Hold it together! On particularly busy days, I mutter this under my breath repeatedly. And on those days, sometimes it seems like the only thing keeping everything together is spit and baling wire. Thank goodness I can rely on my thread to keep my sewing projects together. We are very pleased to have Aurifil Thread as a new Sew4Home sponsor both on the site as well as for our Sewing Escape sewing retreats! Our first project for them is an adorable carry case, perfectly sized for their 12-spool Designer Thread Box and including a custom fold-up flap with pockets to hold your most important on-the-go sewing tools. Read on to find out more about Aurifil and get all the instructions to make your own sewing supplies carry case.
A little history of Aurifil Italian Thread
Aurifil's roots go back to 1957 to Studio Auriga, which produced amazing designs for multi-head embroidery machines. Known for their quality, they were also soon recognized for being on the cutting-edge of technology. In 1972, Studio Auriga was the first company to implement the increased precision of Japanese Tajima embroidery machines for production.
But the innovation didn't stop there. In 1983, Aldolfo Veronelli joined his old friend and Studio Auriga founder, Angelo Gregotti in a new venture to produce thread. Their goal was simple yet appropriately grand: use the best Egyptian cotton and produce "the greatest product on the market."
Fast forward to the present day and second generation visionaries, Elena Gregotti and Alex Veronelli. They began to look beyond the company's established base in embroidery to the world of home sewing in general and quilting in particular. Their research showed quilters knew quality when they saw it and were actively looking for products that could increase both the beauty and the strength of their work. In 2007, Aurifil USA debuted with new packaging, new spool sizes, and a new dedication to appeal to the personal quilting and sewing markets.
But does it do more than quilting?
Yes! Aurifil is for more than quilting! This is the banner we’re flying as official non-quilting-ambassadors for the thread. As a brand, Aurifil does extremely well in the quilting realm, but using a 100% cotton thread for other sewing tasks is less traditional. We put it to the test in this project, which features layering, binding, and topstitching within the construction as well as decorative stitching accents.
Our bag design combines canvas and quilting weight cotton, and as we often do, we’ve used a combination of stabilizers to insure we get stability and shape while still allowing for flexibility to accommodate important features such as our pocket pleats.
The fabric collection chosen to accent the solid canvas is Sew & Sew by Chloe’s Closet for Moda Fabrics, which is due in stores next month. The designs were perfect to add sweet color and motifs without becoming overwhelming. And of course, we loved the subtle sewing themes for a sewing bag.
All our construction as well as the decorative stitching was done with Aurifil 50wt thread. This is one of the most popular weights that comes it hundreds of gorgeous colors to insure a perfect match from thread to fabric; it was where we wanted to start to showcase the thread in standard sewing applications.
In thread weights, the larger the number, the finer the strand (I wish my bathroom scale operated in the same manner). There are currently six main thread weight options in the Aurifil range.
50wt on the orange spool: 270 colors – 220 yards (200 mt) on the small spool, 1422 yards (1300 mt) on the large spool, and available as a 6452 yd/5900 mt cone
Best for fine, detailed machine-quilting, hand and machine piecing, hand and machine appliqué, garment sewing, machine embroidery, and stitching binding. It's also suggested for longarm quilting and hand or machine lace work.
40wt on the green spool: 270 colors – 164 yards (150 mt) on the small spool, 1094 yards (1000 mt) on the large spool, and available as a 5140 yd/4700 mt cone
Just a little heavier than the 50wt to allow the stitching to stand out bit more. This weight does well for hand or machine piecing, machine quilting, longarm quilting, machine appliqué, and is especially well suited for machine embroidery.
28wt on the gray spool: 270 colors – 109 yards (100 mt) on the small spool, 820 yards (750 mt) on the large spool, and available as a 3609 yd/3300 mt cone
Good for machine and hand appliqué - especially to create a bold blanket stitch, always a good choice for hand and machine quilting, longarm quilting (lovely for deep shadowing) hand and machine embroidery, and can even be used in a serger’s lower looper.
