I m so excited! I am attending my first Blogging Conference. It is the Catholic Women’s Blogging Network – California Conference. I will have two glorious days networking with other women bloggers and learning more about my craft. The conference is small around 35 dedicated women with all ranges of experience as bloggers. I am hoping to pick up all sorts of tips and tricks and make lots of new friends.
One of the things on the agenda is a networking social. I knew I would need to bring my business cards to this function. (Yes, I have business cards. I am a professional blogger – at least that’s what my business card says.) I decided that I wanted to make just a little bit more memorable. I had just attended an Earth Day celebration and all the booths had take-aways. I can’t afford to get a marketing piece nor do I have the time to order one.
From my days as a Girl Scout mom and grandmother I remembered making friendship gifts to trade at get-togethers. I write a sewing blog. I will sew something. I just needed to come up with the perfect item–something fast to sew, easy to pack, doesn’t take up much room in the car, and something practical.
One of the most popular stocking stuffers I ever made was the Lip Balm Holder. This is a fast easy sew, doesn’t take much material, and I knew I can knock out a ton of them in an afternoon (using quick sewing techniques for making multiples.
My blog colors are black and yellow. In my stash I had the two perfect pieces of fabric. I just got a beautiful yard of black and white fabric in a fabric swap. (Thank you, Cynthia. I really do love the fabric.) I am going to make a purse out of it eventually but a half a yard would work for that. I decided that I could spare 1/3 of a yard for this project. I also had a lovely sunny yellow. The rest of the holders could be cut from this fabric. It does look really nice with the black and white. I might use this for the lining on that purse when I get around to making it.
What you are going to need:
Scrap of fabric at least 4 inches by 8 inches
Split key ring (i.25 inches in size)
Lip balm (tube style)
Pins, scissors, thread
Step One Make a paper pattern of a 3 1/2 x 7 1/2 rectangle. Cut out your pattern. Fold your fabric accordion style so you can cut several at a time. Pin the pattern to the folded fabric and cut out the holder. I felt that five at a time was comfortable. five will fit on 1/2 the WOF (width of fabric. I cut an 8 inch strip the width of the fabric and then cut that in half.
Step Two Fold the piece in half right sides together. Use one pin to hold it together and to mark where the gap will begin on the long side of the piece. Now pile them all up next to the machine and chain stitch the pile.
Step Three Start with the long edge. Feed the first piece into the machine. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. There is no need to back stitch. Sew to the pin. With the needle in the up position raise the foot and pull the fabric forward about two inches. Lower the foot and continue sewing to the end of the piece. No need to clip the threads. This will be done later. At the end of this piece feed the next piece into the machine. We will repeat the same thing until all the piece have been sewn.
Step Four Clip all the pieces apart. Clip the threads at the gaps. Pile them all up next to the machine. The same chain sewing method will be used to sew both short ends.
Step Five At this point it is good to give the pieces a good press. This will set the sticthes and remove little puckers. Clip the corners and trim the short ends to about 1/8 inch. Turn the pieces right side out through the gap. Iron the pieces flat..
Step Six Fold up the bottom about two inches and a half inches. Starting at the bottom corner top stitch around the 3 sides with about an 1/8 inch allowance. Turn the top down to the back about 1 inch. Stitch across the tab from side to side where the top stitch line is.
Step Eight Feed the key ring into the top flap and fill with lip balm tube.
I made enough for the conference in an afternoon using this quick sew technique I have no idea how long it might have taken me if I had done it the one at a time method.
Attach one of these to your key chain or backpack and you will always know where your lip balm is. These make great little stocking stuffers, party favors for birthday parties, gifts for guys, children or on on-the-go gal.