A while ago I promised a tutorial for portfolio cases. As I was writing it up, I found (via Craft Gossip) a beautifully put-together tutorial for a much more professional portfolio case. My first thought was "No! I'm doing that!" I still wanted to put mine up, but didn't want to seem to be copying. I mailed Kimberly of Niesz Vintage, and she agreed that great minds think alike.
All of which allows me to link neatly to this great post about originality, copying, and influences. Read it and read all the comments too - really interesting.
And here goes with my tutorial:
Cut 3 pieces of fabric: an outer, a lining, and a piece for an inner pocket. For an A5 folder, cut an outer 46cm x 17cm, a lining 22cm x 17cm, and a pocket 17cm high x whatever you have. For an A4 sketchbook folder, cut an outer 117cm x 23cm, a lining 62cm x 23cm, and a pocket 23cm high. (Seam allowances of 1cm are included in these measurements.)
Hem the short ends of the outer and the lining, and the side of the pocket that will be open, by turning under 1cm and stitching.
Mark the middle of the outer piece, and fold the ends towards the middle, with the right side of the fabric on the outside.
Leave a gap between the hemmed ends - 2cm for the A5 folder, 10cm for the A4 sketchbook. Mark the folds. Decide how close to the fold the pocket will be; flip the pocket piece so the wrong side faces you, and stitch it to the cover.
Flip it back over, and press the seam. Sew a button on the outside of the cover.
Fold the long piece again so that the right side of the fabric faces in. Place the lining piece on top, and stitch along the top and bottom.
Clip the corners.
Turn everything right side out (turn so the top and bottom seams are hidden, then turn the pockets, using a knitting needle to get the corners turned completely). Cut bits of card for the pockets and slip them in.
Tie one end of a piece of ribbon or cord around the button, close the folder, wrap the ribbon round to measure how long it needs to be, and cut. The ribbon should wrap 2 or 3 times round the button to be secure.
The sketchbook pocket.