Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reversible Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial with Martha Stewart Crafts!

Oh my gosh you guys, I have been so excited to share this project with all of you!  I cannot believe how lucky I am to have gotten a chance to be a part of the Martha Stewart Mother's Day campaign sponsored by Plaid Crafts!!! I mean wowsa!  This was a dream come true!  It was like Christmas when the super generous box of goodies from Martha Stewart and Plaid Crafts showed up on my doorstop. I'm not kidding around when I tell you I almost fainted right over.  Still makes me giddy to just look at it all and it most certainly gets my creative wheels spinning.  So. Much. Good. Stuff.

I decided after regaining my composure a few weeks...ahem...I mean days later to make for my mother's day tutorial a Reversible Sewing Machine Cover.  My mom recently renovated her basement and finally has her very own craft room.  I figured a little love and color would be the perfect thing to spring up that lovely little space of hers. What crafty momma wouldn't want to prettify their sewing machine with some Martha love right?  My very own Poppy the Pfaff is loving this one :)

I've been wanting to whip up a sewing machine cover since I got my new machine last year and I knew I wanted something a tad different.  I wanted some vintage and some modern and I wanted a bit of patchwork goodness.  When I found out the Martha Stewart Crafts Paints could be used on fabric I pretty much did cartwheels across my living room. Sold. Right there. The colors are gorgeous and the stencils are super stylish.

I knew they would look fabulous on fabric and would be the perfect fit for a sewing machine cover. It's like a rockin' dress for my sewing machine...and it's even reversible! So if I get sick of one side I can just flip that bad boy over and voila - a brand new look!

But let's not forget about those cute tabs! I also wanted to test out my newly found buttonhole making skills.  Practice, practice, practice right?  I think the button tab details on the front and the back of this fun sewing machine cover add a little detail and pizazz to the normal ribbon tie variety you usually see.  Plus I just love me a button.  Always adds a little pop of happiness to a project.

But before we got onto how to make the cover I just have to show you all a bit more about the fabulous supplies I used to paint my fabric.

The Martha Stewart Crafts line has these awesome new acrylic crafts paints that seriously pretty much work on everything - even dishes, glass, wood, and fabric! Yes, I said fabric! Wahoo! Pretty colors for our fabric! I've been wanting to try stenciling on fabric so when this opportunity came up I jumped right in with both feet!  The paints are even UV and weather-resistant so you can use them on projects indoors and outdoors!  Thank you Martha!  You should see the colors!  Satins, high glosses, pearls, glitters and even metallics!

I really loved the brushes that came with our box of goodies as well.  I mean look at all the sizes and shapes!  I love it!!!  These are great quality too!  Smooth to the touch, easy to use and they cleaned easily.  And hey, if a paint brush could be stylish Martha Stewart's sure are :)  Pretty brushes!  I can't wait to use them all.

And if you think having paints that work on all sorts of projects is awesome just wait...Martha takes it one step further!  You can turn your paint bottles into spray paint! Say what?!!!! Holy moly!!!! Ok...wait...let me sit  You can pick up this awesome Spray Paint Kit that fits right on top of your paint bottle and voila!  A spray painting we will go!  And let's not forget about out all those applicators you can use on your paint bottles -, rollers...brushes that you can combine with all sorts of finishes.  There's also gilding paint and the creme de la creme....the multipurpose heat tool.  AWESOME!  You can use this 6 piece heating tool with it's awesome interchangeable tips as an angled point, tapered point, mini iron point and crystal ironing point!  You can use this to make your own stencils!!!  I cannot wait to try this out!

The stencil selection is also gorgeous and there's even letters! I really was honestly blown away with the quality and wide array of Martha Stewart Crafts products and feel like I've only just begun using them.  I can't wait to try them all out!  This is my very first time stenciling so I hope you all enjoy the tutorial!  It's so fun to try something new!

Reversible Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial
*Copyright 2012.  All Rights Reserved  For personal use only unless permission has been given.*

Finished Dimensions: 18"W x 27 3/4"H

- Martha Stewart Crafts Multi Surface Acrylic Craft Paint
- *Martha Stewart Crafts Fabric Paint Medium (optional if you want a softer finish to your fabric)
- Ready made stencils
- Martha Stewart Crafts paint brush or other applicator of choice
- Martha Stewart Crafts Paint
- Paint palette or something to put your paint on while painting.
- Plastic tarp, old newspapers or something to protect the surface you are working on
- Old rag.
- