DIY Knitting Chart Holder – A Tutorial

I’ve been toying with the idea of making a knitting chart holder for a while now, and this weekend, I decided to just go for it. I’m test knitting a friend’s pattern and a chart holder would come in really handy so I don’t mark up the original, while another pattern has tea stains all over it from me trying to use a tea mug to hold it in place. So yeah, I needed a holder. 🙂

And when I saw some magnetic sheets from this stall at the Crafting Live Show in Belfast this past weekend, I knew I was going to make a go of it. Except I wasn’t sure where to start. Or how I was going to make it. But I did some thinking, some Googling, and after careful consideration, decided to wing it. (That might just be my motto for everything, by the way….)

I had spotted these on Etsy, and while I liked the design, I didn’t fancy paying the customs and import tax. Plus, you know, the challenge of making my own had been thrown down. But my design is loosely based on those. And here’s how I did it:

I bought a cardboard binder in Tesco for 75p to use as a backing, and fabric and hook and loop fastening from my stash. I also needed glue, a ruler and pencil, scissors,2 magnetic sheets, a bit of interfacing, sewing machine, and thread. (I’m going to assume basic sewing knowledge, just let me know if you need anything clarified.)

So first, I decided on size. (My magnetic sheets were about 8″ x 12″, so I went with that.) I cut out two rectangles the same size from the binder, and glued a magnetic sheet to one of them. I measured my fabric and cut two rectangles (outer fabric and inner fabric) at 17″ x 13″. (It’s going to fold in half, like a book, so keep that in mind if you’re using a fabric with a one-way pattern.)

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I also cut a small rectangle about 9″x 3″, for a pencil holder. I folded the long sides in by 1/4″, then the top down by 1″, and placed it right-side up on the right side of the outer fabric, about 3″ in from one of the short sides, and with the bottoms aligned (the bottom of the pencil holder will be sewn into the seam of the bottom of the chart holder). I topstitched it down.

I then sewed around 3 sides of the rectangles with right sides together, leaving one of the long sides open, with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn the open edges under 1/4″ and press. We’re going to slide the cardboard bits (one with the magnetic sheet) into the opening. But not yet. 😉

In order to make the cardboard bits really snug and to stop them moving around in there, I measured them against the fabric rectangle and drew a line along the top of each cardboard bit. (I was left with about an inch in the middle of the fabric rectangle for the fold.) Then I stitched down both lines (see the pic on the right).

Ok, almost there. Next, I made a strap to help it stay upright. I cut a strip of fabric about 12″x 3″, then a piece of interfacing at 12″ x 1″. I folded the strip in half wrong sides together and pressed it down, then ironed on the interfacing to the wrong side with an edge butting up against the centre crease. Then with wrong sides together,  I sewed raw edges of the strip together along the long sides and one of the short sides. I clipped the corner and turn it right side out and pressed it flat. Then I positioned it about 2″ up from the bottom, against the back of the magnetic sheet, with the raw edge stuffed inside the opening.

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Now here’s the hard part. If you have a zip attachment on your machine, use it. We’re going to topstitch the opening closed. If it’s too tight, or too awkward, then it can easily be hand-stitched instead using small stitches. You’ll want to catch the strap in there, too, and make sure it’s stitched down nicely. Then I positioned the hook and loop fastening, experimenting as to where it fit the best and provided the most stability, and stitched it by hand onto the inside cover opposite the magnetic sheet (because when it’s flipped out, the hook and loop will be on the outside – see the bottom left picture below).

Lastly, I measured three 1″ strips on the second magnetic sheet and cut those to use to hold my pattern in place. And it’s done! (A little washi tape on top of those strips might look cute too!) Hope I haven’t left anything out.

Now off to knit….

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