Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sewing Machine Cover - A Tutorial

At the top of my Wish List for 2012 was a sewing machine cover. At the moment, I have got two machines. One is my hard-working Brother which I bought new in 2002. It doesn't really have the guts for the kind of sewing I do but it tries it's best.

When I need something with a bit more oomph, I use this Jones machine, which was given to me by my Mum, purchased from the local tip for the princely sum of £5, complete with manual.

When it first arrived, I gave it a thorough clean up and oiling and although it isn't keen on doing the perfect straight lines I desire, it is capable of sewing through eight layers of oilcloth without breaking into a sweat. Although it doesn't do any fancy stitches, just straight and zig-zag, it does have a movable needle which I find very helpful.

As the cover from the Brother fits the Jones, I tend to just keep it on whichever machine I'm not using. Generally this works out fine, but over Christmas when I wasn't doing any sewing, the un-covered Jones accumulated a lovely layer of dust and grime.

I had been meaning to make a cover for a while but putting it at the top of my list actually spurred me on. So this is what I did.

Firstly, I laid the cover out flat and measured the six panels which make up the front, back, left, right, and either side of the handles.

I then added 1 inch to these measurements, to give a half inch seam allowance, and drew up a little cutting chart, NOT to scale!

I then cut the six pieces from my chosen material. I used oilcloth because I find it great to work with and it is quick to piece together - no fraying edges. If you wanted to make a cover out of cotton, I would suggest either cutting a little bigger to allow for hemming, or binding the seams inside for a neat finish.

To start, I turned over my half inch seam allowance on the sections to go either side of the handle and sewed a line across the top. The piece you can see underneath is the other handle section which I turned wrong side up to stop the cloth sticking to the machine.

The handle pieces were then put right sides together with a side panel and stitched along the half inch line. This is what it looks like from the wrong side with the two pieces attached.

The other side panel was added in the same way, then I put the front panel on, wrong sides together, making sure it was carefully lined up over the handle hole (which is off centre). Again, I stitched along the half inch line.

The back piece was then attached in the same way. This is how it looks right sides out with all six pieces joined together.

I'm afraid at this point I got rather carried away by the excitement of it having come together so quickly and I forgot to take any more pictures until the end, but all I did was join up each side seam and stitch along the half inch line.

After forming the box shape, I trimmed all the bottoms to the same length, then turned over a last half inch seam and sewed that all around the edges.

And that was the cover done!

Since the cover fits both of my machines, I would venture to guess that it would fit most standard models, but if you already have a soft cover you could try measuring it like I did and drafting your own pattern.

I haven't tried to write a tutorial before so any feedback you have would be appreciated and I would love to see if anybody else makes a cover for their machine, whether to this pattern or your own, or someone else's!

Thanks for stopping by,
Beth x


  1. great tutorial! and especially love the starry CK oilcloth you chose to make the cover with - lovely and jolly :)

  2. I have the same brother machine, I was given it and must admit to never actually buying a machine, but I'm happy with it, and it works fine for me. My old machine was my Mum's and so temperamental so this one seems a breeze!! The cover you have made looks perfect :-)


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