Wasn't Mom always the one reminding you to get things done early? Work before play and all that? So, it's probably our own dang fault if we've waited until the last minute to find a Mother's Day gift for this Sunday. Sew4Home to the rescue! Our classic roll-up make-up brush case is a perennial favorite, and a perfect ScrapBusters project. We suggest blending three coordinating cottons plus a laminate for the inside. With a laminate behind the brushes, if any traces of make up rub off, they can be quickly wiped away. This handy little case is not only great for travel, Mom can also use it for everyday storage.
If you don't have a laminate in your stash, you could make your own with iron-on vinyl. And to further speed things up, you can substitute purchased bias tape around the outer edge.
If this isn't quite right for your mom, check out our Project Index for dozens of other last minute ideas. Or, use our search tool with the key word: ScrapBusters.
The case finishes at approximately 18" wide x 9" high when flat and about 18" x 5" wide when folded.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome DC2015)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide print fabric for the outside of the case
- ⅓ yard of 44-45" wide print fabric for the inside pocket of the case
- ⅓ yard of 54-55" wide laminate or vinyl for the inside of the case
- ⅓ yard of lightweight batting (regular batting not fusible)
NOTE: If you cut carefully, you can get away with just ¼ yard for each of the above four layers. As you'll see below, the cut dimensions are 9" in depth, which is exactly ¼ yard. We always get a bit more to allow for any fussy cutting.
- ½ yard of 44-45" wide print fabric for the bias binding - or you can use packaged bias binding
- All purpose thread to match fabric and binding
- See-through ruler
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Fabric pencil, pen, or tailor's chalk
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Roll of wax paper
- Download the Case Corner Template pattern, which will help you get a precise rounded corner.
IMPORTANT: This template is one 8½" x 11" pattern sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the template along the solid line. Set aside.
- Cut ONE 18" wide x 9" high rectangle of each of the following: the fabric for the outside of the case, the inside of the case, and the inside pocket, as well as from the lightweight batting.
- From the leftover inside pocket fabric, cut TWO 1" x 20" strips for the ties.
- The finished binding will be ½" double fold bias binding, so we need to start with 2" wide strips of fabric on the true bias (45˚ angle) for the binding. Cut enough strips from your binding fabric to create a continuous length of bias tape that is at least 58-60". If you are new to making bias tape, check out our tutorial on Bias Binding.
NOTE: As mentioned above, you can substitute pre-packaged bias tape in a coordinating solid if you prefer.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Press all your pieces flat. If you use a polyester batting do not press it; it shouldn't need pressing and the heat could damage it. Also, the laminate should be pressed from the back on low heat.
- Find the piece that will be your inside pocket. Press this piece in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, so it is now 4½" x 18".
- Assemble your layers in the following pattern: place the outside fabric right side down on your work surface, place the batting on top, place the inside fabric right side up on the batting layer, and finally, place the folded pocket piece on the very top, aligning its raw edges with the bottom and side raw edges of the other layers.
- Pin all the layers together across the center.
- Find the corner template. Pin the template to each corner and round, cutting through all the layers with your scissors.
NOTE: Doing all the layers at once like this insures your edges are flush and will be easier and smoother to bind.
- Here's what it looks like with all the corners rounded.
- Take out the pins. Remove and set aside the outside fabric layer.
- Pin the remaining layers (batting, inside and inside pocket) back together.
- Fold these layers in half to find the exact center top and bottom. You could also use your clear ruler to find and mark the center. Mark the top and bottom center points with pins.
Creating the brush pockets
- From your roll of wax paper, cut one 18" x 9" piece. Tape together pieces if need be to end up with a full 18" x 9" piece. Fold the paper in half (9" x 9") to create a center crease. Unfold and lay the paper flat on your work surface.
- Measure and mark 1" to the left and 1" to the right of the center crease and draw two parallel lines.
NOTE: You can also draw along the center crease if it makes it easier for you to follow.
- Measure and mark 2" to the left from the left line and 2" to the right from the right line, and draw two additional lines.
- Working towards the left from your left-most drawn line, measure and mark 4 more vertical lines, each 1" away from the last.
- Working towards the right from your right-most drawn line, measure and mark 6 more vertical lines, each ¾" away from the last.
- The remaining sections on either end are just whatever they end up to be. In our case, 2¼" on the left and 1⅝" on the right.
- You can also use your own brush set if you would like to totally customize your case.
- Pin the marked wax paper securely over the top of the layered fabrics (the batting/laminate/pocket layers... remember, you set the outside piece off to the side). Match the center crease of the wax paper with the center pin marks on the fabric layers.
- To sew the pocket divisions, you can use matching or contrasting thread. We chose contrasting.
- Following the drawn lines on the wax paper, and sewing directly through the paper and all the fabric layers, stitch from the bottom raw edge to top raw edge. Remember to lock your stitch at the start and the end.
- Simply tear away the wax paper from the sewn seams when you're finished.
- This is a great way to measure and mark all these little pockets, plus the wax paper allows a regular presser foot to slide over the laminate. Without the paper, you'd need a Teflon® type or Ultraglide foot to move across the sticky laminate finish.
Make and attach the narrow ties
- On one 20" x 1" strip, fold in each end ¼".
- Next, fold each side in ¼" so the raw edges meet in the middle similar to a piece of double fold bias binding. We also clipped the end piece we pressed down at the beginning at an angle on both ends so it wasn't so bulky.
- Fold the strip in half again, encasing the raw edges and aligning the folded edges.
- Pin together and stitch one seam the length of the strip, starting and ending as close to each end as possible.
- Repeat to create the second tie.
- Pin the ties side by side, overlapping just slightly, to the outside fabric piece. The should be aligned at the center of the right side. Make sure you align the raw edges so the ties lay back across the fabric.
- Machine baste the ties in place close to the raw edges.
- Collect your 2" bias strips and stitch them together at an angle to create one continuous length.
- Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
- Open up the strip, wrong side up so the crease line is visible.
- Fold each side towards the center crease and press.
- Fold again along your first crease, right sides together, so your two folded edges are together. You now have your very own double fold bias tape. It should finish at 1" flat or ½" folded. Press well to set the folds.
- Unfold one side of the binding, and starting at the middle of one side (we chose to start at the point where the ties are basted in place), attach the binding around the entire perimeter.
- As mentioned above, if you are new to making and working with bias tape, read through our tutorial on the fascinating world of bias tape creation.
- We attached a Sew4Home label to the outside.
- The case naturally wants to fold into easy quarters. Simply fold, fold, fold, wrap the ties around twice, and make a pretty bow.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild