June 17, 2009

A Place for Everything...Right, I Wish

As the move/redecorate date draws near, I'm hoping to get as many of the things I will need to make finished before we are swamped with painting, floor refinishing, counter top replacing etc. I haven't made much progress in that department over the last few weeks but today, I inched a little closer to my goal by ordering a pillow that I want for Evelyn's bed and getting the first of two book holders done for the kids room. Tonight I'm hoping to get Evie's done as well as make a start on a pillow for Briton's bed, but as it's laundry folding night, I might not get very far. However, since the first one is finished, at least I feel like I'm making some progress.

A few weeks ago I was sent this book called Pretty Little Cozies. The idea behind is is that you can make a cozy, or cover, for just about anything. And I mean anything; ipods, french presses, paper coffee cups...anything. It's cute, and if I had a more quilty styled house I'd probably make more of these. I still plan to make one for my laptop, but the one that jumped out at me as a "now that is cool" was a book cozy to hang off the side of a bed.

Briton and Evie are constantly sleeping with books piled around them. No surprise, I did the same thing, I still would except for the total darkness policy at bedtime that my spouse employs. And while I doubt any amount of book cozies could stop the book co-sleeping from happening, at least they will have the option of putting their books in a handy dandy little pocket before going to sleep.

The original pattern called for a small patch pocket on the front but I opted for another full width pocket across the front since I wanted more room for the books. I'm also thinking of stitching a slit on one pocket to hold a flashlight (because my children love nothing more than a simple flashlight, I'm sure I'm not alone here) but since I didn't have the kind I wanted handy to measure, I'll have to do that part later.

The process was pretty simple, with one very tedious part.

The base of the cozy was two yards long and about 15 inches across and you will need two of them. I used a heavy twill but canvas would also work nicely.

Cut two pockets one at 15x15 inches, one at 15x10 inches.

Cute two-three inch by 15 inch strips of contrasting fabric. I ironed double sided fusible webbing onto this, the kind of stuff you use to make iron on's. Actually, I ironed this stuff onto two 1/4 inch pieces of contrasting fabric and then cut the strips, the rest was for the lettering.

And speaking of the lettering, if you want that, (and this is the tedious part) print out the words your looking for (I used Times and 150 for the size) and then use that as a template to cut out each letter from the remaining iron on fabric. After cutting out Briton's Books last night, I would highly recommend a shorter word. Maybe just READ (which is what they had in the book, now I know why)

Alright. first the pockets. bind the top edge of each pocket with the strips of fabric you have prepared. Fold the strips over evenly over the long edge of the pocket so that you have an inch and a half of border along both the inside and the outside, then iron it on. Because of the webbing, you wont need to hem this and it will give the pocket edge a little bit of strength. Once that's done, lay the pockets on the base to get an idea of where you want the lettering to go. When you've figured that out, go ahead and iron the lettering on.

Now make a sandwich with the fabric. First, the front of the base (with lettering) then the pockets where you want them, and finally the other base piece on top. Pin around the edges and then sew the sides and the bottom (where the pockets are), turn right side out, press and your done. You can sew the top edge closed if you want or even make two and sew them together so that you have a pocket hanging from each side. Because of the weight of the books I'm planning on pinning the base to the underside of the mattress, I can just see my kids diligently putting ten books in each pockets and then being woken up in the night when it all crashes to the floor.