12wt on the dark red spool: 270 colors – 54 yards (50 mt) on the small spool, 356 yards (325 mt) on the large spool, and available as a 1931 yd/1750 mt cone
Works beautifully for embroidery, hand appliqué with a buttonhole stitch, sashiko and big-stitch hand-quilting. One trick to create the look of hand-quilting with your machine is to put 12wt thread in the top and 40wt thread in the bobbin, loosen the tension, and lengthen the stitch setting.
Aurifil Floss (also known as AuriFloss) on the wooden spool: 270 colors – 18 yards (16 mt) on the wooden spool
This is a 6-ply stranded embroidery floss for embroidery, cross stitch, needlepoint, crochet, tatting, and appliqué. And, really, who can resist a real wooden spool?!
12wt Lana Wool on the light red spool: 192 colors – 54 yards (50 mt) on the small spool, 383 yards (350 mt) on the large spool, and available as a 1860 yd/1700 mt cone
Lovely to add texture and depth to hand embroidery, cross stitch, hand and machine appliqué, and as with the 28wt, the wool can be used in a serger’s lower looper.
The Aurifil Designer Thread Box with 12 Large Spools
Aurifil has led the industry in putting together unique thread collections from top designers. It’s a fabulous way to collect a dozen coordinated colors to match some of your favorite designer colorways. We sized our carry case to perfectly fit one of these 12-spool plastic containers.
Not only can you find a huge variety of these amazing pre-assembled collections, now you can be your own designer! Aurifil has recently made the empty boxes available to their quilt shop outlets so you can put together your own box from the in-store display.
We got our Bonnie & Camille Little Ruby Thread Box from Fat Quarter Shop. They have a lovely selection of Aurifil, from single spools to 10-spool small boxes to 12-spool large designer boxes.
When you’re heading to class, a retreat or a friend’s house for a day of sewing, this little tote is a great way to make sure you have your favorite thread and most-used notions in one handy case.
There are two generous, pleated pockets to hold bulkier items such as marking tools, pin boxes, and tape measures as well as a clear-view zippered pocket for smaller notions.
Slip the thread box in the padded bottom compartment, load up your tools in the pockets, fold up the flap, and you’re a sewer on the go!
We added six lines of decorative stitching to the front of the flap. As with construction, this was done with Aurifil 50wt in the top and bobbin. The stitches formed beautiful with great coverage and no skipping.
Throughout the entire project, we had no breakage, even at high speeds, and it was virtually lint-free. Plus, the thread is very fine and silky, which produces a smooth, flat seam.
Our thread box and sewing kit carry case finishes at approximately 10” wide x 7” high x 1½” deep when closed. The flap unfolds to approximately 9¾” x 13”.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Zipper foot
- Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional but helpful for binding
- Edge Guide foot; optional but helpful for precise topstitching
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: We worked from a pre-cut bundle for our sample because this was a brand new collection for which yardage cuts weren’t yet available. But, the collection debuts in June and so we have listed all our quantities as yardage cuts. The illustration below helps indicate the position of all the fabrics.
- Aurifil Thread for construction: 50wt in color 5006 - aqua
- Aurifil Thread for decorative stitching: 50wt, color 2692 - black, 50wt, color 3660 - pink, 50wt, color 4250 - melon
- ½ yard of 58"+ wide mid-weight canvas fabric in a solid color for the exterior of the case; we used 9.3 oz Duck Canvas Cloth in Turquoise
- ¼ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the binding; we used Garden in Berrylicious from the Sew & Sew collection by Chloe’s Closet for Moda Fabrics
- ¼ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the front accent panel; we used Measuring Tapes in Fruity from the Sew & Sew collection
- ¼ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the exterior pocket lining; we used Dandy in Pink Lemonade from the Sew & Sew collection
- ¼ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the upper flap lining; we used Dandy in Blue Raspberry from the Sew & Sew collection
- ⅓ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the center pocket; we used Doopsy Daisy in Berrylicious from the Sew & Sew collection
NOTE: This center pocket runs horizontally; it’s best to choose a non-directional fabric.
