Since my boss as good as announced on Friday that I’d be working this weekend, I figured I’d better have a project ready to go that could stand some interruptions. Lengthy ones. Really lengthy ones.
Other than an utterly plain sock, I couldn’t think of anything much that I wanted to make… and then I remembered I’d been meaning to buy some wrist wraps for Crossfit (crossfit? do we capitalize it? I suppose we must, blah branding, blah, God, I’m a terrible IP lawyer).
When I looked up wrist wraps for purchase, I was frankly appalled. Really? $20 and up for a 3″ strip of quilting fabric? I really do understand that artisans need to make a real wage too, and I certainly estimate $50/hour and up for my production time on projects and I believe it’s fair… but there’s a point where I balk. Maybe it’s worth it to me to pay for a thing I really won’t make, but…
One trip to JoAnn Fabric and $35 later, I had materials for… well, there are six sets of wraps done and I still have material for about eight more. And the whole process took me just over two hours. That seems efficient.
Curious? Here’s how it goes:
For each set of wrist wraps you will need:
1/3 yard cotton fabric (Not knit. It won’t work with knit. Besides, all the hilarious prints are in the quilting fabric.) (yes, I know 1/3 yard is 1 foot. Sewing stores are funny like that. Anyway, I got 1/2 yard.)
2 feet of twill tape or shoelace.
That’s it. That’s all you need. It’s like $2 of stuff. Now, got a spare 15 minutes? Let’s make some wrist wraps.
Step 1: get the cat off the table. Failing that, at least get her away from the sewing machine. Or even just “far enough away that I can pretend she’s not lying on the fabric. (This is St. Joan. She has an awesome backstory that I’ll tell you about some other time. It involves dogs, and the Nutcracker Suite.)
Step 2: get some REALLY awesome fabric. It helps if you photograph it a little bit blurry so your readers forget later on that there’s this really pretty orange and white stuff that they’ll never see again cause you forgot to bring the white bobbin down from upstairs when you brought the sewing machine down and anyway by that point you had like six sets of wraps and HOW MANY WRAPS DO YOU NEED and you can’t be trusted with white cloth besides.
Step 3: cut the fabric lengthwise into 6″ strips (this means you will have a 6×36 or 6×45 or whatever your fabric measured strip). Obvs, you will need TWO of these per set of wrist wraps. You can also cut four 3″ wide strips, if you want your wraps to have a contrasting side. I totally have the fabric to do this, y’all, but again, LAZY. It doesn’t matter if your strips are, like, perfectly, exaaaaactly 6″. Nobody’s gonna judge you if the finished wraps end up two-and-a-quarter inches wide instead of two-and-a-half or whatever. Just don’t make it tooooo narrow or you won’t be able to cover your wrist joint.
Eventually you will have waaaaaay too many strips to actually use. That’s when you know it’s time to move on. Unless you’re only making one set of wraps, in which case I applaud your restraint. How did you walk past the Hello Kitty fabric? It was hilarious. Maybe you better go back to the store. You know, while the sewing machine is still on the dining table.
Step 4- shake your strips out, and fold them lengthwise, so they’re 3″ wide. Cut a little rooftop shape in the end.
Step 4.1 – even up your roof shape. It’s crooked. And how many times have I told you to stop biting your fingernails?
This is what your strip should look like after Step 4.
Next, you get to play with fire. Everyone likes fire. Take your twill tape or shoelace, and singe the ends so they don’t unravel. Yeah, sure, you could use fraycheck, or stitch the ends, but, I mean, FIRE, you guys! BOOM! WHOOSH! Um. I. Erm. *cough*
Don’t matchheads look like little stamens?
If you have a wrist handy, you can figure out how long your twill tape pieces need to be like this (Model: The Boy. Photographer: Guess Who?) Otherwise, 12″ is a safe length.
Step 5: line up your freshly-singed twill tape with the points on your little houses, and…
Fold it up inside, with the right sides of the fabric together. You could use a pin here, but I like to live dangerously. You could also use a pin or safety pin to keep the end of the twill tape from becoming intimate with the seam you’re about to sew.
Step 6: I made a 1/4″ seam around the edge, because hey, it’s not actually a load-bearing seam. Then I stitched back and forth across the end of the “roof” where the twill tape is attached, for security and to keep that end a more tidy shape when I turned it right side out.
Step 7: Turn it right side out. (bet you didn’t see that coming.) (The white thing in the middle of the pile of funky tubes is my super-fancy turning-right-side-out stick, or as The Boy likes to call it, “that piece of tubing you cut off the baby gate so the cats could get to the litter box but the dogs can’t.”) (It took me longer to figure out the punctuation at the end of that last sentence than I should probably admit.)
Step 8: Get the dachshund off the ironing board.
Step 8: Iron all your tubes flat. You want the seam to be all on one side. I was going to take super sexy ironing pictures, and then I realized I was running the risk of burning the fabric AND the pictures were not particularly exciting. So go ahead and imagine me ironing this on Mars, in a slinky silver catsuit, while dancing to In the Hall of the Mountain King, ok?
Step 9 is another not sexy step. Just topstitch a little seam all the way around the wrap, as close to the edge as you can get it. You’re done! Make jellyrolls. Photograph your jellyrolls. Try to figure out if jellyroll is one word or two. Decide it’s only one, because WordPress is totally fine with it in spellcheck, although it doesn’t like “WordPress” “spellcheck” or “topstitch.”
Pat yourself on the back, congratulate yourself on saving money, and, um. Realize that you should have prewashed your fabric. Well… into the washer they go!
PS- That’s Bubba P. Cat, alias Roscoe.
PPS- He sleeps under the covers with his head on my shoulder and his paws wrapped around my bicep.
PPPS- Whether I like it or not.