So I’ve been meaning to post this tutorial for the last several weeks, but just haven’t had the time to get it written up. I made these Fabric Portfolios for my mom and I to take to quilt market. I actually sent my mom hers for mother’s day with the business cards I had printed up for her. I wanted us to have something to carry around our business cards, postcards, credentials and a notepad. These turned out to be just perfect!
I designed these portfolios to fit easily inside of a purse, but big enough to hold a good amount of notes and documents. Make one of these to tote around while you run errands, to carry your coupons, grocery list, or make one for a gift (perhaps for a recent graduate). I think just about anyone you know could probably find a use for the Fabric Portfolio and Notepad Holder.
Fabric – Fat Quarters (I used 4 different designs as well as linen)
Medium-weight fusible interfacing
1 hair elastic
Two pieces of cardboard
Basic sewing supplies
Cut your fabric pieces.
Cut 1 – 10″ x 3.5″ (Linen)
Cut 1 – 10″ x 4″ (Fabric A)
Cut 1 – 10″ x 6.5″ (Linen)
Cut 1 – 10″ x 13″
Cut 1 – 10″ x 13″ (Linen)
Cut 2 – 10″ x 6.5″ (Fabric A)
Cut 1 – 10″ x 6.5″ (Fabric B) – Hem top down 1″ – this is the piece that will hold notepad
Cut 2 – 10″ x 6.5″ (Fabric C) – Fold in half, top down (one goes on each side)
Cut 1 – 6.5″ x 5″ (Fabric D) – Fold in half, top down
Cut 1 – 5″ x 5″ (Fabric B) – Fold in half on the diagonal
Sew the outer pieces together. Place one piece of printed fabric on top of one piece of plain fabric (right sides together). Stitch a straight line – 1/4″ seam allowance. Do the same on the other side of the printed fabric. Press both seams open. You will now have a plain piece of fabric on either side of the printed fabric for your exterior.
Top-stitch on both sides of the seam. 1/8″-1/4″ on either or both sides. See picture above. I top-stitched on both sides.
This is what the back side of the exterior piece will look like when you have pressed your seams open. Press your interfacing to the back side of the exterior piece of fabric.
Now construct the inner pockets. I’ve given you the measurements and pieces I used, but you can customize this to fit your needs. Add more or less pockets, whatever works for you.
I double-stitched the hem on all of the pocket pieces. You don’t have to do this, but I think it looks nice and adds extra durability. When I said above to fold in half, I stitched the hem by the fold. You could just fold and not stitch, but I don’t think it would hold up as nicely.
Place all of your pockets on top of each other and run a stitch all the way around the edge of the whole pocket piece. Stitch as close to the edge as possible. This will hold your pockets all together.
Now construct the pockets for the other side. I made one tall pocket to hold the back of my notepad and then another pocket underneath for extra storage. Put pockets in place and stitch around the entire rectangle to keep them from moving around.
Here are your pocket pieces once you have run a stitch around each rectangle just to hold them in place.
Next you want to hem one long side of each rectangle. You are going to do a 1/2″ hem. Again, I double stitched here, but you certainly could just do one row of stitching. Do one side on each of the two pocket pieces. The hem should be on the side that you plan to have towards the middle of your portfolio, the other side is left raw for now.
Here is what the hemmed edge will look like on the pocket pieces.
Now place your pocket pieces on top of another solid piece of fabric (linen, in my case). Pin in place. Run a stitch around the entire large rectangle to secure the pocket pieces to your solid piece of fabric. The stitching might seem a little excessive, but it’s just always best to have everything nicely secured when sewing.
Now figure out where you would like your button placed on the exterior fabric. Mark with a fabric marking pen. Then stitch in place. You can use any button and button size that you would like.
Next grab a hair elastic to make the band that will close the portfolio.
How long you leave your elastic will depend on the size of your button. My button was fairly large, so I left a longer piece of elastic. I also didn’t want it to be too tight because I wanted there to be room to load up my portfolio with documents and notes. Stitch your elastic together by machine stitching back and forth several times.
Now place your exterior fabric piece and your interior fabric piece (the one with the pockets), right sides together. On the side where you would like your elastic closure, point the elastic loop inward.
Stitch all the way around the rectangle, but leave a 3″-5″ opening for turning right side out – 1/2″ seam allowance. You will catch your elastic in this seam. I stitched back and forth over the elastic piece just to make sure it was secure in place.
Clip the corners to remove excess fabric bulk. You can also trim off the additional elastic since it has now been caught in the last seam we just sewed. Turn right side out and press with a hot iron.
Hand-sew the opening closed with coordinating thread.
I cut two pieces of cardboard to make my portfolio a little more sturdy. Cut two pieces approximately 9″ x 5.5″ (give or take) I also decided to cover the cardboard with coordinating paper, just in case it were to ever show. I’m all about the details and I just like knowing the interior looks as pretty as the exterior.
Slide your cardboard pieces underneath each pocket piece. Slide one in on the right side and one in on the left.
If you would like to add your own label, make sure you do this before you sew the interior and exterior pieces together. I wanted to add a pop of color to the back as well, so I backed my labels with matching fabric.
The above portfolio is the one I made for my mom. I also added some decorative paper to the top of the notepad. I wasn’t too fond of the big “Office Max” label on the notepad, the paper looks much prettier. I simply cut the scrapbook paper to size and glued it down.