Making Issue No. 7 / Makes / Tool Roll
Makers, by nature, have a lot of tools. We are often dependent upon them to aid us in the creative activities we love, from cooking to sewing, tools are a necessary part of every craft. I come from a family of makers, so creating is in my blood. My dad is a contractor, and from as far back as I can remember, he could always be found building or fixing something with a tool in hand. Because construction is his profession, he owns every tool for every situation imaginable, and if I need help with something, I know he has both the knowledge and equipment to make it happen. He'll drive to my home in his big truck, open up all the neatly organized white cabinets, pull out a few tool bags, and get to work. My grandma is a maker as well; she sews and is the one who taught me the craft of stitches. Similarly to my father, my grandma has every sewing related tool you can conceive. If I'm working on a project and realize I'm missing something, it's only a quick phone call to my grandma and a drive over to her house through the canyon for resolution, just like when it came to sourcing eyelets and an eyelet tool for this project.
Along with having many tools comes the trick of figuring out where to put and how to organize them for easy access and optimum use. I love organizing. I love having a shelf full of neatly folded fabric and drawers filled with tools in little dividers, but the truth is that it can sometimes be a challenge to keep everything in place, and during the making hours, my work area is a complete mess. Tools everywhere, fabric everywhere, thread clippings all over the floor, it's a wonder something beautiful comes out of it in the end, but it does, and after the making ends, it's time to clean up and put everything back into its place. The practice of cleaning up my work area after each project helps me to start the next with a fresh mind and clean slate. If all my tools, fabric, and resources are in their proper place, it's much easier for me to get started.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not 100% organized, far from it. Some of the drawers in my studio closet are pretty messy, so I've by no means mastered the art of organization, but it is my goal to one day have everything neatly placed in its own space, and I'm getting there little by little. After all, I believe the tools I use are valuable instruments helping me to do the thing I love-sew. And since these things help me to be more productive, safer, and create items I am proud of and treasure, I think I ought to treat them as though they are treasures as well, and that starts with care, which is where this fabric tool roll comes into place. Not only is it helpful to have things well organized, but it's even better when they can be stored beautifully.
There is something so satisfying about creating a thing that helps you create things, even if its purpose functions indirectly. Lately, I've realized how much joy I feel from creating something that isn't worn on the body but is made for my everyday life. Having a beautiful workspace helps inspire me, and having a beautiful home for my tools comforts me. My dad has many bags and rolls for his tools that are both durable and functional, but I think I have him beat with this one when it comes to aesthetics.
Instructions for the Tool Roll designed by Arounna Khounnoraj can be found on pages 33-36 of Making Issue No. 7 which includes directions to sew both a leather and fabric version, the second of which is shown here. For this tool roll, the outer material is the Fray Print Fabric that was released with Making Issue No. 6. It's a lovely and bold hand-printed cotton canvas produced in California and was perfect for this project. Though the instructions call for a canvas as the interior fabric, with this make, it was used for the exterior to show off the beautiful and unique print. For the interior, a simple Kona Cotton backed with fusible interfacing was used. Wrapping around the outside is leather cord in the color Warm Millet sourced from Purl Soho, and instead of a grommet, a 1/4" eyelet was installed.
One of the wonderful things about creating something yourself is the ability to make it your own with the materials you choose and the way you decide to construct and change it. This tool roll is the perfect size to be held in hand, and with a little rearrangement of the pockets, it would also make a great clutch. As noted above, a few changes from the pattern were made with the tool roll pictured here, and in the next post, I'll be sharing more about those changes and some tips for working with thicker fabrics. - Emily