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How-to

Make a Sewing Machine Cover

Feb 11, 2016
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I used 100-percent cotton fabric to make this decorative cover. If you'd rather make a more durable cover, canvas, vinyl, or denim are great options. You also may want to fuse and quilt the main cover and side pieces with fusible fleece for extra padding.

Start off the new year right by making a protective covering for one of your most prized possessions–your sewing machine. Sewing machine covers add a pop of color to your sewing room, but more importantly, they protect your machine from dust and debris while it’s not in use. The following customized cover features a large front pocket for the foot control and various sewing essentials, a top opening for the carrying handle, and a decorative appliquéd patch to set your cover apart. To get started, choose a base fabric and a coordinating fabric for the binding. Then, take the machine’s measurements, as described below.

Make a Sewing Machine Cover 

1. Measure and record the following dimensions:

Sewing machine height:

Sewing machine lengthBe sure to begin measuring from the tallest part.

Sewing machine width:

Sewing machine width

Sewing machine depth:

Sewing machine depth

Handle width:

Handle length

Handle length:

Handle width

Foot control width:

Foot control width

2. Cut the pieces. There are five pieces in total: the main cover, the sides (cut 2), the pocket, and the handle opening facing. To determine the dimensions for each piece, plug in the measurements from above to the equations below. Cut each piece from the base fabric. For the facing, cut interfacing the same size, and fuse it to the facing’s wrong side.

a)Main cover: Length = sewing machine depth + 2x the sewing machine height; Width = sewing machine width + 1 1/2 inches

b)Sides (cut 2): Length = sewing machine height + 1/2 inch; Width = sewing machine depth + 1 inch

c)Pocket: Length = 2x (foot control width + 2.5 inches); Width = sewing machine width + 1 1/2 inches

d)Handle opening facing: Length = handle length + 4 inches; Width = handle width + 4 inches

3. Begin with the pocket. Fold the pocket piece in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together.

Folded pocketPlace the fold on the bottom.

4. Create the binding. Cut a 2-inch-wide bias strip to the pocket’s width dimension. Fold the bias strip in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together. With the pocket right side up, align the folded bias strip’s raw edges with the pocket’s raw edges. Sew the bias strip to the pocket with a 1/4-inch-wide seam allowance.

Align the bias stripInstead of making your own bias tape, you may use commercial bias tape and follow the manufacturer’s application instructions.

5. Push the bias tape up toward the seam allowances , then fold its top edge down to the pocket’s wrong side. The fold should sit just below the seamline on the wrong side. Stitch-in-the-ditch from the pocket’s right side, being sure to catch the fold as you sew.

Stitch-in-the-ditchThe stitching should be barely visible from the right side.

6. With right sides up, place the pocket 1 inch from the main cover’s bottom edge. Baste the pocket’s two short sides in place before edgestitching the pocket’s bottom edge. For extra strength, sew a second line of stitching 1/4 inch above the edgestitching.

Secure the pocketNote that the bias binding runs along the pocket’s top edge.

7. Create a slight curve. Use a fashion ruler or another curved object as a guide to draw a slight curve at the top of the side pieces. Reflect the curve along the piece’s center. Trim the pieces accordingly.

Alter the sidesCurved side pieceThis adjustment will enable the cover to better fit the machine’s curvature. However, if you have a square-shaped machine, you can eliminate this step as well as the gathering sections in steps 8 and 9.

8. Add two rows of basting stitches to the main cover where it will join with the curved side pieces. To determine where to place the basting, fold the main cover piece in half lengthwise. Sew two rows of basting stitches close to the side edges beginning 6 inches before the fold and continuing 6 inches after the fold, for a total of 12 inches.

Baste along the sidesPrepare to attach the side pieces to the main cover by adding gathering stitches to the edges.


9. Gently pull the thread to gather the basting stitches. With right sides together, and bottom edges aligned, pin one side piece to either side of the main cover. The main cover’s fold also should align with the side piece’s peak. Repeat for the second side. Sew the sides in place with a 1/2-inch-wide seam allowance.

Gather the main coverOnce the main cover’s edges are gathered, attach the side pieces.

10. Get started on the handle opening by finishing the handle facing’s four edges with a 1/2-inch, double-rolled hem. Place the cover as is on your machine and determine where the handle opening should be located. Mark the placement with at least four pins before removing the cover from the machine. Center the hemmed handle facing, wrong side up, over the pins. Remove the pins from below and pin the handle facing to the machine cover.

Mark the handle locationDetermine where to place the top handle opening.

11. Draw a rectangle in the facing’s center using the handle’s width and length measurements. For example, my machine’s handle was 1-inch-wide, as noted below. Draw a horizontal line in the middle of the rectangle and four more lines that continue out to the corners. Sew a seam around the original rectangle’s edges. Cut along the rectangle’s center line, continuing out to the corners, and up to the stitching line.

Sew around the rectangleWhen cutting into the rectangle, be sure not to cut into the stitching line.

12. Push the handle facing through the hole to the cover’s wrong side. Press the opening flat as shown below, and finish by topstitching around the rectangle opening.

Topstitch around the openingMake sure the opening lies flat before applying the topstitching. If it does not, additional clipping from step 11 may be necessary.

13. Apply the bias binding to the hem edge as with the pocket binding in steps 4 and 5 above. However, to determine the bias strip length, measure the cover’s hem circumference and add 1 inch for the strip overlap. Be sure to sew the strip’s short ends together using a 1/2-inch-wide seam allowance before attaching the continuous bias strip to the cover’s lower edge.

Finished coverFinally, attach a fun patch with your name or a sewing-related phrase to make your cover one-of-a-kind.

Have you ever made a sewing machine cover? What are some of your favorite features? What fabric would you suggest using? Do you have a patch phrase in mind that you’d like to include? Please share your comments below!

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  1. User avater Brenda_Suzanne June 2nd

    I used decor fabric and used a flannel lining to soften the contact with my machine. I have a project pocket on the front to keep info about the current project. I also made a matching one for my serger.

  2. User avater grey_matters February 18th

    I made a cover from patchwork strips made from scraps of various blue fabrics (to match my sewing room) saved from old garments or leftovers from other projects. I quilted it to make it a bit more substantial. When I'd finished it, one of the patches seemed rather plain, so I embellished it with 3 buttons - again, saved from old garments. This helps me identify the front easily, as my cover is asymmetrical to fit over my machine more snugly.

    The pocket on yours is a good idea, but I never take my machine anywhere so I don't really need one on my cover.

  3. user-4605495 February 18th

    to tjw6150
    the foot pedal width is needed to cut the front pocket to the correct size.

  4. User avater tjw6150 February 17th

    Nicely done! But, why do we need to measure the foot control width?

  5. User avater ZakFerdie February 17th

    Ahh, you guys always have the greatest ideas when it comes to decoration.

  6. User avater LuvThreadsMagazine February 15th

    Beautiful cover!

    Mine is a patchwork out of fabric samples (how many of those have we collected?), and lined it with an old pillowcase. Stitch with a, "When will I ever use this color?" spool of thread, and it's a virtually no-cost project.

  7. sewgramms February 14th

    Very pretty cover.
    A few years ago I found quilted fabric with a sewing theme and made sewing machine covers for myself and three daughters. I made a pattern from an old cover. Yours is much more detailed.

  8. User avater James1986 February 12th

    Very good idea Dana ;) After all you have to protect the tools of trade. I bet all the girls here will be very happy with your article!

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