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Kylie Simonton's eBook, Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows - A Review

Michelle Burke

I was excited to see that Kylie Simonton of Lean Mean Sewing Machine wrote an eBook about selling handcrafted goods at craft shows! Her book is called, Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows. Today, I am sharing my impressions of Kylie's eBook as well as giving you an idea of what you will find in her book that makes it worth purchasing. I do not know Kylie personally, but I do know enough about her through Facebook to know that she always seems to be selling her handcrafted bags at craft shows . . . and she is very successful at it! I knew that her eBook would be something that Uniquely Michelle customers who sell their handcrafted bags might find useful - this is the reason I bought her eBook, and the reason I am writing this review. I was very impressed with all the great information that Kylie includes in her Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows! Near the end of this post, I have included some questions that I asked Kylie and of, course her answers - don't miss this opportunity to get even more information from Kylie! Now, read on to find out more about Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows! There is also an opportunity for you to win Kylie's eBook in a GIVEAWAY - see details at the end of this post!

Kylie started selling at crafts shows in 2014. She hasn't been successful selling at every show (she shares a story about this in her book), but she has methodically worked to determine what works and what doesn't. She shares her wealth of knowledge in her eBook, Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows. Kylie not only shares her tips on how to be successful selling at craft shows, but she does so in an easy-to-understand way that gives the reader confidence to implement her practices. 

Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows includes an introduction and 12 chapters. Each chapter addresses a different topic, from determining your inventory and seasonal trends, to the pricing and displaying of products. Kylie spends several chapters on customer-related issues; like what forms of payment to accept, how to promote and sell products, how to engage with customers (both the good and the not-so-good), and how to really listen to customers to improve future sales. You will even learn how to deal with competitors at crafts shows. The final chapter of Kylie's eBook is an extensive list of what to bring to a craft show, both what you will need for selling your handmade goods as well as what you will want for your personal comfort too.

I really like Kylie's chapter on pricing where she talks about how it can be difficult to ask people to pay what an item is actually worth and how she has worked through this. Kylie also goes through an example of EXACTLY how she determines the accurate and fair price an item - this chapter is useful even if you don't sell at craft shows, but sell through another avenue.

The chapter in Kylie's eBook on choosing the right craft show was very interesting. Her insight on how to choose crafts shows may not be what you would expect, but Kylie shares her experiences to explain her reasoning on which craft shows to choose to sell at and why some are not worth your time and effort.

Each chapter ends with homework . . . yes homework. But no worries, the homework is very beneficial; it is designed to get you thinking about what will work for you and how you can have success selling at crafts shows. Kylie suggests in the introduction to her eBook that you take notes as you read her book, and I would recommend that too. I love Kylie's thought that, "The only dumb ideas are the ones not written down!" I highly recommend this eBook if you have thought about selling or already sell in craft shows. If you are thinking about getting into craft show vending, this book will help you get started and it will help you avoid some pitfalls. If you  already have experience selling at a few craft shows, this book will give you great tips and ideas for taking your craft show selling to the next level.

You can purchase Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows eBook in PDF format on her website, Lean Mean Sewing Machine. If you would prefer the eBook format rather than the PDF format, it is available on Amazon and iBooks, just search, "Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows" on either Amazon or iBooks. 

I asked Kylie a few questions that I had after reading her book. I think you can get even more insight from her answers, so I have included them here - enjoy!

In your book, you talk about your “$20 profit craft show” - yikes! Other than that show, have you always been successful selling at craft shows? Has your success increased over time?

I would say that my success has increased over time, but I think it’s because I finally took a step back and realized that shows with multi-level marketing vendors yielded less sales for me. Once I stopped applying to those shows, I noticed a day and night difference in sales. (Multi-level marketing vendors are vendors that sell products like Lularoe, Scentsy, etc.)

Where does the majority of your profit come from, craft shows or online sales?

A majority of my profit comes from craft shows. I find that people like to see, touch, feel, and open products in person. If they can get a better view of the product and imagine themselves using it, they are more likely to purchase whatever item I’m selling. It also helps that they see the maker behind the products. It makes things more personal and people LOVE when you remember them the next time around.

Does selling at crafts shows increase your online customer base and therefore your online sales?

I have definitely had an increase in online sales because of my presence at craft shows. I often receive emails with a “hey, I saw you at [location] and I loved/bought some of your products.” This especially comes into play around big holidays such as Christmas. Lots of people are flocking towards handmade for unique gifts not sold in stores.

Do you offer a custom order option at craft shows? If so, how important is that to your overall profit?

I do offer custom orders to potential customers who visit my booth at craft shows. They may not turn around right away and order from me, but I give them a business card and tell them to email when they are ready. These same people usually get in touch with me around the holidays, birthdays, graduation, etc. when shopping for gifts for loved ones. I would say that it is important to overall profit not just from that one person, but to all the people that they tell. People are so blown away when I make something custom for them. Word of mouth is probably the best advertising a business owner could possess. If you “wow” one person, you’re sure to wow at least one more.

