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Topic: zip-up sewing kit  (Read 24317 times)
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« on: April 08, 2013 12:22:54 PM »


I have a friend who wants to start (machine) sewing and I thought I'd get her a starter set. But once I looked at the web I found lots of (ugly) and not very well equipped sewing kits. Most of them included stuff I've never used and left out other stuff I find highly useful. I finally decided to make her a special sewing kit with all the stuff I've found helpful.

ETA: as alteredmommy pointed out, this could be modified to any kind of kit - put in a few more loops for knitting needles or crotched hooks, add pockets for stitch markers etc., modify to fit your needs Smiley

Here it is:

room for sewing needles and threader
seam ripper (used it a lot)
chalk pens
tracing wheel
rotary cutter
folding templates (from the scientific seamstress)

1/2in bias tape maker (scientific seamstress - she has cool stuff Smiley )
IKEA fabric scissors (normal and zigzag)
magnetic pin cushion
measuring tape


1. decide on what you want to put into your sewing kit
2. sturdy fabric for the outside
3. lightweight fabric for inside + some contrasting if you feel like it
4. stabilisation - regular floor wipes or batting
5. some elastic
6. old binder for support without the binding mechanism
7. small zipper for pockets
8. endless zipper for outside closure: one side ~ 2 yards, one zipper

lay out everything you want to put inside the case and decide on a rough layout

a. inside flap
I wanted a divider with just a few pockets

cut floor wipe to a square roughly an inch shorter than each dimension of the binder
cut light weight fabric for fabric as big as flap + generous seam allowances
cut 2 pockets each twice as high as final height + seam allowance, fold in half

mark dividers with chalk pen and sew pocket and inner fabric to floor wipe
sandwich pockets in between both layers of inner fabric, with floor wipe on top
stitch around stabilisation - leaving side that will be connected to the middle open, turn around.

b. left outer side

cut stabilisation to same size as binder flap
cut inner fabric to size of binder flap + 1/2 binder back plus very generous sewing allowance - better to cut it away at later point

- pocket - for small stuff like needles an threader
I didn't want any raw edges to be seen, that's why I did everything in double layer.

sew one flap (the smaller part would have been easier Smiley ) to the zipper, right side of fabrid inside

turn around

repeat with other side

cut pocket to desired length

fold fabric around open sides, stitch closed

place pocket on fabric and stabilisation, pin and stitch

loops for pens

place post it below the pens you want to use - mark distances
take elastic and put on markings for slightly stretched distances across pens
I did have pens of different widths - thus the varying marks

align marking on elastic with marking on post-it and sew in place stitching multiple times for and backward (just flap under beginning and ending of elastic)

pockets for copy wheel and rotary cutter

measure across tools, holding measurement tape down where pockets will be sewn to inner fabric
measure from top of pocket to bottom across tools
cut fabric for pocket - twice as high + seam allowance, and width + seam allowance, fold in half
cut elastic about an inch shorter than width - zig zag to one layer at the middle, close side seams, leave bottom open
turn pocket over, stitch below elastic on top
mark dividing line on pocket

fold bottom of pocket, so that the final width measures as much as the distance below the tools.

pin to flap and stitch in place

c. right flap
scissors, pins and needle cushion

cut stabilisation to same size as binder flap
cut inner fabric to size of binder flap  + 1/2 binder back plus very generous sewing allowance - better to cut it away at later point

mark where the elastic to hold the scissors and pins will go
sew on elastic, folding edges under, stitching each seam multiple times

make a single pocket for the pin cushion as the pockets for rotary cutter and tracing wheel

d. putting it all together

mark sewing line on flaps: using edge of stabilisation as guide add 1/2 width of back of binder + 1/4 in (marge to stitch in between all those layers later)
sandwich flap in between sides, sew together

cut another part of stabilisation as big as back of binder

cut back seam allowances of inner fabric to about 1/2 in

cut outer fabric to same size as inner fabric

close on three sides, leaving bottom open, stitching at 1/4 in distance to stabilisation (marge needed to stitch on the zipper)

iron seam allowance inside on forth side

turn inside out,

top stitch folds in between outer sides and back
slide in binder pieces and close with ladder stitch or stitch closed very near the edge

e. put in zipper

startin at dividing seam (see pin) stitch zipper to fabric very close to the edge, leave about 3 inches of free curls

if possible use a edge(blind-hem)-foot for an even distance

at corners, leave needle in fabric and turn 90

put in zipper piece

cut out plastic curls for about 1/2 in on one side, slide in other side first, than put in the side without curls
zip up and check whether everything is aligned, otherwise unzip and try again

when you are happy, sew closed end of zipper together

cut a little rectangle of fabric - a little wider than the zipper plus seam allowance, twice as long, fold in half

sew sides closed an turn inside out, fold raw edges inside

put on zipper and top stitch all around


fill your sewing kit and be happy

credits: I did get the original idea seeing the IKEA sewing kit, and I adapted parts of Schnabelina's tutorial for a pen etui - she does have wonderful sewing tutorials and patterns on her blog (in German)


« Last Edit: April 11, 2013 06:48:43 AM by aml » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013 02:01:17 PM »

Great and handy idea. You did such a great job on the various parts to the kit. This would be a good gift idea for anyone who sews. Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013 02:10:38 PM »

Awesome tutuorial!  While the sewing kit is pretty fantastic, I totally think you could apply this tute to so many other kinds of kits as well Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013 05:59:24 AM »

I love this!  Thanks for sharing.  I love the fabric you used too - I am definitely put this on my to make list!

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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013 06:44:07 AM »

Awesome tutuorial!  While the sewing kit is pretty fantastic, I totally think you could apply this tute to so many other kinds of kits as well Smiley

You are totally right, I should have pointed that out in the tutorial, especially since it is based in parts on Schnabelina's pencil case and she did base knitting kits on her pencil case tutorial, too. - check out her blog (with google translate Wink ) she is amazing.
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013 11:55:39 AM »

That's an amazing gift. Great work!

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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013 11:38:56 AM »

great tutorial and I love the machine sewing supplies kit idea (much better than my current system of tools scattered around the house). 

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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013 10:20:20 PM »

I love this idea! i recieved a singer sewing machine for my birthday, alas i dont know how to use it! argness indeed! but when i learn, id love to make this. Also i wonder if something like this can be made into an artist tool carrier? I draw a lot! I use Ink pens, water color pencils, sharpeners, things like that. If you figure how to make a case for something like that let me know!!! i like the stretchy black part that can hold pencils and things, if it had lots of those, maybe a couple of pockets? i mean the possibilities are endless! would be awsome also if it had two pockets lil over aceo size so people could have it to carry there stuff for making ACEO's.

again i love this sewing bag idea, it has so many possibilities also to be used for other things! great job!


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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013 11:09:05 AM »

what a great job!  i love this idea and especially that it can be adapted to fit the person Smiley  very impressive-you get my vote!

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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013 10:21:54 PM »

What a great way to keep all the must haves in 1 place and handy little case at that! Fabulous!

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