Saturday, 23 February 2013

Felt needle book tutorial

This tutorial is very special to me. You know when you set yourself a challenge but end up finding reason after reason to postpone it?! I bought the felt to make this project over a month ago, but kept telling myself "later...". Well, today I did it. And I am so happy that I couldn't wait to write this post!

Since when I first saw the picture below I thought two things: 1) This is so very cute! 2) If only I had a sewing machine. Problem out of the way, it was now a matter of gathering the materials.

Photo Credit: Paper Fish @ Etsy

The obvious ones were easy to find: felt scraps, assorted buttons and satin ribbon were already in my crafty kit. But what about the metal parts?! I didn't even know how to search for them, as I couldn't figure out what they were called (that tells you something about how long I've been in this craft business). Well, after looking for these rings in pretty much every single haberdashery section I came across, I found the eyelets kit by Milward (this site sells it, but I got mine from a shop in Windsor). As I couldn't find these exact clip on binding rings, I bought regular 25mm split rings (like the ones we use for key rings) on Ebay.

So let's get down to the tutorial:

1. I started by cutting 6 pieces (3 x 3 inches) of felt, then with the help of a glass I marked and cut the circles.

2. I drew the bird on a piece of paper first, just as practice, but if you feel confident enough you can draw it straight away on a piece of felt. I started by hand sewing the wing to the bird, then the bird to the colour I had chosen to be the cover of my book.

3. I cut 3 pieces of ribbon of about 2 inches each, folded and placed them in between two circles of felt. Making sure to hold the ribbon in place, I set my sewing machine to the most basic stitch I could find (it's literally called "straight stitching") and joined the two bits together. Note: I found it much easier to move my circle anti-clockwise. I am not sure if this sounds obvious, but as a beginner when it comes to sewing machines, I thought it worth mentioning.

Photo Credit: Zaira Brilhante, with iPhone 4S

4. With my pages ready, I went on to attaching the eyelets. I simply followed the instructions on the back of the box. Cutting the hole on the felt was easier just by rotating the tool (instead of hammering, as advised). Sticking both parts, however, required a very firm hand and a few goes (I don't think my downstairs neighbours appreciated the hammering on a late evening).

5. I added the buttons last, being careful to hide the knot inside the fold of the ribbon and in between the two pieces of felt. That was it, now I only had to pass my pages through the slip ring and my needle book was ready!

I find this so handy to carry pins and needles when you're going away for the weekend. It's just the right size.  I might make another one and experiment with lace and other types of fabric. Maybe I will add a pocked, as the one on the top of this post. But this one is just perfect for me and so pink!!! I love it!!!

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