Monday, January 4, 2010

hold everything!

well, peeps, here it is.  my solution to coupon craziness.

the hold everything! notebook.

i ♥ coupons, and they are everywhere these days.  most grocery trips i can save $20 just by planning ahead.  well, i can when i remember my coupons, & can find them at the checkout while wrestling candy away from aj and the debit pad pen away from zach.   so i schemed and plotted and came up with this.

i know there are those of you out there who already have your planners for 2010 - and if so, you probably aren't the type of person who needs this notebook!  you're a stylishly put together woman, with manicured nails and a daily yoga routine :)  for the rest of us, still in our pjs, the first week of the year might be a record for switching the calendar.  am i right?  and to help you out with that, i am giving away this one to someone!  just leave me a comment with your best organizing tip - be it for coupons, clothing, whatever helps you stay one step ahead.  i'll draw a winner randomly on wednesday the 6th - because i want the winner to get the planner before january is already over!

for the rest of you, i'll do my best to share how i put this thing together.  you know i make tons of quilted list takers, and i love them.  they're small enough to fit inside my purse, so handy with a pen and notepad right there, & when i added a paperclip to the pocket, they could even stash some of my coupons for that days shopping trip.  but my poor planner was feeling left out, and was often left behind.  i decided to see if i could combine them into one big notebook, with an extra pocket or two for stamps and gift cards.  several muslin prototypes were made.  (ugh.  muslin is so boring.  i prefer my usual method of jump right in and pray for the best!)

so.  find a planner you like.  this one is from dollar tree and measures around 8 1/2"x11".  they came in orange and green too.  then choose some matching fabrics.  i went with a fat quarter i got in a swap - i forget who gave it to me, don't know who makes it.  i found a coordinating solid in my stash, and used some linen type fabric that came off a curtain i shortened.  i also used a piece of muslin to back the pocket.  i used flannel as interfacing to give it a little body.

cut three pieces of fabric 11 1/2" x 17".  one cover, one lining, and one flannel.  place the flannel and cover material together, and "quilt" it however you'd like.  i chose to do some straight lines running along the center stripe.

cut a piece 11 1/2" x 8" for the left side pocket.  fold this in half, right sides out, to make it 4" wide.  press, and top stitch the folded edge.  lay along the right side of the lining fabric.

cut a strip to use for the straps, around 14 inches long.  i used the existing hem of my curtain fabric, and made a strip of bias tape from that.  you could use double fold bias tape, or maybe even ribbon.  you may need to interface it where the snaps are attached.  after i stitched the tape closed on the edge, i used my new pliers kit to attach the snaps.  have you used one of these before?  i screwed it up the first go round, but got it right my second try.

make a pocket for the notepad.  cut a piece of fabric and another of muslin about 8" x 9".  you'll want to stitch them, right sides together, along the top and right side.  after you turn this out, topstitch along the upper edge.  align the pocket with the lower right corner of the lining material.  stitch along the left edge, securing it to the lining fabric.  measure in an inch from the left edge and stitch a line for the pen pocket.

i put my straps about 7" from the left.  the top card pocket is stitched on right above the notepad.  i used a ponytail elastic for a closure, and stitched it in the center right hand side. once you have that all laid out, lay your cover material on it, right sides together, and pin along the edges.

stitch together using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving an opening for turning.  clip corners, turn out and press.  pin the turning hole shut, and stitch all around the edge of your notebook cover.    you can do this with the straps in or out.  in will make them a little more snug, out means less bulk to sew through.  hope that makes sense!  now, press again, and mark where your button should go.  stitch it on.

tuck in your planner, notepad and pen, and give yourself a pat on the back!  you did it!  admire it and take pictures to share on your blog.  make some more and give them away to your unorganized friends.  or keep it for yourself, slip some coupons under your paperclip, and start the new year off right!  don't forget to leave me a comment for a chance to win.  i will randomly draw a number on wednesday afternoon, so be sure i have a way to contact you!  and if you know the name of the floral fabric, let me know, would you?  now, it's off to bed for me...


Lauranie said...

I just wanted to tell you that your tutorial is GREAT!! I understood it the first read through...nice job!! I have had the same plier kit for a while, and it is STILL hit or miss for me!! Those little prongs need to be just so in order for them to not poke through the snap!! You don't need to include me in the giveaway...I'm not THAT greedy! :D But it is awesome...good luck to everyone!

dmeryan said...

Your so talented - love the notebook and I do need a place for my coupons!

Hmmm...organizational tips? Getting organized is on my list of things to accomplish for 2010 so I'm excited to see everyone elses. :) One thing that we do that helps on busy mornings is to be sure that all the school items are in the backpack before we go to bed - there's never enough time in the morning!

Ellen said...

Excellent tutorial! Beautiful blog.
Now for organization...I keep paint chips, fabric swatches and wallpaper samples in a ziplock bag in my purse at all times. Handy when you are out shopping. Freaks my friends out sometimes though. ha

Carrie said...

Cute idea. Love it. Organize... hmmm... not too good on that one. I do organize my kids clothes by using those under the bed things and labeling them with the sizes and seasons since we get so many hand me downs. Other than that... chaos seems to be my MO.

Helena said...

Love it, my coupons are scattered in the bottom of my purse if i can ever find them. I am more organgized in the kitchen. Here's my tip/s I printed three blank calendars(no number dates) filled 1 out for breakfast 1 for lunch 1 for dinner. Then made grocery list off my calendars I store in 3 ring binder along with recipes. i do use sheet protectors to store small recipe cards and such.

Anonymous said...

I love it! The most organized thing in my house is the hand-me-downs. I have three girls (7,4,and 2), so I have to store the off-season and off-size clothes somewhere. I just got three big rubbermaid containers and labeled them "Too Big For Megan", "Too Big for Jenna" and "Too Big for Rachel". Then I get them out twice a year and get the ones out that fit everyone and are for the right season. When someone outgrows something, I just shove it in the next kid's tub.

Mama Lusco said...

This is awesome! Thanks for the tutorial. I've tried to make something similar for a gift, but it didn't turn out as well as yours :) I'd love to win this! I found you on SMS and for an organizational tip, my motto is "When in doubt, throw it out!" I tend to collect papers and things, but my home stays much tidier when I just throw stuff out. Happy New Year! Thanks for the giveaway :)

Shawnee said...

I need this cutie! My organizational tip is to use the little make-up bags in my purse for the various things I can't live without. I need to clean them out for the new year, too!

shawneeh at


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