I love my ukulele. Ive only had it 4 years, and I’m not very good. I’ve learnt about ten chords, so if your requested song is covered by the 10 chords I know, then I’ll give it a bash (you wouldn’t recognise it, but that wouldn’t stop me!). Occasionally, I get to play with CousinA who is a very accomplished musician… he plays all the fiddly bits while I strum out my c-f-g feeling like the Boss. They’re always my favourite sessions.
Sadly, my uke has got a bit dusty since I’ve owned a sewing machine. But that doesn’t mean I love it any less. We once went on holiday with a big group of friends. I didn’t take my ukulele with me, and every day, sometimes twice a day, someone would say ‘oh, I wish you had brought your ukulele…’. One bedtime, I said to MrA, ‘it’s been asked for so much, I wish I’d brought it with me.’ To which he replied, ‘It’s only been asked for so much because you didn’t bring it with you!’… I have to admit, he’s kind of got a point there.
Anyway, I’ve been promising CousinA that I would make a ukulele case for a friend of his for ages. I’d made one before (& of course, not made a pattern!) and it was a bit of a chore, so I kept putting it off… I finally got down to it, and I guess I must be a bit better at sewing now, because it wasn’t anywhere near as much of a bind as I’d anticipated…
- I started by tracing around my uke, then added 2.5 cm all around (1.5cm for seam allowance & 1cm ‘ease’) this was my ‘block’ for the back pattern piece.
- Next I traced the bottom section for an outside pocket.
- Then I cut out the main piece & folded it in half. I traced it out again to make the zippered front, adding 1.5cm seam to one side and 3cm to the other side to hide the zip.
- Finally I measured around the seam allowance of the back pattern piece to get the side measurement length. I added the same 1.5cm to one side and 3cm on the other to match the front zip-flap.
Keeping everything in the right order (wadding, main fabric, lining fabric), I sewed the top seam of the outer pocket, turned it over & topstitched the edge.
Then I basted every piece together using the walking foot and basted the pocket in place to the back piece. (Basting all the layers now meant the fabric was more stable so that later on, I could use other feet; zip/ edge stitching etc).
To get the zip in, first I attached the side-panels to the top-edge of the front-sections, just a little way, as I wanted the zip to reach over the top of the bag. ( I was extra careful to match the the right pieces as one is 1.5cm longer than the other). Then I overlocked the zip edge on both sides. On the shorter side I folded & pressed 1.5cm back & attached the zip underneath with just the teeth poking out.
To attach the other side, I laid the 1st piece face up with the free zip tape out to the left. Then I laid the longer of the top pieces, face down on top of it, with the overlocked edge lining up with the edge of the zip tape, on the left. Here it is flipped back over…
Then I laid the whole thing on top of the back piece, and folded the zip-covering-pleat (right over left in the pics), making sure it ended up the same size at the bottom piece. I pinned the flap in place & stitched it down from the front, catching the zip tape on the other side.
I continued pinning the side pieces all the way around. Measuring & sewing the exact join at the centre bottom, then sewing all the way around. Here it is pinned in place, ready for the machine…
Did I say I’d made notches? Well, I matched up the notches and pinned & sewed the back on too. For a neater finish I ran the seams through the overlocker. Here’s a pic of the insides. It looks a bit like a shapeless lump here to be honest.
I made the strap by cutting a long strip of the wool fabric 4x the width I wanted it to end up. Did that fold-in-half-then-fold-the-halfs-in-half thing, and topstitched down both long edges.
Then the big moment…
I put my ukulele in it, zipped it up and tried a few strap variations… I settled for this…
I still thought it looked a bit shapeless. I was contemplating methods of ‘taking-in’ a bag when MrA came home & said he loved it. So that’s it then, finished! I’m looking forward to handing it over to CousinA so that he can finally gift it to its unsuspecting recipient.
Notes to self:
- Once it’s finished, dont be too hard on myself.
- Don’t look at it for half an hour, then decide if you hate it or not!
- Learn to fit properly… bags & clothes.
- Always make a pattern so it can be made again more easily.
- Wipe the dust off my ukulele.