A Werewolf Halloween 2016

I’m back!!!! Thanks to my good friend Debbie and her family, my computer is back and all my data is saved! I know Halloween was a whole week ago, but I can’t NOT share our Halloween costume!

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It’s not just a werewolf. It’s just any ‘teen wolf’.

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image via

It’s the werewolf from Goosebumps!

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I was a little surprised and didn’t take the Goosebumps werewolf seriously at first. But he stuck with it and of, course, I had to oblige! This was my first attempt at sewing with fur. The trick I learned was to use a knitting needle and part the fur. Then I cut down the part. I know there are tons of tutorials for fur, so I won’t go into those details. But the parting of the fur worked great for me!

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I made a bunch of pieces and kinda made it up as I went along. I made a hoodie, leggings, fingerless gloves, paws, and a mask. For the hoodie and leggings, I used Peek a boo Pattern Shop Patterns. I actually made another hoodie and another pair of leggings to make sure I had the right size. I’ll have to share those soon. It was fun sewing for the kiddo again! So, the hoodie is the Boardwalk Hoodie and the leggings are the Winter PJ Bottoms. I almost used the Skinny Jeans Pattern, but decided I didn’t need all that! Especially not out of fur!

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As you might know, I’ve made a few masks on my own over the years… A lion, an arctic fox, a fox, a tiger, and a few superhero masks! But I’ve never made one with a snout… So I bought this pattern from EbonyShaeDesigns. She has some amazing masks!

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ok. The shoes were my favorite part! Love them!

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Technically, he wears hightops, but these were free and my son hates Converse…. So I wasn’t going to buy new to cut open. So we went with free low tops! So then I made little socks, kinda! Kinda mittens. With a little stuffing and elastic to hold them on his foot. Then stuffed them through the hole in the toe of the shoe!

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He loved it! He wore it to school. Since he really was a book character, Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character, instead of dress up for Halloween at school went nice and smooth. I was nervous the costume might come all stuffed in his backpack, but nope! He liked it! He even wanted to sleep in it!

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Our dog, who dressed up like a wolf, was very confused about why his boy was so furry! Almost every day, someone asks us if our husky is a wolf! And the week before Halloween a kid at school told her mom to look at the wolf, I responded with, ‘Well, no, he’s not a wolf, but he’s going to dress up like one for Halloween.’ The family didn’t think it was as funny as I did! ha!

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I even started to feel a transformation coming on while I was sewing and I looked down and it looked like I was turning into a wolf too! Or a hobbit, as someone on IG pointed out!

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For a few years, I tried to coordinate family costumes, but… It didn’t happen this year! I had a good time making myself a Perler bead mask!

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I hope everyone had a great Halloween! I’m glad to be back online, too!

 

Zeus on the Loose with Me!

It’s my turn!! Yeah!! Have you ever played Zeus on the Loose?? We love it! It’s basically a counting strategy game. That description doesn’t do much for it, but take my word for it. It’s fun!

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Originally I wanted to make a notebook cover for my son, but my Improv Lightening Bolts kept being too big, so it turned into a pillow! It was really hard to get it as small as I wanted it to be!

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I went through a few plans of projects to make this year. Usually I know exactly what I want to make. Not this year. Then I remembered our new favorite game. But what to make?? At first I got my Greek Gods confused and for a minute I was designing something with a trident… Um, hello, my to ‘I minored in Ancient History’ self…. Zeus and tridents do not go together. Lightening Bolt my friend!!!  Then I was all over it!

I’ll give you a super quick idea of how I made it! Since it’s improv, there are no dimensions or anything to go with! To make the Improv Lightening bolt is simple!

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First, cut out a ‘leaning’ triangle, then sew on a thin layer of the ‘bright light’ fabric and then a thicker layer of the background fabric. So that you end up with two ‘leaning’ triangles. And you want them to both be leaning in the same direction!

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Next, I folded over the top of the triangle to get an overlap. Once I liked where the overlap was, I ironed it flat. This ironed line is where I sew-ed it together.

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And then I trimmed a quarter inch seam. Repeat these last two steps over and over until you have each side of the lightening bolt how you like them. then sew the two halves together!

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Add in the rest of the background fabric for the shape you need for either a notebook cover, a pillow top or quilt blocks…. And quilt away!

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I thought it turned out pretty cool. And once I got my husbands seal of approval, I knew it was pretty cool! (yes, he’s very honest and has no qualms telling the truth about his feelings on my work! Usually he likes it, but not all the time!) I think it’s going to be loved, along with it’s inspiring game!

