Stitching a portfolio with circle and hexagon templates

Audition your materials. I thought I might use a vintage buckle or two…but decided against it. Playing around with treasures in your stash is all part of the fun!

When I was a kid, the women of my family would show up with for a visit with their creative works in progress. As they chatted about the latest news, family gossip, or the plot lines to favorite soap operas, our visitors worked on their knitting — a mitten or a sock slowly emerged from the clacking needles. Sometimes, beautiful lace revealed itself from the end of a crochet hook to enhance an embroidered pillow case. Often someone embroidered a pillow case.

This was the lab that fostered my desire to create — where ever and when ever the opportunity arose. Those lessons stuck with me.

Once I learned some basic skills, I was also given my own work bag, which I proudly toted around. Added bonus: engrossed in my latest project, I was the most quiet kid in the house.

Fast waaaaay forward to now, I’m not a fan of idle hands.

But, now there’s less time to indulge my pastimes. I’m often on the road or in waiting rooms. The work bag, charming as it was, isn’t practical to squash into a brief case, ready for a bit of downtime handiwork.

But my Pret-a-Porter Portfolio fits the ticket (and my briefcase) nicely. It has a large zippered pocket to wrangle all manner of sewing bits and pieces, a secure scissor storage pocket, and a built-in pincushion. It also has a pocket for a small ruler, a seam ripper, pencil, and a memo pad.

This project has a lot of sweet details, and it will take some time. But, you’re going to love the results!

Let’s get started. We’ve got places to go, people to see! For today, gather up the things you’ll need:


  • ultra firm, two-sided fusible interfacing (the kind often used to create 3D objects or the sturdy bottom of tote bags)
  • natural decorator weight cotton-linen blend (I found an affordable version at a certain Swedish home goods store…)
  • muslin
  • batting
  • quilting cotton

Come on back tomorrow, when we get busy on a pretty and practical portfolio that’s ready to travel when you are!

We’re going to be doing some fun and fab techniques this week. This is a multi-step project that uses tools and templates!

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2:  Why use pressing spray for your pret-a-porter?

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Allison CB February 12, 2016 - 9:06 am
This is such a cute series!!!
Nancy Devine February 12, 2016 - 7:08 pm
Thank you, Allison. I hope you try making a stitching portfolio yourself.
Pam B February 8, 2016 - 6:43 pm
This looks like fun---I need something to carry my EPP things in. Looking forward to the week ahead.
Nancy Devine February 8, 2016 - 7:28 pm
I hope you enjoy making this portfolio. It's my new favourite! Have a great week!
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