How to: Patchwork Sewing Machine Cover
When the Prairie fabrics from Dashwood Studios arrived a few weeks ago I knew they would be perfect to give my little sewing area a bit of a spring time makeover . Over the next few weeks or so I will be bringing you some sewing tutorials for prettifying your sewing area using just one bundle of Prairie fat quarters, well thats the goal anyway! First up is a patchwork sewing machine cover!
I’ve had my little sewing machine for about 7 years now. She came with a vile plastic cover which over the years has became torn and tatty, enough was enough and I decided a new outfit was in order!
Making a sewing machine cover can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Essentially its one long piece of fabric which goes up and over your sewing machine, you can keep it as simple as that adding ties on the side to keep it in place, or you can add side panels so that your machine is entirely encased. You can patchwork or applique, sew on buttons or trims or add a little embroidery, really you can be creative as you like!
This tutorial shows you how to make a lined patchwork sewing machine cover which will completely enclose your machine.
1 metre of lining fabric – Pink Ditsy Bow
Prairie by Dashwood Studio Fabric Pack
1/2 metre Essex Linen in Grey by Robert Kaufman
1 metre of Crochet Lace Trim in Pink
1/2 metre medium weight sew in interfacing
2 metres of bias binding – Pink Stripe Bias Binding
Coats Cotton Thread – 1716
Coats Cotton Thread – 3612 (for sewing on the Crochet Lace Trim)
For this tutorial I made a lining for my machine first. Sewing machines look quite a simple shape but when you start measuring them you realise they are quite lumpy with bobbin winders and hand wheels all sticking out. By making the lining first, it’s almost like making a muslin of a dress before you jump in with your nice expensive fabric, it gives you an idea of how your cover will look on your machine and also let you make any adjustments so when it comes to making the pretty front for your cover, you will be all set to go with your measurements.
First up measure the length, width and height of your machine and then measure up, over and down your machine.
Sewing Machine Cover Lining
1. Take your lining fabric and cut the long middle piece, for mine I cut a piece measuring 30.5 inches by 18.5 inches including the seam allowance (which is a 1/4 inch throughout).
2. I then cut two side pieces, I needed a piece 9 inches at the bottom (plus half inch seam allowance) and 6 inches at the top (again plus a half inch) so 9.5 bottom, 6.5 top and with a length on either side of 13 inch (including half inch seam). I doubled up my fabric and cut the two side pieces at once, since they are exactly the same.
3. Pin one of your side panels to the long length of fabric . Sew up this side from the bottom to the top. When you are almost at the top stop quarter of an inch from the top, leave your needle in, pull up your sewing machine foot and swivel your fabric so you bring the top of your side panel alongside the long length of fabric you just stitched.
Bring your foot down then stitch along the top.
Again when you get 1/4 inch from the end, stop put your needle down into your fabric and swivel so the other edge of the fabric can be stitched down the long length. Stitch down and you have sewn one end of your cover.
4. At this point you may want to put it on your machine and adjust the fabric length. I had been too generous with my fabric so I was able to cut off a couple of inches before sewing in the the other side piece. (make sure you sew the side piece so the you start from the same side of the long piece of fabric that you did previously, that way if your long piece is too long you can just cut it off one side).
(A note on interfacing: when I had made my inner and outer cover I decided they needed a little stabilising so I sewed a piece of interfacing to the wrong side of my inner by stitching it to the main lining piece (not the side pieces). To save you a job later you may want to sew your interfacing onto you long middle piece before sewing on the side pieces.)
5. You are done with your lining. Now onto the outer! If you made any adjustments to your measurements it might be a good idea to measure your inner as a guide for your outer
Sewing Machine Cover Outside
Making the patchwork piece requires a little bit of maths depending on the width of your machine. My sewing machine measured 18.5 inches wide. I wanted to use 2 inch patchwork pieces so I worked out 16 inches = eight 2 inch patchwork pieces and then a border on either side of 1.25 inches would bring my cover to 18.5 inches wide (note these measurements are for the finished piece and do not include seam allowances!). In total I used 88 squares for my 11 rows of eight patchwork squares.
1. Cut your 88 pieces using a rotary cutter and ruler. I used 8 fabrics so needed 11 squares from each fabric piece measuring 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches (including the seam allowance of 1/4 inch). I layered two fabrics on each other and cut through them at the same time to make the cutting process a bit quicker.
Once you have a pile of patchwork pieces it’s time to sew them together.
2. Decide on the order of the pieces for your first row, then chain pieced them together.
Chain piecing makes it really quick to piece your squares together by sewing them one after another, and then snipping the threads in between the blocks before sewing the blocks together to form a row. At the end of each row press your seams all the same way.
3. Repeat for another 10 rows. For each patchwork row I moved a pattern block along so I ended up with the staggered effect you see below. Keep your rows in order so that when it comes to sewing your rows together you can pick up your pile and go!
4. Once all your rows are sewn together its time to add in the borders. I used Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in grey for mine I cut two pieces measuring 22.5 inches by 1.75 inches (incl seam allowance) and sewed those to the long sides of my patchwork.
5. Then I cut two linen pieces measuring 19 inches x 4 inches (including seam allowance) and sewed those to the bottom of my patchwork piece.
6. I then sewed some co-ordinating crochet lace trim down the seam between my patchwork and bottom linen pieces using a matching thread.
7. Once thats done its time to sew in your side pieces using the same method as for your lining. It is also a good idea at this point to make sure you pin the middle of your long patchwork piece and the middle of the top of your side pieces as you want to ensure that they meet when you sew in your side pieces. Otherwise you could end up with your patchwork piece being off centre. Better to find out now than after you have finished stitching in your first piece!
8. Once your side pieces are in and your outer is sewn its time to put your cover together. Place you inner on your machine, right side facing the machine, wrong side facing out then, put your outer cover on top right side facing out.
At this point I trimmed all around the bottom of my cover to get all the lengths even, straight and ready for the bias binding.
9. Whilst my cover was still on the machine I pinned my bias binding to the base of the cover. I used pre made bias binding, it comes pre-folded which provides a handy line to sew along.
If you’ve never used bias binding before you sew one side with your sewing machine and then hand stitch the other side for an invisible finish.
10. Sew along the folded line closest to the bottom of the cover. Once done flip the bias binding down and onto the inside of the cover to conceal the raw edge. Sew the bias binding to the inside of the cover using whip stitch (there is a great video for whip stitch here).
Thats it, your patchwork sewing machine cover is done!
This is what the lining looked like completed. Handy that it’s also reversible!
Yes I’m really rather proud of my new machine cover, its certainly spruced up my sewing room!