This is a great project for teaching sewing to the Young Women. The young ladies in my Ward had so much fun choosing fabric and sewing their own folder! It’s a lot of straight lines and a very simple, fun project!
You will need 2 remnants of fabric and some ribbon for this project. I prefer fun cotton print fabric and 1/2″ or 3/4″ grosgrain ribbon.
Cut two rectangles of fabric about 19″x 13″. This allows for a pen pocket.
Placing fabric right sides together, sew a 1/4″ seam on 3 sides, leaving one short side open. Some girls sewed this side partially shut, also, leaving room to turn it inside out.
Turn the fabric right side out and give it a good press along those seams. If you left the whole side open, tuck the edges in and press them, too.
I love to embroider the girls’ names on their folders. Now is a good time to do that. You could also use fabric markers, etc. to personalize it.
Next, you need to prepare to sew the pockets in for the books. Lay your folder with the outside fabric down.
Place your books on the fabric. Make sure the books are very close to the top edge of the fabric… if it is too low, you will have floppy fabric at the top. I recommend putting the Personal Progress book in the middle. It’s spiral binding makes it the thickest.
I like to put the pen pocket on the left side as shown. It helps make the front wider when it is all tied up and helps have enough room for the decorations on the front.
Fold the bottom fabric up snugly against the bottom of the books. Pin at the top and bottom of the pocket to give yourself a straight line to sew. Slide the books back and forth and make sure the move in and out easily. Take your time now, so you don’t have to unpick seams later!
You will sew 5 short straight seams. This is when I sew the end closed… I just extend that last seam to go from the top to the bottom. I highly recommend giving each seam a good amount of back-stiching at the top of each pocket. This seam gets a lot of wear and tear. Three times is plenty.
I like to fold up the folder with the books in it to get the ribbon just right. I wrap them in the ribbon and tie it. I usually tie the bow to the left of the front, on the edge of where it opens. You could center the bow. If possible, I like to tie the ribbon around without cutting it from the spool and play with it for a minute to get it just the way I like it. I cut it while it is tied in a bow around the books. I then pin the ribbon to two of the seams and sew it right along those seams lines as shown below. (Please ignore the ugly ribbon… I was drawing with my finger! 😉 )
You’re done! Now you have a cute, personal folder to tuck in with your scriptures or book bag. The girls in my Ward had so much fun and a real sense of accomplishment in sewing their own folders. Please feel free to contact me with questions and I would love to hear about how this project goes for you! Good luck!!
If you would rather just purchase one, you can purchase the personal progress folder here