It's a good idea to keep your sewing machine covered when not in use. A cover helps protect the machine's moving parts from dust and debris, and it looks so much cuter with a stylish hood. I also happen to think it helps my machine sleep, like when you cover a bird in a cage. The fact that I've never heard my sewing machine singing when its cover is in place is further proof of my theory.
This project takes just two ½-yard cuts of fabric. You'll see a lot of your cover, so make sure you pick two fabrics you really love.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Threadbanger-TB30)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ½ yard each of two coordinating fabrics, we used Amy Butler's Nigella in Sky and River
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Regular ruler or measuring tape to measure machine
- Fabric pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Take three measurements of your machine: length, width and height. As a comparison, mine measured 16" long x 7" wide x 11" high.
- Divide the length measurement by three. In my example, I divided 16 by 3, which equaled 5.33" - say 5⅓". Then add 1" for your seam allowance on both sides. So, now I have 6⅓".
- Next, take twice the height of the machine, add the width, then add 2" (1" for a hem on each end). Using my machine as the example, that's 11" + 11" + 7" + 2" = 31".
- These two measurements give you the size you need to cut each of three body pieces. I'll need three pieces at 6⅓" x 31".
- Cut two pieces from one fabric and the third piece from the second, coordinating fabric. I cut two pieces from Amy Butler's Nigella in River and one piece from Nigella in Sky .
- For the side pieces, to figure the height: take your height dimension and add 1½" to account for a 1" hem and the ½" seam allowance at the top. Then take the width and add 1" to account for the ½" seam allowance on each side. In my example, my height was: 11 + 1½" = 12½"; my width was: 7" + 1" = 8". I'll need two pieces at 8" x 12½"
- Cut two side pieces from the same fabric you used for the one body piece ( Nigella in Sky in our sample) .
At Your Sewing Machine
- Take two your three body pieces and pin them, right sides together, along one long side. One piece from one fabric, one from the other - because you are alternating panels.
- Stitch, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Take the third body piece and pin it, right sides together, to the two-panel piece you just made to create your alternating pattern.
- Stitch, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Press seam allowances together toward the center panel. Zig zag the seam allowances to prevent fraying. For more information on finishing, see our tutorial, Finishing Raw Seams : Part One – Sewing Machine Finishes.
- Take your side pieces and pin one, right sides together, to each side of the completed three-panel body piece.
NOTE: To get everything lined up correctly, it helps to find the centers by folding each piece in half and marking the middle with a fabric pencil. You can then use these center marks to match the body to the side when pinning.
- Stitch each side piece in place, using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam allowances toward the center. Zig zag the seam allowances to prevent fraying.
NOTE: To make it easier to turn, make ½" clips at the corners before stitching.
- Turn right side out and check the fit on your machine to make sure of your hemming measurements. I still needed a 1" hem, which is what I'd planned on in my cutting calculations. If you need to compensate, you can make the hem a little smaller or bigger to get the length just perfect.
- To make a simple 1" double turn hem, turn up ½" all around the bottom and press. Then, turn up another ½", press, and pin in place. Stitch all around, close to the bottom folded edge. For more on hemming, see our tutorial, How To Make a Simple Hem.
I added a front pocket to my cover as a handy place to hold a few notions.
- To figure the size of the pocket piece, measure the finished width of the center panel and add 2" (1" for fullness in the pocket and a ½" seam allowance on each side). My width was 7". To figure length, lay the finished cover down flat on your work surface and measure top to bottom. The front of my cover measured about 12" from top to hem. To that, I added 1" for seam allowances. So, for my pocket, I cut a piece 7" x 13"
- Fold the pocket piece in half lengthwise, right sides together. I now had a folded piece 7" x 6½".
- Pin and stitch, using a ½" seam allowance, around the three raw edges. Leave a 2" opening along one edge for turning right side out.
- Clip corners.
- Turn right side out and press. Poke out the corners with your finger or a long tool with a blunt end, like a large knitting needle.
- Pin pocket to cover over the center panel, approximately 4" from bottom
- Align the sides of the pocket so they are flush with the seams of the center panel. Make two even tucks along the bottom to create the fullness of the pocket.
- Edge stitch the sides and bottom of the pocket.