Lucy’s DIY Ukulele Case

@lucyhannahmakes ...a Ukulele case!

For a while I’ve wanted to get my niece a Ukulele for Christmas. She loves music and when she visits me, she’ll spend most of the time playing on the piano or guitar with my husband, so a musical gift seemed like a no-brainer. But…she’s 2! And I’m sure you know 2 year olds can be a little rough, so I loved the idea of making some sort of padded case to protect the Uke a little bit. I wasn’t completely sure how you go about making a case like that but when I saw this gorgeous Ruby Star Record Fabric I knew I had to try!

I’d seen a few rough guides of how to make guitar cases on Pinterest but everyone seemed to pretty much make it up as they were going along, depending on the instrument they were making a case for. But basically you needed to draw around the instrument as guide. As well as the main fabric, I wanted to line the case so I chose the lovely patterned peachy Figo Treehouse fabric  which is a lovely contrast. I figured a long zip would be the easiest way to get the ukulele in and out of the case, so I used this peach 56cm zip to match the fabric.

I started by drawing around the Ukulele and added on a few centimetres all the way around so there was a little wiggle room as well as about 1cm seam allowance. To make the case padded I used this iron on fusible fleece . It was a really quick and easy way to pad the case out, and to make it easier getting all the layers through the sewing machine when putting the case together I cut the wading fabric slightly smaller than the main fabric.

This project took a bit more maths than I was first expecting. As well as measuring the depth of the ukulele, I also needed to measure all the way around to get the length for the side panel. I took off the length of the zip from the measurement for the main side piece, then cut two other pieces the length of the zip and half as deep as the ukulele to attach to either side of the zip.

I decided to just pad the main fabric rather than the lining too so it wasn’t too bulky. To add a bit of detail I thought it would be nice to do a bit of quilting on the padded pieces. I jumped straight in to quilting using the edge of the machine foot as a guide to keep my stitch lines straight. Using the machine foot as a guide meant the quilted lines were quite close together so it took a fair chunk of time to finish (next time I quilt something I’ll use something bigger as a guide!). But I think the narrow diagonal lines of stitching work really nice with the small print of the fabric.

I sewed all the pieces together, remembering to leave the zip open a little so I could turn the case back the right way. Then attached the lining by hand along the edge of the zip. I decided to make a handle out of the lining fabric to give a nice bit of contrast to the outside of the case, and hand sewed that on.

 

I’m really pleased with the result. I absolutely love the record fabric. And the fusible fleece is definitely my new favourite way to quilt as the wadding stays in the right place while you stitch. I probably should have added on even more wiggle room as it is quite snug when zipping the Ukulele in the case, but it does fit. My husband has decided he’d now like a case for his own ukulele as well as 3 of his guitars, so I’m sure I’ll be a pro at making them soon! Haha! 😂🙈

DIY circle bag

Romy's perfect cross body bag!

 
 
Back in the summer I saw a bag for sale on the high street that I really liked. I prefer to have a handbag with a cross body strap and it has to be big enough to fit all my paraphernalia so I was tempted by this one, but at nearly £40 it was a bit pricey.

 

 

So I left it and thought I’d check if it went in the sale, but within a few weeks I found the Everyday Circular Bag on The Makerist for the grand price of $2 (on sale). 

The pattern is pretty much identical to the high street one, so I snapped it up and set about making my first bag!

I used half a metre of the leatherette fabric in black, and got some lobster clips and a zip from eBay. 

 

 

 

Other notions I needed were a leather needle (I used size 100), a walking foot, heavy duty polyester thread (though I used normal thread in the bobbin to reduce bulk) and some wonder clips to keep the pieces together. You can’t really use pins as the holes will permanently mark the fabric. On one occasion I had forgotten my clips and had to make do with hair clips, though they worked pretty well!

