Feel like whippin’ up something wonderful in no time at all? That’s the goal of our Sew4Home Fast Fridays. We’ve developed extra easy projects that are still guaranteed to be popular and pretty, like these extra-wide, extra-soft sunglass cases. Tossing your sunglasses directly into a bag or tote is asking for scratches to the lenses. This cute and lightweight case is a great way to protect them and make them easier to spot in the jumble of a bag’s contents.
We offer a free, downloadable pattern below that has already been sized and tested to fit the bulkier shapes of the larger fashion frames. However, you could certainly cut yours even wider or slim it down for standard eyeglasses. To determine your width, simply set your glasses right on the paper pattern. There should be about ½”+ between the frame and the dotted line of the seam allowance.
As you’re choosing fabrics, please note that we do not recommend using the luxury plush like Minky or Cuddle for the inside layer as they are prone to shed along the cut edges. Because our seam allowances are simply pinked, a non-fraying fabric substrate is best.
Although we always suggest starting any new project with a new needle, a smooth, sharp needle is especially important when working with tough vinyl and faux leather as well as to penetrate neatly through the thick layers.
Even with a built-in fabric feeding system, like the AcuFeed™ Flex on our Janome Skyline S7, or a Walking foot; the sticky surface of faux leather or vinyl can be tricky. For this fast project, a layer of parchment paper is just the ticket. We describe how below.
These cases are so quick and simple and use such small pieces of fabric, you could set up an assembly line and whip up bunches in a single day. They make great gifts! It would be fun to make matching cases with matching sunglasses for made-in-the-shade bridal party gifts.
Our cases finish at approximately 4⅛” x 9½” open and 4⅛” x 6¾” closed. The pocket opening itself is about 3¼” x 6½”.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot or similar; we used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome Skyline S7, which is excellent at handling thick layers of varying fabric type. If you do not have this feature, consider using a standard Walking or Even Feed foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ¼ yard or scrap of a 44”+ wide vinyl or faux leather; we dug into our stash for a sparkly vinyl and an ostrich faux leather
- ¼ yard or scrap of a 44”+ wide polyester fleece; we purchased small amounts of fleece locally in hot pink and tangerine
NOTE: Remember, as mentioned above, use standard polyester fleece not the luxury plush products.
- All-purpose thread to match the vinyl fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Pinking shears or a rotary cutter with a pinking blade
- Iron and ironing board
- Pressing cloth
- Fabric clips (rather than pins), such as Clover Wonder Clips
- Parchment or wax paper
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print the TWO sunglass pattern sheets which have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: Each pattern is ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a handy guide line on the PDF to confirm your printout is to scale.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines.
- Following the arrows on the patterns, butt the two pieces together and tape in place. Do NOT overlap. You now have one complete sunglass case pattern.
- Place the faux leather or vinyl wrong side up on your cutting surface.
- Place the fleece right side up on top of the faux leather/vinyl so the two pieces are wrong sides together.
- Place the pattern on top of the layered fabrics and pin through the fleece layer, just catching the faux leather/vinyl underneath. Cut along the solid line through both layers.
- Transfer all pattern markings. We used tiny snips into the edges of the fabric. You could also mark with a fabric pen or pencil.
- Mark at either side of the center fold line.
- And, mark at the dots for placement of the flap band.
- From the faux leather/vinyl, cut ONE ¾” x 4½” strip for the flap band.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Remove the paper pattern and smooth the layers so they are flat against one another. They should still be wrong sides together.
- Clip in place along both sides and around the curved top.
- Thread the machine with thread to best match the faux leather/vinyl. Lengthen the stitch.
- Engage your feeding system or attach a Walking foot or similar.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, topstitch across the bottom straight edge only.
- Using your marks as a guide, fold up along the center fold line. Make sure your side edges are flush and the sewn edge is straight. Re-clip in place along both sides. The top clips around the curved flap end remain as-is.
- Place the flap loop across the top, again following your placement marks. As an added guide, the top edge of the loop should be ¾” below the upper edge of the “pocket.”
- The machine should still threaded with thread to best match the faux leather/vinyl. The stitch should still be lengthened and your feeding system should be engaged or a Walking foot or similar attached.
- We also recommend layering a piece of parchment or wax paper between the fabric and the foot.
- If you feel any sticking or experience any skipping of stitches, try adding another sheet of parchment or wax paper between the fabric and the needle plate.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, and starting at one bottom corner, stitch up the side of the case, around the top curved flap, and back down the opposite side. Stop the seam at the opposite bottom corner.
- If possible use a lock stitch to secure both ends of your seam. If you do not have this feature, leave your thread tails long and knot to secure.
- Gently tear away the parchment or wax paper.
- Using the pinking shears, trim the seam allowance back to ¼” all around. Trim back the edges of the flap loop as well with the pinking shears. This edge should be slightly narrower than the seam allowance itself.
NOTE: You are going through four layers at this point so be prepared to use a bit of pressure to make this cut. You’ll want to insure your pinking shears are sharp. Be careful to keep your trim as even as possible all around.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild