Simple Sewing Companion

Materials

  • Fat eighth (22in x 10in) of novelty design fabric.
  • Fat eighth (22in x 10in) of tone on tone contrasting fabric.
  • 12in x 9 in piece of lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Small tassel with 4-inch cord.
  • 1.5 cm button with shank.
  • Small rectangle of flannel 2½in x 3½in (or similar) for needle case
  • HB Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Erasable marking pencil.
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • General sewing supplies

Finished Size

4 inches x 4 1/2 inches (narrowing to 2 inches)

Skill Level

Beginner

You could make this sewing case from two contrasting fabrics or maybe create a piece of crazy patchwork. Add a few simple appliqué shapes or a touch of embroidery on the flap for an individual look. The sewing companion measures 4 inches x 4 1/2 inches (narrowing to 2 inches) and includes a tiny matching needle case. There's space for your 4-inch embroidery scissors, tape measure, marking pencil and thread. The companion has a simple tassel and button fastening.

Preparation

  1. Using the HB pencil, trace the pattern onto the non-adhesive side of the interfacing.
  2. Carefully cut around the marked line.
  3. Position the interfacing, adhesive side down onto the wrong side of the main design fabric so that there is a space of at least 1/4-inch all around. You may like to position the interfacing to take advantage of design details in the fabric. (The grain of the fabric is not important.)
  4. Using a dry iron set for cotton, fuse the interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric. It is best to use a pressing action to avoid creasing the interfacing. Do not cut your fabric at this stage. The fabric will be cut after the stitching is in place.

Attaching the tassel

Pin the tassel to the right side of the fabric so that the cord is positioned in the centre of the flap and the tassel lies towards the bottom edge. Stitch across the cord through the fabric at the point of the flap to hold the tassel in place.

Making the fabric base

Place the design fabric piece directly on top of the tone on tone fabric piece so that the right sides are together and the tassel lies between the two pieces of fabric (Figure 1). Stitch around the interfacing close to the edge leaving a gap at the lower short edge as shown (Figure 2). For best results use a small machine-stitch, length 2 or less.

Cut around the interfacing through both layers of fabric leaving a scant 1/4 inch from the stitching line. Clip all corners and snip into all angles to avoid bulk (Figure 3).

Turn the work inside out through the gap in the stitching. Use a short knitting needle or wooden satay stick and working from the inside, make sure that all corners are sharp and fully turned.

Press the open seam allowance towards the inside and press flat. There is no need to stitch this gap closed. Press the work, making sure that all seams lie along the edge.

Figure 1: Attaching the tassel.
Figure 1: Attaching the tassel.
Figure 2: Stitching Line
Figure 2: Stitching Line
Figure 3: Cut corners and snip into angles
Figure 3: Cut corners and snip into angles

Folding the case and making up

  1. Fold the work along the first fold line and press in place. Stitch 1½ inch from and parallel to the second fold line Begin at the top edge and stitch to the lower edge, turn your work and continue stitching to the first fold line 1½ inches below the top to form a V shape (Figure 4).
  2. Fold along the second and third fold lines. Press the folds in place (Figure 5).
  3. Attach the button.
  4. Stitch around three sides close to the edge through all layers. Secure the thread ends at the beginning and end of the stitching (Figure 6).
  5. Fold the top flap over and secure the cord around the button.
Figure 4: Stitching the first fold
Figure 4: Stitching the first fold
Figure 5: Press second and third folds
Figure 5: Press second and third folds
Figure 6: Finishing off
Figure 6: Finishing off

Needle Case

  • From the remaining piece of design fabric, cut a rectangle 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
  • From the tone on tone fabric cut two rectangles each 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.
  • From the fusible interfacing cut a rectangle 4 x 3 inches.
  1. Position the interfacing, adhesive side down onto the wrong side of the design rectangle so that there is 1/4 inch space all around. Press the interfacing in place.
  2. Place the two tone on tone rectangles right sides together and stitch a 1/4 inch seam 1/2 inch in from each end along the longer edge leaving a gap of 2 1/2 inches as shown (Figure 7).
  3. Press the seam to one side.
  4. With right sides together, position the design fabric rectangle on top of the tone on tone rectangle and using a short machine stitch, sew all around close to the edge of the interfacing.
  5. Clip all corners and to avoid bulk.
  6. Turn through the gap in the seam, making sure that all corners are sharp and fully turned.
  7. Press flat.
  8. Cut a rectangle of flannel or similar 2 1/2 x 3 1/2. Fold in half, mark the crease with the iron and stitch into the needle case down the centre line as shown.
Figure 7: Making up the needlecase.
Figure 7: Needlecase
Finished Case and Needlebook.

Published with kind permission from Brenda Dean. © Quilters Pty. Ltd. 2006. More lovely patterns available from www.quiltersinternational.co.uk