It came to my attention after I wrote this that you might be interested in using numbers other than 1 and 4, especially if you've found this after we've moved past the class of '14. You can find all of the numbers, 0 - 9, here which can be plugged into the design in any combination you'd like! For full instructions on how to use the numbers click here.
My baby is graduating from high school this spring. I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around that idea. It seems like yesterday he was playing with Hot Wheels and wishing he could be Buzz Lightyear, and now we’re talking about college and career. But whether I’m ready for it or not, it’s happening, so I’m trying to get onboard. I’m starting with a coffee cup sleeve, commemorating his graduating class. This one is going to his school as part of a giveaway for seniors who’ve completed their financial aid applications, but make it in their school colors and it would be a great gift for any graduate.
This is where all that information on foundation paper piecing that I shared on Monday is going to come in handy. If you didn’t get a chance to go over it, at the very least watch Crafty Gemini’s video before digging into this project.
As with every coffee sleeve before it, you’ll need fabric, InsulBrite, elastic cord and a button. You’ll also need to print one copy of this pattern, which includes three pages. The full sleeve pattern is included twice, because you’ll need two of them. The labels on the pieces are shown in red for the parts that should be a contrasting color, represented in yellow on my project. Be sure you print at full size.
We’re going to start by making the numbers. Cut each of the numbers apart on the pattern. I like to start by cutting out a larger-than-necessary piece of fabric for each piece I’ll be sewing.
To start, place piece A1 on the wrong side of the pattern with the wrong side of the fabric facing the paper. You can hold it up to a light source to make sure it’s placed correctly. Ignore the backward letters on my pattern pieces. I was working from the rough draft when I made my sleeve.
Add the next piece, which will be A2, with right sides of the fabric facing each other and enough overlap on the sewing line for a 1/4” seam. This is the back side of the pattern.
Reduce the stitch size on your machine to around 1 1/4 – 1 1/2. Stitch on the front of the pattern along the line, overstitching by a bit on each end.
Fold the pattern back along the stitching and cut the seam allowance to 1/4”. Some people feel like this step is optional, but it keeps everything a little neater and less confusing for me.
With a dry iron, press piece A2 back.
Repeat the process with pieces A3 and A4. Cut around the piece along the outer edge of the pattern, which leaves a 1/4” seam allowance all the way around.
And it should look something like this.
Sew the B pieces together the same way, then attach section A to section B.
Now that you have the 1 finished, complete the 4 the same way.
Beginning with the 1, treat it as your first piece on the full coffee sleeve pattern. Place it carefully and accurately. Continue with the next pieces, which will be C and D.
Add the remaining pieces through F, then add M to the end. Set the entire piece aside.
Repeat on the second paper print-out, using the 4 as your starting piece and continuing with J through L and adding N to the end.
Trim the inside of both pieces leaving a 1/4” seam allowance. Stitch the two pieces together down the center with right sides together.
Flip over and cut around the outside edge of the pattern. A seam allowance is already accounted for.
Carefully tear away all of the paper. Tweezers might come in handy for the small pieces in the seams.
Cut out the backing and the InsulBrite. Cut a 3” piece of the elastic cord and sew or tie the ends of it together. Layer the pieces with the InsulBrite, the front, the elastic centered on the right side, a tag on the left if you use one and the back face down on top.
Stitch around with a 1/4” seam, leaving a couple of inches open at the bottom for turning. Clip the corners, turn right-side out and press, turning in the opening.
Stitch all the way around, close to the edge. Sew the button on the side opposite the elastic.
Hook the elastic around the button, slide it onto a cup and you’re done.
Are you a little dizzy after all of that? I know it seems complex, but once you understand the basics of foundation paper piecing it’s actually pretty easy. I look at it like this – at least it’s not as difficult and complicated as graduating from high school!