Thank you Kylie for sharing such a wealth of valuable information in your Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows eBook and for answering my questions! Check out Kylie's Lean Mean Sewing Machine website, follow her on Instagram, on her Lean Mean Sewing Machine Facebook Page, and join her Lean Mean Sewing Machine Facebook Group.

How about a giveaway? This is such a great book that I am giving one PDF version away! And . . . Kylie wants to give a copy away too, so now you have two chances to win a copy of her book! To enter the GIVEAWAY, just comment on this post! You only need to comment once to be entered in the drawing. I will randomly draw two winners to receive a copy of Kylie's, Mastering the Craft of Craft Shows on Thursday, July 12th at 10:00am MST. 
Good Luck!

A Tutorial for Making An Alternative ID Window for the Kristine ID Wallet

Michelle Burke

Some people absolutely love the way the ID window pocket is made in the Kristine ID Wallet pattern and some people aren't fans. The biggest complaint seems to be that people feel that the inside corners of the ID window frame may fray and it can be tricky to get those corners folded in as much as they need to be. 

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I was excited to see Mary Wauters Divita share an alternative method for making the ID window pocket in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook group! I think Mary's method is genius and will help those of you who are concerned about or frustrated with those pesky interior corners by eliminating the interior corners completely. Mary shared her method in the comments of a post in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook group and I asked if I could share her method here.

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I wanted to try this method myself before writing this tutorial, just to make sure I understood the it well. I love how easily the ID window pocket comes together with Mary's method. Other than cutting out and fusing interfacing to the pieces, making the ID window pocket is the first step in the instructions for the Kristine ID Wallet. This tutorial replaces the steps in the instructions for making the ID window pocket. You will need to refer to the Kristine ID Wallet pattern to finish your wallet. Okay, lets get started!

1. Cut Wallet Back - 6.5" x 4”, and interface. This is a slightly different cut measurement than what is given for the Wallet Back in the pattern, so the fusible batting size changes for this piece. Cut the fusible batting at 6" x 3 1/2" for this piece. Fuse batting interfacing to back of Wallet Back piece.


2. From piece created in step 1, cut off two 1.25” wide strips, so you’re left with one 4" x 4" piece and two 1.25" x 4" pieces. (see photo below)

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3. Cut clear vinyl 2.5 x 4” - this is cut at different dimensions than it is if you are making the ID window pocket following the instructions given in the pattern. For the binding part of the ID window, you can use either pre-made binding or your own binding to bind the top and bottom of the clear vinyl. To make your own binding, cut a piece of fabric that is 8" x 2" (this yields a 1/2" wide binding piece). You do not have to cut the binding piece on the bias as you would if you were making binding for a quilt. Fold the binding in half the long way and press the crease in place, then fold the two long raw edges to the center crease that you just created and press in place. Fold all creases back in place and press again. Cut your binding piece in half so that you have 2 pieces that are 4" long each. (see photo below)

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4. Sew your binding pieces into place by inserting one long edge of the clear vinyl into the center fold of one binding piece and top-stitch in place with 1/8" seam allowance, making sure to catch both folded edges of the binding in your stitching. Repeat this step on the other long edge of clear vinyl using the other piece of binding. Sew a 1/8" seam top stitch at the top edge of the upper part of the pocket. (see photo below)

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5. Center the clear vinyl window piece on the  4" x 4" piece and top-stitch this in place across bottom edge with a 1/8" seam allowance. (see photo below)

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6. Place one of the 1.25” strip created in step 2 on one side of the 4" x 4" piece, right sides together and sew in place with a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat this to add the other 1.25" strip to the other side of the 4" x 4" square. Press the seams away from center, being very careful not to touch the iron to the clear vinyl. (see photo below)

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7.  Top-stitch 1/8" away from the seam on the side of the seam closer to the outer edge. (see photo below)

 Isn't this just adorable? No pesky interior corners and a little added contrast fabric to boot!

Isn't this just adorable? No pesky interior corners and a little added contrast fabric to boot!

8.  Now just continue following the instructions in the pattern to finish your Kristine ID Wallet!

Thank you so much Mary for sharing this great alternative way of making the ID window pocket for the Kristine ID Wallet! If you would like the pattern for the Kristine ID Wallet, you can purchase it from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop or the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop

A Coffee Option for the Tea Time Tea Wallet

Michelle Burke

Calling all coffee drinkers - we don't want to leave you out in the cold with the Tea Time Tea Wallet! Today I am sharing a tutorial that will show you how to change up one of the pockets so that you can put instant coffee packets in the Tea Time Tea Wallet. Jenniffer Howling, one of my testers came up with this ingenious idea while testing the Tea Time Tea Wallet (see Jenniffer's coffee version of the Tea Time Tea Wallet below). You could use this altered pocket to hold sweetener or other drink mixes as well. This tutorial explains how to alter one of the lower main pockets but you could alter both lower main pockets if you want to add even more places for coffee, sweetener or drink mixes. If you don't have the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern yet (you will need it to create this coffee version of the wallet), you can purchase it from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop or the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop

We will be changing up the folds on one (or both if you choose) of the main pocket(s) and we will also be altering the way the bottom of the Tea Time Tea Wallet is made. For this option, you will not add a piece of Peltex to the bottom.

