Wednesday, September 03, 2008

gifts to create for Christmas '08

When I was a kid, my dad started a tradition on New Year's Day by coming up with a slogan for the new year. The first one I remember hearing about was: "Don't be late in '78". And then there was the follow up: "Arrive on time in '79." Those were the most memorable. And we, to this day, ask my dad what his slogan of the year is. It's a fun family memory. All that to tell you that I blame/credit my dad with my title of this series of Christmas gift tutorials that I came up with. I was going to start with a bang and have a little logo on my sidebar and a flickr group set up, too, but let's face it, if I waited until I got all that organized, I wouldn't start with these tutorials until well after New Year's. Maybe I'll work those things up as we go along.

So here we go...(and thanks for all your excitement about this...I'm very excited, too.)

Today's tutorial is for checkbook covers. I have 3 varieties....

We'll start simple....

cut 2 rectangles 7" x 13". I used regular cotton fabric, so I added interfacing on the back.

Place 2 rectangles right sides together and pin well. Leave a 4" opening for turning.

Use a 1/4" seam allowance and sew around the perimeter (except the 4" gap for turning). back stitch at the beginning and the end of the seams.

trim corners

press well

sew around the entire perimeter using a scant seam allowance. (this will also close up the opening used for turning.)

fold down one end 2.75" and pin

sew, again, using a scant seam allowance, starting at the top (of the red) and going down to the bottom (of the red) of the folded piece. (basically, you want to make 2 little pockets. it's hard to explain, easy to do.) repeat this 3 times.

and you are done.

easy peasy, right?

I made one using selvages!!! How fun is that? There are a few changes for this version...

I foundation pieced the selvages onto a light-colored piece of fabric so there is no need to interface this one. Also, I used iron on vinyl to cover it so it will wear longer. The iron on vinyl is easy to use, if you haven't tried it before. There is one thing...you can't really rip out your stitches with the vinyl or you will have several holes, so just make sure that you are sewing accurately the first time.

It's a little wrinkly because I have been using (and showing off) this one already. It makes me giddy. It really does.

And the third version is a patchwork and linen cover.

Make a strip of patchwork 7" wide by 1.75" or so.

Trim patchwork to 1.5" high

the linen rectangle on the left measures 9" x 7"
the strip of patchwork measures 1.5" x 7"
the linen rectangle on the right measures 4" x 7"

sew together (pin the patchwork well...it will stretch very easily)
press seams toward the linen, not the patchwork
(I used interfacing on the linen after making the patchwork and I interfaced the lining, too.)
trim the entire linen piece to 13" x 7"

to give the patchwork more durability, I top stitched on each side of the strip

finish as shown above

isn't this one cute too? I really, really like it. A lot.


If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them in the comments.

If you would like to win one of these, leave me a comment, and I'll pop the checkbook cover of your choice in the mail. US and Canada only this time, please.

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

273 comments:

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mamaspark said...

I love all of them especially the polka dots and the green pieced one. thanks for sharing the tutorial!

Bethy said...

Coming to your blog is like therapy to me. Somehow I feel like I have done all these wonderful things that you have somehow put together in only a day or two!

Amie in Tn. said...

Amanda, I love your blog better than any others!!! I've made 2 checkbook covers today and plan to make a bunch more. THANKYOU bunches for taking the time to post all of this and save us some precious peenines in the process, Amie in Tn. :o)

kristine hanson said...

I have not read through all the comments/questions to find out if you anwsered this already...did you put interfacing on both pieces of fabric for the simpler model? I just used one but wonder if two would be better, my goal is to do one of your projects everytime you post one, one down one to go, thanks!

Jennie said...

You inspire me! Thanks for sharing your gifts. I can't wait to make these for my friends.

amandajean said...

kristine hanson,

I would interface all the pieces of fabric for best results.

amandajean

Auntie Fafa said...

Oh, how sad is the current checkbook cover situation. Thank you for this great, simple idea! I will be making one of these, stat.

Kathy said...

Love them all, and thanks for the tutorial. Great gift idea.

Barb said...

Love, Love, Love them!!! Thanks for the tutorial. I'll be heading off to the sewing room now to try my hand at these!

kristine hanson said...

thanks for the headsup on using 2 pieces....

ScottishCeli said...

