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Cottage Sewing Case

Stitch a cottage sewing case

The project is an excerpt from ‘Stitch at Home’ from Mandy Shaw.  

This delightful thatched cottage-shaped sewing case has a vintage feel and is an ideal project for using up your fabric leftovers. It would make a perfect first sewing kit for a little girl, for who wouldn’t want to sew with a cute sewing case like this!

Cottage sewing case pattern 

You will need

20cm x 28cm (8in x 11in) thick interfacing

20cm x 28cm (8in x 11in) cotton wadding

23cm x 30.5cm (9in x 12in) fl oral print cotton

23cm x 30.5cm (9in x 12in) plain cotton

20cm x 25.5cm (8in x 10in) gingham fabric

16.5cm x 43cm (6½in x 17in) teal felt

Cream, teal and rose pink felt offcuts for the appliqué and sewing accessory pockets

13cm (5in) of 5mm (¼in) wide white elastic

Embroidery threads to match fabrics

Several small round and heart-shaped buttons

Three small poppers

Finished size: 20cm x 13cm (8in x 5in) excluding chimney

Prepare the patterns

1. Enlarge all the Cottage sewing case pattern and cut out.

2. You will need to make the house pattern full size. To do so, take a piece of A4 (US letter) sheet of paper and fold in half widthways. Place the house pattern on the piece of folded paper as marked, and trace around it; cut and open out to reveal the full-size house pattern.

Cut and prepare the house

1. Using the full-size house pattern, cut one from the interfacing and one from the cotton wadding the exact size of the pattern. Cut one from the floral print cotton fabric for the lining and one from the plain cotton for the main fabric 2.5cm (1in) bigger all the way around.

2. Using a spray fabric adhesive, lightly spray the interfacing and attach to the cotton wadding. Now lightly spray the wadding and press onto the wrong side of the lining fabric so that it is perfectly centred on the fabric, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) border all around. (Alternatively, tack the layers together.)

3. Fold over the extra fabric at the top and bottom edges and pin in place. Fold in half and mark the centre fold with a pin on the right side.

Cottage sewing case inside

Cut and prepare the gingham pocket

1. Fold the gingham fabric in half with right sides together. Place the pocket pattern on the folded fabric as marked and cut out.

2. Starting and finishing 1.3cm (½in) down from the folded edge, sew all around the edge of the pocket leaving no gap. Cut a 2.5cm (1in) slit near the bottom of the pocket through one layer of fabric only, and turn the right way out. Press well.

3. To make a channel for the elastic, sew a line of stitching 1.3cm (½in) down from the folded edge; sew a second line just beneath the folded edge. Thread the elastic through the channel using a small safety pin as a ‘needle’. Sew one end of the channel closed and snip off the protruding elastic. Pull up the elastic at the other end until the top of the pocket  measures 6.5cm (2½in), and secure (this will be neatened later when the felt tags are added).


Cut and prepare the scissor keeper heart

1. Cut out a 7.5cm x 11.5cm (3in x 4½in) rectangle from teal felt offcuts and another from the gingham fabric (for the lining), and place right sides together. Place the scissor keeper heart pattern on top and pin together. DO NOT CUT OUT.

2. Sew with a small stitch along the outline of the heart, through the paper, felt and fabric.

3. Once you have completed sewing the heart shape, tear off the paper and cut out quite close to the sewn edge. Snip the point of the heart and the inner curve to help create a neat shape when it is turned through.

4. Make a small slit in the gingham fabric at the bottom edge of the heart and turn the right way out. Sew the opening closed and press gently. Embroider a row of decorative backstitch 6mm (¼in) in from the edge of the heart.


Sew and finish the gingham pocket

1. Centre the gingham pocket on the inside of the case 1.3cm (½in) up from the centre fold. Machine stitch in place, leaving the elasticized edge open. Decorate the edges with blanket stitch.

