Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Sew a Crayon Roll

That's what this sewing project I picked up said - some experience necessary.  I say, if you know how to work a sewing machine, you can do this.  It's like when I tell people about skiing, if I can do it, anyone canI love sewing now that I'm not afraid of my machine. It actually de-stresses me because it clears my mind; I have to focus completely on what I'm doing.

My mother-in-law actually picked up this free project handout for a crayon roll at a fabric store and I thought it looked fairly doable. All it is is a padded piece of fabric with slots on one side for crayon; simply tuck in the crayons, roll the thing up like a sleeping bag, and secure it with the ribbons in the end. My little guy needed something exactly like this since the cardboard box that his crayons came in deteriorated from overuse. I made this a little over a month ago, before I got my new sewing area (yay!), late one night. It took me a few hours because I had to redo a part (gotta love seam-rippers!), but it shouldn't take you too long. Give yourself a couple hours.

I love this crayon roll because it's so convenient (I just pop into my bag before we go anywhere - church, the store, any waiting room, the car, it's always with us) and it keeps everything together nicely. I might add, this doesn't have to be a kid-themed thing.  You could alter this to hold your own art supplies (like colored pencils, pastels, etc.) if you're one of those lucky people who can actually draw well. Sigh...I wish I were.

One other great thing about this project is that it doesn't cost much to make. In fact, you might even have some remnants that would work. Here are the supplies you need:

1/2 yard main fabric
1/2 yard fleece (this can be any color - you won't see the fleece)
1/3 yard accent fabric (this will be used for the pocket part of the roll)
2 yards of ribbon

Now here's the how-to:

First, cut all your fabric.  Cut two 18"x11" rectangles from the main fabric.  Cut one 18"x11" rectangle from the fleece. Cut two 18"x7" rectangles from the accent fabric. Cutting fabric is my least favorite part of sewing because it takes me so long.  The rest of the project goes by fairly quickly after you've cut everything.

Now you're ready to sew it all together!

The first thing you're going to sew is the pocket. Place the two 18"x7" rectangles together, right sides together. Sew 1/4" seam on top and bottom (along the long sides of the rectangle). Turn right side out and iron.  Once it's all nice and flat, top stitch 1/4" in from the top and bottom (this is mostly for decorative purposes), leaving the short sides open.  Turn. Press.

Next, cut two 36" lengths of your ribbon and fold each in half.

To assemble the roll:
  1. Begin with the fleece on the bottom (this will be the roll's padding).
  2. Place the main fabric next, right side up.
  3. Next, place the pocket piece you just made 2" down from the top of the fabric (so it's in the middle). Pin in place (unless you're more experience than me - I have to pin everything).
  4. Place fold of one ribbon 3" down from the top and the fold of the other ribbon 3" from the bottom.
  5. On top of all that, place the remaining fabric (your 18"x11" rectangle of main fabric), right side down.
  6. Pin everything together and then sew around the outside of the roll with a 1/4" seam, leaving an opening (I'd leave at least a couple inches) for turning. 
  7. Turn right-side out (I use a chopstick to push out the corners.
  8.  Press.
Still with me here? 

Now that your roll is all assembled (no fleece showing, main fabric on both sides, with pocket in middle of one side), the next step is to make the slots for the crayons.  First, mark the center of the pocket with a pencil or washable marker.  Measure 1-1/4" outward from center line for each slot.

The instructions I followed said to lightly mark lines with a pencil.  I just made a little dot at the edge at each increment and sewed it all freestyle.  I probably should have used a ruler and drawn the whole line. I was really tired by the time I got to this step and wasn't really thinking that through. So basically, there are a few crayon slots bigger than others, but it still works, so no complaints. I tell myself that those few not-so-straight lines give it character. That's how I keep sewing from driving me crazy. It doesn't have to be always perfect. This is why I'll probably never make clothes. Okay, moving on...

Sew on each marked line (or from your starting dot if your going just going to eye it like I did), starting and stopping at the top and bottom of the pocket. You should have twelve slots. Next, sew through the center of the pocket, dividing the slots in half.  Ta-da! Now you have 24 slots.

Easiest step of the project: fill with crayons, roll up, and tie with the ribbons.  My son loves his crayon roll and I'm sure the recipient of yours will also love theirs. And nothing says "I love you" like something homemade, no matter what it is.


Nisha said...

Ah! I just swore off homemade project. Can you make one for me?! Hahahaha....j/k :) Super cute!

thegirlwiththeplan said...

Looks great. I always see these and think they would be perfect for our daughter who brings here coloring everywhere (read broken crayons at the bottom of my purse)

Jenn said...

How much would you charge me for one of these?

Abz said...

Way cute! Where did you get that stinkin' cute fabric too??? I love it!

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