The Fat Quarter Club - August - By Emma Rodgers @emrodge1983

The Fat Quarter Club - August - By Emma Rodgers @emrodge1983

Fat Quarter Club Subscription: Travel set

August 2022

Put your hand up if you’re one of those people who has multiple ribbons, wool or tatty bits of fabric tied round the handle of their suitcase in case someone else on holiday has the same one as you? Who doesn’t?! I was delighted to see that this month’s My Guilty Pleasure Fat Quarter Club make was a travel set consisting of a luggage tag and passport cover in under-the-sea fabrics. Not only will the tag give my case some personality, but the passport cover will help the inevitable ‘which passport is mine?’ panic in the check-in queue.

If you still can’t make your mind up about signing up for a monthly sewing subscription, then read on to find out what’s included and how I found this month’s make.

A fin-tastic box of goodies

The My Guilty Pleasure Fat Quarter Club box dropped onto the doormat around the middle of August and here’s what sewing treats were wrapped inside Little Miss Sew ‘n’ Sew’s signature blue tissue paper:

  • 3x fat quarters from the 'Aquatic Paradise’ collection by Dashwood Studio
  • Complementing length of 1cm wide ribbon elastic
  • Hemline standard heavy-firm interfacing to give structure to both the luggage tag and passport cover
  • Sew Cosy Pattern for the tag and passport cover
  • Instruction sheet for both makes
  • A sweet treat

The cotton fabric came in a yellow stingray print, a blue fish shoals print, and a black ocean floor print. Each fabric print is uniquely different, but the colours complement each other so you can mix and match your outer and lining fabrics. There’s enough fabric included in the box to make 3 passport covers and 3 luggage tags with additional tag pieces for privacy (as shown in luggage tags I made). If you wanted the fabric to go a little further, you could stick to the standard tag without the additional privacy flap.

Preparing for your catch of the day

The monthly subscription doesn’t include everything you need (especially because it’s hard to get a sewing machine through a letterbox), so here are a few things you’ll need in your tackle box before you start:

  • Scissors or rotary cutter – don't forget to have some regular kitchen scissors spare too for cutting the paper pattern
  • Pins or clips – help fabric pieces stay together as you sew, especially for the sections you’ll need to neatly topstitch
  • Cotton thread – I used a yellow for the mustard fabric and a light blue for the blue fabric, but you could use a contrasting one for an extra pop of colour
  • Extra interfacing and elastic ribbon – there's enough elastic and interfacing for one luggage tag and one passport cover, so if you’re wanting to make a few then you’ll need some extra supplies of each. I didn’t have any elastic ribbon, so I used some spare fold-over elastic. For the tag. You could also use ribbon on the tag instead of elastic, but you’ll definitely need something with a bit of give for the passport cover if you’re wanting to secure the flaps when closed
  • Corner and edge shaper, or a knitting needle– useful when pushing out the corners of your tag and passport cover so you can make the as right-angled as possible. Just be careful if using a knitting needle so you don’t puncher through the fabric.


Just keep swimming – tips and tricks

The passport cover won’t take you long at all, but the luggage tag is a little more involved. I'm someone who likes a challenge and learn something new, so that suited me fine. This is something I’ve really enjoyed about the Fat Quarter Club subscription boxes; I always pick up a new technique or alternative way of doing something. In the past 4 months I’ve learnt mitred corners, how to use bias binding as a drawstring channel, and now a unique way of turning out:

  • When wrong is right – usually when sewing a seam on the wrong side of the fabric you leave a gap so you can turn your work out, right? Wrong! For this month’s make you need sew a seam all the way round the inner edge of the pocket piece with the instructions telling you to then turn this the right way out. This left a few of members of the Fat Quarter Club (including me) scratching our heads, but luckily Little Miss Sew ‘n’ Sew came to our rescue in the private facebook group and uploaded a handy video. Hopefully the picture below shows what was baffling us. Essentially, you push one wrong side of the fabric through the middle hole, so the pieces went from right side facing to wrong sides facing – genius!
  • Read twice, cut once – if your eyes skip straight to the ‘finished picture’ on the instructions you might be confused as to why your cut-out fabric doesn’t look enough to make the pocket tag and the cover tag/ flap for privacy. It’s an optional extra to make that bit, which is explained at the end of the instructions, so make sure you read them through before you start. That way you can get all your cutting done and dusted at the start so you’re ready to rock and roll.
  • Button it (or not, in my case) – there can be something incredibly satisfying about a well sewn buttonhole, but for others the very thought strikes fear into our crafting hearts. Here’s a little secret; you can simply sew the elastic onto the tag if buttonholes aren’t your thing. My basic machine isn’t a fan of buttonholes, despite having an attachment and necessary settings, so I simply attached the elastic by sewing it on. It did the trick and saved me a lot of stress with my machine. If you’re not sewing the additional tag flap for privacy then you could also leave a gap in the top of the tag before you sew it closed (after turning it out), pop the elastic loop into the top so the two ends are sandwiched inside the fabric, and top stitch to close.

Seas the day!

This was my fourth month as a member of the Fat Quarter Club and what really struck me about this month’s make was how generous the amount of fabric included in the box was compared to the pattern – it means you can get multiple versions of the make out of each box or even add the fabric to your stash for another time.  

The tags and passport cover would make a lovely little gift set for newlyweds – perfect for a honeymoon. The luggage tag (without the additional flap for privacy) would also work well as a reusable present gift tag.

The patterns are incredibly versatile and are every-day objects which you can either use yourself or make as gifts for others. If you’re wanting to put your sewing skills to the test, add an extra project to your monthly list, or you’re just looking for an excuse to while away an afternoon each month with your machine, then the Fat Quarter Club is worth a try.

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