Friday, 1 June 2012

my first tutorial

I absolutely ADORE seeing all the creativity on other peoples blogs, and every now and again, they treat us with a tasty tutorial - an insight into how they work to create wonderful things... so here is my humble offering into the world of tutorials :)

I wanted it to be something useful, that I know all artsy/crafty types who sell their work (and non-artsy/crafty types too!) would need, while at the same time being an easy make so as not to daunt any people new to sewing...

When I opened up my box of MOO mini business cards (most awesomest of business card creators - check out their website) and realised that as my cards depleted, it was hard to keep them as neatly as I like (I think I have mentioned before how the other half and my mother tease me mercilessly about my 'OCD' - I still call it 'particularness!')... So I figured that this was no good, and if I was to be travelling to craft fairs and handing out my cards in a professional, not digging around frantically in a bag/box manner, I was going to need a business card holder.  You can buy them online, but since my student days and the recession, as well as a more recent transformation into my grandmother, I have caught the thrifty 'make do and mend' bug - if its on its last legs I'm still going to try to fix it before someone makes me throw it out! It seemed second nature just to make my own.  I don't have to spend hours finding the prettiest one online, I don't have to wait for it to be shipped, and I don't have to pay extortionate amounts of money.  An all round win.  I got my thinking hat on, and I ended up with this:

I do love a bit of purple!

So if you want to make your own... here it is... *drumroll*... my very first:

You will need:
your favourite colour felt.
a needle.
embroidery floss in a matching/contrasting colour - decisions, decisions!
a tape measure and/or ruler.
some pins.
a popper (I'm afraid I have no idea what the technical term is!)
a trio of buttons/a large button/a something to embellish the front.
some paper.
a business card (preferably your own!)

<3 MOO

Start with your business card.  Here's mine!
Now, measure it with whatever measuring instrument comes to hand.
Mini MOO cards measure 28 by 70mm, but yours may be different.

measuring your pattern pieces

Add on a little to the measurements of your card to get your first pattern piece.  
I added a centimetre, but it's a little snug so you may like to add on 15mm.

For the next piece, take your first piece and work out how far down you'd like the flap to come, and add this to the length, et voilĂ ! You have your second piece.  You can see how I calculated mine in the picture.

drawing on to the felt

cut out :)

Next, draw around your pattern pieces onto the felt, you will need two of the longer piece, and one of the regular size.  Cut them out.

sewing on the popper

Pin together the longer pieces, this will keep them together while you sew on the popper.  Make sure you sew it on one side only - we don't want any naughty thread showing on the outside!

sewing on the buttons

Then you can sew on your embellishment.  I've used a trio of buttons, but you could use just one, or perhaps a bow or you could even glue on a cabochon (bear in mind that unless you use superglue or something similar, this could come off with use).  
Make sure you sew it on just the one piece of felt (behind the popper) to stop the thread from showing.


Put the smaller piece of felt on top of the larger, and fold the larger over (to create the flap) and see where you need to sew on the other part of the popper.  
Sew it on.  This is also a really good time to do a blanket stitch along the top edge of the smaller piece!  Then you can pin the lot together as in the photo.

Other sweet treats are available ;) 

Phew! What a lot of hard work! Take a break and have a little treat - you've earned it!

blanket stitch

Mmm... I do love a tea and treat break :)  Now you can begin sewing around the edges of your business card holder.  Blanket stitch is best.  If you're a sewing novice - here is a short and sweet blanket stitch tutorial on YouTube :)

You should end up with something a little like this.

 This is the point where I blanket stitched along the inside edge.  This is very much optional as it is a little tricky at this stage.  If you are a clever sausage, you would have done this much earlier!

Stick your cards inside and pop the popper and... TADAH! You *should* end up with something a little like this! 

Now, while I have been kind enough to share this with you - If you do decide to make these to sell on I would be most happy if you would link this post to your listing.  
Or, if you do not have the time/energy to make your own, I will be selling these as custom orders only at £3.50 for Mini MOO holders, and £4.50 for regular business card size (Vistaprint etc) holders.  Please message me on Facebook or email to place your order :) 

I hope my little tutorial was easy for you to follow - feel free to leave any questions below if I have confused you!  Do you have any favourite online tutorials? Have you been good enough to do one of your own? I'd love to hear about it!  Who knows, if you enjoy this one I may do another in the future :)