diary cover and almost-organiser

With the three biggest people gone to spend a few nights with their grandparents last week, my required duties shrunk to a) feeding and cuddling the baby, and b) making the bed and putting our two breakfast dishes in the perpetually empty dishwasher. My housework requirements shrank dramatically. The washing wasn’t overflowing. The loungeroom didn’t required vacuuming every morning. The kitchen needed sweeping approximately 30 times less each day. And so I found myself with “spare” time, even after doing some long-procrastinasted organisation jobs. Which of course, was the perfect opportunity to get some long-neglected WIPs done and finished.

First on the list was the Filofaux. I sat down to finish it, and realised in my excitement at being at the pin-and-sew-and-it’s-nearly-finished stage, I had forgotten to add the closure tab and the Velcro on the front it would join up to. Of course, then I couldn’t find the scrap of fabric I’d found that I thought would be perfect, so instead went with a different section of the same print that was ok-but-not-perfect, to make up the tab, and unpinned the front enough to stitch on a small Velcro square. With the closure added (and several double checks to make sure I had it facing the right way up), I could then whizz around the outside, and turn it right side out, which turned out to be trickier than I expected. I’d added some batting to soften the plastic inserts a bit, and just generally make it feel a bit more “luxe”, and not wanting bulky seams, cut it to allow for the seam allowances. Yep, all good. Except the cover isn’t quilted, so there was nothing to hold it in place except the pins, so I had a bit of fiddling to make sure it fitted back up into the corners properly. The first piece of plastic went in, and I top stitched down the join between back cover and spine, being quite please with myself, that it was looking pretty schmick. Until I wondered what the bumps I could feel were… Yeah, you know those pins holding the batting in place?

So out came the unpicker, the stitches unpicked, the pins removed and the stitching replaced. The spine piece went in easily and without trouble. The front piece was trickier, and I had to open up the seam almost the full length of the front to get it in, but in it went. I closed it up to double check the closure before I did the final topstitch to close the gap and finish the cover… And hit a problem. Between the spine and the back, I’d managed to sew fair over the top of a pin, and now it was trapped in there. Again with the unpicker, I gently opened a small section of the back, worked the pin out, and then, with a triple check of everything, pinned the open end of the front together and top stitches all the way around.

As soon as it was done, I popped in my diary, working notepad and a pen, and I was smitten. For a project I’ve been imagining for over 6 months, it’s really satisfying to see it go from idea to design to finished product and come out right to plan. The plastic I used is just about the right stiffness. The batting softens it without being too much. And it’s awesome to have my two main planning tools in one easy-to-tote folder.


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Trying to make it more organised and useful, I’ve added some white tabs to break off sections of the note pad for blog planning and gift ideas/recording. I also have some removable page markers to help me find pages I need quick reference to, for now. Hopefully, with everything close to hand, and by turning my diary into a creative project, the rest of my year will be much more organised. {UPDATED MARCH 2014 – I now have the pattern for this diary cover available here in my shop}

We spent some time crafting this morning, using the school holidays as an excuse to use up some of the multitude of craft lots inhabiting our toyroom cupboard. We tackled the shops, all four children and I, and survived. Yesterday’s banana bread made for the perfect morning tea, as the sun came out in time for some outside play. Beetle is dozing in my arms and about to go back to bed, Butterfly is asleep, the boys are having “quiet” time in their room. There’s washing to hang and floors to mop, and an art journal page calling my name. Keeping everything crossed I can get just 10 minutes for the next layer of paint. Hopefully the sun will hold and we can spend an afternoon outside. My annual spring mojo rush is in full force, and I’m sneaking studio time where I can to make creative magic happen.

{SYST update. This was all stash, so starting with my -24FQs, I used approx 1.5 fat quarters (based on square inches, yes, I calculated the area of my cut pieces. I’m a nerd), for a total YTD stash bust of -25.5FQs.}

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