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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.


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!


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.