Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sew on Saturday: Envelope for Pink & Brown Set

Here is the fabric envelope I made to keep the Pink & Brown kitchen set together in the hope chest. I call this an envelope because I don't know what else to call it. I need some kind of article to keep everything in a set from shifting around and becoming disorganized as we stir around in the hope chest. I began to solve the problem by tying things together with ribbons, but I find that ribbons are totally inadequate for the job! I've done this envelope thing a number of different ways for a few of the different sets that I've completed so far. Not all of the completed sets have an envelope yet; some are still just tied with ribbons. But, I'm on a quest for the perfect style.

For example, the envelope for the Thanksgiving set has four radiating arms that fold over the linens and tie together on top. I included a tag made from a scrap of the apron fabric. This gives Miss Abigail a reminder as to what is inside the packet without having to undo the bow. I like how it looks and how it completely encloses the set, but it is a little hard to measure and construct.

The envelope for the Brown & Aqua set is a wide fabric rectangular "ribbon" and closes with buttonholes and 5 different buttons on the top of the stack. The sides are open so that contents are easily seen and I like that aspect. It is much easier to construct. This envelope has an embroidered monogram. I posted a tutorial explaining this style.

The envelope for the Peachy/Green set is also a wide fabric ribbon and closes with 3 buttons and tabs on top. No monogram, but a little bit of embellishment with lace and a contrasting fabric strip

I like the fabric ribbon style because I find that I like the open sides. I'm such a visual person and enjoy seeing at least a peek of the linens that are included in the set.

For the Pink & Brown set I thought about making another ribbon style, but ended up adjusting make it very easy. First, I measured the stack of linens. It was 34 inches around the stack. I cut a piece of matching fabric 18-inches by 40-inches to give me enough fabric for hems and overlap. On the short end, I folded over 1/4-inch and pressed. Then measured and sewed a 2 1/2-inch hem. I did this for both short ends of the fabric strip.

Then, on the long sides, I again measured and pressed a 1/4-inch fold and pressed again at 3/4-inch for a casing down the length of the sides. I left this casing open at both ends for the ribbons.

I measured two ribbons 39-inches long and pulled them through the casing with a large safety pin. Be sure to pin one end of the ribbon so that it doesn't accidentally pull through before you are ready to gather it up.

Finally, I placed the stack of linens in the middle of the fabric and just folded the ends over the top. I gathered the ribbons and tied them to enclose then linens and secure the envelope. I think it works pretty well. I like that there is a bit of fabric down the sides to keep things from shifting. It was also much easier to make than any of the other styles. It is much more plain, though, I should have put some lace on there at least! Hmmm. Maybe I'm just getting lazy in my old age. If I can find some time I may go back and add something. Well, regardless of how plain it is, the envelope will keep the linens in this set together in the hope chest, while allowing one to easily see what's inside. Mission accomplished.


  1. Such wonderful ideas! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. I have to admit that I like the first envelope for the Thanksgiving collection best. It's neat, tidy, and beautiful. When we lived in El Salvador the ladies there have a similar, but impromptu, method of making an "envelope." They lay a cloth out, lay whatever items they want to wrap in it, pull opposite corners together and tie a loose knot, then pull the other two opposite corners together and tie a second knot -- loose if they're carrying it underneath, tighter if they're going to use that knot as a handle. But your envelope is more beautiful!

    When I looked at the last envelope quickly, at first I thought it was a bag and thought what a great idea because it would be useful after all the items in it are in use -- legos, cover for a doll, etc.

    The things you make are so beautiful, Kathleen!

  3. Thanks ladies! It is funny you should mention the impromtu method Nancy. I actually have a couple sets temporarily tied up that way in dishtowels! The problem in the hope chest however, is that the knot on top of the bundle makes an unsteady surface for anything else that gets stacked on top. So I began using large safety pins, but then it really becomes not beautiful! It is less of a problem with the ribbon bow on the Thanksgiving set, because the knot is so much smaller.

  4. There is a beautiful Japanese wrapping cloth that is similar, called furoshiki. They are an art in themselves and can be embroidered with Sashiko. Pinterest shows many styles of tying them to avoid the top knot problem, may work using your towels.

    1. Thank you! I looked up furoshiki and had no idea there were so many beautiful and creative ways to tie a cloth! - I will certainly try a couple of these. A lovely suggestion.

  5. There is a beautiful Japanese wrapping cloth that is similar, called furoshiki. They are an art in themselves and can be embroidered with Sashiko. Pinterest shows many styles of tying them to avoid the top knot problem, may work using your towels.


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