Monday, 21 March 2011

A Handy Case (Tutorial)

A little project of mine required 3" x 5" Q-cards, 100 of them. I looked at the cases available in the store and didn't like any of those plasticky, made-in-China things. Why buy something like that when I can make a beautiful, quilted case myself???

So here it goes, without any math to figure things out, so I'll leave it up to you if you want to make something similar :)

I picked 4 charms from a MODA Neptune charmpack

Sewed 3 of the charms in a row for the outside of the case, scant 1/4" seam on everything, I finger-pressed all seams open (in fact, I didn't turn the iron on once in this project). 1 charm was left for the closing flap. I also cut about 3" of a velcro strip and a little scrap piece to extend the width of the clothing flap (about 5" x 2", the dark khaki in the photo below).

I found some batting scraps (strips cut off the edges of previous quilts), zigzagged two strips together to make them 5" wide and about 14.5" long (longer than my 3 charms in a row; if you're outside fabrics are light, make sure you use a thread colour that blends in with the batting or it will show through!). I placed the outside of the case face up on the batting, then quilted parallel straight lines to give some structure (I had the batting facing down while I quilted - don't know if that makes a difference). You can mark the lines with a ruler or just go wild, like me. I also sewed the scrap piece onto the flap-charm (top left corner in picture below) so that the flap piece is now about 5" by 6.5".

Next, take the hook part (rough) of the velcro strip and sew onto the right side of the flap piece, about 1/2" below the center line (I folded the flap in half lengthwise, then placed the velcro strip below the fold. Next, take a scrap piece of batting to cover half of the flap piece (when folded lengthwise again). Fold the flap piece lengthwise, right sides facing (i.e. velcro on the inside!), place it on top of the batting piece and sew down each side (v. scant 1/4" seam) so it looks like the photo below, where I'm holding the flap piece open. Also sew the soft part of the velcro onto the cover piece. To place it, fold the cover in half, batting side together, then place the flap piece on top, slightly off-center towards the folded edge of the cover (if it's slightly off in the end, it'll still work just fine since the strip is long enough!). Regarding the height of the strip, adjust the soft velcro according to the placement of the hook-velcro on the flap, then move it about 1/4 to 1/2" up towards the top of the case! Oh, how to describe this better...

Turn the flap piece right side out. I quilted some horizontal lines to give it structure.
Use some scraps to make a backing that's at least as big as the cover piece of the case.

Now for the part that made me sit and stare for a few minutes while I got the 3-D thinking wheels going inside my brain...
Layer as follows: 1) lay down the outside cover with the batting down and the velcro strip edge away from you (i.e. the future opening side up).
2) place the flap piece velcro side facing up on top of the outside cover so that the velcro strip is on the other side (see photo). Line the velcro strips up by placing them on top of each other, then folding the cover in half and pinning the flap to the non-velcro side (i.e. the piece of the cover you just folded over) - undo the folding and it should look like below.
3) place the backing face down on top of everything else.
now sew a scant 1/4" seam along the top edge.

If you now flip the whole thing so the batting is on the inside, it should look like this:

Now for the part that gave me a little bit of a head ache (hadn't greased those 3D thinking wheels enough :): Open the thing back up so that you have outside cover with velcro and batting on the left and lining on the right as below, fold it lengthwise as you see me doing in the photo (i.e. velcro strips closed up):

Below is the folded package (don't get confused that it's flipped over from the last photo!). Sew along all the seams indicated by pens and the green seam ripper, i.e. everything except the short edge of the lining (bottom left) - leave that for turning inside out. Use a very scant 1/4" seam on the batting part or the seam will be very bulky! Use a generous 1/4" seam on the lining (also to make it slightly smaller than the cover to avoid bulky fabric on the inside. (Note: my lining bottom edges weren't cropped yet, so I just sewed straight across, then trimmed it to 1/4" later, it's okay in the lining since some of my pieces were wider than 5" when I started... I'm just not big into trimming.)

Here's the hole for turning! Now comes the caterpillar part! (I'm always amazed how this ugly, raw-edge mess metamorphoses into a beautiful butterfl- ah, Q-card case!

Oh, and halfway through turning, you should remember to trim the corners for nice points!

Lastly, handsew the opening in the lining shut by folding the edges inwards and using a slip stitch or ladder stitch (my preference, absolutely hidden stitching! See tutorial in my quilty links on top of this page).

Shove the lining inside the cover piece.

Breathe a big sigh of relief that all the pieces are where they're supposed to be and the velcros are facing the right way :)

Place Q-cards inside...

... and admire!

I wish I had known this when I was a student - studying from Q-cards would have been soooo much fun!

Disclaimer: no guarantees - as I said, I didn't calculate anything, just forged ahead - took random pictures throughout and wrote this from memory 2 days later :)


LynCC said...

very cool! I even have some terrific charms sitting around with nothing to do yet. . .

Anne at Film and Thread said...

I like it! Just think with a little ribbon handle sewn on it could be an evening bag.

Crispy said...

Great tutorial Christine!! I just love how you wing things and still come out with a great project. With all those Q-cards, are you going to be giving a speech?


Nanci said...

a really good tute...I made a couple of computer bags for granddaughter but this would be great for her too!\thanks.