Sunday, March 25, 2012

First project!

Okay, so I finally got down to doing some proper sewing today...and what a learning curve it's turning out to be. I didn't want to start on anything big or overly ambitious so I decided to make cover for my mobile phone.
It's a rectangular block; how hard can it be, right?
I already had some idea of the type of cover - a pouch/bag that can be tightened at the top with a drawstring - I wanted. The sketch was easy were the measurements - or so I thought.

Sewing the edge of the fabric so that it wouldn't fray turned out to be a challenge in itself
First of all, I had no idea of how much space I should leave at the edge - a seam allowance - for doing reinforcement stitches (or something similar to prevent the fabric from fraying. My "go to" book of the moment, the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook, talked about how it generally gives a seam allowance of 1.5cm, which is geared towards beginners. I thought, great, that's me so I'll just add 1.5cm on either side of the fabric for my mobile phone pouch.

It started reminding me of Goldilocks - one was too long, one too big and one too small (the white was a prototype to get a rough idea of how I would sew the pouch)
I had made a rough prototype out of some old T-shirt material awhile ago to get an idea of how I would go about sewing the pouch. After cutting, pressing and sewing the first one, I realised that I had doubled the length I needed. The second time round, I had given too much space for seam allowance. On the third try, I made the seam allowance smaller but, as the material is cotton and non-stretchy, it was too small for the phone (if it had been a stretchable material, it would have been just right).

I was close to giving up when I decided to try again with different measurements. I pressed the cloth and cut it as carefully as I could and sewed the sides and corners in the order they were supposed to be sewed and finally came up with this one.

Do we have a winner, yet?
It's a double-layer (I just cut twice the width I wanted and sewed it along the length to double its thickness) mobile phone pouch - not as sturdy as one made with a heavier cloth but definitely better than sewing a single layer as the first three were.

Close-up of the type of stitch I used for the edging
It's not a perfect edge and it's far from a perfect finished product but I'm relatively satisfied with this first attempt of something I could actually use. I didn't have anything to use as a drawstring so I twist a bit of the scrap material, pressed it and strung it through the top loops and voila, a drawstring pouch for my phone!

A new home for my phone
In the end the measurements which provided the best fit were 9cm wide and 33cm long (folded in half so the bottom is seamless and there is a 2cm allowance for the top loop). It's a slightly roomy fit but 8.5cm would be too snug for this type of material. It took me the better part of this morning and some of the afternoon to make this and it was pretty good, despite the mistakes. Think I might make another in a different pattern to see how it would turn out.

And it starts...


  1. I'm very impressed :) I guess I'll see the finished product at the office tomorrow!

  2. Thanks, Suzie, it's nothing much but it's something concrete I can improve on. :)