Monday, 24 October 2011

First Time Tutter

Tut time tut time!
I thought I would try my hand at writing up a tutorial for the storage boxes I sewed yesterday. They were fun and straightforward to make with a nice mixture of machine and hand work.

When I "worked" for a living, one of my responsibilities was to write up/edit user and maintenance manuals for the equipment the company sold. Call me weird, but that was my favorite part of the job!

Time required: 1-1/2 hours
Materials cost: $0-$15

  • Approximately one fat quarter fabric
  • Stiff batting (I used Floriani Stitch-N-Shape)
  • Two buttons
  • 4" of 3/8" elastic
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors (rotary cutter would be good)
  • 2 safety pins
  • CD disk
  • pen
For the most part, these steps can be done in any order up until the actual box assembly.

Step 1: Cut it out

From the fabric:
  1. Using the CD disk as your template, draw two circles on the wrong side of your fabric.
  2. Fold the fabric in half so that you can cut two circles from each tracing at the same time.
  3. Cut out one circle on the line you traced. You will have two circles of fabric the same diameter as the CD. These are Fabric B.
  4. Cut the remaining circle approximately 1.4" away from the line traced. If you use a different seam allowance, cut that amount away from the traced line. These are Fabric T.
  5. Cut one strip 9&3/4" x 16. This is Fabric C.

From the batting:
  1. Trace two circles using the CD again as your template.
  2. Cut one circle on the traced line. This is Batting T.
  3. Cut the other circle approximately 1/4" (or your seam allowance) to the inside of the line. This is Batting B.
  4. Cut two strips  4&1/2" x 15". These are Batting C.

Step 2: Sew in circles

  1. Machine sew Fabric B circles, right-sides together, leaving an opening of approximately 2". Backstitch at each edge of opening.
  2. Turn fabric right-side-out and insert Batting B as shown. (Try not to crease the batting.)
  3. Slip-stitch the opening closed.
  4. Disc B is completed!

  1. Fold the 2" elastic strips in half and sew one on each side of Batting T. Mark the position of the elastic onto the marked Fabric T circle.
  2. Machine sew Fabric T circles, right-sides together. Leave a 2" opening to insert batting; back-stitch at each side of the opening. At the markings for elastics, leave a 1/4" opening; back-stitch at each side of the opening.
  3. Pull the elastic through the 1/4" openings so that it is on the right side. You may need to crumple or bend your batting to do this. Once through, put a safety pin on the elastic to prevent it from sliding back in. Turn the circle right-side-out so that Batting T is inside Fabric T.
  4. Fold the remaining opening to neaten, and pin it closed. 
  5. Sew the entire edge of the circle with a straight or decorative stitch. I chose a zig-zag.  
  6. Disc T is completed!
Step Three: Cup it

  1.  Iron Fabric C lengthwise in half (like a hotdog). 
  2. Machine sew along one short edge and the long edge, leaving the remaining short edge open, forming a sleeve.
  3. Turn the sleeve right-side-out to insert Batting C.
  4. The simplest way to insert the batting is to fold down the sleeve as far as possible, then unroll onto the batting. 
  5. Fold sleeve openings in, but do not stitch closed (unless you absolutely have to).
  6. Cup is completed!
Step Four: Construct it

  1. Slip stitch Disc B to Cup. Start in the middle, or at either end; I chose the middle for some unknown reason. I stitched the fabric such that the cup would sit on the outside of the bottom by sewing the inside-side of the cup to the bottom side bottom.
  2. Slip stitch the side of Cup. To make this as neat as possible, I stitched together the inside fabric first, and then the outside. Be sure to catch a piece of the batting with each stitch.
  3. Sew a button on each side of the cup to match the elastics.
Step Four: ENJOY!

I'd love to see photos of your storage box!

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