DIY Project: Earring EnvelopeSew a stash-busting holder for trinkets
Sometime in my early 30s, I was informed by my mother that we, meaning my family and the families of my four siblings, would no longer be buying Christmas presents. We would instead be making all of our holiday gifts. Sounds charming, doesn’t it? What followed were years of brain-wracking to come up with yet another handmade something that could be put together in less than two weeks, because—even though we knew Christmas would come around at the same time every year—we never got it together before December 15. But mom was resolute, and no amount of whining or pleading would move her. The tradition was established.
A few years ago, I came up with one of my most successful handmade designs: earring envelopes. I made a batch of them for all the women and girls; they are great for anyone who wears earrings, of course. They are quick to sew and truly scrap-busting projects.
These diminutive portfolios include five small pockets and are perfect for packing jewelry when you travel. You can customize the measurements if you want to make an envelope for lingerie, scarves, or other flat-folding items.
I stocked each of mine with a pair of earrings that I was no longer wearing. Christmas afternoon turned into an earring swap meet as everyone picked out their favorites. Whether you sew these to give or as a present for yourself, I hope the making and giving create a warm memory. Happy handmade holidays.
Cut the Fabric
Start by cutting the outer and inner layers. Now is the time to revise the dimensions if you prefer a different size or shape.
Choose three coordinating fabrics: pocket insert, lining, and exterior. Quilting cotton or other lightweight, stable fabrics are best.
Cut and mark the fabrics as follows:
Pocket insert: 10-1/2 inches by 8-3/4 inches; mark the short edges A.
Lining: 8 inches by 3-1/2 inches; mark stitching line B at 2-3/4 inches from one short end on the fabric’s right side.
Exterior: 8 inches by 3-1/2 inches; mark the ribbon placement 3⁄4 inch from one short end on the fabric’s right side.
Lightweight fusible batting: 7-3/4 inches by 3-1/4 inches; center and fuse it to the exterior fabric’s wrong side.
Ribbon: 3-3/4 inches; choose a ribbon or trim that’s about 1/2 inch wide.
Prepare the Pocket Insert
Clever folding turns a fabric tube into a series of pleated pockets. All seam allowances are 1⁄4 inch wide.
1. Create a fabric tube
With right sides together, fold the pocket insert piece to align the two A edges. Sew seam A to form a tube, and press the allowances open. Turn the tube right side out, centering the seam on one side. Press the tube flat.
2. Fold the tube in half crosswise
Make sure the seam is on the inside and the raw edges are aligned. Draw a line parallel to and 1-3/4 inches from the raw edges. Stitch along the marked line.
3. Separate the raw edges
Pull them apart and center the tube’s crosswise fold on the seam you just sewed. Press the work flat.
Assemble the Envelope
Attach the pocket insert, then join the exterior and lining layers.
1. Mark the pocket insert
Draw a line, perpendicular to the raw edges, to mark the horizontal center.
2. Position the insert on the lining
Place it on the lining’s right side, with its center line aligned to line B. Pin, then sew along B.
3. Pin the ribbon
Lay it on the placement line you drew on the exterior piece. Pin the ends, aligning them with the long edges. The ribbon doesn’t lie flat; the ease provides room for tucking the envelope flap later.
4. Join the exterior and lining
With right sides together, pin the lining to the exterior piece along the long edges. Make sure the pocket insert and the ribbon are at the same end, and pin that end closed. Stitch the long edges, catching the pocket insert sides and the ribbon ends in the seams. Then stitch across the pinned short edge, without catching the pocket insert in the seam. Leave the remaining short end open.
5. Turn the work right side out
Trim the seam allowance corners, turn the work through the open end, and press it flat.
6. Sew the flap point seam
With the lining sides together, fold and pin the open end in half. Sew this seam.
7. Complete the flap point
Press the seam allowances open over a point presser; clip into the fold to flatten the seam allowances thoroughly. Turn the flap point so the lining shows on the exterior. Press, then edgestitch to secure the flap edge.
8. Slipstitch the pockets
Fold the envelope closed to align the inner pocket side folds, then slipstitch them together. This forms the five pockets.
9. Press to finish
Fold the envelope closed, tuck the flap point under the ribbon, and press.
Becky Fulgoni never lets an opportunity to be creative pass her by. Read her contributions at ThreadsMagazine.com
Photos: Mike Yamin