I’ve been in the process of shifting my business Oxford Dogma from hand sewn products to artwork, including custom pet portraits. One of my goals with this change is to put sewing back on my hobbies list to do for enjoyment instead of for income. This got me totally enthusiastic to sew Christmas gifts again! Something I haven’t done in a few years (I think 2015 was the last time).
Things got rolling when I chose Noodlehead’s Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial as my starting point. Normally I deliberate for days on end when it comes to choosing a sewing project, but I thought one of these pouches would be perfect for my nephew who loves to draw. I loved the zipper Anna uses in the tutorial, and ordered a set of 5 from Zipit on Etsy for my project. And after a somewhat disastrous attempt to wax my own canvas, made things easier on myself by ordering a yard of hand waxed canvas from A. L. Frances Textiles on Etsy.
With 5 of these zippers on hand, the navy waxed canvas, and plenty of different canvas options in my stash, I was able to also make pouches for my mother-in-law, a close friend, and a Dopp kit for my brother. The Dopp kit is my own design, not the Noodlehead pattern. And with one zipper left, I found a beautiful fabric from Rifle Paper Co/Cotton + Steel on Etsy that I thought my mom would like.
I thought it would be fun to make some stickers for my nephew’s pencil pouch (always looking for reasons to use my Silhouette Cameo and the pack of label sheets I bought for it!). This sent me on a mission to learn about drawing Kawaii style illustrations. I filled some in with color and left some as black line art so he can color them in himself. If you’ve never doodled cute characters like these I highly recommend it — totally delightful.
For my mother-in-law, I used one of the same printed canvas fabrics from the big tote I sewed her back in 2015. I really like the color block design Anna used in her tutorial and went with that same concept here, pairing the canvas with a dark denim.
For my friend I chose black and grey canvas, again in the color block style. And for hers I added a foldover leather detail.
To choose the fabric for my mom’s zipper pouch — which I imagine her using more as a toiletries bag than a pencil case — I thought about the colors she likes to wear and how her middle name is Rose. When I came across the Rifle Paper Co. fabrics I fell in love with them and chose one that would work well for this slender pouch. There was one I liked even more than this one, but the scale of the print was much too large for what I was trying to achieve.
I think everything turned out great and I’m really happy with the results. The Noodlehead tutorial helped make these a joy to create. Treating myself to nice zippers and fabrics helped, too! I enjoyed digging into my stash of leather and hardware, putting them to use in new-to-me, interesting ways.
It was very rewarding to be able to learn new things and experiment while creating gifts for the people I care about.