I catch a lot of flak from my dear husband, Danny. It turns out that despite my lack of affinity for ruffles and lace, my fabric collection is well, quite girlie. I do my fair share of sewing for our home and family, but since no men go fabric shopping with me, most everything handmade in our home has a feminine touch. I'd been mulling over a more manly handmade aesthetic when I was asked to make a little something from Present Perfect: 25 Gifts to Sew and Bestow, the newest book by Betz White.
As a very techie family we have a variety of devices in our home. Some have proper homes (aka, my tablet), others not so much. For instance, my husband's Kindle goes on business trips within the not exactly protective confines of the wool hat I crocheted him last winter. Hey, I give him points for the attempt. It seemed pretty obvious after flipping through Betz's new book that I should be making Danny some proper device sleeves (and practice using some manly fabrics, too.)
I'm not usually a big craft book fan. Most times there is one pretty great project and eight other meh ones that both you and I wouldn't exactly need a book for. But after flipping through the copy of Present Perfect that the publishers sent me, I've got to tell you, that this is not the case. I had a hard time deciding which 'man' project to pick. The Cargo Tablet Sleeve was the ultimate winner, but the Gentleman's Travel Case is still calling my name. Plus, I've been having this love affair with bees all this year and bam, there's that Sweet Life Pillow just begging me to make one. And then I saw the hot pink version Melissa made and it's a must.
Present Perfect has great handmade gift ideas for everyone, really. Babies, men, your girl friends, housewarming... you name it, Betz has a great idea for you. Oh, and did I mention that the book comes with pattern pieces? Yes! Even the rectangular ones that most books just tell you what size to cut out. I don't know about you, but I usually screw those up. But not with these patterns, friends. (You can tell, I was perhaps quite excited by this.) If you know someone who has just gotten into sewing and crafting, this book would make a fabulous gift for them. The instructions and drawings are clear and easy to follow, and the photographs just make you want to keep sewing up project after project.
I used a pirate print for the lining and a milk chocolate brown cotton twill for the outside of the Cargo Tablet Sleeve. I was going to wax the twill with some beeswax I recently got a honeybee festival, but it was too soft to alter it. The flap and base of the Cargo Tablet Sleeve are cut from a chocolate brown suede jacket my sister in law gifted me for upcycling purposes. It's the first time I've ever sewn with salvaged animal hide and I was pretty pleased with the result.
The clasp is a vintage Euro swivel clip and key ring I picked up from an Army/Navy store in Provencetown, MA this summer while we were on vacation. I don't even want to tell you how inexpensive this hardware was. I'm embarrassed to say that I did not buy them all, because I so should have.
The result is a pretty sweet, man friendly, tablet bag. It's not the first fabric choices I would have chosen, but Danny approves of it's manliness and I can breath a bit easier knowing his tablet is traveling protected (and in style!) I think I'll have to make myself one with a bright vintage floral canvas...
Until then, check out Present Perfect by Betz White. She's made a short video to flip through some of the projects in this book. I can honestly say this book is worth getting, or giving. Also, you can pop into the blogs below on their tour dates to see what other makers have sewn from the book.
October 6 - Sew Mama Sew – Make & Bake Apron
October 7 - Stacy Sews – Falling Leaves Appliquéd Placemats
October 8 - House on Hill Road – Hot Mitt House & Tea Towel Set
October 9 - A Happy Stitch – Sweet Life Pillow
October 10 - Sew Sweetness – Wool Courier Bag
October 13 - Raspberry Sunshine – Gentlemen’s Travel Case
October 14 - Pink Chalk Fabrics – Pasha Pleated Clutch
October 15 - The Long Thread – Eye Candy Glasses Case
October 16 - Made with Moxie – Cargo Tablet Sleeve
October 17 - Bijou Lovely – Coffee Cash Coin Pouch
New and Little
October 20 - Flax and Twine – Forest Friends Finger Puppets
October 21 - Imagine Gnats – Bib, Rattle & Burp Baby Set
Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget tomorrow is the launch of Perfect Pattern Parcel #6! You're going to love it.