Saturday, September 6, 2008

Today's project was a sewing machine cover. It's actually the red one that is shown later in the post. These pictures seem to have a mind of their own when you load them, so I'm just leaving them the way they came up.

This first picture is of a sewing mat/scrap catcher that you put under your machine. It protects the surface that your machine is on, and the pockets hold supplies, scrap fabric, and threads. I take this with me when I go to classes, as sometimes there is only one wastebasket and it's across the room. You know how messy it can get when you have threads and snippets all over the place. You should always cut your threads as you sew, keeping things neat, and this makes it easy and convenient. This mat was very easy to make. I used pre-quilted fabric, a bias edge, and clear plastic table cloth material for the outermost pocket. All of the materials came in a kit, but are a snap to gather yourself. You can't really see it in this shot, but the there is a center seam down the pockets, making two clear pockets and two cloth pockets, both edged with bias seam binding. If you click on these pictures, you will get an enlarged shot which shows the details much better.
This shows the mat in place, under the machine. Notice the matching sewing machine cover. :) This machine is my class machine, as it only weighs 11 pounds and it usually finds itself sitting on my dining room table for quick use and set up. Because it's out in the open most of the time, I wanted to use a conservative fabric that fits my decor a little bit. (There's really no good way to hide a sewing machine in your living room/dining room!)

If you ever plan on working with plastic or other sticky type materials, you really need a Teflon foot. Instructions often tell you to cover the plastic with tissue paper, but I find it this awkward and you can't see through the tissue paper, making it hard to stitch accurately. There are other ways around this, but the easiest way is to just buy the foot! You can get Teflon feet at sewing stores or on EBay. I got mine on EBay for around $5 and using it once, pays for itself. Now to the sewing machine cover that I made today. This machine stays in my sewing/office room and the pre-quilted red fabric works quite well. I had 1/2 yard of this fabric and I used every scrap. Here it is on my flannel board after cutting out the pieces. I wanted to show you this picture because my flannel board was also homemade. I used a tri-fold, student science project foam core board as a base. My house is apartment sized, so space is at a premium. This unfolds to a nice size (36" H x 48" L) to plan small projects and quilt blocks, then folds up. It can be stored in the space between a washer and dryer....between the wall and the get the idea. To make the flannel board, I used double sided fusible web and just ironed it between the felt and the board, then trimmed the edges with a rotary cutter. It was pretty cheap to make and very useful. My machine cover does have a specific front and a back, as my machine is asymmetrical. I wanted a tighter fit than a symmetrical, universal cover would provide. This little kitty tells me which side is the front. I'll have to embellish it a bit more at a later date. For now, it does the trick. And here's the final cover. Simple and easy. I think it took about an hour from planning to putting it on the machine.

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