I have a habit of taking off my sunglasses and shoving them willy-nilly into my purse. I will be the first to admit I don’t buy fancy sunglasses, these are the $19.99 (or less) kind you can pick up at a local convenience store, but looking through scratched up lenses isn’t good for the eyes. So when my last pair finally past the threshold of what I could stand and I broke down last weekend to purchase a new pair, I knew it was also time to purchase or make a sunglasses case to carry in my purse as well. I looked at the cases for sale for $5 when I bought the sunglasses, but the interior fabric that they would rub against was so coarse to the touch that I quickly decided to sew something instead.
As you can see above, I used the last of some pretty cute novelty prints for the two cases that will live in my purse (one for me and a matching second case for my husband’s sunglasses that I also inevitably carry). I learned a few lessons sewing the first two cases together, so I thought I’d share a quick photo tutorial for anyone who might be interested in making a simple sunglasses case, too.
I chose to use soft flannel for the interior of the case and coordinating quilting cotton prints for the exterior. If you chose to go with quilting cotton inside and out, you might want to consider using fusible fleece on the back side of the exterior fabric.
Exterior Fabric (Quilting Cotton) – Cut (2) 4 5/8-inch by 7 1/4-inch rectangles
Interior Fabric (Flannel) – Cut (2) 4 1/2-inch by 7 1/2-inch rectangles
You will not need to pair up your fabrics like in the image above, but I am using it as an illustration of the subtle size difference between the exterior and interior pieces. By making the exterior rectangle slightly wider and shorter, the interior (flannel) will fit inside easily and when folded right side out, a small cuff of the interior fabric will show as a band on the outside.
Pair interior fabric, right sides together, and sew around 3 sides using a 1/4-inch seam allowance (leaving a short edge open). Repeat with the exterior fabric.
I like to back-stitch at the beginning and end of the seams.
Turn the interior fabric about halfway right-side-out. The first time I made the case, I carefully turned the interior fully right-side-out and used a chopstick to press the corners out… only to realize later that I would need to turn this the other way and re-press the corners back the other way. So my suggestion is to turn this only as far back as necessary, which is about halfway.
Insert the halfway turned interior inside the opening of the exterior fabric so that interior and exterior fabrics are right sides together. Align the side seams and raw edges. I like to pin about 1-inch from each side seam on one side and halfway along the other side.
Starting about 1/2-inch from a seam (1/2-inch away from a pin), sew a 1/4-inch seam allowance around the top. Stop after you pass the second seam by about 1/2-inch (before you get to the pin), leaving a gap through which to turn the case right side out. I back-stitch at the beginning and end of this seam as well.
In the photo above you can see the generous gap that is left to turn the case right-side-out.
Through the hole that you left, pull both the inner and outer fabric through. This is your best chance to use a tool to poke the corners of the outer fabric square. Do not worry about pushing the inner fabric out; it can stay like this until you get the outer fabric turned and pressed.
Once you are satisfied with the outer fabric, use a tool (like a chopstick) to press the sewn shut end short seam of the inner fabric and press the inner fabric lining inside the outer fabric sleeve. At this point, I take a bit of time to work the two fabrics together. I use a chopstick to press the corners together and then I hold the short end in one hand and smooth toward the opening (where the fabrics were turned). I keep gently working this until the fabrics lay nice and flat nested together. Because of the offset in length of the original rectangles, the inner fabric will fold back at the opening. Finger press a 1/4-inch seam for the outer fabric along the gap that was not sewn and set with your iron.
The final step is the trickiest. Carefully placing only the edge you want to be sewing under your presser foot, sew a top seam around the edge of the top fabric. This will close the gap left to turn the case and put a nice finishing detail on the sunglasses case.
The photo above shows how I like to start sewing this final seam. I will carefully position and start the seam and sew about 10-12 stitches before stopping, readjusting, and moving forward again. The first time I sewed the case, I sewed it closed (it happens). I just used my trusty seam ripper to remove the stitching and started again. It feels awkward at first, but now that I have created 3 cases, I can say that it is something that I got used to fairly quickly.
The sunglasses case is simple (only really requiring 4 seams to be sewn), but it works! I like how flat the cases fold and store in my purse when not in use, and so far I have been good about remembering to use them.
Linking up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesday (linkup opens Tuesday, August 22nd).