Thursday, April 17, 2014

Union Jack Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

My current laptop case is boring black and I wanted a new one. So, I made one out of the Union Jack Fabric panel the lovelies at Riley Blake Designs sent over. I'm going to show you how to make your own too!


1 panel of Union Jack squares
1/4 or 1 FQ for the outer accent. I raided my scrap bin too!
1/3 yard for the lining and button loop
1/3 yard batting
Optional: 1/2 yard interfacing. I used Pellon SF101
1- 1 1/2" button

I have a MacBook Pro which measures 9.25" x 13".  The cutting measurements and instructions are for this size laptop. You will need to measure your laptop and add 1/2" all around. If your laptop is larger, a single Union Jack square will not be enough to cover the side and you may need to add an inch or two of a side panel.


From the Union Jack panel: cut two  complete Union Jack squares. Cut to measure 10 3/4" wide (you will trim up the length in another step) making sure the white boarder on the long sides are equal so your Union Jack will sit squarely on your laptop.

From the accent fabric: Cut two pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 5"

From the lining: cut two pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 15"
                          cut one piece that measures 2" x 5"

From the batting: cut two pieces that measure 10 1/4" x 14 1/2" (Having your batting a little shorter than your fabric pieces helps keep the seams less bulky.)

From the interfacing: cut 4 pieces that measure 10 3/4" x 15" and one piece that measures 2" x 5"

Cut 2 whole Union Jack squares. Each should measure 10 3/4" across, from short side to short side. 


1. Trim one short end of each Union Jack square to a 1/2 inch boarder from the edge of the print. With right sides together, stitch one Union Jack square to one accent piece along the short edge using 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat for 2nd Union Jack square. Press seam towards accent piece and topstitch. 

Trimming the boarder on the short side to 1/2" allows for the accent piece to be flush with the Union Jack design.

2. If you are using interfacing, iron it on now to both pieces of the outer and lining. If you would like to quilt your batting, do this after you have added the interfacing. If you are not quilting your batting then I recommend you baste your batting to the wrong sides of the lining pieces. 

3. Button loop: take your 2" x 5" piece, add interfacing if using, fold in half lengthwise, then open and fold each lengthwise edge to the center, then fold in half and topstitch the open edge. 
Iron your folds to keep them even and straight.

4. Fold one of your outer pieces in half lengthwise to find the exact middle. Then pin your button loop with the loop facing in to the right side of your outer piece along the top of the accent fabric edge and baste.

5. Trim from the bottom of your Union Jack outer pieces about 1/2" to 1" to even up with your lining pieces. This takes the white bottom boarder out for a cleaner match up when sewing the pieces together. 
Trim from the bottom. 
6. Using a 1/4" seam allowance and with right sides together, match up the bottom Union Jack markings of the outer pieces and sew only the bottom seam. Press seam open (topstitch if desired).

7. With right sides together, sew one lining piece to the top (accent side) of one side of the outer piece. Repeat for the other side. Press seams open. When fully laid out your pieces should be in this order:


 8. Fold in half, right sides together, lining up seams. Pin all around. Sew up sides and short edge of lining, leaving an opening to pull thru. 

9. Clip corners and pull thru the opening to right side. Sew up the small opening and put lining half inside the outer piece. Smooth out, iron, and topstitch all around the top. Sew the button on and your Union Jack laptop sleeve is complete.

The Riley Blake Union Jack Blog Tour is happening every Tuesday and Thursday in April. Please visit these other fantastic bloggers for more Union Jack inspiration:
Union Jack Blog Tour

Paula from The Sassy Quilter, Jina from Jina Barney Designz, Karin from Leigh Laurel Studios, Marni from Haberdashery Fun, Julia from My Fabric Obsession, Molly from Rose & Odin, Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl, Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt, Julia from Riley Blake Designs, and Ginny from Darling Adventures

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kid's Clothes Week: Day 2

So, I am a couple days late in posting about my KCW Day 2 sewing adventure and I am sure you thought I was once again a KCW drop out! Fear not, my faithful readers and read on....

