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!
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.
- Kathy’s free star Chicago flag template (PDF)
- Cream fabric
- Light blue fabric(I used super soft fleece)
- Red fabric (small amount for stars)
- Iron-on craft weight interfacing
- White, red and light blue thread
- Rotary fabric cutter
- Clear fabric ruler
- Self-healing mat
- Good fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!