Start by following the directions given in step 1 of the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern. To make the coffee option, things start changing when you reach step 2 of the pattern. If you want to alter one main pocket, you will want to cut your main pocket piece in half before folding the main pocket. When you cut the Main Pocket piece in half, each Main Pocket piece should be 3 1/2" wide. (See photo below) Fold one Main Pocket piece using the measurements in the pattern in step 2 (Fold Main Tea Bag Pockets) and fold the second Main Pocket piece using the measurements below. If you want to alter both main pockets, fold the pocket using the measurements below without cutting it in half first.

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Lay the Main Pocket piece wrong side up on your work surface so that the long side of the fabric piece is running left-to-right. Draw lines on the back of the Main Pocket piece parallel to the short sides at the following distances. (See photo below measurements)

◌ Mark line #1 @ 4” away from the left short edge of the fabric piece.

◌ Mark line #2 to the right and 2 3⁄4” away from line #1.

◌ Mark line #3 to the right and 4” away from line #2.

◌ Mark line #4 to the right and 2 3⁄4” away from line #3.

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You can see the difference in the pocket folds for the Main Pockets in the photo below - the left Main Pocket section is folded for tea bags and the right Main Pocket Section is folded for instant coffee packets. The arrows in the pictures are pointing to the tops of the pocket folds.

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Continue following the directions given in the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern with the second bullet point under step 2 ("Now you will fold the Main Pocket piece on . . ."). When you reach the last bullet under step 2 ("Now remove the pins or clips from . . ."), we need to make one slight alteration to the coffee pocket(s). You will still top-stitch the top edges of your pockets as described, but before you top-stitch the sides of the pocket(s), open up the upper pocket so it is out of the way of the lower pocket while keeping the lower pocket folds in place. (See photo below)

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We will be top-stitching a vertical line down the center of the lower pocket only to divide it so that it can hold two instant coffee packets. First draw a line vertically down the center of the lower pocket, starting at the top fold and continuing down to the bottom, raw edge of the fabric. (See photo above)

Hint: You may want to in some way mark the coffee pocket so you can easily keep track of which one it is. I put a pin at the top of my coffee pocket.

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Now top-stitch on this line, making sure to sew back and forth a couple times at the beginning and end of your stitches to secure them. Once you have your lower pocket divided, you can refold the upper pocket back into place and then top-stitch the sides of the pocket to hold the folds in place. (See photo above)

There won't be anymore changes until step 12, so we will see you back here once your coffee version of the Tea Time Tea Wallet is almost finished!

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Are you back? I bet your tea/coffee wallet is looking fabulous! In step 12, we mark lines for the base. The placement of  those markings are slightly different for the coffee version. For the coffee version, mark a line 1/2" from each side of the bottom seam on the Main Pocket Pieces. (See photo above)

Once you have your lines marked, you can continue with the second bullet point ("Top-stitch through all layers across . . .") under step 12. (See photo above) You won't be adding the Peltex piece, so you can ignore the directions that have to do with the Peltex. You are almost finished making your coffee version of the Tea Time Tea Bag Wallet, just one more step!

Please share pictures of your amazing Tea Time Tea Wallet creations (coffee versions too) on Instagram (#uniquelymichelle #teatimeteawallet) and in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group (a fun place to share you Uniquely Michelle creations and see other's creations too). You can follow Uniquely Michelle on Instagram, on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page and on Twitter.

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More Testers' Tea Time Tea Wallets

Michelle Burke

Today, I am excited to share more Tea Time Tea Wallets made by my amazing testers! The testers that I am featuring today made some alterations to the pattern that I think you will be excited to see. For such a quick and easy item to sew, it is fun to see that there are things you can do to make this little tea wallet stand out! Enjoy these beautiful Tea Time Tea Wallets!

Sue Reed of Dreamscape Studio made several beautiful Tea Time Tea Wallets! She is putting mosts of them is shop to sell, but has one that she made as a gift for a friend. I love the variety of fabric’s Sue used to make her wallets! Sue changed up a couple things on her tea wallets, she has a tea bag shaped tea bag label that she has embroidered her signature flower on and she added two center pocket sections! Sue said this about the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern, “Amazing pattern Michelle. I really love this being able to load up and put in your purse. Being a new tea drinker, I will be able to bring my teas to the office or anywhere and keep them all neat in one place. Great stocking stuffers.”