On Day 2, I sewed up the Prefontaine Shorts by That Moxie Girl . These are the perfect shorts for J. He only wants to wear shorts and with pockets to fill and an elastic waistband for enhanced independence when needing the potty, I could not resist the challenge!

I had grey knit interlock on hand but wanted accent fabric for the pocket linings and the back pocket. I didn't want make a run to the fabric store so, I "shopped" the box of baby clothes I am saving for absolutely no reason other than I cannot part with these items I have deemed "special" and "must keep" even though we have no plans at all to have anymore children.

I uncovered a wealth of knit onesies and rompers. I chose a sea creature romper that was P's when she was a tiny baby and an orange striped Halloween onesie that P and J both wore for their first Halloween. I cut them up without hesitation. These were going to be the cutest pockets ever!

I made the bigger of the between sizes options for J. So, it looks like he will be able to wear them everyday until he goes to college. He really likes these shorts despite the bagginess. I could have easily made the smaller size and he would still have room to grow. I mean: I will be making the smaller size too because he wears them everyday!

It turns out our little town is just south of Prefontaine's hometown. So, J and I day tripped to test his new shorts out on the original track and then went in search of Prefontaine landmarks.

The Coos Art Museum has a permanent gallery in honor of Prefontaine including the running shoes he wore when he broke his first record in 1971. Marshfield high school has a "Pre Lives" logo on the school marquee. We stopped by the Coos Bay Chamber of Commerce to inquire further.

Here is an excerpt of the conversation I had with the women working the welcome desk:

Me: Other than the memorial outside and what the museum has, are there any other memorials around town dedicated to Prefontaine?

Woman: No. Well, unless you wanted to run, you know he was really into running. I guess.

She really didn't want to speak at all about Prefontaine and made it clear from the beginning and it was a bit uncomfortable. So, J and I made a quick dash back outside!

We spent the rest of the afternoon running and digging for worms. These shorts are perfect for both activities and any other romping around your little one likes to do too.

The Prefontaine shorts are a bonus pattern for the current pattern bundle offered from Perfect Pattern Parcel which is only available until the 18th!

Prefontaine Shorts in action! They are fast!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kid's Clothes Week: Day 1

I have joined in the madness of Kids Clothes Week. It is a really simple idea: sew clothes for your kids 1 hour a day for 7 days. In previous years I have been a KCW drop out but not this week! I have plans and new fabric and loads of notions oh, and that new serger I got for Christmas too!

Today I stitched up a pair of Hosh Pants by Lou Bee Clothing for P. I had some metallic stretch denim that was just begging to be made into pants. They sewed up so super fast! I measured her after coming home from school and she was wearing them at dinner.

Since P is a "leggings and dress" kind of girl, the Hosh pants are perfect! They are slim fitting yet are sewn with a stretch twill or denim which makes them a bit more dressy or at the very least not so like pajamas. I suppose I will need to sew up some khaki ones for her to play golf in too. 

The Hosh Pants pattern is currently being offered as part of the Girl's Essential Spring Wardrobe bundle from Perfect Pattern Parcel. The bundle is loaded with girly cuteness ready to challenge your creativity and refine your sewing skills.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Ultimate Blog Party #UBP14

The ladies behind 5 Minutes for Mom are throwing the Ultimate Blog Party and you're invited! Yes, if you have a blog you can join the fun and there are prizes too! Link up your blog post about the party over on 5 Minutes for Mom, join in on the Google+ Hangout on Monday (April 7th) evening, Twitter party  on Tuesday (April 8th) evening, and did I mention prizes! Yes, make sure you enter that too!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014
Here is my introductory post:

Hi, I'm Molly of Rose & Odin. We are a family of four with two cats named Roary and Ulla-Bulla, and one hamster named Pearl. We live on the south coast of Oregon but are originally from Colorado. We sure miss Colorado a lot and all our wonderful friends.  Having an ocean view makes it hard to leave. Also, we do not miss snow one single bit.

