Saturday, April 30, 2011

Style Stitches Monthly Bag Challenge: Beautiful Balance Checkbook Cover

Style Stiches
This month's Style Stitches challenge project was the Beautiful Balance Checkbook Cover. It is actually one of the projects in the book I was most looking forward to making.

Beautiful Balance Checkbook Cover, outside open view
I spent a lot of time trying to decide what fabrics to use, and am pleased with how well my choices came together. I just love that leaf print! Though the book suggests using home dec weight fabric for the project, I used regular quilting cotton. I am very thankful I made that choice! There was a lot of bulk to stitch through at some points (particularly with the flap), and my machine was a little ornery about it. I don't think home dec fabric would have worked for me.

Beautiful Balance Checkbook Cover, inside view
The instructions on this were straightforward for the most part. The illustrations were also pretty helpful, though I got a little confused about Figure 2, wherein topstitching on either side of the center seam is illustrated, but is not mentioned in the instructions anywhere in the lining instructions. So I went ahead and did the topstitching after creating my lining. As it turns out, that topstitching actually is the last step of the pattern, completed after the entire cover is put together. Ooops. So, mine has four lines of topstitching on the inside instead of two. It was a good lesson in making sure to read through all of the directions before starting! But I still say that topstitching shouldn't have been represented in the Figure 2 illustration.

Other than that little hiccup, it was smooth sewing.

Beautiful Balance checkbook cover, profile view
I was really hoping to use this as more of a wallet. But the snap placement suggested in the pattern results in a tight close such that not much more than one's checkbook can fit in there. You can see how tight it is by the way the flap is pulling up in the profile picture above. If I were to do it again (and I might at some point), I would wait to put the flap snap in until the after whole wallet was constructed (between steps 8d. and e.), so I could better control the fit of the finished piece . It will be kind of a pain to insert it after turning, but I think it would yield better results. I also would probably add some additional pockets to hold cards (as I've seen done in a few other versions of this project).

Beautiful Balance Checkbook Cover, closed view
This was a quick project to put together. I was able to get it done in a single evening. Overall, I'm really happy with it. Though it is not a perfect wallet, it is a very functional (and stylish!) checkbook cover, and already has a home in my purse.


  1. I love it and it is something for you!

  2. Love you choice of fabrics for this project! It turned out wonderful!

  3. You did a great job picking out your fabrics. It looks really nice. :)

  4. Love the leaf fabric. Great job! It is neat how you think of ways you might improve the pattern. If you make another one it will be much easier in your own way.

  5. Looks very professional! I really like your fabric choices.