I love the British flair of Kate Marion’s Tea Time Tea Wallet. Kate of Katydid KLM used a variety of fabrics for the interior of her Tea Time Tea Wallet – what a great combination of cute fabrics! Kate also added two center pocket sections to her tea wallet. And what’s not to love about that bee on her hexagon tea bag label! Kate said, “This is a fantastic, cute gift . . . to give as gifts to clients, etc.” Kate makes beautiful bags and is also a real estate agent. How fun to give a Tea Time Tea Wallet filled with some nice teas to clients when they close on their house as a house warming gift – great idea Kate!

Jenniffer Howling made two Tea Time Tea Wallets, one following the pattern instructions and one she varied. Jenniffer wanted to be able to add packets of instant coffee or drink mixes to her Tea Time Tea Wallet, so she altered one of the interior pockets to make it work! What a fabulous idea! This alteration took a bit more work to figure out, but I will post a tutorial on how to do it in a couple of weeks. It is an easy change to make once you know how to change things up a bit. Jenniffer said this about the pattern, “Love the pattern and it is such a quick sew. I can see these for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, etc.”

Noor Raats made a beautiful Tea Time Tea Wallet, her fabrics are stunning! Noor made her tea wallet following the instructions, but at the end she lost her tea bag string and label. I can’t imagine how that could happen in a sewing space - ;) LOL! Noor forged ahead on her tea wallet without the string and label only to find it later – again LOL! I really like the sleek, modern look of Noor’s Tea Time Tea Wallet without the string and label, so I don’t know that it was really a loss in the end! Noor wrote about her Tea Time Tea Wallet on her Quiero and Me blog. It is written in Dutch, but she added a “translate” button so you can still read it. The translation is a bit quirky, but it is still fun to read!

What a gorgeous Tea Time Tea Wallet Alison Shaw made with a beautiful white embroidered flower on solid black fabric! I love the kitchen-themed fabric she used for the interior accent fabric too. Seeing such a pretty embroidered creation like this always makes me envious of those of you with embroidery machines – maybe someday! Until then, I will just drool over Alison’s Tea Time Tea Wallet!

A big thank you to all my testers – they are an amazing, creative group of ladies and I am thankful that they share their talents to help make Uniquely Michelle patterns as close to perfect as possible. Whether you realize it or not, you as a sewist are very thankful to pattern testers as well - they catch mistakes and omissions to patterns so that you can enjoy sewing your Tea Time Tea Wallet!

Today is the last day of the sale! To celebrate the release of the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern, all Uniquely Michelle patterns are on sale for 15% off through Today, Sunday December 3rd at 10:00pm (MST). Use coupon code SALE15 when purchasing from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop or the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop. The discount has been applied to the prices in the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop.  coupon code SAVE15 in . . . to get 15% off all Uniquely Michelle patterns. The sale runs through 10:00pm MST.

 Make sure to comment on the posts that look like this if you want to be entered in the giveaway to win a Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern!

Make sure to comment on the posts that look like this if you want to be entered in the giveaway to win a Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern!

Today is also the last day to enter the giveaway! For this giveaway, you have three chances to win a Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern. To enter, comment on the "giveaway" posts on Instagram, on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page and in the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Group. The posts look like the one pictured above. I will randomly draw one lucky winner from each social media post today, Sunday December 3 at 10:00pm MST. Good Luck!!!

Once you have your Tea Time Tea Wallet made, please share pictures of your awesome Tea Time Tea Wallet creations on Instagram (#uniquelymichelle #teatimeteawallet) and in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group (a fun place to share you Uniquely Michelle creations and see other's creations too). You can follow Uniquely Michelle on Instagram and on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page.

To keep up with all the latest happening with Uniquely Michelle, make sure to sign up for the newsletter below!


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Testers' Tea Time Tea Wallet

Michelle Burke

You are going to love the Tea Time Tea Wallets that my testers made - they are so beautiful! I will be sharing my tester's Tea Time Tea Wallets along with any comments they had about the pattern. The tester's Tea Time Tea Wallets that I am sharing today were made following the pattern exactly, the tester's tea wallets that I will share tomorrow were made with a few variations. Make sure to read to the bottom of this blog post to see information about a sale and a giveaway! Now, get ready to be inspired!!!

Shanel Chute of  Sanity's Boutique made this pretty Tea Time Tea Wallet! I love the bright yellow pockets with the floral exterior fabric! Shanel chose to make her tea wallet with the strap and snap closure - that pink snap is perfect! Shanel said this about the Tea Time Tea Wallet, "This turned out very cute and is very quick!” With winter approaching, Shanel's Tea Time Tea Wallet is such a bright, sunny creation - it makes me smile!

