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Sewing Machine Cover

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It's a good idea to keep your sewing machine covered when not in use. A cover helps protect the machine's moving parts from dust and debris, and it looks so much cuter with a stylish hood. I also happen to think it helps my machine sleep, like when you cover a bird in a cage. The fact that I've never heard my sewing machine singing when its cover is in place is further proof of my theory.

This project takes just two ½-yard cuts of fabric. You'll see a lot of your cover, so make sure you pick two fabrics you really love.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • ½ yard each of two coordinating fabrics, we used Amy Butler's Nigella in Sky and River
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • See-through ruler
  • Regular ruler or measuring tape to measure machine
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Take three measurements of your machine: length, width and height. As a comparison, mine measured 16" long x 7" wide x 11" high.
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  2. Divide the length measurement by three. In my example, I divided 16 by 3, which equaled 5.33" - say 5⅓". Then add 1" for your seam allowance on both sides. So, now I have 6⅓".
  3. Next, take twice the height of the machine, add the width, then add 2" (1" for a hem on each end). Using my machine as the example, that's 11" + 11" + 7" + 2" = 31".
  4. These two measurements give you the size you need to cut each of three body pieces. I'll need three pieces at 6⅓" x 31".
  5. Cut two pieces from one fabric and the third piece from the second, coordinating fabric. I cut two pieces from Amy Butler's Nigella in River and one piece from Nigella in Sky .
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  6. For the side pieces, to figure the height: take your height dimension and add 1½" to account for a 1" hem and the ½" seam allowance at the top. Then take the width and add 1" to account for the ½" seam allowance on each side. In my example, my height was: 11 + 1½" = 12½"; my width was: 7" + 1" = 8". I'll need two pieces at 8" x 12½"
  7. Cut two side pieces from the same fabric you used for the one body piece ( Nigella in Sky in our sample) .

At Your Sewing Machine

  1. Take two your three body pieces and pin them, right sides together, along one long side. One piece from one fabric, one from the other - because you are alternating panels.
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  2. Stitch, using a ½" seam allowance.
  3. Take the third body piece and pin it, right sides together, to the two-panel piece you just made to create your alternating pattern.
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  4. Stitch, using a ½" seam allowance.
  5. Press seam allowances together toward the center panel. Zig zag the seam allowances to prevent fraying. For more information on finishing, see our tutorial, Finishing Raw Seams : Part One – Sewing Machine Finishes.
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  6. Take your side pieces and pin one, right sides together, to each side of the completed three-panel body piece.
    NOTE: To get everything lined up correctly, it helps to find the centers by folding each piece in half and marking the middle with a fabric pencil. You can then use these center marks to match the body to the side when pinning.
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  7. Stitch each side piece in place, using a ½" seam allowance. Press seam allowances toward the center. Zig zag the seam allowances to prevent fraying.
    NOTE: To make it easier to turn, make ½" clips at the corners before stitching.
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  8. Turn right side out and check the fit on your machine to make sure of your hemming measurements. I still needed a 1" hem, which is what I'd planned on in my cutting calculations. If you need to compensate, you can make the hem a little smaller or bigger to get the length just perfect.
  9. To make a simple 1" double turn hem, turn up ½" all around the bottom and press. Then, turn up another ½", press, and pin in place. Stitch all around, close to the bottom folded edge. For more on hemming, see our tutorial, How To Make a Simple Hem.


I added a front pocket to my cover as a handy place to hold a few notions.

  1. To figure the size of the pocket piece, measure the finished width of the center panel and add 2" (1" for fullness in the pocket and a ½" seam allowance on each side). My width was 7". To figure length, lay the finished cover down flat on your work surface and measure top to bottom. The front of my cover measured about 12" from top to hem. To that, I added 1" for seam allowances. So, for my pocket, I cut a piece 7" x 13"
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  2. Fold the pocket piece in half lengthwise, right sides together. I now had a folded piece 7" x 6½".
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  3. Pin and stitch, using a ½" seam allowance, around the three raw edges. Leave a 2" opening along one edge for turning right side out.
  4. Clip corners.
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  5. Turn right side out and press. Poke out the corners with your finger or a long tool with a blunt end, like a large knitting needle.
  6. Pin pocket to cover over the center panel, approximately 4" from bottom
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  7. Align the sides of the pocket so they are flush with the seams of the center panel. Make two even tucks along the bottom to create the fullness of the pocket.
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  8. Edge stitch the sides and bottom of the pocket.