- ¼ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the lower flap lining; we used Apron Strings in Berrylicious from the Sew & Sew collection
- ⅓ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for one half of the lining; we used Patchwork in Fruity from the Sew & Sew collection
- ⅓ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the other half of the lining; we used Pattern Pieces in Berrylicious from the Sew & Sew collection
NOTE: You can use just one fabric for the lining if you prefer.
- ½ yard of 20”+ fusible foam interfacing; we used Pellon Flex Foam
- ½ yard of 20”+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shir-Tailor
- ⅛ yard or scrap of 20”+ wide mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- ⅓ yard of 20”+ wide lightweight fusible batting; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus
- ¼ yard or scrap of craft vinyl
- TWO to FOUR pairs of ⅝” self-stick Velcro® dots
NOTE: Velcro® on the exterior pocket flap is optional. We did not use it, but you could certainly add a dot at each corner for extra security for that flap.
- TWO 1” rectangular rings; we used silver rings, purchased locally
- ONE 12” standard plastic zipper in a coordinating color; we used pink
NOTE: You will cut your zipper to fit the flap
- See-through rulers
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Clips for working on the vinyl pocket and to help with the thicker layers; we used Clover Wonder Clips
- Hand sewing needle
- Fabric glue or hot glue gun; optional, but we recommend an additional adhesive for the Velcro® dots to insure the flaps can be opened and closed repeatedly without pulling away from the fabric.
- From the fabric for the exterior (aqua canvas our sample), cut the following:
ONE 9¾” wide x 13½” high rectangle for the exterior flap
TWO 12¾” wide x 8⅞” high rectangles for the exterior box compartment
ONE 6½” x 2” strip to the handle top
TWO 3” x 2¾” strips for the handle tabs
ONE 12” wide x 5½” high rectangle for the exterior pocket base
ONE 8” wide x 3” high rectangle for the exterior pocket flap
- From the fabric for the binding (Garden in Berrylicious in our sample), cut the following:
TWO 2” x WOF (width of fabric) strips for the flap and box binding
THREE 1” x 9¾” strips for the zipper pocket horizontal binding
- From the fabric for the front accent panel (Measuring Tapes in Fruity in our sample), cut ONE 6” wide x 13½” high rectangle.
- From the fabric for the exterior pocket lining (Dandy in Pink Lemonade in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 12” wide x 5½” high rectangle
ONE 8” wide x 3” high rectangle
- From the fabric for the upper flap lining (Dandy in Blue Raspberry in our sample), cut ONE 9¾” wide x 6” high rectangle.
- From the fabric for the center pocket (Doopsy Daisy in Berrylicious in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 9” wide x 16” high rectangle for the pocket
ONE 6” x 6” square for the pocket flap
- From the fabric for the lower flap lining and handle lining (Apron Strings in Berrylicious in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 9¾” wide x 8½” high rectangle for the lower flap
ONE 6½” x 2” strip for the handle lining
- From EACH of the two fabrics for the lining (Patchwork in Fruity and Pattern Pieces in Berrylicious in our sample), cut ONE 12½” wide x 8¾” high rectangle.
NOTE: As mentioned above, you can use just one fabric for the lining if you prefer.
- From the fusible foam, cut the following,
TWO 11¾” x 7⅞” rectangles for the exterior box
ONE 1” x 5” strip for the handle
- From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
ONE 9¾” x 13½” rectangle for the flap
ONE 9” x 8” rectangle for the center pocket
ONE 6” x 3” rectangle for the center pocket flap
- From the mid-weight interfacing, cut ONE 1” x 5” strip.
- From the fusible batting, cut ONE 9¾” x 13½” rectangle.
- From the craft vinyl, cut ONE 9¾” x 5” rectangle, then measure 1½” from one 5” edge and slice horizontally to yield two pieces: 1½” x 5” and 8¼” X 5”.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Prepare the exterior of the flap
- Find the 9¾” x 13½” main exterior flap panel the 6” x 13½” accent panel.
- Press back both 13½” sides of the accent panel ½”.
- Place the pressed accent panel right side up on the main exterior panel, which is also right side up. The accent panel should be centered side to side and flush both top and bottom
- Edgestitch the accent panel in place along both folded edges.
