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Last year my sister gave me Fabric-by-Fabric: One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins for my birthday to go along with the new sewing machine my mom surprised me with.

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The premise of the book is simple. Various different projects – 101 to be exact – that you can make with 1 yard of fabric. It’s divided up by fabric type and includes patterns and instructions.

I wasn’t too excited first time I flipped through the book because it seemed like it was just plans for about a gazillion different bags and purses. And the last thing I need is more bags!

But looking through it again as last Christmas approached, I noticed that there were some really cute things for kids, which is great because I have a toddler and a baby (who very are close to being preschooler and a toddler!). And it occurred to me that some of these projects could make cute, functional, and inexpensive presents.

With that last point in mind, I decided to make my one of my sisters the “smart girl’s set” – a wristlet, a sunglasses case, a lipgloss case, and a phone case. It was appealing to me because there seemed to be a lot of bang for my buck, that is, four pieces out of one yard – a nice substantive present. Also I will admit that I was swayed by the fact that the sample in the book had a lot of purple in it (even though I could use whatever fabric I wanted), and purple is my sister’s favorite color!

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The project called for home dec fabric, but I only found a couple such fabrics at my local Joann’s with purple in them, and they were, quite frankly, a little too old-fashioned looking for my young, hip sister.

I did find a nice purple fabric with a swirly black dotted pattern on it that I really liked. It was quilting fabric, but it felt kind of stiff and seemed like it would be a good substitute.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of pictures while I was making it because I was a little squeezed for time, and the project had so many steps and parts, which I should have realized when I chose a four piece project with lots of small details!

It was challenging – most of the directions were clear but there were one or two spots that were completely confusing and I wish there were more pictures and diagrams. But it was a very good learning experience too. I got to work with iron-on interfacing and a zipper for the first time and those went well … eventually.

I like the way it turned out, and I thought the cool buttons really helped youngify the final result. And my sister was really impressed, so overall I was pleased with this project.