It was time for something new and different to sew – something fun, relaxing and non-garment. For some time now I’ve wanted to make some sewing accessories – especially the ones that are invaluable when you go to workshops or seminars. I knew that I’d saved patterns or links to patterns that I wanted to make, so the search began. I found them quite quickly. Whew! I chose to make a sewing machine mat/cover, a travel needle case and an iron caddy/mat.
Next was choosing fabrics. All the patterns that I had chosen used several co-ordinating prints. I’m not as clever as quilters with matching prints, but I managed to come up with some combinations that I liked. It did involve some serious stash diving! Does that count as exercise? I settled on the brown/aqua combination – these fabrics are left overs from making the nursery decor for our first granddaughter (she’s 6 now!). Win!!!
The first pattern I selected was a sewing machine mat, which doubles as a sewing machine cover when the machine isn’t in use. You can see the ribbon ties on the sides that keep the cover secure on the machine. There are lots of sewing machine mat patterns, but I chose the free one from Lillyella, which you can also get as a free download from Craftsy. It looks beautiful and the instructions turned out to be excellent. I would highly recommend this pattern! You’ll also enjoy all the pictures of all the different mats and their fabric combinations!!! Lillyella also has a removable thread catcher that buttons on to the front of the mat. There’s plenty of pockets on the front of the mat to hold your scissors, rulers, marking pens, threads, etc. I was really pleased with how this turned out.
To sew on the doubled bias, I followed this tutorial from Moda Bake Shop. I was familiar with sewing the double bias, but turning the corners was new to me and her instructions for that worked out perfectly!
The only recommendation that I would have for anyone that wants to make this pattern up is to measure your sewing machine (front, over the top to the back) to make sure that this is long enough to cover your machine. So many machines are much bigger today and this might be skimpy as a cover if you have a taller or bigger machine. Changing the dimensions for a taller machine is simple, but changing the width dimensions will require that you also change the pocket dimensions. 🙂
I also stitched some travel needle books. These make wonderful gifts for your sewing friends! The needle book is about the size of a paperback. Again, I used a free pattern for this and the instructions for the needle book were very well written! I love that it has a zipper pocket inside to hold things that would otherwise easily fall out and get lost. With a place for your thread, scissors, needles and pockets for the rest, this is a well thought out pattern! You can see that I enjoyed both patterns so much that I made them twice!
The last project that I tackled was an iron caddy that doubles as a mat for ironing. I love this caddy!!! It has the heat resistant fabric so if you take this to class to carry your iron, when you’re ready to pack up and go home, you don’t have to wait for the iron to cool off – you can pop it right into the caddy and carry it home with you. Perfect!
This was also a free pattern download. I first saw this pictured on a chat forum years ago by someone that had made up the pattern. Everyone on the forum was so thrilled with her caddy that she generously shared the pattern instructions and dimensions on the forum. I cannot remember which forum it came from, however, I believe that this woman eventually made a pattern available for this caddy because I’ve seen it for sale several different places and it looks like the exact same pattern/design. There’s also a pattern for the mini irons available. I used the free pattern that I’d downloaded, but there are some corrections that were needed on that original free pattern. It turned out great and I love that it doubles as an ironing pad!
I promise – the pattern is correct – I didn’t realize until editing the pictures that I didn’t have the caddy closing situated nicely. Perhaps that’s due to the fact that it’s stuffed with a huge roll of gift wrapping tulle and not an iron! LOL!
I still need to make a second iron caddy and also another thread catcher. I wasn’t sure I was going to do that, but the sewing was such fun, I have the supplies on hand, so I’ve decided to complete the second set with these last 2 items as well.
The mental break from designing, drafting, writing instructions, etc. but still doing what I LOVE – which is sewing – has been very refreshing. I have a plan for one of these sets and will probably either keep or save the second set. I hope to make a 3rd set out of different fabrics that I pulled out during the stash dive. 😛 Then I’ll chose which set to keep and which one to put away for future use.
The best part of all of these projects is that with the exception of the heat resistant fabrics, everything else has been made from my “stash”. I’d like to think that this was a stash buster project, however, with the size of my stash, that’s not the case. It’s more like a drop in the bucket! LOL! That said, I do enjoy having enough fabrics in my stash that I could start sewing and not have to stop to make a purchase of something in order to complete the project!
So, if you still need a little last minute gift for one of your sewing friends, you may want to consider one (or all) of these! They stitch up quickly, don’t take a lot of fabric and are really fun to make! The added bonus of free patterns with great instructions make these just perfect in my book!
Enjoy your holiday stitching!!!