- Select your decorative stitch or stitches. We used the same decorative stitch in three different colors. To match our sewing theme, we used the Pictograph stitch #13 on our Janome Skyline S7, reducing the size from 6.0 to 1.90.
- At this stitch size, we used three lines of stitching, starting the first line ¼” from the edge of the accent panel and with ¼” between each subsequent line.
- We were able to use the edge of our presser foot for this spacing, in combination with our quilt guide. You could use similar built-in guide functions or measure and draw in guide lines with a fabric pen or pencil and your see-through ruler.
- With our cute spool design (in honor of Aurifil thread!), we also wanted the three lines of stitching to be offset, like tiling. An easy way to achieve this is to baste a small strip of interfacing to the top of your exterior panel, extending beyond the upper raw edge by ½”. Then, start the first row at the top of the interfacing, the second row at the top of the fabric, the third row at the top of interfacing – alternating back and forth for as many lines of stitching as you choose.
- It will look best if the inner lines of decorative stitching stop behind the handle tabs. This means the inner lines of stitching should be shorter than the outer line(s). On our sample, stitch lines one and two went from the top raw edge, stopping 1½” from the bottom raw edge. The third and final stitch line went from the very top to the very bottom.
INSERT 2166-Photo 105
- For the best look, create a mirror image of your decorative stitching on the opposite side of the accent panel.
- Find the fusible batting panel, and following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse to the wrong side of the exterior panel. The raw edges of fabric and the batting should be flush on all sides.
Create and place the handles
- Find the handle and lining strips, the fusible foam strip and mid-weight interfacing strip, the two handle tab pieces, and the rectangular rings.
- Press back the long sides of both the handle top strip and the handle lining strip by ½”.
- Flip both folded strips wrong side up and center the fusible foam on the top strip (the canvas in our sample) and center the mid-weight fusible on the lining strip (the cotton in our sample). Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Place the two pieces wrong sides together. The folded edges as well as the raw ends should be flush. Pin in place. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of pins.
- Edgestitch along both long sides of handle through all the layers.
- Finish the raw ends with a tight zig zag stitch. For extra protection against fraying, you could also add a line of seam sealant, such as Dritz® Fray Check.
- Find the two rectangular rings. Insert one raw end of the handle through each ring and pull the end through to the back approximately ¾”. Pin in place.
- Switch to a Zipper foot and stitch each ring in place from the top. Get as close to the ring as possible but make sure you are catching the zig-zagged edge at the back.
- Set the handle aside.
- Find the two handle tabs. Fold each in half so they are now 1½” x 2¾”. Pin in place.
- Re-attach a standard foot.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the 2¾” edge of each folded tab.
- Trim back the seam allowance to ¼". Press open the seam allowance.
- Turn both tabs right side out, rotate the seam to the center back and press flat.
- As above, use a tight zig zag to finish both raw ends of both tabs.
- Find the handle with the rings in place. Feed one tab through the open end end of one ring. Pass it through wrong side up, so the center back seam is showing. Place the handle and tab against the bottom end of the exterior flap (the end where the two lines of stitching stopped short). Place the free raw end (the end extending away from the handle) 1¼" up from the bottom raw edge of the panel and about ¾” from the folded edge of the accent panel. Pin the free raw end in place.
- Bring the opposite raw end of the tab over and out so the top of the tab is now visible and this end of the tab is covering the pinned end. Tuck under the raw edge ½”. The distance from the folded edge of the accent panel to this folded end of the tab should be 1½” as shown in the photo below. Pin in place. On our sample, this end was also right in line with our third line of topstitching. This may vary on your project based on the stitch patterns you select.
- Attach a Zipper foot. Edgestitch the tab in place with a box of stitching.
- Repeat to attach the remaining tab to the opposite ring in the same manner. When done, there should be some “play” in the handle, allowing it to rock side to side. You’ve likely had a handbag or briefcase with a similar handle and so will be familiar with this functionality.
Prepare the interior of the flap
- Gather all the pieces designated above for the interior of the flap panel. There are quite a few, so we are not going to repeat them all again here (trying to conserve space; I promise I’m not being lazy).
