Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Adventures with a Coin Purse Frame

During one of my recent and naughty spending trips to Sew to Speak I saw they had these cute Japanese Coin Purse frames on sale that I had been eying for a bit.  I went ahead a picked up two.  Also recently I had lost my precious pencil case that I keep in my purse with my favorite Frixion pens and Delful knock mechanical pencil (total sad face).  I thought I would take the opportunity to make myself a new pencil case and get creative with the coin purse Frame.  Now I will take you on a pictorial journey of my adventure (and yes it was a grand adventure) of me and this Japanese coin purse Frame.

As soon as I opened the package I cut out the pattern without even a second thought that I had no idea why there were only two pieces that looked totally different.  I recognized the larger piece as the main pattern but this smaller one was a mystery.  I idled away the time by scratching my head and snapping the frame open and close trying to pretend I could read Japanese. 

Then it dawned on me that there was a tutorial on The Purl Bee somewhere.  After several failed word searches I finally came across it, but low... their pattern was different as well.  The one good and similar thing was that the mystery pattern piece was explained.  It was a facing that you make out of thicker craft paper and glue into the lining, at first you think why not use regular iron in facing.  These Japanese folks are smart.... I'll get to that later.

Next was cutting out my exterior fabric and lining.  I nearly made the same mistake as the Purl Bee tutorial in that I picked out two heavy weight fabrics for the exterior and lining.  Being the smart person I am I read ahead and quickly switched out my lining fabric to something much lighter weight before cutting.  Since it started with a little coin purse, I measured out and left an extra inch longer then my standard pen/pencil.  I then split the pattern to elongate it and BLAM-O pencil case it was.

 Ok and here is the part that seemed funny but turns out the Japanese are really smart.  For the facing it is telling you to use a brown craft paper (or a paper grocery bag works) to cut out these small pieces.  Then you Glue them to the lining fabric.  It seems odd but when you have to stuff that fabric into the frame it makes it worlds easier.  I like to use fabri-tac, it reminds me of hot glue but without the burning when I touch it by accident and I can still wipe and peel it off all the same.  It does a really good job at adhering to fabric also.

Here is my little baggie sewn together (honestly the sewing is probably the easiest part.  I stuffed the lining into the outer fabric and dropped a few small weights and shook it around to make sure the lining fabric was completely spread out.  Then basted the two pieces together all along the top.  I intentionally made my basting go outside the parameters of the frame because I didn't want to add extra bulk when shoving and I wanted to be able to tear them out after wards.

An inside view and you can see how I pinned the excess fabric so that I can more easily (assumingly) slide the fabric into the frame.

This is right before I spread the glue into the first half of the frame and attempted my sliding technique.  In reality there was no sliding just stuffing and cursing and getting glue all over myself, followed by more glue when I had to stuff in the paper cord. Around then more cursing to finish it off.

This is how it looked after the first stuffing and before I cut off my excess paper cord.
The steps were
1. put glue into the frame
2. Slide/Stuff the fabric into the frame
3. Curse a bunch and potentially wipe glue on passer by's such as kitties and fiancee's
4. Add more glue while trying not to pull out the fabric you just shoved in there
5. Curse more and try to keep stuffing it in
6. Stuff the paper cord in while continuing to curse and get glue all over yourself.

Now they tell you you can stuff it all in with an awl or tracer (another pointy metal device).  I used a small flat head screwdriver and by gosh I'm happy I did.  Using a flat head gave me a much faster result at getting all that junk in the trunk aka fabric to frame.  My other trick is while stuffing the first side I pinned back the half that I wasn't using to keep it out of the line of fire.

In these two pictures above and below you can see some closeup of why I was cursing, from stabbing myself with my pins to getting glue generally all over the frame and me.

After all is said and done you need to clamp it down!  This is the tricky part.  You need to use pliers and wrap the frame with scrap fabric so that while you clamp you don't put teeth marks in your frame.  You need to clamp is HARD since there is a lot of bulk you just put into that tiny space and glue.  This is where it is tricky, you need to be mindful while clamping it not to totally bend the frame and also if your pliers have a cutting edge not to cut your frame (I didn't cut all the way through but it sure did leave a mark).  I also used a combination of my rubber mallet when I found that I did mess up the shape and that it would clasp itself closed.

 This is my happy awkwardly shaped product.  I thought I would get really making these.  Not so much.  I will have to make one more just because I bought two frames.  But you know what? it does the job and it looks cute.  Plenty of lessons learned.

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