Thursday, 23 April 2009

Finally Finished!

One of the sewing group ladies, Ruby, set me the task of making a sewing box, back before Christmas. I've never made anything like it so I was certainly game, but it was a bit harder than it looked at first. I made several false starts, but it's finally done!

It's not by any means perfect, but I enjoyed the learning process. I'm pleased I know how to make this, but I don't know that I need to have a second box the same.

That said, I have already started a second box, one with a simpler shape. The second one is flying along in comparison! I'll let you know how my 'new' design turns out.

In the spirit of sharing what I've learned so far, this is my version of how to sew a hexagonal covered box.

  • cardboard: heavy card stock (or glue together two sides of cereal box, printed side in); box itself will be made of card, but card is also used to make the templates
  • wadding/padding
  • scissors
  • needle
  • thread
  • very narrow elastic
  • fabric, two coordinating fabrics for inside and outside
  • 2 hexagonal templates (see link); one slightly larger for the lid
  • square template, with sides same length as one side of the smaller hexagon
  • pocket template, squares just smaller than the sides above
  • rectangular template, 1” deep and wide as the larger hexagon sides
  • paper template for triangular gusset (this shape:)
Optional: large button or covered button

Cut cardboard:
2 large hexagons
2 small hexagon
12 squares
6 rectangles

Cut inside fabric (all with 1/2-3/4 inch seam allowance:
1 large hexagon
1 small hexagon
6 squares
6 rectangles

Cut outside fabric (all with 1/2-3/4 inch seam allowance):
1 large hexagon
2 small hexagon
6 squares
Seam allowance doesn't apply to outside band, which 3 inches in width and of a length to fit around the outside edge of lid plus about 1/2 inch to tuck under and close neatly. Cut this last, after the rest is assembled.

Either fabric:
3 to 6 pockets, using smaller square template
6 gussets – put long side of triangleon fold to cut
button cover (optional)

Cut wadding (no seam allowance):
1 small hexagon
2 large hexagons
6 squares

Pockets: On each, hem 3 sides, putting elastic in 4th side, sew onto 3 or 6 sides of interior fabric (this can be done on machine)
Gussets (optional): Put long side of template on a fold to cut, producing a six-sided shape. Fold back in half, right sides together, stitch along 3 longest sides (machine). Turn inside out and tuck short ends under and stitch closed. Sew a small tuck the length of the triangle (machine); this makes them fold inwards into the box.
Sides: Layer inside fabric, wadding and square cardboard, sewing fabric at the back with long stitches (see below) and folding corners to secure.

Sew outside fabric to other 6 squares (no padding). Sew inside and outside squares together, catching fabric on edges of each with small, neat stitches. These stitches will be visible, but the smaller and the neater, the less noticeable they will be.

Bottom: Sew inside fabric to small hexagon with padding in between fabric and cardboard. Sew outside fabric to small hexagon (no padding) Sew inside and outside small hexagons together.

Sew inside fabric to large hexagon with padding. Sew outside fabric to large hexagon with padding (optional button would be added at this point). Sew two large padded hexagons together. Sew inside fabric to the six rectangles (no padding). Sew rectangles to large padded hexagon, stitches side out, lining fabric side in. Fold and iron band lengthwise, with edges turned inward until the band is the width of the rectangles making up the edge of the lid -- about one inch in width; sew onto outside of rectangles and lid. Fold and stitch the end under.

Sew side squares to the small hexagon. If you did gussets, sew them in between each square, wider end up. If not, sew the sides of the box together, again using small, neat stitches.

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