Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spoonflower Swatch Fabric Envelope DIY

Ever since my friend Estyn told me about Spoonflower, i've been itching to try it. Several years down the line I designed a bunch of pretty pictures, uploaded them to their site and ordered samples!

There are several options open to designers who upload their own design. I opted for the 15 sample package, and after hemming and hawing over all the types I ended up picking Cotton Sateen for my first go. They are more expensive, but print crisply, and judging from the little swatch book I purchased (only $1.00) it would be soft and luxurious.

True to form it is very soft. I have yet to try washing them, but I will give the duplicate button swatch I ordered a go, and then compare it to the original soon.

Point being, I knew going in that I was planning on ordering swatches, and realized I would have a bunch of 8" pieces of my own fabric to play with. What to do? Design a pattern using it of course!

I fidgeted and played with paper and looked at my little color swatch for inspiration, and came up with a pattern that will give you two little fabric envelopes if you have two swatches (or any two pieces of fabric 8" x 8").

Swatch Template

Then I took that pattern and made a little jpg. You can download it from here to print at home.

So! If you want to make them follow along. Directions below.


Spoonflower Swatch Fabric Envelope DIY

Supply List:
2 8"x8" pieces of fabric (probably better with a smaller pattern)
1 pair of paper scissors
1 pair of fabric scissors
1 needle
three small buttons
embroidery thread
small crochet hook
paper embellishments

Take your two swatches and your pattern. If you do not have two swatches, cut an 8" swatch from your liner fabric now. Cut out the paper pattern. For this particular pattern I'm suggesting that you only add a slim seam allowance. As you can see from the photo below, it's tiny, maybe 1/16" - 1/8" per piece. If you add a bigger seam allowance you will only get one envelope per 8" swatch (or white bits from the selvage on your finished envelopes).

Mark around the patterns using whatever you are most comfortable with. I used a regular pencil on the back, knowing it will get turned in later. Cut out your pieces.

Place your cut pieces right sides together. At this point you can pin them if you want, but I didn't bother, they were so small I didn't find I needed to pin.

Stitch approximately 1/8" all the way around the envelopes, leaving at least 1" open to turn them inside out. You can pull out your sewing machine for this step, but I preferred doing a neat hand stitched running stitch.

Make sure to cut some tiny slits where there are sharp corners. You'll need those for the fabric to turn over correctly.

Turn your envelope inside out. You can press it now if you like. I just used my fingertips, as I was looking for a little more of a handmade feel. Stitch the opening closed with a neat hand stitch.

This is where I decided to do some embellishing. I wanted my envelopes to look 'real', so I added a hand sewn 'stamp' made out of of a red rose teabag (supplied by my lovely neighbor G) and a 'to' and 'from' section made from hand torn paper bags. This step is much easier now than later, and serves to further bind the sides together.

Now you can glance back at your pattern and fold accordingly. I neatly hand stitched up the sides, but again you can do this by machine if you like.

Now it's the closure! I found some buttons in my stash and used those. For the 'memo' envelope I stitched on two buttons and then crocheted a little embroidery thread into a long thin 'string'. Then I stitched it to the bottom button so it will close if wrapped. For the 'regular' envelope I cut a tiny slit in the top and delicately stitched a little buttonhole. This is another step you could do by machine if you like.

Tada! Now you have two little adorable envelopes! Make one for a friend, or a loved one, or someone who needs cheering up. Or tuck into your bag to hold your business cards, or little ephemera. Maybe store your needles in one! It's all up to you.

Hope you have fun with my little tutorial. It's been kicking around in my brain for awhile now and it was time to share!

Main source of inspiration: Griffin and Sabine




Lally said...

Spoonflower is SO great! I really love the variety of fabrics they have on offer these days, I just ordered some of the mock suede and it's so soft. Love this cute little purse!! X

Rosemoo said...

Thanks Lally! I have to agree that they're pretty wonderful. :D