattern from the book because I am sure that that would contradict the wishes of the author.

The shape is 42cm tall and 20cm wide.

Now comes my first deviation... (did I ever mention that I suck at sticking to patterns.) I was supposed to use two panels of patterned cotton and one panel of interfacing. But unfortunately I did not have any interfacing that I could use. However I did have some stiffer material. It is either a very stiff cotton, or I suspect it is some kind of linen. But I decided that it would be nice to have a different colour fabric for the inside of the case anyway. So I cut one panel of the cotton (floral), and two panels of the stiffer striped fabric.

Okidoki think that we are done with deviations? Think again. The pattern called for an extra square pocket to be sewn on. But I got out one of my usual envelopes and measured... and decided that this would make the case way too big for my liking. I wanted something that could easily stay in my handbag until I could post the letter. So I went with out the pocket.

Now I pinned my three panels together. The floral and striped facing each other and the third panel doesn't matter which way it faced. Then I got my sewing machine and sewed up the one side, round the top and down the other side. I left the bottom open. 

Now you turn the case the right way round.

This part is a little tricky. You need to fold the edges of the bottom inward to face each other. This is made slightly difficult by the middle panel. If I did it again I might have made the "interfacing" panel slightly shorter than the other two. Anyway the stripes on mine made it slightly easier to see that I had the fold relatively straight. Then I pinned it and did a hem stitch across by hand.

Then the rest is rather easy. I just folded the bottom up to make a little pocket. I checked with the flap that the proportions were to my liking. I pinned it in place in the middle not along the sides. Then I ironed the sides flat. This made it easier to take through the sewing machine. And there it was done.

Well it was done in theory. But for me I decided to cut some lace/ribbon and decorate it a little further. My mother showed me how to lay the ribbon log cabin style, apparently this is a patchwork thing. and I sewed it on with the machine again.

And here is a little picture of our tea pots... haha my mother and I drank soooo much tea yesterday that we had our own tea pots. Mine is the pink one with the blue butterfly. We also had a power cut yesterday. South Africa is starting to feel more and more like a third world country. We now have scheduled  weekly/daily power cuts depending on the stage of the electricity problem. So we had two hours yesterday where my father couldn't work and I couldn't use my sewing machine or the internet (my phone uses the home wifi) or my computer. This is a problem for my getting patterns. 
But this got me thinking. The next thing that I sew might just be a tea-cosy so that next time I will be able to have warm tea. Hehe. 

Keep drinking Tea!

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