Let me start off my admitting that I am a complete student in all manners of stitching. That being said, I love to learn! So when a project presents itself, and I think it's within my wheelhouse, I start to get creative.
There are two things that are incentivizing me to carry my yarn projects. The first is kitty Takk. He is as much of a yarn lover as I am, but for different reasons... he likes to unravel every ball of yarn and chew on each project - a real connoisseur - having to feel and taste each fiber to love it. The second thing that prompts me to get portable is the weather. I'm pretty sure that I will want to be crafting outdoors in the coming weeks, and being mobile is a must.
I saw a really cute project wristlet for sale online, but instead of thinking 'I need to buy that,' I went straight to 'I need to stitch that.' I went about looking for DIY tutorials about how to make a project wristlet, and found just the inspiration I was looking for. Something simple and quick.
Much to Dylan's chagrin, I keep fabric items that he'd rather donate, like clothes that don't fit, or sheet sets that we've outgrown. (I try to hide them in the guest room so they don't mysteriously end up at Goodwill.) Although I love donating items, I love repurposing items as well, so I have a pretty large collection of things that are awaiting their renaissance.
My first thought was to upcycle some bed sheets into the project wristlet, but as I dug my way through long forgotten articles, I found a dishtowel that was given to us for our wedding five years ago. (I'll hold onto things forever... take that Marie Kondo!) The dishtowel was embroidered with birds (perfect for spring, although less perfect at keeping Takk at bay...) and says, 'They lived happily ever after' on it. Seeing as we'll be celebrating our anniversary in a little over a month, this dishtowel quickly replaced the bedsheets as my go to regeneration material.
The dishtowel actually ended up being perfect because it is a little studier than the thin sheets would have been. For the liner, I opted to use a pillowcase, also in that salvage stash. Because my dishtowel was not in the proportions of what was suggested in the video, I basically just fabricated my own pattern based upon the steps that were described. And that's really it - you can totally personalize this wristlet based upon the materials you have (or purchase) and what best suits your needs.
Basically, what you'll need are:
- fabric for the outer
- fabric for the liner
- measuring tape/ruled board
- sewing machine
- a 'go-get-em' attitude!
Disclaimer: This is my first ever stitch tutorial. (I'm hardly proficient enough to be telling someone else how to stitch something. But the version I crafted is really so simple, that I'm willing to testify to my unsophisticated ways and let you in on a cool, quick project!) I highly encourage taking a look at other tutorials and/or video demos - like the one linked above - for a different approach, or more advanced style. (Like with pockets, perhaps?)
Okay, well, here goes everything!
Step 1: Select the fabric you want to use for the outer and inner lining. After thinking more about the use of this wristlet, I have to say that a sturdier fabric for the outer is probably wise. (Sorry bedsheets) Unless, and I am just thinking of this as I type.. you use a sturdier lining and then whatever fun and beautiful outer fabric that you desire. Hmm. That's not a tested idea, but go for it if you're feeling adventurous. Either way, pick your fabrics, iron if necessary, and set aside the lining fabric for now.
Step 2: Measure and cut your dimensions. (I used a ruled board and a measuring tape.) Lay your fabric on the board or use the measuring tape to mark where you will cut your fabric. You will fold the outer in half so that the fold lays over your wrist, so keep that in mind when you're deciding on your length. And don't forget a little extra room for the seams.
My dishtowel was not the dimensions called for in the pattern I was semi-following, so I improvised. I wanted the whole embroidery to show, so my finished wristlet ended up being wider and shorter than the tutorial. (It's really a 'choose your own adventure' scenario here.) You'll want the outer piece to be long enough so that, once folded over, you'll have a nicely sized pouch for your yarn, needles, pattern, project, etc. so give a thought to what you like to carry with you and knit with. Big needles and yarn? Bigger pouch, longer cut piece.
Dimensions called for in the tutorial: 10 inches wide x 30 inches long
My cut dimensions ended up to be: 14 inches wide x 28 inches long
Step 3: Make the armhole cut. To cut the hole where you will stick your arm through, fold the piece of fabric in half lengthwise right sides together, and then fold in half widthwise. This way you'll make one cut and it will be the same on both sides! (Score!) With the folds on the left and top, measure a triangle that comes in and down from the open/raw edge side, then make that cut. (That's really hard to describe.. look at the photo for a visual)
Cut dimensions called for in the tutorial: 3 inches in x 6 inches down
My cut dimensions for the armhole were: 4 inches in x 6 inches down (I probably could have cut 5 inches in, but left it at 4 inches)
Step 4: Head to the ironing board. Open your fabric up, it will look kind of like an hour glass (right?). Triangles now live on both sides of the fabric where you made your armhole cut. With the right side of the fabric facing down, fold a 1/2 inch seam along each triangle and press. It's a little tricky to fold the part at the peak of the triangle, but get as much of that 1/2 inch there as you can.
Step 5: Stitch time! Once you've ironed a seam along the triangles, it's time to sew the outer. Fold the piece in half lengthwise (right sides facing each other) aligning the sides and bottom. Stitch down both sides and along the bottom. Reinforce the beginning and ending stitches, as they'll get a little more of a workout than the others. Once both sides and the bottom are all sewed, you will have a little inside-out bag. Turn the bag right-side out and marvel at your creation!
Step 6: Repeat! Perform steps 2,3,4, 5 with your lining piece, using the same measurements that you used for your outer fabric. Since I upcycled a pillowcase for my inner lining, I used one of the sides that was already stitched (oh yeah!) as well as the fold for the part that goes over the wrist. So, I only had to sew one side and the bottom. Total bonus of repurposing - use what's already there!
Once you've repeated those steps with your lining fabric, slide the lining piece (wrong-side out) into your outer pocket. Push the bottom corners into place so that your inner lining matches up nicely with your outer fabric. Line up the ironed seams along the both sides of the armhole (the seams should be facing each other) and pin into place. (I used a bazillion pins because it calls for sewing in a circle, but use as many as you're comfortable with!)
Step 7: Sew the armholes. You'll want to detach the arm of the sewing board so that you can slide your armhole neatly onto the machine. Take a deep breath, center yourself and then sew, sew, sew! Reinforce the stitches where the seams line up with the sides.
Step 8: Clean it up! Your project is basically complete, and it looks AMAZING, I know it does! Snip off the extra bits of thread, and put everything away. (And if you're like me, hide your stash of repurposeables from your hub/sig ot/roommate) Put your working project in the wristlet, slide it over your arm and get going.
So, how'd I do with the tutorial? Let me know if anything needs clarification! Wishing you success with whatever stitch project you're up to, and please share if you knock one of these wristlet's out of the park.