Saturday, March 20, 2010

Borrowed Beauty

They used to say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - well, I hope that's still true! Since I am fresh out of my own creativity, I'm borrowing great ideas from others! 
Last night, I was inspired by Jamie Manangan of The Organizer Shopper to make a new coupon organizer!
Her's are wonderful - and very reasonable considering the time and materials involved in the construction.

So, it was about 10pm and I should have been heading for bed, but I thought ... maybe just doing something creative will get the lethargy knocked out and get me started.  I really needed a new coupon organizer - I have tried many different systems and been frustrated with them all. I thought it would take about an hour ... but I was wrong - it took 2 hours!  I made so many mistakes and was limited to materials at hand, but despite that, I am happy with the end result!  The fabrics were cottons I picked up here and there on clearance for purse liners and fat quarters from my 'stash'.

 I would have ordered one of Jamie Manangan's cute organizers from her Etsy Shop , but I have an unnatural aversion to legal or steno-type pads.  I wanted one that would hold a 9"x6" spiral bound or composition book, so those were the dimensions I worked with.  I cut the coupon pockets too shallow and had to add to the height using bias tape - and I am not really a eyelet kind of gal, but my first choice, twill tape, was in short supply.  Again - late night sewing means you have to be flexible and creative!

 Not long ago a friend from co-op gave me a bunch of her mom's sewing supplies, including a few rolls of stabilizers.  That made the machine embroidery so much easier - I used a stick on type that tore away and it made sewing the flimsy eyelet go so smoothly! I would have preferred twill tape, but I used what I had!

I used plastic canvas stabilize the whole thing, and I made it removable so that I can wash it since it is a light color.  I also used about a yard of fusible interfacing! It was kind of like making a Bible cover with just a whole lot more pockets! I tend to loose coupon organizers, so this probably won't be the last one I make ... hopefully I have learned from my mistakes and will do better next time! Dreamer loves the flower on front, so I'm thinking I'll be making another shabby flower to go with her Easter ensemble!


I guess my 'out of shape' creativity muscles are not as rusty as I thought - at least I remembered how to sew! In my teens and early 20's I worked for at a fabric store, and I was always sewing in my spare time. I always shook my head in disbelief when middle aged women came into the store claiming they loved to sew but hadn't sewn for years!  I didn't understand it at all - it would be like going without breathing or chocolate!  Now I am understanding the ebbs and flows of creativity and the need to prioritize time and energy when you are in different seasons of life!  I guess I've become that middle aged  women - but it's only been a couple of months since I sewed anything fun. Mending doesn't count!

Now, what shall I tackle next? 

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  1. Nice interpretation! Thanks for giving me credit!

  2. Jamie - how did you find your way to my quiet little blog? I'm glad you did - celebrity guest are as welcome as can be! Your organizer is much nicer than anything I've seen - I can't wait to give my feeble copy a test drive on the old grocery cart and see if it works - I already have a few changes in mind for the next one. Since I regularly loose them and all! I wonder how on earth you sell yours so inexpensively - so much work!

  3. Hey! Wordpress shows me all kinds of stats, like the fact that you linked to me! Celebrity guest, now that's hilarious. Just another SAHM trying to make ends meet. I'm trying to make them even less expensive...these are for coupon clippin' mamas & $24 plus shipping is a lot of $$. I feel very honored with every purchase...and of course honored that you liked my design enough to make your own.

    So sorry about your mom!

  4. How beautiful!!! I love the colors and have bought that first fabric you pictured before. I like the idea for the flower -- never made one like that before and am thinking I should try the design idea with some felt....

  5. Beautiful project Heather. Love the colors you chose and the way you labeled the pockets. :)


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