- Place the upper flap panel and the lower flap panel right sides together along one 9¾” side. If you have a directional print, you are pinning the bottom of the upper panel to the top of the lower panel.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together the two panels.
- Press open the seam allowance and press flat from both sides.
- Find the large panel of lightweight interfacing. Place it against the wrong side of the sewn panels. The edges of the interfacing and the fabric should be flush on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
The vinyl pocket
- Collect the two pieces of vinyl and the three 9¾” strips of 1" binding.
- Press back each 9¾” side of each strip ¼” to yield a ½” strip finished along both sides.
- Center one strip along one horizontal cut edge of each vinyl piece. One folded edge of the strip should be flush with one cut edge of the vinyl. Clip the strips in place.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to match the binding fabric. Lengthen the stitch. Edgestich each length of binding in place along its outer edge - not the inside edge that is flush with the cut edge of the vinyl. We used our Janome Edge Guide foot for all our edgestitching.
- Find the zipper. Place it right side up and closed on your work surface. The zipper pull should be to the left.
- Place the larger binding-trimmed vinyl piece along the bottom of the zipper. Place the smaller binding-trimmed vinyl piece along the top of the zipper. The binding should be about ⅛" away from the zipper teeth. The zipper pull should be flush with the side edge of the panel. Pin the panels in place.
- The bottom end of the zipper will extend beyond the opposite side edge of the panel. This is correct; it will be trimmed to fit.
- Attach the Zipper foot. Edgestitch along the inner edge of each binding strip, following the zipper teeth.
NOTE: Start with the zipper half way open. Stitch to the middle, where you can start to feel you're approaching the zipper pull. Stop with your needle in the down position. Twist the project around slightly and carefully close the zipper. Re-position your vinyl and finish sewing to the end.
- Clip the remaining binding strip along the bottom cut edge of the larger vinyl piece, aligning the bottom folded edge of the binding strip with the cut edge of the vinyl.
- Edgestitch in place along the top of the binding strip. We switched back to our Edge Guide foot.
- Clip the vinyl pocket to the upper portion of the flap. The side edges of the pocket should be flush with the flap panel and the bottom edge should sit just above the seam of the two flap fabrics.
- Edgestitch in place along the bottom of the binding strip through all the layers.
- If necessary, switch back to a standard presser foot. Machine baste along both side edges and trim away the excess zipper tape and teeth so the side edges are flush.
The center pleated pocket
- Find the center pocket fabric pieces and matching lightweight interfacing pieces.
- Center an interfacing piece on the wrong side of one half of each fabric piece. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse each piece in place.
- Fold the pocket and the flap in half, right sides together. The pocket will now be 9” wide x 8” high and the flap will now be 6” wide x 3” high. Pin along the sides of each piece (the 8” sides of the pocket and the 3” sides of the flap).
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the four side seams.
- Clip the corners and turn right side out through the open end. Gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A long, blunt-end tool works well for this, like a knitting needle or chopstick. Press both pieces flat.
- Along the bottom (the raw edge) of the pocket, make two 1½” pleats. To do this, first find the center of the pocket and mark this point with a pin. Then measure 2” to the right of center and mark this point with a pin and 2” to the left of center and mark this point with a pin. From both the right and left pin points, measure an additional ⅜” to the left and to the right of each pin and mark these points with pins. You should now have a set of three pin points to both the left and right of center.
- Bring the outer pin points into the center, creating a small inverted box pleat at each side. Re-pin to hold the pleats in place.
NOTE: If you are brand new to pleating, check out our full tutorial on making box and inverted box pleats.
- Place the pleated pocket at the center of the flap. Remember, this pocket sits horizontally. The left pleated edge is flush with the left edge of the flap panel and what is now the top horizontal edge of the pocket should sit just below the vinyl pocket.
- The top folded edge of the pocket will sit about 1¾” in from the right raw edge of the flap pane. The pleats run all the way up and so the top of the pocket will be softly folded. Pin along both sides and up through the center of the pocket.
- Topstitch through the center of the pocket to divide it into two compartments. We simply followed our pins; you could also draw in a guide line to follow.