This Christmas-themed Tea Time Tea Wallet is so perfect for a gift or just to have out during the holiday season. I personally would have it out as part of a cozy Christmas decoration, making it easy to offer tea to guests at the same time! Gwen Lockwood of GML Designs made this Tea Time Tea Wallet with the loop closure option. Gwen said that the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern is a “super cute pattern.” 

Diane Cullum of Two Chicklets made this awesome Tea Time Tea Wallet using three super cute blue and brown fabrics. I love how Diane used her third fabric on the tea bag label! What a fun tea wallet to put in your bag so you can have your favorite teas with you as you are out and about for the day!

I love the pink and gray fabrics that Melanie Wilson made! I love that she has the gray stripes places vertically for the main pockets and horizontally for the center pockets! Melanie's Tea Time Tea Wallet has such a classy look about it! Here is what Melanie had to say about the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern: “This was a very well written pattern. Your explanation of each step with photos is great whether you’re a beginner or an advanced sewist.”

Laura Hyder’s Tea Time Tea Wallet looks so pretty and full of fun! Laura of Stitches by Laura - Gypsy Spoonful used the loop closure which she made from the pink polka dot accent fabric, making it pop on the back of her tea wallet. I also love how Laura changed up how she used the accent fabric on the interior of her Tea Time Tea Bag Wallet, adding to the whimsical look of it!

Monica Lopez of StandOutBags had this to say about the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern, “Great pattern and easy to follow instructions.” Monica made a very classy and sophisticated looking Tea Time Tea Wallet with the gorgeous floral exterior fabric and the pretty beige accent fabric. The black snap she used on her closure strap and the black ribbon she used for her tea bag string really add to the classy look of her tea wallet.

Tomorrow I will share the last of the Tea Time Tea Wallets made by my testers. Be ready for some more great inspiration as tomorrow’s batch of tea wallets all have some variation from the pattern that makes them unique!

To celebrate the release of the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern, all Uniquely Michelle patterns are on sale for 15% off through Sunday, December 3rd at 10:00pm (MST). Use coupon code SALE15 when purchasing from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop or the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop. The discount has been applied to the prices in the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop

 Make sure to comment on the posts that look like this if you want to be entered in the giveaway to win a Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern!

Make sure to comment on the posts that look like this if you want to be entered in the giveaway to win a Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern!

How about another celebration in the form of a giveaway!?! For this giveaway, you have three chances to win a Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern. To enter, comment on the "giveaway" posts on Instagram, on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page and in the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Group. The posts look like the one pictured above. I will randomly draw one lucky winner from each social media post tomorrow, Sunday, December 3 at 10:00pm MST. Good Luck!!!

Please share pictures of your awesome Tea Time Tea Wallet creations on Instagram (#uniquelymichelle #teatimeteawallet) and in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group (a fun place to share you Uniquely Michelle creations and see other's creations too). You can follow Uniquely Michelle on Instagram and on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page.

Remember to sign up for the newsletter below!


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Tea Time Tea Wallet - A New Uniquely Michelle Sewing Pattern

Michelle Burke

Today is the big day! The Tea Time Tea Wallet sewing pattern has been released and I am so excited to share it with you and to celebrate with a sale! The Tea Time Tea Wallet keeps your favorite tea bags handy for whenever you want a cup of tea, whether you are at the office, on a trip or just out and about.

This adorable wallet holds six of your favorite tea bags and is a good size to put in your purse or in a drawer at your desk or to have sitting out - it is pretty cute after all! 

The Tea Time Tea Wallet resembles a tea bag in its shape and the cute square or hexagon tea bag label at the end of the tea bag string just adds to the tea bag look! The tea bag label has the exterior fabric on one side and the interior accent fabric on the other side. The pockets that hold the tea are made out of the accent fabric.

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The Tea Time Tea Wallet is fun to make out of some tea-themed fabric or some fun fabric that is a favorite of yours, and the tea label is the perfect place to place a small motif from the fabrics you are using.

You don't need a lot of fabric or hardware to make the Tea Time Tea Wallet. You can choose whether you want to make the Tea Time Tea Wallet with a snap closure or with a simple loop closure.

If you decide to use the loop closure, you don't need any hardware, just a piece of twill tape, or ribbon, or another string-like material that mimics the string on a tea bag and also serves as a closure.

The testers loved the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern, saying it was easy and quick to make. Testers said they were excited to make several Tea Time Tea Wallets to give as stocking stuffers this Christmas or to give to their tea-loving friends as birthday gifts. One tester said she thought they would be great gifts for clients, another already had several cut out and ready to sew up to sell at a holiday market. I can just imagine how excited market-goers would love to snatch up one of these tea wallets for themselves or for a gift!

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I will share pictures of the testers' Tea Time Tea Wallets along with their comments about the pattern over the next couple of days, so stay tuned! You won't want to miss their amazing Tea Time Tea Wallet creations and some of the fabulous variations that they came up with along the way!

