The War Against Dust

Finished Dust Cover

Since I started working full-time 4 years ago, I haven’t been able to sew everyday.  Sometimes I find my sewing machine covered with dust.  I have a cover–but really it’s a tote.  I’d have to take the machine out of the cabinet and put it into the tote every time I won’t (and I’d have to know I won’t) return for days.

So around my sewing room I found some ugly purse patterns with some timtex.  And a drawer full of strings.  And a big piece of muslin.  Sounds like a dust cover to me.

1.  I figured I wanted a 10 inch high cover (from my cabinet to top of my machine).  16 inches wide by 7 inches deep.
I cut pieces of timtex:
Two 10 x 16 pieces (front and back)
Two 7 x 10 pieces (sides)
One 7 x 16 piece (top)

String piecing on the diaganol

2.  I drew a diagonal line as a starting point on each of the pieces and began string piecing.  If you haven’t string pieced before, I recommend Bonnie Hunter’s tutorial .  I made sure my strings extended at least one half inch beyond the edge of the timtex.   After completing my string piecing, I trimmed the strings down to extending one half inch all around the edges of my timtex.

3.  Next I sewed the front back and sides together.

Sewing 1/4 inch from the timtex and 1/4 inch from the fabric edge
One last seam to make the box, Top waiting to be added.

I placed my quarter inch foot right down the edge of the timtex, leaving me a quarter inch seam, and leaving a quarter inch of “loose fabric” to the edge of the timtex.  This made it much easier to turn and manipulate my cover.  It, in effect, created “hinges”.

Notice the top is just laying separately.  Laying on top of the top is a piece of muslin to the size of my top.  Muslin doesn’t make a pretty liner.  But, hey, it’s a liner!

Then one last seam to make a four sided box without a top.

4. One of the tough parts is to sew the top on.  For me, the easiest way I have found is to start with the long sides.  Pin the top so that the edges match up to the original side–this means that you will start stitching leaving a 1/4 inch piecing hanging out there.  That’s OK.

See the extra “seam allowance? You don’t line the edge up with the seam- you line it up as if the side seams weren’t there.

DO NOT start stitching right at the seam.  You should be at least 1-2 stitches away from the edge.  Yes, that leaves a tiny, tiny hole in the corner.  But it doesn’t pucker.  And hey, every time you stitch, there is a “hole” from one stitch to the next.  It’s fine.  Don’t get carried away, though.  1-2 stitches is good. 1/8 inch OK.  You can probably get away with 1/4 of an inch on a good day.  But don’t go crazy.

I sew one long side first.  Repeat with next long side.  Then I do the short sides.  Do not sew all the way up to the seams.

5.  Boring part.  Make sides and top of muslin–I made mine longer than 10 inches deep.  I didn’t want them to be short.  Sew quarter inch seams.  Boring.  No picture.  And although I did this part AFTER I sewed the cover together, you might want to do it first to practice those corner seams.  Really.

Wrong side out, but cover and liner wrong sides together–right sides out. Muslin waiting to be trimmed.

6.  Now I already had the cover wrong side out from sewing it together, and the liner was also wrong side out from sewing. So I flipped the muslin as it was easier to manipulate and put the cover and liner wrong sides together.   I took my scissors and trimmed the muslin down to the timtex (carefully–don’t cut your cover).

For a finished edge I did something I don’t normally do.  I wrapped the cover edge over the freshly trimmed muslin and GLUED it down. Then to secure it, I did a decorative stitch with a variegated thread. The decorative stitching also gives a firmer edge to the bottom. The cover is practical, decorative, and machine washable.

Time spent:   about 3 hours.
About half a yard of muslin and about 3/4 of a yard of otherwise fairly useless scraps.
Sewing room looks better, sewing machine protected from dust.  I’m happier.

I still have an entire drawer of strings.

Hope you found something productive to do with your day!


4 thoughts on “The War Against Dust

  1. I made one out of crumb block flying geese I had left over for my mixer. It’s big enough to cover my sewing machine if I chose. Good use of strings.

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