Tuesday, July 27, 2010

crafty crossover

As I'm home more often than I'm not, I've considered turning this into a craft blog during the non-travel times. I do snack a lot when making things; lots of trips between the living room and kitchen, so it's not entirely off topic. And current circumstance has presented a golden opportunity for blog hybridization.

So when I was standing in the lost luggage office in Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, fumbling around unsuccessfully through my pockets and remaining carry-on to locate the boarding pass stub of the flight that lost my luggage (it was hiding in my back pocket and I somehow missed it multiple times), while simultaneously trying to hold onto and not lose track of my passport and recently processed migration card (neither of which you want to lose while in Russia), it occurred to me that a passport cozy was just the thing I needed to keep all those bits of paper organized. Etsy has too many options for me to bear browsing through. The standard fare (faux) leather passport wallets smack of corporate flunkie (although I remember poring over the Coach catalog in the 80s and coveting one of their passport wallets, this back in the day before Coach became the dross it is today. I digress). Conveniently, I live half a block away from a fabric store, so wandered over to browse the bolts, only to find a choice range of nifty printed Japanese cottons and linens. The bus image was thematically appropriate, and the polka dots and stripes decidedly distinguishing and adorably obnoxious at the same time.

I toyed around with the idea of making it a wallet-style bifold, with a pocket for the passport on one side and a pocket for tickets and such on the other, but didn't think the fabric alone would hold the shape well. While I noodle through ideas for some manner of stiffener, I decided on a simple open-top pocket with exterior pockets design for the first version, and voila.

The exterior pocket wraps around, so it's essentially three pockets. It's not the most precisely made little thing; my seams are a little bunchy, despite an attempt at layering, and some of the wrinkles resisted the hightest linen setting on my iron, or else I was being stingy with the steam. I was planning on a little security flap at the top, but didn't quite leave myself enough extra fabric. Plus I made life hard for myself by trying to keep the stripes lined up, which sort of worked but took longer than I would have liked. Improvements will be made on the next version, if I even get there; the fate of this is be stuffed with papers and then stuffed into a bag, so as long as the stitches don't unravel, it will be doing its job. Fortunately, I'll get a chance very soon to put this to the test, as I'll be jetting off next week to points east.