- Edgestitch along the top and bottom sides of the pocket, then stitch across the pleated end to hold the pleats in place.
- Find the flap. Edgestitch along both short sides and one long side.
- Place the flap over the center pocket. The raw edge of the flap should be flush with the right raw edge of the flap panel. The flap will overlap the pocket by about 1”. And, the flap will be slightly wider than the pocket so make sure it is centered over the pocket. Pin in place long the raw edge. Then, baste in place.
Assemble and bind the flap
- Find the exterior and lining flap panels. Place them wrong sides together. All raw edges should be flush. Clip around all sides.
- Mark for two lines of horizontal stitching that will both help hold the layers together and act as the crease lines for the fold-up flap. The first line is 5½” down from the upper raw edge, which should put it directly between the vinyl pocket and the center pocket. This seam should be stitched with the lining facing up so you can insure you are stitching right between the pockets.
- The second line is 5¾” down from the first line or 2¾” up from the bottom raw edge, which should put it just above the handle.
- This seam should be stitched with the exterior facing up so you can insure you are stitching beyond the handle. We switched to a Zipper foot to get as close to the handle ring as possible. You will likely still “run into” the handle, but because it is flexible, you can flatten it and push it to the side in order to stitch by.
- Find one 2” x WOF binding strip. Fold it in half, wrong sides together.
- Starting at one bottom raw edge of the flap, pin the binding against the lining side of the flap. The raw edges of the binding should be flush with the raw edges of the flap panel. Clip in place along both sides and across the top. The bottom of the flap is raw and unbound.
- If possible, switch to a Quarter Inch Seam foot. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the binding in place. Again, you’ll start at one bottom edge. Stitch up the side.
- Stop ¼” from the top corner and lock the seam.
- Remove the project from under the needle. Fold the binding up at a diagonal at the corner point.
- Fold back down again so the raw edges of the binding are now flush with the top of the flap, creating a miter at the corner. Slip the project back under the needle and drop the needle down at the same point you stopped the first seam.
- Continue across the top with a ¼” seam allowance. Repeat these steps at the next corner.
- Wrap the binding around to the exterior of the flap and hand stitch in place.
NOTE: These steps are similar to how you would traditionally bind a quilt project. For more information about this and other binding techniques, check out our full tutorial: A Complete Step-by-Step For Binding Quilts and Throws.
- Set the finished flap aside.
Make and place the exterior pocket and create the bottom box
- Find the exterior and lining pieces for the exterior pocket and flap. Place each exterior piece right sides together with its appropriate lining piece. All edges should be flush. Pin together, leaving an 2-3” opening along one long side of both the pocket and the flap.
- Switch back to the standard presser foot. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around all four sides of the pocket and the flap. Remember to pivot at each corner and to lock your seam at either side of the opening left for turning.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowances.
- Turn right side out through each opening. Gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A long, blunt-end tool works well for this, like a knitting needle or chopstick. Press both pieces flat, pressing in the seam allowance at each opening so it is flush with the sewn seam.
- Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the exterior in the top and the lining in the bobbin. We also switched again to our Janome Edge Guide foot.
- On the flap, edgestitch along both sides and across the bottom.
- On the pocket, make one 4” pleat. The steps for this are similar to the pleats you made in the center pocket on the inside of the flap. First find the center of the pocket and mark this point with a pin. Measure 1” to the right of center and mark this point with a pin, then measure 1” to the left of center and mark this point with a pin. From the right and left pin points, measure an additional 1” to the left of the left pin and an additional 1" to the right of the right pin. Mark these points with pins. You should now have a set of five pin points.
- Bring the outer pin points into the center, creating an inverted box pleat at exact center of the bottom of the pocket. Re-pin to hold the pleat in place.
NOTE: Remember, if you are brand new to pleating, check out our full tutorial on making box and inverted box pleats.
- Find the exterior panels for the bottom box and the two fusible foam panels.
- Center the foam against the wrong side of each fabric panel so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the foam on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Flip over one fused panel so it is right side up. Place the pleated pocket right side up on this panel. The pocket should be centered side to side and 2” up from the bottom raw edge of the exterior panel. Pin the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom.
