Another obvious page for a boy’s quiet book (well really for both genders) is a road page. I haven’t gotten around to making one for J yet so this is another original one. I looked at tons and tons and tons and tons and tons (you get the idea…) of road pages. And I mean tons. I didn’t see any that were “absolutely awesome, must copy exactly” pages, unfortunately. The most I had figured out was that I wanted it to be two pages. Awesome.
I liked the idea of having a garage to park the car(s) in. So at first I was thinking something along the lines of this. Except that I wanted more than one car. And I didn’t want it to be made from felt. Which was going to make it super complicated–how was it not going to roll out of the book? Maybe I could sew snaps onto the bottom of the garage and hot glue the other end of the snap to the bottom of the car? But that seemed like a lot of effort for something that I wasn’t sure would even work. So I decided to save this set of pages for very last to see if any brilliant ideas struck.
And one did! I saw this absolutely awesome idea on Homemade by Jill (who has a bunch of easy-to-make-but-still-looks-awesome quiet book pages, templates included! Check out her blog!!). I would make a travel caddy, except instead of it being a roll I would sew it right onto a quiet book page! I was still unsure about how I wanted to do the other half of the road page, but at least I had somewhere to start!
I really didn’t follow any of Homemade by Jill’s instructions–I couldn’t since my finished product was completely different. Which is such a shame since they’re so easy to understand!! I made it up on the fly. I started by collecting my vehicles. Awhile back I found a small baggie of assorted vehicles at a thrift store for 2 bucks and picked it up, knowing that I was eventually going to make a car page. I chose four random ones: a motorcycle, a car, a Transformer and a tractor trailer. Much later, after the quiet book was completely finished, my daughter discovered that the tractor trailer was actually a Pez dispenser! Totally awesome coincidence!
Next I chose my fabric. Obviously car-themed. Since my vehicles were all big I had to make the pockets super long. I cut my swatch of fabric so it went from the bottom to about 5 inches from the top. I knew since I was going to make pockets and they were going to puff out that I would need more fabric than just the width of the page. I went a bit overboard, cutting my rectangle about 6 inches wider than the muslin. I figured better safe than sorry–I didn’t want to reach the end and not have enough fabric! It’s hard to tell in this picture, but you can see all of the extra fabric on the left side of the page. And that isn’t even half of it!
I folded the top edge under and sewed it down to prevent fraying. I didn’t bother to do that with the sides or bottom since once I sewed this page onto another page all of those raw edges would be hidden.
Obviously I didn’t want the vehicles falling out so I used what was now becoming a staple in all of Nolan’s quiet book pages: velcro. I cut off 3 squares, one for each pocket. Since I wanted to make sure that everything lined up perfectly, I only worked on one pocket at a time. So first I sewed one piece of the velcro onto the back of the truck fabric. I lined the right edge and bottom of the red fabric up with the right edge and bottom of the muslin. I pinned the other half of the velcro onto the muslin so it matched perfectly. I sewed it on. Then I stitched the truck fabric onto the muslin the whole way down the right side. I made sure to reinforce, then reinforce again, and then reinforce again along the very top edge of the pocket since I knew it would get pulled on a lot. I didn’t want the stitches coming out. Then I sewed along the bottom, but only to where the first pocket was going to end. I slid my tractor trailer into the partial-pocket, making sure I had made it wide enough along the bottom.
I pushed a pin in at the top of the fabric where I wanted the first pocket to end, hoping that would help me to sew in a straight(er) line.
Leaving the truck inside of the pocket I sewed from the bottom up to the top, making sure to reinforce the top 2 inches about 6 times like I had done on the other side. I experimented with the truck a few times, making sure the pocket opened and closed and that the truck fit. Hooray!!
I lined the rest of the cars along the top to see how I wanted to do the other pockets. Turned out that I wouldn’t have enough space for each vehicle to be in its own space, but I could make one of the pockets large enough to fit two of the vehicles. Fine by me!
I sewed the last two pockets the same way. First the velcro on the red fabric. Then the matching side lined up perfectly and sewed onto the muslin. Since I already had the right side of the pocket sewed from the first pocket, I was able to start down at the bottom. I slid the Transformer in to make sure I was making the pocket wide enough, then sewed it as far as I needed to across the bottom, then placed a pin in the top where the edge would finish. I sewed to the top, once again reinforcing the top 2 inches 6 billion times. Then followed the same steps for the last pocket. I trimmed off the 4 or so extra inches I had off of the left side (whoops!). Pockets were finished!
In case you’re confused here’s a picture of the back of the page. It’s much easier to see where I sewed the lines on.
There we go! 3 pockets to fit 4 vehicles, secured by velcro!
Now I had all of that extra space on the top of the page. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with it yet–that would have to wait until I figured out how on earth I was going to do the road on the opposite page.