To celebrate the release of the Tea Time Tea Wallet pattern, all Uniquely Michelle patterns are on sale for 15% off through Sunday, December 3rd at 10:00pm (MST). Use coupon code SALE15 when purchasing from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop or the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop. The discount has been applied to the prices in the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop

Please share pictures of your awesome Tea Time Tea Wallet creations on Instagram (#uniquelymichelle #teatimeteawallet) and in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group (a fun place to share you Uniquely Michelle creations and see other's creations too). You can follow Uniquely Michelle on Instagram and on the Uniquely Michelle Facebook Page.

Remember to sign up for the newsletter below!


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Jaby's Tutorial - Sewing The Kristine ID Wallet in Vinyl

Michelle Burke

I know you have been waiting for this . . . Jaby of Sew 1980s is sharing her tips for sewing the Kristine ID Wallet out of vinyl or faux leather without adding a lot of extra bulk! Her alternate way of making the card pockets is genius! Jaby knows that time is money when it comes to selling her sewing creations, so her methods are also fast! So now, here is Jaby's tutorial!

KIDW Vinyl Tutorial

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By Sew1980s

Cut the card wallet back piece 4 ½” wide by 4” tall. 

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Using an exacto knife or sharp blade; cut a thin slit 1.25” below the top of the wallet.  The slot will start and end at .25” on each side of the wallet.   Your second slot will be cut half an inch below your first one.  Cut the second card slot using the same length as your first card slot. 

Cut your credit card pockets using your lining fabric.   These will be two separate pieces measured 4.50” x 4.50” On the right side of the lining fabric, mark a line across the top-half an inch down.  Then flip the fabric over to the wrong side and mark another line 2.25” below the top.  Below that, still on the wrong side mark another line 1.75” below the line you just made.  There should be half an inch of fabric remaining below that second line.  At the 2.25” mark fold the right sides together; then fold the wrong sides together at the 1.75” line.  The pocket should look like this.  I also put a crease in the very top line to know where to place the fabric at on the back of the vinyl piece.

To assemble the credit card pockets, flip the vinyl pocket piece over with the wrong side facing up, place your bottom pocket as pictured.  You can use clips to hold it in place or manually hold it in place when you flip it back over and stitch it to the bottom of the second credit card slot. 

Before you start the top pocket; fold over that excess fabric wrong sides together.  Continue to sew the top pocket like the bottom credit card pocket was done. 

Mark the placement lines on the both the right and the left sides to lay the 2-1” x 4” back pocket pieces on each side.  Stitch the envelope flap on.  The Envelope flap will be stitched into the zipper, and cut .50 larger than the regular pattern piece.  (See the KIDW Reverse applique flap tutorial for instruction)

To make the ID window cut two pieces of vinyl measured 4” x 2 ½”.  Mark a square on the inside measuring a half inch on all sides.  Cut the square out on both pieces of vinyl.  Add your clear vinyl piece and sew together with raw edges. 

For my key chain strap I cut a piece of vinyl .5” x 2.5”.  Because I use a thin piece of vinyl I fold mine in half to stitch together for stability.  However; if your vinyl is thicker, you should not need to fold it in half.

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The final pieces should look like this.  Continue stitching the wallet using the KIDW Instructions. 

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Thanks Jaby for another great Kristine ID Wallet tutorial! You can see more of Jaby's awesome creations in her Sew 1980s Etsy shop and on her Sew1980s Facebook page. You can also follow Sew1980s on Instagram (@sew1980s)!

If you don't have the Kristine ID Wallet pattern yet, you can purchase it from one of these shops: the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop, or the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop.


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A Fresh Find - Jumbo Wonder Clips

Michelle Burke

I have been using the red and multi-colored Wonder Clips for awhile now and I love them . . . but there are times when they just don't have enough reach to do what I need them to do.

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But just recently I found Jumbo Wonder Clips.

You can see in the pictures above how the Jumbo Wonder Clips compare to the normal-sized Wonder Clips - they have a much longer reach.

Sewing the Kristine ID Wallet has its challenges when trying to use the normal sized Wonder Clips and pins aren't always the best back-up option either. For instance, when placing the ID window pocket, Wonder Clips don't reach and pinning is difficult because you don't want to pin through the clear vinyl. So when I first saw the super-sized Jumbo Wonder Clips, I couldn't wait to order some and try them out! They work perfectly for holding the ID window pocket in place, making it so much easier to sew it in the exact place I want it!

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I also used the Jumbo Wonder Clips to hold the flap while I sew it to the front of the Kristine ID Wallet. The normal-sized Wonder Clips just can't quite reach . . .

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. . . but the Jumbo Wonder Clips reach without any problem!

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One more place I found the Jumbo Wonder Clips useful is to hold my Uniquely Michelle tag in place. Usually I put my tag on the inside of the flap, but this time I wanted it on the lining. A Jumbo Wonder Clip did a perfect job of holding the tag in place.

