Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Have you met Vera?

Sorry I've taken so long to post my second of two Eco Emi DIYs I planned to post this month. The first was a personal pinata perfect for your next summer celebration, although I haven't felt much like celebrating. While many Americans were busy hanging out at their traditional Memorial Day cookouts, my family spent the day in mourning.

I nearly didn't post this DIY, until a memory of my hubby's late uncle (he passed away suddenly Monday) brought a smile back to my face. You see, he was quite the comedian, always having fun with my willingness to believe whatever he said.

For example, he purchased my first Vera Bradley bag and many more after that one (he would usually give one to me for Christmas and my birthday). When an official Vera Bradley store opened nearby, he tried to convince me that he met "Vera Bradley" herself. I, of course, believed him, until I my "Googling" skills revealed she didn't actually exist. I still laugh about his little trick every time I see a Vera Bradley bag or print.

So, I reconsidered posting today's DIY when the Vera-like print just seemed like a sign for me go through with it as planned, as well as to share his memory with you. Here's how to make a coin purse/ID holder, using the printed fabric and clear plastic case from this month's Eco Emi, as well as a small zipper, thread and scrap ribbon.

First of all, I must apologize in advance for doing this project "on-the-fly," without any measurements. I basically followed Tim Gunn's advice; in other words, "make it work." For example, my zipper was slightly too long for this project, so I did some wrap stitches at the point I wanted the zipper to stop and cut it to the desired length.

Then, I folded the material in half and marked where I planned to cut the fabric, using my Vera Bradley coin purse as a guide.

After I cut off the excess fabric, I also cut a rectangle out of the plastic case to serve as my ID window. I also reserved the excess piece of fabric to create the pocket behind the window.

I traced my ID onto the inside of the larger piece of fabric where I wanted the window to be. Then, I cut out the inside of the window, leaving a tiny border to frame my ID or other card when placed inside the finished pocket.

Next, I positioned the clear plastic on top of the window and the scrap piece of fabric on top of the plastic, making sure the festive fabric print was showing through the window. Then, I sewed the rectangular pocket together (be careful not to sew the top of the scrap piece, so that you are left with a pocket to slip your ID inside; the best way to do this is to position the top of the scrap fabric slightly lower than the top of the plastic).

Once I created the pocket, I opted to sew on the zipper, starting with the pocket side.

The second side of the zipper was a bit trickier, as I was working with such a small piece of fabric that I had folded in half (rather than cutting two separate pieces for the sides that would be sewn together in the end). I unzipped the zipper and got creative with my sewing machine. I was able to sew most of the length that way ...

... but finished the last stitches by hand.

Before sewing the sides together, I decided to cut a piece of ribbon to transform the coin purse into a wristlet.

I made sure the zipper was unzipped and the fabric was inside out, pinned the ribbon loop in place (it should be inside the unfinished inside-out coin purse at this point) and sewed the sides, as shown.

Then, I flipped the coin purse right-side-out through the unzipped zipper.

I added a small piece of ribbon to the end of the zipper for that extra special finishing touch.

And since I'd prefer not to display it with my actual ID, I slipped this Lauren Brooke offer inside the window. I hope it's okay that I shared this with you. There are always cool offers inside each month's Eco Emi box, much like this one. It's worth checking out (and no, I was not paid to say that).