 

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

 

 

 

Olympics Craft Flashback

We love watching the Olympics around here! Just last night the kiddo decided he needed to ‘sleep’ on the couch. That was code for ‘stay up way too late to watch the Olympics!’

As we’re watching I remembered this post of the Olympics crafts we did 4 years ago and one of my favorite pictures of the kiddo! I love the one above of him pretending to win Gold! And I still have the Olympic Rings Wind Chime hanging in my sewing room. (no, I don’t get much tinkling from them in my sewing room!)

So I’m reposting our cute little crafts!

Using the same technique we used to make the sun catchers, we made the Olympic Rings and medals. Put the beads in a muffin tin, cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes (with the fan on) (be sure to read the post here for more information and also cook while the kids are out and about and away from the cooking source and in a well ventilated room. See disclaimer at end of original post), pop out of the tin and drill holes. Yep, easy as that!

The wind chimes make a great little tinkling sound as they bounce around in the wind. And trust me… I heard a lot of it as I tried to take these pictures on a beautiful, yet windy, day

And then the medals!!! What kid doesn’t want their own medal? And they are fun to make!!

The Gold, Silver and Bronze! Ok, so the silver is actually clear, but I didn’t have any clear grey or silver beads…

 

The medals are still a hit and he busts them out every now and then! OK, back to watching.  Go USA!

Skirting the Issue with a QAYG Row by Row Tutorial

I’m honored to have been invited by Simple Simon to participate in their yearly series, Skirting The Issue! Skirting the Issue is a  month long event every July where you are invited to sew along with us to make skirts (and quilts)  to donate to local Foster Care centers for the girls to receive just in time for back to school.

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Of course, I was excited that quilts are now included in their series. As most of you know that I also participate in a quilting bee that used to donate our quilts to a foster child organization. We no longer do, which is another reason I was excited to make another quilt for foster kids. Can you imagine not having anything? Not even a blanket? That’s what so many of these foster kids move from house to house with. Nothing. I’m hoping I can change that for at least one kiddo! And hoping I’ll inspire others to also participate and help another kiddo!

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This quilt started as a office meeting doodle. I doodle so that I don’t day dream in meetings! I think some people think I’m not paying attention, but really the doodling helps me focus on the meeting…. So I doodled this and a co-worker asked if it was going to be another quilt design. No…. I mean YES! That would make a cool quilt! I had grand plans of piecing each block with strips of fabric… Then I came to my senses and realized, they make striped fabric! Hello!

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I wanted to make an easy quilt for new quilters to be able to make and share with the kids! This quilt uses blocks cut from striped fabric using a modified Quilt As You Go method. There are many QAYG tutorials out there. But my biggest thing with QAYG is the bulk at the seam allowance. I found a way to get around that and I’ll show you how I do it. So here’s how I do QAYG….

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First, I cut all the pieces. This fabric has 1″ stripes. And a shout out to It’s Just Sewing for the awesome fabric! I want 8″ blocks for this quilt to really show off the stripes. So cute your blocks to be 8 3/4″ blocks. Here’s my biggest QAYG secret…. I don’t use 1/4″ seam allowances. I use 3/8″ seam allowances! Why? I’ll tell you… It’s hard to iron flat 1/4″ seams when you have both the fabric and the batting to be ironing open. And if it’s not ironed flat, it’s hard to catch the seam allowance when you’re quilting….

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Next I quilt the batting to the fabric, but not a full QAYG style! I chain pieced each row with just one row of quilting. Just enough to hold the fabric to the batting. I’ll tell you why later!

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Combine the blocks into rows. Are you wondering why I have quilted yet??? Hold on… Keep with me!

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Then combine the first two rows….

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NOW QUILT the top row only! I know it’s hard to see in this picture, but the top row is actually quilted.

Now here’s the thing. You could combine all the rows and then quilt the whole thing. But… For me, with all the quilting in this quilt and all the moving around of the quilt, it is easier to me to quilt a row, then another row, etc…. I’m avoiding stuffing my whole quilt through the machine over and over and over each time I change directions.

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I’m doing this same technique with my SMQG BOM quilt. So this may look familiar to you… (Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the backside of this blue and green quilt once I started quilting it!) So this is what the back will look like.

As you are quilting the lines, you will be stitching in the ditch between each quilt line and then quilting over the seam allowance as you continue quilting the stripes.

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Now we continue on. Top row is quilted and combined with the second row. Then add another row. Quilt the second row. And on and on.

This quilt has 8 rows. So again to eliminate a lot of quilt being moved around and stuffed through my sewing machine, I did four rows. Then started again with the bottom row and worked my way up. Then I combined the two pieces and quilted down the middle.

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And you end up with this! Yea!

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Add your back and quilt in the ditch. and you don’t have the bulk of the seam allowances!

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Another way to do it would be to quilt all the lines on your blocks. Combine them all and then not quilt in the ditch, but do your quilting over the seam allowances. Easy Peasy…

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So why didn’t I do it this way? The plain and simple reason…. Aesthetics. I didn’t want the straight lines at the seam allowance to be quilted over the quilting of each stripe. Make sense?

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My son asked why I take pictures of the labels… Because I do! ha!

Recap:

So the two things I do a little different with quilt as you go.

1. 3/8 seam allowances.

2. I don’t ‘quilt as you go’ prior to combining blocks. I quilt as I go, row by row. (or as with the SMQG BOM, block by block.) I don’t do the quilting until at least a couple of the blocks are joined  so that I can quilt over the seam allowance.

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Where is this quilt going? I haven’t figured that out yet. There’s a great organization, My Very Own Blanket, in Ohio that organizing matching quilts with foster kids. I’m looking for a local group here in Seattle that does the same thing.

Here’s another secret… I got the fabric for this quilt Friday night. Then I marathon quilted all weekend to get it done by Sunday night. I thought I had until August 26th to share my project with the Skirting the Issue series…. So I’m a bit behind on finding the right home for this quilt….

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And this is also a finish on my Quarter 3 Finish Along!

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My New Thread Catcher

Honestly, I usually just throw my threads on the floor and then sweep it up when I’m done….

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But the other day the kiddo and I went to the local paint your own pottery place, Emerald City Fired Arts, and I needed a project since he was making two….

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So I decided to paint this bowl. At first I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. Then, as I was painting, I realized the shape was perfect for throwing in threads!

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We’ve been going to this place for years! The kiddo LOVES it! We do have a growing collection… I used to help the kiddo here and there. But now, he doesn’t need any help. So I get to paint my own.

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I tried to do a gradation by making the paint into a wash. It didn’t come out exactly like I planned, but it looks pretty cool. The inside is a really deep teal color. Unfortunately, the inside doesn’t show up well in the pictures….

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Does it seem odd that I don’t have a sewn thread catcher? Does it seem risky to have a ceramic thread catcher? Mine sits just behind my machine, so I think I’m safe! Hope so!

Spring Flowers

I’ve become the one in charge of updating our PTSA bulletin board at school and I wanted some paper flowers for Spring Break. My friend passed on a tutorial she’d used and I fell in love!

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I’m warning you though… These are super addictive!

The tutorial is from Ash and Crafts. And it’s so easy and makes such pretty flowers!

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You technically don’t need the pattern, but I think it makes it easier. You can download the pattern on her website.  She recommends 60lb paper, but I’ve just been using 20 or 24lb and it’s working fine. The 60lb will probably last longer, but…. So you print the pattern, cut the paper, roll it a little and add a little hot glue and that’s pretty much it! Yep! You’ve got to try it!

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Junior Ranger Badge Banner Tutorial

Since Spring Break is coming up for us and is happening around the states, I thought I’d share something we like to do on our vacations! We love to visit State and National Parks and do their Junior Ranger Programs!

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Do you like to do this? I love it because the kiddo will put down that silly tablet and actually take the time to enjoy where we are. You have to actually look at where you are and draw pictures of what you see. Sit and listen and draw what you hear. Some have scavenger hunt type activities. Each place has different requirements for getting a badge, but they are all pretty easy and fun!

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And you get to collect cool badges! We’ve gotten all sorts of kinds. Fabric ones, buttons and the more traditional versions… But then they come home and get stashed somewhere with the other souveniers…. So I knew I could make a little something to display the badges!

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And after we started collecting, my husband found this vintage badge at his Dad’s house!

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So, I’ll show you how I made it! You’ll need felt- tan, dark brown and green. You’ll also need some fusible interfacing, a little bit of ribbon and some sticky back felt letters. Ignore the wooden dowel. I thought I would use it, but decided against it. And I used a picture of a ranger hat to get the right shape.

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I printed the hat that I found online here, on 11×17 paper. Then cut it out!

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Next, let’s cut out the pieces you’ll need. Cut the main hat pieces from the tan (2) and the heavyweight fusible interfacing (1). Cut down the pattern to the band and then cut it out of the brown felt. Lastly, cut out the green banner, 10×22, and angle one end.

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Trim the interfacing down about an 1/8″ all the way around and iron it to one side of the hat piece.

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Use a bit of glue to just secure the band and then topstitch it in place.

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Stack the front and back of the hat with the banner in the middle. Then sew all the pieces together.

