Learning to use a sewing machine is sort of like learning to drive a car. The first rules of each are 1) proceed in a straight line and 2) set an appropriate pace (no jack-rabbit starts and/or lead feet, please). Practice makes perfect of course, and in this next installment of Olivia's First Sewing Lessons, we continue to hone these very important skills.
(By the way, if you missed the first installment, "Making a Bookmark out of Scrap Fabric and Garbage", never fear. It's right here for your viewing pleasure.
All right, let's begin.
The crayon roll...
I won't pretend to the first to post instructions for this very popular project. There are without a doubt countless versions floating about the Internet. Our version (based loosely on one here by Lotta Jansdotter) just might be the easiest, though, requiring nothing more than a single piece of wool-blend felt (in this case a 6 1/8-inch square because it's what I had on hand*) and an 18-inch length of ribbon or twill tape.
The instructions that follow will result in a roll that holds 5 crayons. Adjust the length of your fabric as needed to accommodate additional crayons.
Step 1: Fold the bottom of the fabric about 2/3 of the way up and pin it like this:
Step 2: Fold the ribbon or twill tape in half and pin it between the two layers of fabric at one end.
Step 3: Use a ruler and tailor's chalk (or a pencil, depending on what you have on hand) to mark a 1/4-inch seam allowance and (5) 1 1/8-inch slots. Stitch continuously from one end of the fabric to the other following the pattern shown below. Remember to back-stitch at the beginning and end of your stitching.
And (ta-da!) that's all there is to it...
Here's the finished product all packaged up with a copy of The Dot to give to a friend whose birthday party was last Saturday:
And speaking of The Dot (by Peter Reynolds), have you read it? It's lovely. The story of a young girl who overcomes self-doubt to become "a really great artist", it's a must-read for the creatively self-conscious (isn't that all of us at times?) of any age. I highly recommend it.
*Early this spring, I bought a sample pack of 6-inch squares of wool felt and we are steadily working our way through it.