Monday, February 25, 2019

A Weasley-ish Wallet + A Sewing Tip

I was working on a sewing project for my friend, Hannah, and  in the process realized I have a handy and surprising sewing tip which I've never mentioned here.  It requires no fancy equipment or expensive supplies and, in fact, involves a really humble product which might already be in your house.
Here it is:  Elmer's Glue can be used instead of pins to temporarily hold fabric layers together while you sew.

I picked up this tip from Jenny, one of the Sewing Retreat gals.  She said it is especially handy for putting the edge binding on quilts.  With the glue trick there is no need to worry about little dimples where the pins pierce the fabric... nor the bother of pinning period.  So, I've used glue instead of pins with increasing regularity these last few years.

Squeeze on a little dab, adjust fabric until it is placed as desired, apply heat with an iron which almost instantly dries the glue, and then proceed to the sewing step.  The glue washes out when the finished product gets washed.  It really is great for quilt bindings, but for plenty of other things, too.
I was making Hannah a new (and Harry Potter themed) quilted wallet, as promised.  The pattern calls for spray adhesive at two points.  Though I've made six (I think) of these wallets I've never actually used spray adhesive for two reasons.  One, I try to work with (and buy/own) a rather minimal, basic level of craft supplies and, two,  I typically don't purchase products which come in an aerosol can.  It turns out though that Elmer's Glue is a very acceptable alternate to spray adhesive for a temporary hold.  And cheap!

For binding the wallet I sew one edge of the binding to the wallet body, flip it over and glue the other side of the binding into place.  Then I stitch the binding as normal for a secure finish.  I find I am more happy with the end result, typically, than when I was using pins.  The binding is more even and smooth, especially around corners.
Of course, that isn't the case in this instance.  The binding on Hannah's wallet actually looks like garbage, in my opinion.  I had a mental lapse while squaring up the block and accidentally made it half an inch too narrow...which meant that when I bound the wallet I actually bound the dollar bill pocket closed, too.  So, I had to rip it out and basically wrestle the thing into my sewing machine to work around that.  But Hannah is, I suspect, among the most forgiving audience for my sewing endeavors that I could ask for.
The embroidered quote--Don't Let the Muggles get you Down--turned out pretty well.  Very functional if not all that decorative.  I don't really embroider much.  It is not one of my craft interests.  ...But Harry Potter is a force in my life, as I've mentioned, so I was properly incentivized to give embroidery another go.
The fact that the Harry Potter wallet turned out a little janky and weird seems almost fitting, in a way.  It reminded me of when the wizards try to dress up and pass as muggles, but don't get it quite right and stick out like a sore thumb.  Alternately, it feels a little Weasely-ish to me.  Fun and happy, but a little rough around the edges.

I intend to make myself a Harry Potter wallet now, too.  And maybe, just maybe, this seventh one will turn out as well as my very, very first wallet did.  It really has been my best work so far.  It occurs to me that I was probably paying the closest attention that first time--since it was new and utterly unfamiliar.  Perhaps I can remember that next time and curb my overconfidence.  Or maybe I'll end up with a Weasley-ish wallet of my own.  Either way.  😄

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!