- Edgestitch the pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at both corners.
- Place the flap right side up over the pocket. The top edge of the flap should sit 2” down from the top raw edge of the exterior panel and the flap should overlap but pocket by approximately 1”. Pin the pocket in place.
- Edgestitch across just the top of the flap, which is the one side you left unstitched when doing your other flap edgestitching.
- Place the two exterior panels right sides together, sandwiching the pocket between the layers.
- If necessary, re-attach a standard presser foot. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the bottom corners. This means you are stitching right along, but not on, the fused foam.
- Our carry case is designed to have a 1½" base and sides to perfectly fit the Aurifil Designer Thread Box. To create this width, we figured our corners at half that amoutn or ¾". Cut a ¾" square from each bottom corner.
- Flatten and double stitch the corners, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Turn the exterior box right side out, pushing out the corners into position.
NOTE: If you are new to this technique, check out our tutorial: How To Box Corners.
Create the lining
- Find the two lining panels. Place them right sides together, aligning all the raw edges. Pin along both sides and across the bottom.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
- Create matching box corners in the lining.
- Follow the same steps as for the exterior box. Remember, you can review our Box Corners tutorial prior to starting this project if you’re new to the technique.
- Fold down the top raw edge of the lining ½” all around.
- Leave the lining wrong side out.
Assemble flap, lining, and box and bind to finish
- Find and mark the center back of the exterior box. Mark this point with a pin.
- Find and mark the center of the bottom raw edge of the flap. Mark this point with a pin.
- Place the flap right sides together with the back of the box, aligning the two center pin points. The exterior of the flap is against the exterior of the box so the flap lining with all the pockets will be facing up.
- Pin across the flap through all the layers.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across the flap. Stitch across again for a extra strong seam line. It may be obvious, but you are only stitching along the back of the box. Don't accidentally catch the front or you'll have closed your box opening!
- Fold the flap up into position, which means the seam allowance will automatically fold down, in towards the bottom of the box. Fold down the rest of the top opening ½”. This top edge will kind of “want” to fold down to match the back seam allowance. Clip in place along the sides and across the front.
- Slip the lining inside the exterior so the two are now wrong sides together. Line up the bottom boxed corners and the side seams. The top folded edges should be flush. If they are not, roll the lining fold to match the exterior. Re-clip in place along both sides and across the front.
- Pin the lining across the back so it covers the flap seam allowance.
- Hand stitch the lining in place across the back.
- Find the remaining length of binding. It is attached in the same manner as the flap binding, but the ends of the binding are tucked in to create finished ends.
- Fold in one raw end ¼” and press. Then fold the binding in half wrong sides together and press.
- Starting with this finished end, align the binding at the back corner of one side – right next to the flap. Clip in place.
- Continue along the side, across the front, and along the opposite side. When you reach the opposite back corner, trim away the excess binding, leaving just about ¼” to tuck under for a finished edge at this side.
- Switch to a Quarter Inch Seam foot if possible to stitch the binding in place. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the binding in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch. Stitch all around, using a ¼” seam allowance.
- As you did with the flap, bring the binding around to the inside of the box and hand stitch to secure.
- Apply all the pairs of Velcro® dots. We used one pair to hold the flap of the center lining pocket. Add the dot to the pocket first, then fold down the flap to confirm the position of the other half.
- And, there is a pair of dots to hold the main flap against the body of the carry case. The main dot against the box is approximately 4½” down the top bound edge on our sample. As above with the pocket, add this base dot first then fold down the flap to confirm the position of the other half.
- We used a standard ⅝” round dot, adding a bit of hot glue behind each half to more securely adhere is against the fabric. We do recommend adding either hot glue or fabric adhesive as the self-stick adhesive alone is rarely a secure enough bond.
- If you plan to load up your carry case with a lot of heavier notions, you may want to go with a larger ⅞” Velcro® square for a better bond on the main flap. You could even use one square at each corner.
- As mentioned above, you could also add a Velcro® dot to each corner of the exterior pocket flap. Our flap stayed down without it, so we opted to not use it, but it’s easy to add for extra security on this outside flap.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild