Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Sewing and Embroidery Project

I decided to do the fabric box (https://cholyknight.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/collapsible-fabric-boxes-sewing-pattern.pdf) for my project. Since it was a lot of fabric to use, I went to Joann over spring break and got various patterns to make the patchwork. Since my family doesn’t have a sewing machine, all I could do over break was the cut up the fabric and iron it down. The pattern called for 75 squares of fabric, but I ended up just making as much as I could with what I had. All in all, I think I cut about 100 squares and ironed all of them. I ironed the sides down to make it easier once I would be able to sew all the patches together and allow me to have a guideline for where to sew. 

 

The fabric swatches I picked.

The size each patch had to be, the dotted line showing where I needed to iron the flaps down.

Fabric piece after I had ironed down the sides.

 

After ironing, I couldn’t do anything until I got back to campus. On Sunday I sewed all the patches into rows, then sewed the rows together. I had to once again iron both sides of the rows once they were sewn together, otherwise it would have been very uneven. The rows alternate between eight full patches and seven and two half patches. Once it was all sewn together, I printed out the project pattern and lined it up so I could have templates to cut the sides. I hated cutting the entire patchwork because it felt like I was working backward. 

 

Rows after I had sewn the patches together.

 

 

I had to cut lining of the same size from the templates to sew to the patchwork. Before I did this, I did the embroidery on the front side of the box. I edited a photo of yarn I found online since I’m going to use this box to store yarn. 

 

This is mid-embroidery. The sides all looked similar to this – with many rows of patches sewn together to form a square.

 

Once the embroidery was done, I could sew all the linings on, then turn it inside out. I didn’t have enough lining of my own so I had to mix some colors. I had some plain white parts and some flowered patterns. With all the sides turned out, I could insert the interfacing (which is something called Peltex). This material was sturdy enough to allow the box to stand up and I only had to iron it for it to stick to the patchwork – Peltex was new to me for this project and the pattern called for a specific kind, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was. To construct the box, I had to sew the wrong side of the fabrics to the bottom. It sticks together with sewing at the bottom, and with velcro on the sides. The velcro I got was iron on, which after trying one with the recommended time of 90 seconds made it melt so much it didn’t stick properly, so I did the rest with around 60 seconds of heat. 

 

Box laying flat after I had sewn the sides to the bottom.

Finished product.

 

It turned out a little sloppier than I would have liked, but I think for my first major sewing project, it came out well. My one huge noticeable mistake was one of the linings inside – I didn’t sew it right, since I wanted the pattern to be facing the other way like it is on the other sides. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I think it would have looked better the way I intended. 

Even though it was a fairly rushed project, I still had a lot of fun doing this assignment and think that sewing is something I would pursue in the future. With more time, I think it would have been neater, but it will serve its purpose and I might eventually make a lid for it as a side project.  

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