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Add the letters.

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Center the ribbon and sew in place.

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Then hand in place and start collecting (and finding…) those Junior Ranger Badges!

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Enjoy Spring Break!! I can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

The Making of a Nursery- Part 1

Last year a friend of mine was having a baby and asked me to help her personalize the nursery with some custom pieces. She picked out the fabric and together we grouped the fabrics to make curtains, a rag quilt, a ruffle bed skirt and a teething rail for the crib.

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Today, let’s talk about the curtains and the rag quilt!

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The curtains are yards and yards of fabric! They are almost 8′ long and lined with a black out fabric. Yep, long hems!

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I love the purple flocked pattern. We wanted to use it in other pieces, but were concerned about the flocking comign off and into a baby’s sweet mouth. So the main use of this fabric is the curtains.

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LIke I said, I lined the curtains with black out lining. I cut the lining a bit shorter and narrower than the curtain fabric and then folded the hems over on the lining to secure it place. So, for the width, I cut the lining 2 inches narrower than the curtain fabric to account for the 1/2″ hem on the sides.

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Same thing for the bottom hem and the top hem.

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And the rag quilt! This was the first rag quilt I have ever made!

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A rag quilt is a perfect project for a beginner quilter. And it’s super soft! Stayed tuned this week and I’ll show you how I made it!

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Stay tuned for more nursery fun!

Rice Crispy Turkeys

We like to make turkeys out of food around here! First (and my favorite) we made the Salad Spinner Turkeys….

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And now we made them out of Rice Crispy Treats!

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These are a silly little project we did! I kinda laugh every time I look at them, actually! I had the idea, but in my head they weren’t quite so silly looking! But I think the silly works for a rice crispy turkey, huh?

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You need rice crispy treats, red tic tacs, chocolate chips and candy corn!

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They are super simple to make! A bit sticky, but easy. Make a rice crispy ball and then stick the candy corn tail feathers in. I had to keep squeezing the ball while I inserted the candy corn, just to help keep the tail feathers in tight.

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Now make a smaller ball and add the chocolate chips and the red tic tac beak.

Then put them together! You do have to kinda squeeze and squish the two together keeping the round shape. Or, in hindsight, I would probably add a toothpick to hold the head on the body. It works without, too!

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And I hate to say it, but… These silly little guys taste good too! Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving craft?

 

 

Wallet Tutorial

I’ve been away from the blog because…. I’ve been sewing! Love it! Today I’m bringing home a post I did this summer for Busy Being Jennifer blog and going back to the sewing machine!!

Years ago, I found this little vinyl pouch wallet in a shop for almost 30 bucks! As I was talking to the store clerk, I was turning it over, unzipping it, looking inside…. Basically just figuring out how it was made while at the same time chatting away! I paid for what I did buy and I ran home. Ok, I was pretty pregnant at the time, so it’s more like I waddled home than really ran….

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That night I told my husband I was going to sew. About 30 minutes later I came up and told him I had just saved almost 30 bucks! Yep, I had made my own wallet!

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That was about 6 years ago…. I used it everyday for about 6 years…. Then it started to look like this. Sad, very sad. I kept meaning to make another one and when Jennifer asked me to be a part of her series, it was the perfect excuse to finally make myself a new one! And I thought I’d show you how to make yours!

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First you need a vinyl, a zipper, thread, scissors and a cutting device. And you can also add a clip. For the zipper, it doesn’t actually matter what the length is because you will trim the end. I think I used a 7″ zipper. For the vinyl, you’ll need four pieces:

(1) 5×7 inch piece for the back

(1) 3.5×7 inch piece for the front bottom

(1) 1.5×7 inch piece for the front top

(1) .75×4 inch piece for the clip holder

and any additional small pieces to use for embellishing the front or back

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First cut out all your pieces.

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Secondly, prepare the front. First embelish if you’d like. Originally I had made circle flowers. This time I did little hexagons! And then sew in the zipper. Locate the start of the zipper about half an inch from the side of the wallet. Then sew in the zipper!

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Assemble the pieces. Front with the zipper open a bit right side up. Then lay the clip piece over the zipper. And lastly, cover with the back piece, right side down.

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Sew all the pieces together using a 1/2 inch seam. And sew over the zipper. When you get to the zipper, move your needle by hand, nice and slow. I go back over my zipper stitches a few times! And then clip the corners!

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Turn it right side out and you have a perfect little for all those crazy cards you carry around!

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What do you think? Throw away the old one? Oh, yes!

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I think the old one held up pretty well for the amount of time I used it! But I’m also pretty happy, more then happy, to have a new one!