Sunday, 29 April 2012

How to Make a Sewing Machine Cover from a Pillow Case: Very Easy and Frugal!

Covered in the plastic bag it came in, my sewing machine watched me with envious eyes as I stitched up a hole in my trousers by hand. I felt guilty for not paying it more attention, although I have a lot of sewing to do soon, so I decided to make it a lovely dust cover. The plastic bag did stop dust, of course, but it looked untidy and not nearly pretty enough!

This is a VERY basic tutorial, so any sewing people out there will probably be able to see what I did just from the photos!

A little while ago I got two second-hand pillow cases in a clothing warehouse for 50p. I used one of these to turn into my cover. I decided not to make a perfectly fitted one because of the jutting out knobs on the front, so measuring was quite easy. Cut along one of the long edges of the case then open it out and lay it over your sewing machine. If it fits with a few inches to spare for hems, then it's good to go!

As it turns out, my pillow case was too big for my little machine. I turned it inside out and cut off the turnover on the original opening of the case (see photo), but kept it to use for pockets later on.

Next I cut the case down to size. You could be all precise and measure very accurately, but my approach was to make a slightly looser fit so that I could keep the plastic bag on the machine under the cover to protect against water/damp. All you do is hold or pin the pillow case closed around the sewing machine and cut off any excess. Make sure to leave an inch for hemming.

Now that you have the right size, turn the pillow case inside out and stitch together the shorter open side (where you cut the turnover off earlier). Leave the long side open!

You now need to hem the bottom of the cover, which is the long open edge. Fold it over about half an inch so that the cut edge of the material is on the wrong side of the cover (inside it). Now hem the edge, sewing a line about a quarter of an inch away from the edge of the cover. You have to hang the material over the end of the sewing machine to avoid sewing the two long edges together.

To finish it properly, fold the hemmed edge over another half an inch and hem again, so that there is no cut material showing.

Turn the cover the right way out and check that it fits your sewing machine. Now you could leave it there, but I added some optional pockets for threads, bobbins and the power lead and foot (and instruction manual that I still need on a daily basis!)

To add a pocket, grab some leftover material and hem the edges. To make a single pocket, stitch a rectangle directly onto the good side of the cover's material, leaving the top edge open to put things in. To make a double pocket, use a longer rectangle and first sew a line along the middle of the rectangle onto the cover to make a divide, then sew the rest of the edges on, leaving the top edge open.

Quite cute and definitely practical! Now I have somewhere to store my sewing stuff. Mum also suggested that when I take the case off to use it, I could hang it over the back of the chair so that the threads and things are just behind you when you need them! She's a clever one!


saving for travel said...

Who's a clever girl then?

Sft x

*Jellie* said...

Great idea- I need a cover for my overlocker so I might have to 'borrow' your idea! Thanks x

skipandscatter said...

Oh! I love the pocket idea!

Meanqueen said...

Pockets are always useful, I love pockets. Good idea.

Practical Parsimony said...

Cute case. Great idea. By the way, the plastic will not protect from dampness unless the dampness is dripping on the machine. Covering it in plastic will hold humidity that inevitably will get under and not release it as the air dries. Of course, the moisture/dry cycle happens every day with fluctuations in humidity as well as temperature fluctuations.

quinn said...

This is an excellent idea, and I have just the fraying pillowcase to use for it, too!
Love your mum's thought about hanging it over the back of a chair whilst using the machine. (Must be a genetic tendency to creative and functional design?) I will certainly plan the size of the cover accordingly, as my chair is actually wider than my tiny Featherweight.
Thanks for a great idea!