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I am excited to try the Jumbo Wonder Clips on more projects - I am already planning to use them soon when I sew some Just the Ticket Luggage Tags! Do you have any sewing projects in mind where you think you would use Jumbo Wonder Clips? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Kristine ID Wallet Sew Along Day #5 - Finishing It Up

Michelle Burke

Today is the last day of the Kristine ID Sew Along! It has been so fun seeing everyone’s progress pictures and reading everyone’s comments along the way! Don’t worry if you have missed parts or all of the sew along, you can click on the links in the schedule below to catch up with what we did on days 1-4. The Kristine ID Wallet is a fast sew! Also, you still have time to enter the random drawing for the three prizes – see the details at the end of this post. If you need the Kristine ID Wallet pattern, you can purchase it from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop, or the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop. Remember the discount code if you are purchasing from the website or Etsy – SEWKIDW. The price is already reduced on Craftsy. The sale on the Kristine ID Wallet continues through Monday, October 16.

The Kristine ID Wallet Sew Along schedule:

I hope you are as excited as I am to finish your Kristine ID Wallet today! We should have completed wallets in no time today! The pattern gives complete instructions on how to finish up your Kristine ID Wallet, but I have a few hints to share that may help with the final steps.  

The pattern mentions several times that you should be careful not to touch your iron to the clear vinyl on your ID pocket. I keep a pressing cloth on my ironing board during this last part so that I remember to use it as I am pressing anything near the clear vinyl. So far, I have not messed up a Kristine ID Wallet by ironing the clear vinyl, but I have accidently touched the iron to the vinyl while making a Just the Ticket Luggage Tag – not a happy time in my sewing room!

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Once the zipper is installed and all your pretty top-stitching is finished, it is time for the final step. Make sure your zipper is most of the way open for this step, otherwise turning your Kristine ID Wallet will be a much longer process than necessary.

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I use clips instead of pins now to pin the exterior pieces together and the lining pieces together. I like to put a clip on the spot where my ring loop is placed, then when I am sewing that spot, I remember to go back and forth several times. The ring loop will get a lot of stress from use and it is important to make sure the wallet doesn’t come apart!

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When it comes to clipping the transition area from interior to exterior, I make sure that the zipper tab is folded in such a way that the outer part of the fold is toward the exterior portion of the wallet. This is the direction I want the zipper tabs to fold when the wallet is finished.

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Speaking of the ring loop and the transition areas, these are places that are perfect to use the Bernina Height Compensation Tool. I wrote a blog post about how this tool works – Sewing Can Have Its Ups and Downs. It is worth getting one, it is a game changer!

I find when turning any bag that it is easiest if I start by bringing one of the lower exterior corners through the opening in the lining first. This I think definitely helps when turning something as small as the Kristine ID Wallet!

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Before sewing the opening close, make sure all four exterior corners are pushed out all the way. The upper corners where the zipper tabs are can be a little tricky and take a little time, but they look great in the end if they have been pushed out completely.

Now you just need to add your split key ring (if you didn’t use a D-ring) and some pretty bling and your Kristine ID Wallet is finished! I love Andrie Adornments Zipper Pulls on the Kristine ID Wallet! The size is perfect and the come in a variety of colors and with a variety of quotes!

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I think Andrie Adornments Zipper Pulls work well as a zipper pull on the Kristine ID Wallet, but they also look great when used as a charm on the key ring!

I hope you have had fun sewing a Kristine ID Wallet with a few of your closest internet, sewing friends and I hope you love your Kristine ID Wallet! Please share any useful hints or ideas you have for making a Kristine ID Wallet or ask any questions you may have in the comments! I am always happy to answer questions too! If you don’t want to ask me questions, you can get answers to questions in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group – there are a lot of Kristine ID Wallet experts out there!

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Please share those pictures of your completed Kristine ID Wallet! Even if you have shared progress pictures, you need to share a picture of your finished Kristine ID Wallet by Monday, October 16 at 10:00pm MDT in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group and/or on Instagram with #KIDWSewAlong to be entered into the random drawing! You can still post progress pictures to increase your chances of winning one of the three prizes that will be given away with the random drawing that will take place on Monday, October 16th at 10:00pm MDT! I am loving seeing all your beautiful Kristine ID Wallet progress pictures and I am beyond excited to see everyone’s completed Kristine ID Wallet!

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So, are you ready to take your Kristine ID Wallet to the next level? You can get some ideas and inspiration for doing just that from Kristine ID Wallet Week! Kristine ID Wallet week happened several weeks ago, but no worries, you can see all the great blog posts from the week! There are a total of 6 posts, so make sure to check out all of them!

Here are all the Kristine ID Wallet Week links:

A couple of ladies have made a video as they construct the Kristine ID Wallet. Watch Kylie of Lean Mean Sewing Machine as she sews a Kristine ID Wallet. Nicole of Sew Much Moore In Store also has a Kristine ID Wallet Video.

I would like to thank Jaby of Sew1980’s for her expert comments as we went along! Also, Kylie of Lean Mean Sewing Machine for her helpful comments! Thanks ladies!


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Kristine ID Wallet Sew Along Day #4 - Straps, Ring Loop and Zipper

Michelle Burke

Are you ready for a quick and easy day of sewing today? I hope so, because that is what day #4 of the Kristine ID Wallet Sew Along is! If you haven’t been able to sew along with us each day or you are just starting the Kristine ID Wallet Sew Along, you can click on the links in the schedule below to catch up with what we did on days 1-3. The Kristine ID Wallet is a fast sew, so it will be easy to catch up! Do you still need the Kristine ID Wallet pattern? You can purchase it from the Uniquely Michelle Website Shop, the Uniquely Michelle Etsy Shop, or the Uniquely Michelle Craftsy Pattern Shop. Remember the discount code if you are purchasing from the website or Etsy – SEWKIDW. The price is already reduced on Craftsy.

The Kristine ID Wallet Sew Along schedule:

Day #4 is easy, but will involve a lot of pressing! So, get those irons hot and let’s get started! Today we will be making the wrist strap, lanyard and ring loop; and prepping the zipper for installation!

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When I first wrote this pattern, I was only going to include instructions for a wrist strap. Then one of my testers made it with a lanyard and I asked my testers if I should include instructions for both a wrist strap and a lanyard. Of course, the answer was YES! I’m glad I listened to my testers (they are a pretty smart group of ladies) because most people make the lanyard and not the wrist strap. Those who sell Kristine ID Wallets sell them with lanyards usually. Paula of Paula Made It has a great idea for selling Kristine ID Wallets, she makes matching lanyards for each one and then makes only a few wrist straps that could coordinate with several of the Kristine ID Wallets that she has made. People can then choose to switch out the lanyard for a wrist strap or buy a wrist strap along with their purchase of a Kristine ID Wallet with a lanyard – perfect!

Even though the instructions have you making the wrist strap and lanyard in a different step than making the ring loop and prepping the zipper for installation, I like to construct these parts at the same time. The first steps for all of them are the same, so we might as well make them in a more assembly line fashion.

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The first stop is the iron today! All four fabric pieces, the wrist strap, the lanyard, the ring loop and the zipper end tabs get pressed in the exact same way – in half and then the raw edges are pressed toward the center fold. It’s a lot of pressing, be careful not to burn those fingers!

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Once everything is pressed, let’s work first with the wrist strap and lanyard. Remember to put the swivel snap hook on these before you sew the short ends together – something I forget to do sometimes! It is also important to make sure the wrist strap and lanyard aren’t twisted when you sew the short ends together.

After pressing the seam you just sewed open, and then pressing the folds in place again, the edge top-stitching is easy. If you start by top-stitching the open side of the strap, then it is a piece of cake to sew the folded side. I like to place the swivel snap hook directly on the seam, then it is more hidden that way. I use my Bernina Height Compensation Tool to keep my stitches even as I sew the little square that closes the loop near the swivel snap hook. You can see more about this handy little tool by going to the Sewing Can Have Its Ups and Downs blog post.

 Here is my ring loop with a D-ring, but in reality I want to use a split key ring!

Here is my ring loop with a D-ring, but in reality I want to use a split key ring!

With the wrist strap and lanyard strap finished, the ring loop is up next. The edges need to be top-stitched on this and if you are adding a D-ring, now is the time to do that. If you are adding a split key ring, you won’t add that until your wallet is completely finished. Stitch the ring loop in place on the wallet and that’s it for the ring loop!

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The last item for today is getting the zipper ready for installation. Cut the zipper down to size following the instructions in the pattern. Add the zipper end tabs to each end of the zipper. When I add the zipper end tabs, I like to see if I can put a more colorful or fun part of the fabric design centered over each end of the zipper so that it will be seen once the zipper is sewn in place. The zipper can be set aside until tomorrow.

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Tomorrow is day five, the last day of the Kristine ID Wallet Sew Along. Keep sharing your awesome progress pictures, they are fun to see! Progress pictures posted in the Uniquely Michelle Sewing Patterns Facebook Group and on Instagram with #KIDWSewAlong increase your chances of winning one of the three prizes that will be given away with the random drawing that will take place on Monday, October 16th at 10:00pm MDT! Of course, you will have to post a finished picture of your Kristine ID Wallet by the draw day and time to be entered into the drawing.

For day 5 of the sew along, you will need all the parts of your Kristine ID Wallet that you have made so far – the front, back, zipper, wrist strap, and lanyard. You will also need your split key ring if you are using that and not a D-ring. I am excited to finish up our Kristine ID Wallets tomorrow!


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