2. Using the relevant patterns, cut two pocket side tags and two pocket top tags from teal felt offcuts. Sew the two pocket top tags together with blanket stitch, and attach immediately above the pocket with backstitch. Sew a decorative button on the top side of the other end of the tag and one popper half on the underside. Sew the remaining popper half to the pocket. Blanket stitch the side tags over the ends of the elastic, and sew on two small heart buttons.

Sew and finish the scissor keeper heart and sewing accessory tags

1. Cut one unpicker tag, two thread tags, and two scissor keeper tags from teal felt offcuts.

2. Blanket stitch around the top edge of the heart. Pin the base of the heart 1.3cm (½in) up from the centre fold on the inside of the case, directly opposite the gingham pocket. Continue to blanket stitch the heart onto the lining fabric (leaving the top edge open for inserting the scissors).

3. Sew around the edges of the scissor keeper tag with blanket stitch, and attach the straight end immediately above the heart pocket with a backstitch. Sew a decorative button on the top side of the shaped end and one half of a popper on the underside. Sew the remaining popper half to the heart.

4. Blanket stitch around the unpicker tag and sew in place at each end alongside the heart. Blanket stitch the thread tags together and sew the straight end in place on the other side. On the rounded end, sew a decorative button on the top side and one popper half on the underside. Sew the remaining popper half onto the lining fabric.


Appliqué and embroider the house front

1. Cut a door measuring 4cm x 5.5cm (1½in x 2¼in) from an offcut of teal felt. Cut two windows from cream felt measuring 3cm x 2.5cm (11⁄8in x 1in). Working with fusible webbing (see Get Ready to Stitch), appliqué the door and windows to the remaining plain cotton house piece. Position the door on the middle of the centre fold and line the windows up to the top of the door, 1.3cm (½in) from either side. Decorate the edges with blanket stitch. Divide the windows into four panes using lines of backstitch.

2. Cut out four-petal flowers from rose pink felt and sew in place with small buttons. Embroider with backstitch stems and lazy daisy leaves. Sew a small button handle onto the door.


Sew lining and main fabric together

1. Place the lining and the main fabric right sides together (note, the doors and windows should be on the same side as the scissor keeper heart), and pin well.

2. Sew all the way around the outside edge of the interfacing leaving a 7.5cm (3in) opening directly above the door for turning through. DO NOT SEW ON THE INTERFACING.

3. Trim the seams and corners and turn the right way out. This can be a little fiddly so take your time. (Leave the opening for now; it will be finished later when the chimney is added to the roof.)

Mandy Shaw sewing project

Prepare and sew the roof

1. Cut the teal felt into two rectangles measuring 16.5cm x 21.5cm (6½in x 8½in). Place right sides together and pin the roof pattern on top. DO NOT CUT OUT. With a small stitch sew all the way around the outline of the roof, through the paper. Cut out the shaded area in the middle of the template. Now tear off the paper and cut out close to the stitching.

2. Turn the right way out through the slit opening and use a teaspoon to push out the seams. Blanket stitch around the edge of the roof and the slit opening, and sew a running stitch border 6mm (¼in) in from the edge.

3. Pin one half of the roof to the back of the house and slip stitch in place. Cut a rectangle of pink felt measuring 6.5cm x 4cm (2½in x 1½in) and sew onto the inside of the roof flap with blanket stitch to make the needle keeper.


Make the chimney and finish

1. Use the chimney pattern to cut one from the floral print cotton and one from teal felt. Place right sides together and sew a 6mm (¼in) seam along the long edges. Turn the right way out and blanket stitch along the seamed edges. Fold the chimney in half floral side out, and put the raw ends into the opening left when you turned the house the right way out; slip stitch closed with the chimney in the seam. To close the sewing case, thread the chimney through the slit opening in the roof.

2. Cut a bird from cream felt and blanket stitch to the roof, adding a French knot eye.

For more projects like this please see Stitch At Home by Mandy Shaw, available to buy on Amazon.