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Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

Update: This project was proudly featured in Time Out Magazine and at Chicagoist.com. Yay!

My friend Debbie has accumulated an enviable amount of stamps in her passport. Each year she plans a “big trip” which recently has meant China, Costa Rica, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary and Brazil.

I wanted to make a unique gift for Debbie’s birthday so I came up with the idea of a passport cover featuring the Chicago municipal flag:

  • The three white stripes = North, West and South sides of the city
  • The top blue stripe = Lake Michigan and the North Branch of the Chicago River
  • The bottom blue stripe = the South Branch of the Chicago River and the Great Canal
  • Stars = Fort Dearborn, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the World’s Columbian Exposition and the Century of Progress Exposition

Ah, I get such a knot-in-my-throat sense of pride about Chicago. As a big 2016 Olympics bid supporter, Debbie gets it too. Happy birthday, Debbie …and happy travels!

Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

You’re welcome to use these instructions and templates for free for your own personal use. Anyone using the template simply post a comment below or email me to track its usage.

Supplies:

Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

Print out my free Chicago flag template and cut out the pieces. Iron interfacing onto the wrong side of your red fabric. Trace four stars with a pen and cut out.

Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

Cut out the pieces using a rotary cutter, clear fabric ruler and rotary mat:

Cream outside: 12.5″ wide x 6.5″ tall
Light blue inside: 12.5″ wide x 6.5″ tall
Blue flag strips: 3″ wide x 1″ tall (cut two)
Interfacing: 12.5″ wide x 6.5″ tall

Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the cream fabric.

Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

Fold the cream outside piece in the middle (above left), wrong sides together, and crease. Measure 3.5″ from the middle crease on both sides, fold wrong sides together, and crease. Fold the short left and right ends 1/2″ on each side, wrong sides together, and crease.

Lay out the stars and stripes on the right side of the cream front. Using your sewing machine’s zigzag stitch to sew down the stripes first, then the stars one at a time.

Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

Sew the light blue inside to the cream outside, wrong sides together, using a 1/2″ seam and leaving one of the short ends open (above left). Cut off some of the fabric bulk from the corners, turn right side out, and iron. On the open end, turn the cream and blue under 1/2″, tuck inside and pin.

Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

Make it look nice by topstitching close to the edges using cream thread on top and light blue in your bobbin. Fold in the left and right flaps so they’re 3.5″ from the middle crease, then pin and sew along the edge (right on top of what you just topstitched using cream thread) to secure the flaps.

Slip your passport inside and head for O’Hare.

Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

Merriment :: Chicago sewn passport case concepted and created by Kathy Beymer

COPYRIGHT NOTE: You’re more than welcome to use this project and pattern for your own personal use. Please post a comment below or email me if you use this project so I can smile when I see that it’s being used. Craft and pass it on!

 
 




11 Responses to “Chicago flag passport cover”


  1. marci Says:

    LOVE the Chicago Flag. What a great idea. I never would have thought to make a passport cover. What a nice disguise when traveling abroad. Maybe sew it to a band to wear around neck like those security pouches for keeping your passport safe while traveling

  2. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Nicole, that sounds like a pretty color combination. Thanks for the smile today! Kathy

  3. Nicole Says:

    Kathy, I got inspired and made a cover a few days ago – right before I went on a trip. I used blue linen and white/pinkish fabric for the add ons. Making the cover was great fun and showing it at the airport even more. Thanks for sharing your ideas! Nicole

  4. Kathy Beymer Says:

    @Bry :: Thanks so much for sharing your story. Good on ya for not hiding while overseas. You did Chicago proud!! I’ll keep my eye out for those pins. Lovely Bakery on Milwaukee also has cute Chicago coffee mugs in case you can’t get enough of the light blue and red…

  5. Chicagoan Says:

    Hello, I was searching for information on the Chicago flag, and, well, look at the nice thing I found. This is beautiful. In recent years, when I have traveled, I have not worn a US Flag lapel pin. Neither did I wear a Canadian flag as the coward way’s out. I wore a Chicago Flag pin and, boy, did I get into a lot of interesting and funny conversations about it! These pins are available in different places around and about in Chicago.

    –Bry

  6. DJ Says:

    What if i’m too lazy and I want to buy one??

  7. Joseph Dombroski Says:

    This is a lovely idea. I’m thinking of making one for myself (even though my passport rarely leaves the safe anymore).

  8. Mike Says:

    I’ve heard speculation that if Chicago hosts the 2016 Olympics, that the flag would get a 5th star. History!

  9. Shane Says:

    Very cool. When do I get one? ;)

  10. HooperPower Hoopdance Says:

    This is my favorite creation yet. I love this design and the craftsmanship is stellar! As usual. Well done KB. Bravo.

  11. Blagica Says:

    Kathy,

    This cover is terrific! If Chicago wins the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, you should make tons of these!

    Blagica-


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