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1  Handmade Pencil Carry-all in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by sarahrachel on: January 28, 2005 08:52:28 PM
I'm going to a conference next week and wanted an easier way to haul around my 150+ Prismacolor pencils. I made this out of some leftover material, and now I can just throw all my pencils in a bag without them spilling everywhere.

I put a "lip" at the top so the pencils can't slip out once they're rolled up.

My cat Thomas thinks everything is a toy for him.

how to make it:

1.) i took rectangular pieces of fabric (about 24"x 9"), and placing right sides together, sewed 3 sides together, then turned them inside out and finished the remaining side seam.

2.)  make the "lip" by turning down the top edge 1" or so and stitching up the side seams.

3.)add a pocket (i'd turn the pocket edges under to help it resist wear and tear, or even add a "lining" to it so no art supplies can snag it) that runs the length of the base, then stitch up vertically about 8 or 9 times to form the pencil pockets.

4. ) figure out how the case rolls up and mark your ties. i used the same fabric (1 1/2" x 12" strips) with the edges turned up and then folded over double (now 3/4"x 12") to add strength. if you use ribbon i'd stick with a sturdy one that won't fray or stretch.

5.) attach the ties, stitching once and then 3/4" over to, again, add strength.

fabric choices: obviously, the thicker and tougher the fabric, the longer it will last. lining the pocket and having a double-sided (and in effect, lined) base helps this be extra durable. i picked a tough cotton i could throw in the washer when it became too smudgy with pencils. corduroy might be too hard to stitch through (with 3 or 4 layers), but a dark colored one wouldn't show the "grime" so much. also, lining the inside with vinyl or plastic and making the pocket snap off or down would make carrying watercolors, charcoal, or other messy supplies easier to clean off. Smiley maybe too much info on the fabric choice but i hope it's helpful.

something i'm going to add is a small snapping pocket on the outside to hold an eraser and sharpener so everything is together.
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2  $5 Bag made from thrift store finds in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by sarahrachel on: January 15, 2005 08:17:14 PM
I've had this $2 cord jacket I got at the thrift store for years, and it just got to the point I could wear it anymore. So i turned it into a very functional tote bag and lined the inside with vintage fabric found at a Salvation Army. Inside are two pen holders plus cell phone, journal, and snapping welt pockets. I'm not sure yet how I should decorate the outside...I'm thinking about embroidering some robots on the pockets?? Maybe a bird? Or two?

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3  Mermaid Tail...tutorial to come! in Costumes: Completed Projects by sarahrachel on: January 15, 2005 08:07:55 PM
I had tons of scrap fabric that I hated to just have lying around, so I constructed this mermaid tail. It sort of resembles an evening dress, which the four-year-old recipient LOVED. I decided to make it a little funky and whimsical, so the scales have lots of color and aren't necessarily uniform. The waistband is elastic and the bottom of the tail has a tutu-like skirt. It's rather big for the little girl I made it for, but I wanted her to be able to play in easily and not outgrow it too soon. Her two favorite things are mermaids and ballerinas, so I hoped to combine the two in one fun costume.

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