Mini Sewing Kit
This pattern uses glossy vinyl for the pockets. In this case the kind that you can see through. It is not the kind of vinyl that looks like leather that has a more matte look to it. Though you can use that leather type for your exterior fabric if you wish. The glossy vinyl can be difficult to sew with because it is quite sticky, it sticks to itself, the needle, the presser foot and the needle plate. So here are some tips for sewing with it.
First make sure you are using at least a 3.0 stitch length. Use a leather or denim needle in your machine. If you have a Teflon foot, a rolling foot or a walking foot you can try those, they are all designed to help the fabric feed through easier, I had some luck with a walking foot. If you don’t have any of those, try putting a piece of clear tape over the bottom of your normal presser foot (don’t forget to remove it after the project).
Post sticky notes on the needle plate, out of the way of the needle, you can even put them on the vinyl right up to where you are going to sew but don’t sew on them. You can try a light dusting of cornflour/cornstarch or baby powder on the vinyl.
If all that fails simply place some tissue paper over the vinyl and sew right over it. Just tear the tissue paper out of the stitches later.
RST = right sides together, meaning the fabric’s patterned or main side of both pieces of fabric would be against each other
SA = seam allowance. Seam allowance is ½" unless otherwise stated.
Taper Corners = snip the corners diagonally from about ¾-1” away from the corner right towards the stitches at the corner but be careful not to snip the stitches. Doing this will leave your seams and corners less bulky.
You will need
All fabrics amounts are less than a fat quarter of each. Small remnants you have left from other projects will work fine, or even fabric salvaged from old clothes or curtains. You need to make sure it is not a stretchy fabric such as from t-shirts or leggings.
For the outside cover, canvas, denim, corduroy, or a faux leather like suede, vinyl or cork, or something of similar thickness. If you go for quilting cotton, you will need an extra layer of interfacing.
For the interior, quilting cotton.
For the pockets, transparent vinyl is best so you can see what is inside the pockets. Look around your house for some you may have gotten as packaging. Bedding often comes in vinyl zippered bags or you might have an old clear vinyl tablecloth. You could also use quilting cotton again but you won’t be able to see inside the pockets. If you use quilting cotton, I will give you information at the end of these instructions on how to use it as an alternative to the vinyl.
You will also need some interfacing, Pellon 101 Shape flex or similar it is a light to medium woven, iron-on interfacing.
1 Metal Snap
leather or denim needle for sewing the vinyl pockets. A Microtex or universal needle can be used for the rest if you want.
Walking Rolling or Teflon presser foot if you have one (see above note about sewing vinyl)
Matching coloured thread
Sewing clips or binder clips. If you don’t have either of those pins will do but they will leave holes in vinyl and the faux leathers if you’re using them.
Rotary cutter if you have one, you can manage with scissors if not.
Small piece of card.
Items to fill your sewing kit.
Cutting the Fabrics
Note, I came up with these sizes based on the items I wanted to put in the pockets, I measured my scissors, tape measure, etc, to make sure they would fit. You can adapt the sizes to suit your own items.
Main fabric cut 1, 8”h x 5”w
Interior fabric cut 1, 8”h x 5”w
Vinyl, cut one of each size, (a) 2”h x 5”w,
(b) 2 1/4”h x 5”w,
(c) 1 1/2”h x 5”w
Pellon 101 Shape flex interfacing. 1 piece 8”h x 5”w If you are using canvas or a lighter denim or corduroy an extra 8”h x 5”w, if using quilting cotton for the outside 2 extra pieces 8’h x 5”w. You don’t need interfacing for vinyl, cork or thicker denims.
Iron the interior fabric to make sure there are no creases and then place the piece of interfacing so it is the glue side/rough side down to the wrong side of your fabric and press to the back of the fabric.
If you are using a lighter fabric for the exterior, do the same with that fabric. If you are using quilting cotton for the exterior, apply the interfacing as before but once cooled apply a second piece. Your fabrics should now be a bit stiffer but still have plenty of flexibility so the case can roll up.
Place the interior fabric on the table face up, take the piece A of the vinyl and place it at the bottom of the interior piece, matching up the bottom edge and sides and clip it into place.
Take piece B of the vinyl and place that 2 ½" up from the bottom of the interior fabric, matching the sides and clip into place
Take piece C of the vinyl and place the bottom edge of it 2 ½" down from the top edge of the interior fabric, matching the sides and clip into place.
Make sure you have read the tips part about sewing with vinyl before you start the next step.
A walking foot will help with sewing over vinyl.
Using a stitch length of at least 3.0 sew the vinyl to the interior fabric down the right and left side with a 1/8” SA
Place your exterior fabric on the table right side up, place the interior fabric on top right side down (RST) so that the vinyl pockets are sandwiched in between. Sew down one long side, across the bottom and up the second side with a ½" SA, backstitching at the beginning and end.
A sticky note on the needle plate (but out of the way of the needle) allows the vinyl to move easier.
Press the seams open, use a pressing cloth, be really careful not to iron for too long or the vinyl in between will melt, also if you used cork or vinyl for the exterior fabric you will need to use a pressing cloth and have your iron at a lower setting. Trim seams to a ¼" and taper the corners in but be careful not to cut the stitches. Cut as much vinyl out of the seams as you can. Turn the top edge ½" to make a seam and press it.
Very carefully turn the case the right way out through the top edge, check all the corners are pushed out right and everything looks good, chopsticks or the eraser end of a pencil can help push the corners into place.
Top stitch all the way around with a 1/8” SA (This will close the top edge). Sew a row of stitches from one side to the other along the bottom of the top and middle pockets to close the bottoms of those pockets. If all your seams and measurements are correct that will be 2” from the top edge and 2” from the bottom edge. This row of stitches will also allow you to fold it at these points to roll the case up. Cut off any vinyl that that protrudes below these rows of stitches.
Attach the metal snap following the manufacturer's instructions, it should be centred across and ½" from the top and bottom edges.
Cut some pretty card into three pieces all 2”h x 1” w. Fold two of them in half horizontally so the pretty side of the card is showing, to cause a crease and open out again, fold each one twice more ¼" above and below the first fold but in the opposite direction, open out again each time. Pinch together the middle section so it sticks forwards and you can push pins and needles into it. The third piece cut little v shapes at equal levels on each of the long sides. Wrap some different coloured threads around each set of V’s. I cut a tiny slit with a craft knife to put the end of the thread. Fill the rest of the case with any sewing accessories you have, scissors, tape measure, a couple of buttons, some safety pins and a needle threader.
You are finished!
If you don’t want to use vinyl for the pockets, you can use quilting cotton, to do this cut piece A to 4”h x 5”w, B to 5 ½"h x 5”w and C to 4”h x 5”w
Fold each piece in half horizontally, right sides together and sew along the bottom edge only with a ½" SA (top edge is folded and the sides left open), press the seam open and trim it to a ¼". Turn right side out and top stitch across the edge you sewed and the folded edge (not the sides) with a 1/8” SA. Use these pieces instead of the vinyl in the instructions.