 

 

The bag came together fairly easily, although I did have some head scratching due to some mistakes in the pattern. For example, it asks you to cut 2 gusset pieces, but you actually only need 1. The instructions also refer to a Bag Side piece, but this is called the gusset on the pattern piece, so I was looking around for an extra piece that didn’t exist! There is a video to accompany the instructions which is useful, although it doesn’t show the making of the straps and this is the part I had trouble with, as my pieces seemed to look wider than theirs. I’m still not sure why this was but I muddled through and just trimmed an inch off the strap piece to make it fit the lobster clips.

 

 

 

 

 

The fabric sewed well and looks nice and professional with the topstitching:

 

 

 

 

 

You can lightly press the fabric on the wrong side which helps to remove any creases, but you can’t iron the right side or you’ll have a melty mess. I just finger pressed any folds and topstitched to help them lay flat. The trickiest part was sewing in the side pieces as you have to ease the circle in, but with plenty of clips and patience it worked out in the end.

 

 

 

 

I also decided to hack the pattern a little bit to add an inside pocket for my phone so it’s not rattling around inside. The stitching for this is covered by the outside pocket so doesn’t show:

Overall I’m pleased with my bargain, high street-inspired bag, although in hindsight some interfacing would have helped it to hold its shape, as it’s not quite stiff enough. The instructions bizarrely tell you to topstitch each side piece once inserted, which I did for the first piece, but for the second it’s physically impossible as the zip hole isn’t big enough. Another argument for pattern testing! I might try sticking down the seam allowance inside to help stiffen the shape, but might just have to live with it for this one and remember to interface next time. I also decided to lengthen the strap as it was quite short, but this is personal preference.

This fabric is great for bag making and could be used for other accessories too, like purses, toiletries bags and luggage tags. 

That’s all for now, see you again soon for another project!

Project Tote!

Steph's shopping bag/ project tote!

Autumn is my favourite time of year. It heralds the return of blankets and cosy hoodies, Halloween and of course my annual pilgrimage to Alexandra Palace for the Knitting and Stitching Show. My mother-in-law and I have been going for several years and in the last couple of years we have also been joined by my best friend. It’s become a tradition of ours to wear something handmade to the Show – whether it be a dress, a pin badge or a necklace, so when it was time to choose my latest Design Team Project i knew it had to a new bag to take with me to the show! 

I decided to use the Noodlehead Trail Tote as my base pattern for this bag – its a fabulous pattern on the Robert Kaufman website, and its totally free to download! I had made one of the smaller sized totes so i knew it was a fairly simple pattern but had lots of potential for customisation. I have a lot of projects on the go and I tend to keep each one in a bag to keep all the bits and tools in one place, so i knew that this bag could double up as a brilliant project tote with the addition of one of my favourite things – POCKETS!

The original Noodlehead tote pattern has a small zip pocket included in the pattern but i knew that wasn’t  going to be enough for me (plus i’m not a huge fan of installing that kind of zip), so i did a little modifying and added pockets on the outside of both the front and the back of the bag.

Whilst i was scanning through the Samantha Claridge Studio website the utterly adorable Food Truck cotton range caught my eye, and as soon as i saw there was a donut print i knew i had to use it for my tote! I used both the pink and the blue version of the print and decided to use a little bit of the Sweet Bee blender in mint to break up the pattern a little. I chose a bias binding in the same mint colour too finish it all off. 

For the main part of the bag I used the large Noodlehead pattern piece but made it slightly wider (to accommodate more fabric purchases!). I used the pink Food Truck donut print cotton for the outside, and the blue for the inside and the outer pockets. I attached a band of the Sweet Bee blender at the top and use the bias binding on top of the pockets to give a little colour contrast.

With the addition of the strap my new shopping/project tote bag was ready to go! I can confirm that the inside of the bag holds several fabric purchases and a couple of quilting projects, whilst the outer pockets are super helpful for storing threads, scissors, tape measures and acrylic quilting templates. Unfortunately for my bank account, Samantha Claridge Studio has more super cute Food Truck range prints that are just calling out to be made into totes so there may just be a couple more of this bag pattern on my cutting table very soon.