Thursday, May 30, 2013

Making a Sketchwrap

How to make a custom SketchWrap

This SketchWrap is a bit fiddly to make but very useful.

You will need:
1. Fabric - make it easy for yourself and get one with checks. I would say half a yard will be more than enough.
2. Velcro
3. Bias binding - 2 yards
4. Old newspaper
5. Cushy fabric if you want to cushion the compartment for the ceramic palette. I used some jumbo cord and it works a treat.
6. A sketch kit

1. Decide what you want to put in the wallet. 
My items were: a box of watercolours, a ceramic palette, lots of pencils and brushes, a craft knife and a rubber. The paints and the palette were roughly the same size so I decided that they would sandwich together first, and then I would roll up the bit with the pencils etc on top. .

For the Paintbox:
(1) Wrap a piece of newspaper around your paintbox. Add an extra 1.5" for the flap at the top. 
Cut it out.

(2) Pin the strip of newspaper to the fabric, adding 3/4" seam allowance all around. Cut it out.

(3) Sew velcro tabs to each end, one on the inside and one on the outside (obviously). 

(4) Cut two strips of fabric the length and depth of the paintbox, adding 3/4" seam allowance. 

(5) Stitch two long strips onto the main piece to form a pocket. I sewed right way out, and covered raw edges with apron tape (I'm not sure what it's called in the fabric shops). But there should be plenty of excess fabric on the seams to turn in the edges and do a neat hemming job.

For the Outer Wallet:
(1) Measure a piece of fabric 1" wider on both sides than the little pocket you've made for your paintbox. That's your width (I'm assuming the paintbox is the longest item you want to pack). To determine the length, just make sure it is long enough to wrap everything up comfortably. Stitch the paintbox pocket onto the fabric on two or three sides. I did two and it is plenty strong enough.

For the Ceramic Palette Pocket: 
I padded this to cushion it in case of an accident. 
(1) Cut out a rectangular piece of cushy fabric a bit bigger than your palette (to allow for a neat hem).
Make a little flap out of your checked fabric. Mine was about 1.5" X 2" after hemming. Stitch a bit of velcro on the inside of the flap, as for the paintbox.

Trap this little flap between the outer wallet and the rectangle of jumbo cord, and stitch securely all around.
Hem as you go. Use your iron first and it will be nice and neat.
(2) Sandwich together a piece of check fabric and another piece of jumbo cord a bit bigger than your palette. Stitch all around, hemming nicely. Stitch the corresponding bit of velcro onto the checked side.

(3) Stitch this piece onto the bit that you have stitched onto the outer wallet, making sure it covers the inner bit of jumbo cord.

Now your paintbox and palette are safe! 

For the pencil/brush holder:
I thought this bit would be tricky but it wasn't. 
(1) I cut a really long length of checked fabric. I stitched around three sides with white apron tape (bias binding, whatever). You could hem it also if you like. Now it's much longer than the outer wallet, and has neat edges.
(2) Now, make little tubes for each of your brushes and pencils. Just wrap a bit of fabric around each one and stitch as you go, nice and snug so it's tight enough not to fall out. Much easier than it sounds.
(3) Continue until you reach the edge of the wallet. Leave a long strip so that it will wrap around the entire wallet when closed. Stitch velcro to each end of the trailing flap, on either side. The way to get the position right is simply to roll it up full of your sketch kit, and see where the velcro should be.

My Mistakes:
I screwed up in two ways, which I will have to fix.
1. The tube for the craft knife should have been closed at one end, with its own flap. The Stanley knife I use is too heavy not to have its own little pocket, and keeps falling out.
2. Same with my rubber, which needs its own tiny little pocket. 

One More Useful Thing to Know:
When I am out sketching, the ceramic palette fits nicely on the "palette" (ie lid) of the paintbox. This saves valuable space.

I hope this has been easy to follow. Sometimes I think something is really clear and people say it's totally illegible. If you would like to take a look at what I've painted with my lovely sketchwrap, then have a look around my gallery at I hope you really enjoy it.

Good Luck!!

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