Finally, the hot weather has come to the UK (after seven years wait). To celebrate I made this simple sunglasses case for my daughter.
This is a simple project you can put together in under an hour, depending on how long you spend embellishing. It’s just a simple strip of fabric and wadding, folded to make a pouch and flap, and then trimmed with bias binding.
The pattern here gives a smart little pouch just the right size for a pair of children’s sunglasses. It’s quite snug as I didn’t want the sunglasses moving around too much inside; you might want it a little bigger, especially if you’re making it for an older child.
- external fabric
- lining fabric
- snap, press stud or other fastener
- bias binding
1. Download the pattern for sunglasses case.
2. Print the pattern, cut out the pieces and overlap the back on the front piece on the shaded area. There are no seam allowances marked on this pattern, as all the raw edges will be enclosed on the outside with bias binding – so the pattern piece is the same as the finished size. However, bear in mind that the internal pouch will be slightly narrower. Check your sunglasses will fit!(If you want to enlarge the pattern, the easiest way is to print out the pattern at a larger size.)
Cut the pattern piece in main fabric, wadding and lining.
3. Cut the external fabric, a layer of wadding and a lining fabric from the pattern piece. You could use any medium to heavy weight fabric here, as you’ll layer it all together, which will give it structure and support. Avoid too many thick layers though – at some point you have to sew through bias binding, and two layers of external, wadding and lining fabrics! If you’re using a heavy external fabric, pair it with a slightly thinner wadding, and a lightweight lining to reduce bulk.
I chose a cream cord for the plain external fabric to embellish, and a pretty quilting cotton for the lining.
4. Embellish the outside. I chose to applique fabric flowers on my case. The text on the pattern pieces tells you which piece of the pattern corresponds to which bit of the finished case, and indicates which way is up – if you’re adding elements like my letter, check it will appear the right way up!
Remember to leave about a 1cm (1/2″) border at the edges where the bias binding will go.
Embellish as desired.
5. Apply bias binding tape to the top edge of the front of the pouch as shown. You may be able to sew on the bias binding in one pass (folding it over the raw edge and sewing through all thicknesses at the same time) but because of the thickness here there is the danger of not catching the binding tape on the back. If you run into problems sew it in two steps – open up the tape and first sew the raw edges together on the outside. Then fold it over, and stitch in the ditch to catch the back.
No need to finish the ends here, as they will be enclosed by the side bias binding strips.
Finish the top front edge.
6. Apply the bottom snap at marked point on the front of the pouch, following instructions. I used these snaps which you apply with a hammer, but you could use anything here – a press-stud, a button, or velcro. I chose the snap because it’s quick and easy!
The metal snaps I used are applied with a hefty blow of a hammer.
7. Apply bias binding tape to the outside edges
- Fold the front of the pouch up and align the sides. The top edge that you have already trimmed with bias binding should just reach to the join between the back and the flap. There are a lot of thick layers here to sew through, so pin ruthlessly.
- Press the bias binding tape. To get the tape to lie neatly round the curved flap, it helps to press it into shape with an iron first. Use lots of steam, and gently shape the tape into a curve.
- Sew the bias tape round the edges. I would definitely recommend sewing the bias binding on in two stages here. Open out the tape and sew the raw edges to the raw edges of the pouch, leaving a 1cm (1/2″) bit of binding at the ends.
- Trim back the wadding and edges to a little less than the bias binding seam allowance to make it easier to fold over the tape.
- For neat ends: unfold the unattached edge of the bias binding tape and fold the tape over the bottom folded edge of the pouch at the bottom corners. Then refold the long edge of bias binding tape and fold the tape over the raw edges of the pouch.
- Sew up the side, round the top flap and down the other side.
When you sew the second step of the bias binding it looks neater on the top than on the bottom. This is fine on the sides of the pouch, but when you go round the top flap, you are sewing on the inside. If you want to get a neater finish, sew the two sides first with the front of the pouch on top, and then sew the top flap from the back.
My daughter liked it so much, I made a batch for The Cousins as well, changing the applique to match their interests. From left to right: an absolutely-identical-in-every-possible-way-to-avoid-any-arguments version for my niece, a Plants vs Zombies version for my computer-game-mad nephew, and a football version for the football-obsessed nephew.
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