Sunday, May 1, 2011

Style Stitches Challenge 4: Beautiful Balance Checkbook Cover finished!

As you know, there hasn't been a ton of sewing going on around here lately. April was a busy month, and I wasn't feeling particularly great for most of it, so even though I started this month's Style Stitches Challenge bag right at the beginning of the month, I only (finally!) finished the Beautiful Balance Checkbook Cover today (technically, not even April anymore).
I was happy with how it turned out in that in looked and acted like it was supposed to. I liked my choice of fabrics (some home decs I picked up from Joann's several months ago), and it was definitely one of the easier patterns we've done so far. It's a complete joke that the Cosmo bag was a "beginner" project and this was "intermediate." I think someone messed up during editing. :)
However, on the whole, I think this project was a fail. First, it seemed like kind of a throwaway addition to the book. I mean, who uses checkbook covers that much anymore? It would have made more sense for AB to make it into a wallet, which some others in the challenge actually did do. But my bigger issue is in its actual construction. Like I said, it goes together well, and the instructions (except the final step, which I found a bit confusing and I think incomplete) are nice and clear, but the final product is SO incredibly bulky. I don't think the fleece is necessary at all. Others had mentioned this in their reviews, but I decided to follow the pattern because I feel like you should try it once — everyone's entitled to their own opinion, after all, and I might not have agreed with them. But in this case, everyone else was right. Leave out the fleece. The cover is so large as to be almost unusable. I handed it to Matt, and he just said, "I'm unimpressed" (and he wasn't referring to my work).
I do think I would consider using the pattern again, but I'd definitely modify the pockets to hold cards, so it could be used as a wallet, and I'd only use the regular interfacing, not the fusible fleece. Also, while I liked my fabrics, the home dec was completely unnecessary. Quilting cottons would have worked just fine (and maybe better because there would have been less bulk in the seam allowances).
Also, full discretion here. When I got to the final step, I attempted to follow the directions, stitching in the ditch to match up the seams and then adding topstitching on each side of the seam. On the outside, it looked great. But you'll notice in the picture above that I couldn't get my seams to line up, so the stitching looks completely wonky on the inside. It's bad. Thankfully, I don't think people will really notice unless they look closely, but it was definitely an "oops" moment. C'est la vie.

I'm linking up to the challenges at My Crafty Crap and JemJam.


  1. I agree with all your thoughts on this pattern. Most definitely easier than the Cosmo Bag! This could have easily been the first pattern in the book & would have been a much better start.

    I haven't use the fusible fleece for any of the projects where it's called for because I don't own any, and I'm too cheap/lazy to go buy some. It seems to be saving me some headache though, so I'll stick to my frugality. :)

    Overall, I think yours looks great! I agree with your husband, I'm unimpressed with the pattern, but your work looks great & I'm sure you're the only one who will notice the off stitching on the inside.

  2. Wow, how did I miss that you have a blog? Where have I been? You're officially bookmarked.

    Oddly enough I desparately need a checkbook cover. The plastic one from the bank is just not snazzy enough for my purse full of matchbox cars and receipts.


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