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Comments (30)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Claire Narbonne - Great! Also - we have several additional sewing machine cover projects to choose from. When you have a chance, take a look at the Sewing Room section of our Project Index: http://www.sew4home.com/project-index

chefbevrd said:
chefbevrd's picture

I have now made 2 of these covers, one for my daughter's machine and mine.  I used double sided quilted fabric and I did flat felled seams in the entire cover.  This took me a bit more effort buth the no seam inside the cover look terrific and do not mess up the contrast side of my quilted fabric.  I put the pocket even with the bottom  of the cover rather than in the middle and I think it's cuter.  I added a decorative button  on the pocket and i used grosgrain ribbon to bind the top of the pocket and also the bottom. My covers came out looking a bit more polished than the one in the picture.  One hint if you choose to try the flat felled seam approach--sew the end pieces on the end panels first-  makes it easier to handle and consider basting the seams down before you top stitch--makes it easier to get around the curved parts of the end pieces.  Happy sewing.

Piz16zolo said:
Piz16zolo's picture
Cannot quite see how the side panels get pinned on - one part seems to be a bit curved and the other squared off. I am spatially challenged so may need to get my husband to help me figure this out. I could have used a more clear photo for that part. Thanks
Monika Smith said:
Monika Smith's picture
I made this cover from already quilted fabric it gives it heaps more stability
and then covered it with pretty fabric, and embroidered Lorellie ladies on the front
The money I saved by being able to download for free, I spent on the fabric
Great Pattern, thankyou very much smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gif
adding the side piece said:
adding the side piece's picture
Just a practical note to anyone trying this project: the cut side pieces need to be sewn onto the LONGER side of the body (ie the 31 inch side).
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Mel - we used a home decor weight fabric for our sample, which I would recommend over a regular quilting weight cotton. It will help the cover hold its shape, and will allow the pocket to better hold tools or whatever.
Mel said:
Mel's picture
This is super cute!! What is the weight of the fabric you used? Would any cotton work or does it need to be stiffer? I just love it!!
C&DsMama said:
C&DsMama's picture
Thank you for this tutorial and all of your tutorials! I am fairly new to sewing and I'm really eager to learn what I can. I don't know if you know how much I, as a beginner, appreciate your step by step directions. After completing a project from your site I feel more and more confident as a sewer. Thank you so much! And my cover looks super cute! It makes me so happy to look at it! Thank you thank you thank you!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@Sam99 -- our fabric is listed in the supplies section it is Amy Butler who designs for Rowan Fabrics

½ yard each of two coordinating fabrics, we used Amy Butler's Nigella in Sky and River
LoopyLatina said:
LoopyLatina's picture
Just what I've been needing to cover my machine (which I bought nearly two years ago), and exactly how I thought I should approach the measurements and construction. THANKS!
Mimi83 said:
Mimi83's picture
Wow! This is such a beautifully explained project! I'm a newbie to sewing and have been fortunate enough to inherit a Singer machine from my aunt. I'm dying to stitch a pretty cover for it and now I'm going to give this a go! I'm planning to coordinate it to accent my crafts room ... hopefully it'll be successful enough to post up photos. Thanks! I'm bookmarking your page !! smilies/grin.gif xoxox
shira said:
shira's picture
I'm going to do this project today ... I'll tell you if it turned out nice smilies/wink.gif
alicia.thommas said:
Pretty fabric is much classier than plastic! We agree. Glad you had success!
Georgia F said:
Georgia F's picture
I've had this bookmarked for...um...months, and I finally got around to it today! I love it; so much better than the cheap plastic one that came with my machine. Thanks so much!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
LOL sahmcolorado! Awake for 6 months. Yes indeed - your sewing machine deserves a good night's rest smilies/grin.gif
sahmcolorado said:
sahmcolorado's picture
Oh my gosh - my machine has not slept for 6 months! Perhaps I should whip up a cover.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
You're welcome, pegger1, I'm glad you found the instructions easy to follow. Now your sewing machine can sleep smilies/grin.gif
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
That's great! I LOVE this fabric. We have an ironing board cover project coming up soon. Stay tuned.
peggyann said:
peggyann's picture
I need a new cover and it is the exact fabric I am going to use to recover my ironing board! How about that?!
pegger1 said:
pegger1's picture
I made this cover for my sewing machine. Very cute! Now, I need to cover the serger. Thanks so much for the clear instructions.smilies/wink.gif