Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Illinois Informatics and School of Information Sciences
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Making a Ukulele Case

Fabric and Embroidery

For the past few weeks, we were introduced to sewing and embroidery. For the first week’s lab, we made a simple pouch that closed with a ribbon. Although it was my first time using a sewing machine, the instructions were simple enough for me to follow. For the second week’s lab, we learned how to use the embroidery machine to make custom made embroidery.

Making a Ukulele Case

For the assignment, I decided to make a Ukulele case, as I own a ukulele, but didn’t have a case to carry it around in. I started by choosing and creating the svg file that would be used in the embroidery machine. I originally planned to modify an image from the internet, but it was extremely tedious to get the bitmap tracing correctly. Therefore, I ended up making one on my own, with the image as reference. 


The next step was to trace out the Ukulele, and cut out the fabric. For the fabric, I used three pieces each for the top and bottom, and two pieces for the sides. On one side, I also included a zipper. the The top and bottom pieces had a inner fabric, a padding layer, and the outer fabric. The padding layer was cut a bit smaller, in order to making sewing easy. The side pieces only had inner and outer fabric. Once the pieces were cut out, I embroidered the outer layer of top  piece, then sewed the top and bottom pieces. Then, I cut a part of the side piece in half, and sewed on zippers. Like the top and bottom pieces, the zipper side had a inner fabric, the zipper, and the outer fabric. Then, I attached the rest of the side piece, without the zipper, to the zipper portion. Then, I started sewing the side piece to the top piece. As the top piece was curved, while the side piece was straight, it was fairly difficult to sew the two pieces together. Once the top piece and the side piece were sewed on, I then sewed on the bottom piece to the other side of the side piece. 


I feel like my project may have been perhaps too ambitious. Sewing a curved surface onto a straight surface was extremely challenging. Furthermore, I believe the traced outline of my Ukulele was not symmetrical, as my final product ended up being skewed. I feel like I could have avoided the skewing if I had used a ukulele diagram from the internet instead. I also think that the side pieces weren’t perfectly straight. I could have made a straighter piece by sewing several shorter pieces together, or cutting the fabric using a knife and ruler instead of a scissor.


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