Holiday Hustle

No…time…for…blogging (pant pant). Must…make…Christmas…presents (pant pant). As anyone who routinely makes handmade gifts knows, November is not a month in which one has spare time. This year is especially exciting because not only am I making many of my own gifts, but this spring my mother fulfilled her long-time dream of opening her own gallery, Somebody’s Gallery in Petoskey, MI. So I’m also working on items for sale there. It’s very nice when the economic cycle works out in my favor, and someone else’s holiday money can become my holiday money. That way, everybody’s happy!

So I thought I’d give you a quick peek at some of the items I’ve been working on: recycled sari-silk wallets.

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I was searching for saris on eBay months ago, and found a seller who just sells scraps of old saris and sari trims. I bought up several lots of pieces about a foot wide and the sari’s width long and started covering pillows with the fabric. There was always a bit leftover at the end and around the edges that wasn’t large enough for pillows, and it seemed silly to waste all that lovely fabric, so I decided to start making wallets.

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Since the silks are very thin, I started with canvas from the remnants bin at Joann. I marked out all the pieces on it to save as much space as possible, and cut them out. I then starched them so they were nice and stiff.

I used the canvas pieces themselves as templates and cut out the silk with a rotary cutter. The wallets each have four larger pockets and eight card pockets. It took me several tries to figure out exactly how much larger the silk pieces should be than the canvas in order to finish them properly. On the larger pockets, the silk needs to double over so that it covers them on the inside as well, that way there’s no blank canvas. The card pockets don’t open enough for that to be a problem.

There is a very careful order of operations that goes into making one of these things so that the backs of the seams don’t show anywhere. It took me several wallets to get things just right. I took these pictures while making the first wallet, and I’ve made some serious changes to how they go together since then, but you get the basic idea.

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Testing out the first card pocket.
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I had to figure out a different way of doing this part after the first wallet because this way, the raw edges from the card pockets were visible in the bottom of the big pocket they’re attached to. Now I finish each card pocket individually along the edge of the larger pocket.

Yes, I did forget one of the larger pockets on this one. Oh well, it was my first try.

The outer piece has to go on last so that it covers up all of the other work you’ve done! I like having the line of contrast stitching around the edge, though.

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Then it’s just a matter of using the outer piece to cover up the raw edges, and attaching snaps. I covered the places where the snaps attach on the outside with mother-of-pearl buttons.
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Here’s the wallet before the fasteners went on.

And here are the insides of all four of the ones I’ve made so far, so you can see all of the beautiful fabrics.

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These four will be arriving at Somebody’s Gallery in the next couple of days, so if you’re in Petoskey doing your Christmas shopping, make sure you swing by! And I’m not just saying that so you’ll buy my wallets, there are tons of other gorgeous gift items there! You might not be able to bring yourself to give things away. Go check out their Facebook page if you don’t believe me! (And like mine while you’re at it)

Now, I’d better get back to work!

 

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