I just love your checkbook covers and think they will be under the Christmas tree for several family members.

Tracey said...

Boy, your checkbook covers are very popular and very cute. You have a lot of fans. Count me in.

nclangs said...

Amanda Jean -

What kind of interfacing did you use for these checkbook covers??? I want to try to get started on a few of these and didn't know what kind to use/buy (since I don't own ANY).

Thanks for your help!!
Mary Anne

SuzyQSparkles said...

love. Love. LOVE! The selvage one! Will definitely start saving those pretty little edges to play with! :D

Creekside Academy said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been thinking, "What can I make for Christmas this year?" That's it!!

Meghan Hein said...

Yay! My favorite it the polka dots!!! What a cute idea.

carolyn said...

I made up a batch of checkbook covers and linked credit to you....they're fun thanks!

amandajean said...

nclangs,

I use a Pellon midweight interfacing. something soft but still has a bit of body to it. nothing crispy or stiff. does that help?

angie said...

I'm comment # 219! I think that makes me the winner! Just kidding. This is a really cute idea, why can't I think of things like this? Anyway, I'm glad someone did think of it, that way I can make one too. Who know's maybe I'll even win one???

~angie~

Clair said...

Where do you get iron on vinyl (like where in the store do I look for it)?

Deb C. said...

Oh please..... this are so sweet. Especially the selvedge cover. LOOOOOOVE IT!

brigita said...

i am sooo going to save selvages!!!!!
those are wonderful little checkbook covers. i might make one for myself AFTER christmas! thanks for the tutorial.

Andrea said...

Wow! You inspired Carol at Giraffe Dreams...and I was the lucky recipient of one of hers! I think I'll use your tutorial to make me a pocket calendar cover! I especially love the patchy/linen one!

Thanks for the tutorial!

Kathleen said...

Love all of your projects, but to think I don't have to make a large buttonhole to find in the check statement book is terrific! Thank you so much for sharing. As soon as I finish handsewing the binding on my latest quilt, I'm gonna try one of my very own...Kathleen

Denise said...

Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing this. I had never heard of iron on vinyl, I will have to look this up. Love your color and fabric combos, and the selvage one is a too clever.

billie said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I think I'll start saving up my selvedges.

Amy said...

Ack! Selvages!?!? I can't breathe. What a brilliant idea. I just happened onto your tutorials and I'm loving them! Not to mention, a checkbook cover has been on my "to make" list for ages. Thank you! This is the highlight of my day.

Kirti said...

Really its nice and easy too and can be nice handmade gift idea. I run and operate: New Christmas Gifts Ideas

Sunny said...

This is perfect! I am going to make one to make to match the little pocketbook I just completed with some home dec fabric. I am not sure if I missed the giveaway, but I would love to enter. I have a question about the interfacing. What kind (type and brand) did you use? What do you prefer? I have some Pellon for sheers and lightweight, and I have to say I hate all of it! Your checkbooks are adorable.

Judi Kern Ind said...

I have found my Christmas gifts this year for the Family
Thank you so much for the easy to do gift.

Loralynn said...

What a great tutorial! I can't wait to make a couple of these for Christmas presents! I especially like the green one - perfect scrap use! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Kate said...

Love these checkbook covers! I just posted a few pictures of the ones I made on my blog. Thanks for the great idea.

northdakotablonde said...

these are soo great. I think I just found gifts for my hard-to-buy-for in laws!

Letters By Santa said...

Great site. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. I will have to share with all my friends.

drew said...

I love homemade stuff but sadly i cannot seem to make anything where it turns out right. I would love to have a checkbook cover.

swati said...

Wish I could sow like u

drew said...

I love homemade stuff but sadly i cannot seem to make anything where it turns out right. I would love to have a checkbook cover.

vicki said...

they are great! love the cherry one.

Baji said...

Oh My goodness! I am in love with your idea! Thanks!

metrosupialdesigns said...

Wow, something to finally do with that jar of edges I have. Thanks.

Kelly O. said...

This is going to sound really dumb but I don't understand how to insert your checkbook. I'm from Canada and maybe our checkbooks are different. I understand the top of the plastic checkbook cover gets slipped into the top pocket of the quilted checkbook cover but what is the second pocket for? the bottom of our plastic checkbooks have a sleeve that the checks slide into the side. Does this make sense? or does this cover work for 2 checkbooks?

