A Fun Portfolio Project for the New Year

A number of years ago I created a portfolio for myself using a pattern from Bernina. It was intended as an exercise in using their circle tool. A local Bernina store offered a class using the pattern so I had plenty of help on my first try.

Original portfolio

I still am using that portfolio and about two years ago decided to make versions for my daughter and son-in-law. They loved their portfolios and continue to use them. This fall I got way more ambitious and decided to make a series of portfolios as Christmas gifts.

Playing with variations

I took the basic idea of the original portfolio but decided to give myself more leeway in the design process. Rather than focusing upon circles, I took the basic form of a long rectangle and used assorted materials from my stash along with decorative stitching and some ribbons to create the outer portion of each portfolio. This decision really allowed me to have some fun with both novelty fabrics and vintage Japanese cottons I had collected over the years.

To line the insides of each portfolio, I simply chose a coordinating fabric. Using some double sided midweight fusible stabilizer to join the outer and inner sides of the portfolio and some bias binding to edge the rectangular shape, my gift portfolios were near completion. All that was left was to fold the rectangle to create the pouch and the cover sections, stitch the sides of the pouch section, and add a velcro fastener.

The gifts were a tremendous success and I really encourage everyone to play with this idea. It is a great way to use some of your stash. While I created portfolios that could easily hold a notebook or letter sized documents, one could easily create other sized portfolios by altering the size of the starting rectangle. (I began with rectangles roughly 15″x 28″). I wasn’t able to find my original instructions online but did find some references on the Bernina site for a similar idea that you could easily use as a jumping off guide: https://weallsew.com/embroidered-circles-folio

Below are images of one of the new portfolios from various views:

Wishing you a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!

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  1. Your portfolios are beautiful! I’m sure everyone who received one loves it!

  2. What a lovely idea! I’m not surprised they were a hit!

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