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making :: pink + elephants {handmade style by noodlehead}

By Monday, June 8, 2015 , , , ,

making :: handmade style {travel makeup case}
elephants on parade!
The new book, Handmade Style, by Anna Graham {of noodlehead} came in the mail just a week ago.  I love the way the book is laid out - pictures in the front, directions in the back.  All the projects look great... and many are quickly making it to my must sew list.  This one just had to be first though because I knew exactly who I wanted to make it for... my soon-to-be sister in law!  

Her bridal shower was just a little over a week away when the book came in the mail.  I went online shopping for the perfect fabric, but then realized it wouldn't get here quick enough for me to get the sewing done in time.  Then I found the pink elephants fabric from a 1/2 yard bundle I'd won ages ago.  And it turned out to be perfect!  

I also didn't have time to track down {buy online} the perfect sized zippers that the pattern called for. But I was able to make it work with the offerings from Joann's and I think none was the wiser.  The seam ripper came out a few times - sewing through all those layers and getting everything just right can be a challenge.  I was getting frustrated with quilting the top panels since the outer fabric stretches compared to the thick canvas that is used as the base when doing the quilting.  Basting around the edges {as called for in the pattern} seemed to give me unwanted puckers.  I think if I had more time to take it slow that method could have worked but I need to get this done fast.  So I used a bit of thin, double-sided interfacing {wonder under} fused to the backside of the elephants and then fused to hold the quilt sandwich together.  It worked like a charm! 

For the outer zipper I used two 20" heavy jacket zips and overlapped the tapes where they met in the middle of the case.  I couldn't decide if I should have overlapped or folded back the ends.  But I thought I could get a cleaner finish and have them meet closer if I overlapped.  I only broke two needles trying to carefully sew over the metal zipper ends where they met the hinge pieces.  Oops!  But I probably should be changing my needles more often anyways.

The inside zipper was also a bit smaller than the requested size.  To accommodate that, I added tabs to the ends - just stitched through the wrong side of a leftover piece of the fabric pocket onto the zipper as close to the metal teeth as possible, folded back, pressed, and top stitched.  I trimmed it to 11.5" as the pattern suggested, but wish I had made it 12" since that was the size of the lining piece it would go on.  Since I was adding the tabs any ways I could have made that adjustment, but didn't because I was just following the pattern.

In the end, I finished it just in time.  One late night sewing session + waking up and sewing first thing the day of the shower and it was done with enough time to snap a few pictures, get it wrapped and out the door to make it there on time.  

Now for the rest of the pictures...

making :: handmade style {zipper detail - how to use two zippers}
pink + elephants

making :: handmade style {all the pockets - travel makeup case}

making :: handmade style {travel makeup case - detail}
inner zippered pocket with added zipper tab

making :: handmade style
all filled and ready for honeymoon travels

making :: handmade style (zipper detail on the travel makeup case from Handmade Style}
overlapped zipper ends {making do}

Other little bits of my life...


  1. This elephant zipper bag is so cute! I love reading all your sewing adventures!

    1. Thanks Ruby! I love reading about your adventures too.

  2. that is absolutely amazing! Michelle is going to love it! I love how it opens all the way up and has pockets on the inside, totally pro!

  3. Wow! It's awesome. I love elephants, and travel cases. I might just have to buy Anna's book now!

  4. Another amazing job Matil! And to think your sewing career started with our "Mother/Daughter project" apron that sat in your closet for years!

    1. Haha! Yep, I don't think we even finished that apron... the machine might have broken mid-project. But it was a start.