This handy case is not only great for travel, it's also dandy for everyday storage of your make up brushes. We used one of the four pretty laminates from Anna Maria's Loulouthi collection as our inside fabric choice so if any traces of make up rub off your brushes and onto the case, it can be quickly wiped clean.
Laminates are traditionally made in the wider 54-55" width. So, you'll definitely have some pieces left over from this project. In fact, you may have enough to make our stylish insulated lunch bag. Finished (and flat), the case measures approximately 18" x 9".
Our Travel Accessories series is sponsored by Free Spirit Fabrics, as part of our Artist Trio Series introducing Anna Maria Horner's amazing Loulouthi fabric collection. You can find Loulouthi at Fat Quarter Shop, CityCraft, Fashionable Fabrics, and Fabric.com.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome 2160 Decor Computer)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide print fabric for the outside of the case: we used Loulouthi Buoyancy in AH40-Butterberry
- ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide print fabric for the inside pocket of the case: we used Loulouthi Hugs and Kisses in AH45-Pink Lime
- ⅓ yard of 54-55" wide laminate for the inside of the case: we used Loulouthi Framed in OCAH07-Citron
- ⅓ yard of lightweight batting (regular batting not fusible)
NOTE: If you cut carefully, you can get away with just ¼ yard for each of the above four layers. As you'll see below, the cut dimensions are 9" in depth, which is exactly ¼ yard. I like to always get a little bit more to allow a fussy cut.
- ½ yard of 44-45" wide print fabric for the bias binding: we used Loulouthi Hugs and Kisses in AH45-Wine
- All purpose thread to match the binding
- See-through ruler
- Seam gauge
- Fabric marker, pen, or tailor's chalk for marking fabric
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Roll of wax paper
- Download the Case Corner Template pattern, which will help you get a precise rounded corner.
IMPORTANT: This template is one 8½" x 11" pattern sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the template along the solid line. Set aside.
- Cut ONE 18" wide x 9" high rectangle of each of the following: the fabric for the outside of the case, the inside of the case, and the inside pocket (Loulouthi Butterberry, Citron laminate and Pink Lime respectively), as well as from the lightweight batting.
- From the leftover inside pocket fabric (Loulouthi Pink Lime in our sample), cut TWO 1" x 20" strips for the ties.
- Our finished binding will be ½" double fold bias binding, so we need to start with 2" wide strips of fabric on the true bias (45˚ angle) for the binding. Cut enough strips from your binding fabric (Loulouthi Wine in our sample) to create a continuous length of bias tape that is at least 58-60". If you are new to making bias tape, read our tutorial Bias Tape: How to Make It & Attach It.
NOTE: You can substitute pre-packaged bias tape in a coordinating solid if you prefer.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Press all your pieces flat. If you use a polyester batting do not press it; it shouldn't need pressing and the heat could damage it. Also, the laminate should be pressed from the back on low heat.
- Find the piece that will be your inside pocket (Loutlouthi Pink Lime in our sample). Press this piece in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, so it is now 4½" x 18".
- Assemble your layers in the following pattern: place the outside fabric right side down on your work surface, place the batting on top, place the inside fabric right side up on the batting layer, and finally, place the folded pocket piece on the very top, aligning its raw edges with the bottom and side raw edges of the other layers.
- Pin all the layers together across the center.
- Find the corner template. Pin the template to each corner and round, cutting through all the layers with your scissors.
NOTE: Doing all the layers at once like this insures that your edges are flush and will be easier and smoother to bind.
- Here's what it looks like with all the corners rounded.
- Take the pins out and remove and set aside the outside fabric layer (Loulouthi Butterberry in our sample).
- Pin the remaining layers back together.
- Fold these layers in half and mark the exact center with pins top and bottom. You could also use your see through ruler to find and mark the center.
Creating the brush pockets
- From your roll of wax paper, cut one 18" x 9" piece. Tape together pieces if need be to end up with a full 18" x 9" piece. Fold the paper in half to create a center crease. Unfold and lay the paper flat on your work surface.
- Measure and mark 1" to the left and 1" to the right of the center crease and draw two parallel lines.
NOTE: You can also draw along the center crease if it makes it easier for you to follow.
- Measure and mark 2" to the left from the left line and 2" to the right from the right line, and draw two additional lines.
- Working towards the left from your left-most drawn line, measure and mark 4 more vertical lines, each 1" away from the last.
- Working towards the right from your right-most drawn line, measure and mark 6 more vertical lines, each ¾" away from the last.
- The remaining sections on either end are just whatever they end up to be. In our case, 2¼" on the left and 1-5/8" on the right.
- You can also use your own brush set if you would like to totally customize your case.
- Pin the marked wax paper securely over the top of layered fabrics (the batting/laminate/pocket layers... remember, you set the back piece off to the side). Match the center crease of the wax paper with the center pin marks on the fabric layers.
- To sew the pocket divisions, you can use matching or contrasting thread. We chose contrasting.
- Following the drawn lines on the wax paper sewing directly through the paper and all the fabric layers from bottom raw edge to top raw edge. Remember to lock your stitch at the start and the end.
- Simply tear away the wax paper from the sewn seams when you're all finished.
- This is a great way to measure and mark all these little pockets and the wax paper allows a regular presser foot to slide over the laminate. Without the paper, you'd need a Teflon® or Ultraglide foot to move across the sticky laminate finish.
Make and attach the narrow ties
- On one 12" x 1" strip, fold in each end ¼".
- Next, fold each side in ¼" so the raw edges meet in the middle similar to a piece of double fold bias binding. We also clipped the end piece we pressed down at the beginning at an angle on both ends so it wasn't so bulky.
- Fold the strip in half again, encasing the raw edges and aligning the folded edges.
- Pin together and stitch one seam the length of the strip, starting and ending as close to each end as possible.
- Repeat to create the second tie.
- Pin the ties side by side, overlapping just slightly, to the outside fabric piece. The should be aligned at the center of the right side. Make sure your alighn the raw edges so the ties lay back across the fabric. In other words, with both the ties and the fabric piece laying in front of you, the right ends of the ties should align with the center of the right side of the fabric piece.
- Machine baste the ties in place close to the raw edges.
- Collect your 2" bias strips and stitch them together at an angle to create one continuous length.
- Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
- Open up the strip, wrong side towards you.
- Fold each side towards the center crease and press. Fold one side nearly all the way to the center fold mark - so it is almost touching the fold; fold the other side just a little over half way to the fold line - so there is a bit of space between the raw edge and the fold.
- Fold again along your first crease, right sides together, so your two folded edges are together. You now have your very own double fold bias tape. It should finish at 1". You can also automate this step by using the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker.
- Starting at the middle of one side (we chose to start at the point where the ties are basted in place), attach the binding around the entire perimeter.
- As mentioned above, if you are new to making and working with bias tape, read through our tutorial on the fascinating world of bias tape creation.
- We attached our Sew4Home label to the outside.
- The case naturally wants to fold into easy quarters. Simply fold, fold, fold, wrap the ties around twice and make a pretty bow.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild
Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna 3210 Jeans and the Brother Innov-is 80.