Monday, March 17, 2008

Ready to Take Flight

Only two more sleeps until I leave for Australia! I'm so excited! Japan is a wonderful place to live but it's also a great place to escape from at times. I hated this last winter and so got terribly homesick. In just a few days, I'll be surrounded in English, seeing friends and family and eating so many foods that I miss.

In the last few years, I've been racking up quite a few frequent flyer points and have my whole travel thing down pat. I usually fly through Singapore, so I have my favourite private lounge to check into, I know where I like to eat, where I like to shop, the best place for a shower and where to watch free movies. I have my noise reduction headphones for the plane. What I didn't have was a good travel documents folder I was pleased with. I bought hubby a really nice leather one the Christmas before we came here, so have been stealing that whenever I travel alone.

Now, I have my own! Thank you so much to Buttnaked Baby for her free travel documents holder tutorial. It has really clear pictures and was very easy to follow.

The inside of the holder. I've used a new quilting fabric for the inside. Don't you just love the cranes! Oh, and see the new Kimono Reincarnate label - they arrived about a week ago and this is the first one I've used.

There were a few challenges for me in sewing this one. First, it required the sewing of a zipper. I have a great fear of zips (the sewing of them that is). I haven't sewn one in for about 20 years. I've avoided any project that called for one. After lots of googling, and Youtube tutorial watching, I jumped in a loved it! I don't know what I was afraid of. I even did a little I've-successfully-sewn-a-zipper victory dance. I ran out and showed my husband (the zip, not the dance). He had this look of Mmmm-I'm-not-sure-why-she's-excited-but-she-is-so-I'd-better-seem-excited-too but still.

The next was binding. I love any excuse to buy a new tool, so I raced out and bought one of those binding making tools. Oh so much fun! I love making binding! I hate sewing with it though. Not really knowing what I was doing and thought I was being clever, I made bias binding. What I didn't realise is that sewing on straight edges, I would not really need it to be cut on the bias and it turned out to be more of a hindrance. My edges on the inside of the folder are a bit wobbly as a result. My first attempt at the binding on the outside edge was a complete disaster, so after a un-pick, lots more Youtube tutorial watching, new binding (this time cut on the straight) it was finished. It is actually straighter than it looks in this photo.

The outside cover opened up. I've used some vintage kimono obi fabric and continued with the crane theme.

I made a few changes to the original design. Firstly, one thing that always annoys me is dealing with different purses for different currencies while I'm in transit. During my trip to Australia and back to Japan, I use three currencies as I always stop at Singapore. On my trip last summer to Vietnam, I used four currencies in one day! My head was swimming with coversions and trying to get my head around all the zeros. At the airport, they often need to see your boarding pass as well when shopping. So, I added two extra purses . The top two are only sewn into the bottom. The front one is held in place at the sides by two fabric covered buttons and some elastic loops. The second one, by a piece of elastic going across the folder. I've offset them slightly (downwards) so that there isn't a big zipper bulk.

I also inserted a couple of pieces of template plastic under the cover to give the folder a nice hardish cover.

The front cover closed.
And now once I've packed and done a million other things, I'm ready to fly!


Crafty Japan said...

Gorgeous Mel!! :)

I'm gonna have to get you to make me one for Ryder and I!! :)

Have a wonderful trip home. We'll see you soon,

MSR (much quicker) ;)

Anonymous said...

Melanie, this is really lovely. The fabrics are divine and it looks so beautifully made. What a great job!

Jenny said...

It looks wonderful. I LOVE the fabric you chose and you did a really great job! Have a fabulous and safe holiday-enjoy!

Anonymous said...

heheh.. yeah, japanese books are the bestest! and their fabrics (great job!)... and their ....

oh.. have a safe trip ahead.
welcome back to Aus soon!

Amy Kerr-Menz said...

How beautiful! You've done a fantastic job and the fabric is exquisite.

Have a safe trip...and I hope you really enjoy your time back here in Australia!! Look forward to hearing more of your adventures soon x.

Anonymous said...

That's beautiful, Melanie. Lovely fabric, too. Hope you enjoy being home for a bit and have a smooth journey. It sounds like you have the system sorted.

teresa fsw said...

You really did a great job! I agree that sewing zippers is a tough job and I still struggle with them at times! I like it how you added an extra pouch! Beautiful! ^_^

Sherrin said...

wow this is great, lovely fabric, and it looks so well made. I think I'm going to have to check out that tutorial!!

Anonymous said...

gorgeous fabrics and great link - thank you.
enjoy your trip home. :)

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Love your travel wallet - the fabric is fabulous. Thanks for the link to the tute - this is one project I have to make!


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