Kelly O.
skotten at distributel dot net

charmin said...

WOW! Your checkbook covers are too Kul! Can you still receive one free? I have made one a long time ago, but these are great. Never can have too many! Thanks!
Sandy

Anonymous said...

I would love to win one of your checkbook covers! Please enter my name!
Linda Kay

Andy said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I just made one for my mom for mother's day!

Charlotte Welcher said...

'Tis blessed to bestow, and yet,
Could we bestow the gifts we get,
And keep the ones we give away,
How happy were our Christmas day! Keep it up .

Morgan said...

I'm making these checkbook covers for all my family for christmas. I just love the selvage cover.

metrosupialdesigns said...

Think I just found my Christmas gifts.

Angie said...

These are just awesome!!!!!! Really have to make some of these for Christmas this year!!!!!!

Thanks so much!!!!

K13 said...

I have a question I hope you can help me with. I am trying to make one of these check book covers and at the final step after folding down the 2.75" pockets, my sewing machine needle goes thru the fabric but the fabric will not progress thru the machine. Do I need a different foot? (I'm new to sewing)

Thank you!!

The Wife said...

This is aw wonderful idea! Thanks! Love the blog!

Nancy said...

Thank You for the great tutorial. I love ALL of them and cant wait to try this... : )This is definitely on the "to do" list...!

happeningswithLana said...

Just found your blog yesterday and tonight I made a checkbook cover.
TFS!

kpmattingly said...

Thank you for this post. I found it from searching and it helped me out!

Brenda said...

this would make a great gift - thanks for the how-to's!! And if we start now, we would have enough for the gifts for any occasion - good thing.

judy said...

i absolutely love these check book covers!!! you are awsome at this and giving the tutorials, and answering questions... THANKS!!!!

judy said...

i absolutely love these check book covers!!! you are awsome at this and giving the tutorials, and answering questions... THANKS!!!!

zafran said...

You are the BEST at giving simple instructions! I love how these look!

Linda said...

Gotta try some of these checkbook covers!! They'd be great little stocking stuffers.

zafran said...

Great done,excellent job,nice blog post.Pakistan flowers

Linda said...

I just made one of your checkbook covers and it was so easy. I blogged about it and posted your site for the tutorial. Keep up those tutorials, love them!

Melanie said...

Just finished one. Thanks for the quick tut, I hate figuring out dimensions on my own!

Cat said...

What a fantastic idea and a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing. I will have to make some of these for presents.

Cat

Weedwacker said...

I can't wait to try this tutorial! Thank you, and please enter me in the contest.

Jim Robson said...

Very cute and you made it look very easy! I would love to win any one of them!

frances@robsonclan.net

Frances in RI

Iliana said...

any chance i can win or order the 3rd linen and green patchwork one? i love it!! let me know:)

Kathy said...

Thank you so much for posting these wonderful check book covers.
I love them all!
trabulalways@yahoo.com

Sally Ann said...

I love these! they are all so cute!! maybe tonight i will whip up a new checkbook cover for myself and all the girls in my family!
I just have one question. Where do you get iron on vinyl? can you get it at Walmart? and how much does it cost? thanks for the really cute idea and tutorial!!

Sally Ann said...

I have enough to make the selvage one, so I am going to make it soon :) I already made one, but I found that the dimensions were a little too big because at the bottom I had about 2 inches too big, so I tore out the plastic thing for duplicate checks (from the cover I got from the Bank when I opened my account) and I put that on the end! Now I am using my super cute checkbook cover and it has the plastic for the duplicate checks, too!
thanks a ton!!!

tularia said...

I just found your blog. I don't suppose you have these directions in a .doc or .pdf format, would you? Great ideas!

Anonymous said...

This is so cute! I'm thirteen so I don't have checkbook but this is an awesome thing to make for my grandmother & it's something I could easily make. :)

Anonymous said...

So cute! Im thirteen so Odontoceti have a check book yet but this is an awesome gift idea I could easily make. :) love it

CarolT said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I made one real fast since our vinyl one from the bank is dead.

Cynthia Krieser said...

This pattern looks very easy and eye catching. I am going to give it a try.

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