My blog name is the middle names of my children. I started blogging a few years back. As much as we love our ocean view and don't miss snow, one thing we really miss is people and having options for anything from shopping, to play groups, to a variety of fabric stores, to restaurants, to..... I could go on and on and on. It is isolating here and I left a lot of friends in Colorado when we moved. I thought they might like to read about our adventures and it also has helped connect me with a community of fantastic crafters and sewists.

I write mostly about our family life sprinkled with crafty/sewing posts and if I get lucky, a sponsored post too. My goal this year is to write more frequently and regularly. I would like to grow my blog and even make some money from it through advertising and sponsored posts. I have run into stumbling blocks when assessing  the probability of this:

1. I live in a far far away place that makes it inconvenient to get to a conference/meet up/event. Face to face networking is not happening!

2. I don't have a huge amount of page views or a ton of sponsored posts already and this has made it difficult to get my foot in the door.

So, I'm going to BlogHer this summer in San Jose and hopefully I will gain a ton of knowledge about the blogging world and how to branch out and expand my blog. I am at a point in my parenting journey where I can focus on myself, even if it is a little bit at time, and it feels great!

A few of my favorite things: Beer, chocolate, spicy asian food, baby animals (even alligators are adorable when they are little), VWs, cruiser bicycles, hiking, traveling, sewing, natural products, Danskos, coffee, equality, smiles, and rainbows.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Enthusiastic Confessor

"Oh, my God, I am heartily sorry....."

Every time P has recited the Act of Contrition I still hear the words that I learned..... The modern way starts like this: "My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart...." She has had the prayer memorized forwards and backwards since last fall and the day of her First Reconciliation had finally arrived.

When I was nearly 8 and made my First Reconciliation, we were living in England and I attended a Catholic school. The church was very ornate in its architecture and had the communion rail where everyone sort of just flocked to the alter without much order. The confessionals were small rooms lined with dark wood and smelled like a mixture of stale incense and starch.

We memorized the order of the confession, (old version of) the Act of Contrition, and got to choose between a face to face or a screen. We all chose the screen side where you kneel in a little room on the other side and just see the outline of the priest flickering in the candle light. After going to a face to face I realized the screen side was a bit more terrifying.

After I transfered to public school, my visits to the confessional became less and less until it was time for my Confirmation. As an adult I rarely find myself attending a penance service. I would venture that this is rather common for adults since we don't like to talk about our faults outright and seem to find an endless way to justify our wrongs.

P made it through her First Reconciliation with ease. Not visibly nervous she walked in with a smile on her face and came out smiling as well. We had spent the afternoon reviewing the order, talking about right and wrong, and practicing the Act of Contrition. She nailed it!

She asked me if I was going to go to confession too.

The moment of truth.

Yes, I was.

Our Pastor is a really animated, enthusiastic, affirming young man. Of course all of this made me extra nervous.

One big breath, then like I had rehearsed with P, I followed the order and laid out my faults.....

I expressed concern that I sometimes I get snippy with my children over petty stupid stuff that didn't matter much.

He launched into the most amazing parent pep talk ever! He told me I am doing a great job, that he can see that I am a great mom because of the way P is and how I am with J and his energy, he said that I am really relaying the importance of faith to P because she carries herself with confidence during church related activities.....He told me to continue to do what I'm doing as a mom and always remember that leading by example is very important...

His hands and arms are very animated while he is speaking to me and I am feeling great! I am getting my own personal homily and I, too, am nailing confession!

He finishes and is preparing to do the absolution.....I am so pumped up on confession and parenting right at that moment.....He raises his hand to pray over me and


I land a high-five on his open palm just as he begins the final forgiveness act.