Friday, 11 April 2008

Fat Quarter Friday Tutorial - Reading Companion

Welcome to this week's Fat Quarter Friday tutorial. Please feel free to use this tutorial to make your own bookmark to use or give as a gift, but please do not make them to sell without my permission. If you pass this tutorial on please link back to this blog. And if you make one, I'd LOVE to see it.

A fabric bookmark, attached to a case to hold your reading glasses (or sweeties!).

This week's idea was originally intended as a bookmark which also holds a pen. I designed it because when I'm studying, I end up using my pen as a bookmark and either get inky marks on my books or it drops out somewhere (then I've lost my pen AND my place).

Talking to my mum, she suggested making one for reading glasses, which I though was a brilliant idea. How many people keep their reading glasses on top of the book they're reading? Then they get knocked off or bashed or whatever. I completely messed up my pen one (which I will make at a later date), but I would make the section exactly the same way but using cotton about the same size as the bookmark piece. I think this would make a good gift for someone who does puzzle books or who is studying.

I used fleece as the lining for the glasses one because it's important to provide protection for spectacles to stop them getting scratched or damaged.

You will need:

A strip of timtex/ cardboard/ leftover piece of plastic bag bottom 2.5 wide by 17cm long.
2 pieces of fabric 4.5cm x 22cm
2 pieces of fabric 12cm x 20 cm, and 2 lining pieces the same size (I used fleece for my lining to make it squashy, you would get a sleeker look by using cotton or similar)
About 6cm piece of ribbon

First make the spectacle case

Tack the ribbon in place in the middle of one side of the case. Sew this piece to one lining piece, right sides together along the top edge.

Do the same for the other side (but without the ribbon).

Trim the seam, fold the flap over and press so that the top of the "right" side is slightly higher than the top of the fleece lining, then top stitch as close to the edge as you can.

Open out the two pieces again and pin and stitch down the two long sides, making sure that your top seams match.

Then trim the seams and turn right side out.

Push the lining back inside the outer shell, and press.

Push the outer fabric up out of the way and sew along the bottom edge of the lining. Trim the seam.

Then push the lining up out of the way and tuck the bottom edge of the outercase in by 1cm, pin and press, and then sew a straight line along the bottom edge.

Flatten it all out again and set aside.

To make the bookmark:

Put the two fabric pieces right sides together and stitch the two long seams and one short seam.

You should leave one short end open. Trim the seams and turn right side out, then press.

Insert the timtex/plastic piece, it should be about 1cm too short.

Tuck the open edges in 1cm and press. Then poke the end of the ribbon that is attached to the glasses case into the top and pin.

Stitch right across, making sure to securely catch the ribbon in place.


Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...

Great idea (again). I bet my MIL would love one of these.


blossomsmum said...

lovely idea, arn't you clever.

JuliaB said...

hmm yes, I can see lots of possibilities here ... thanks for the tracing tip on my latest post, and hope you are feeling better too!

blossomsmum said...

Mine arived in the post this morning much nicer to receive one as a gift than to have to get the machine out and make my own thanks.x

New England Quilter said...

What a wonderful idea! Both of my parents are at the age where they use reading glasses - this would make a wonderful gift!

Natalie said...

Ooo I love this! Great idea! This would be a fantastic gift.

Leslie said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I just made this for my mom for Christmas. She loves to read and seems to be constantly looking for her glasses. I would just add that the ribbon needs to be about the same width as the bookmark (maybe a little smaller). Also, I had to trim the lining a bit so it would fit well into the outer fabric. It looks great! Thanks!

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Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

It's very nice!

Anonymous said...

wish i'd seen this earlier, bought one simular to this on a trip. wasnt as nice as this either. this one is great. thanks

Anonymous said...

This is gorgeous! I'm going to have to try making two of these for my parents, but as I'm only beginning to sew things by hand before committing to a machine (I want to see if I like it much first) it may take a while. I'll be sure to link back here and send you a picture when I finally get it done! Thanks for the great idea!

Anne said...

This is so cool!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

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Katy @ Pie Bird said...

Wonderful idea! It'll be a a practical and fun gift for the ladies in my book club! Thanks!

Leah said...

I love it. Will be making for my MIL and I think a bit of elastic on the side for a pen holder too.

Anonymous said...

I really love this bookmark/glasses case. I thought too that it would be easy to make the ribbon bookmark itself from elastic or connect an elongated ribbon with some velcro. See this way a person could arrange the bookmarker completely over one side of the cover (pages read included. Do u get my drift? And for myself I would add a little flap over the glasses case so the glasses wouldn't spill out.

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Patricia said...

I have a shop and was wondering if I could make some of the reader companions to sell in my shop. I love it! I am 60 yrs old and love to read I made one for myself and gave one to a neighbor of a Bday gift she loved it. I actually found the pattern in the 2011 sewing calendar. Congradulations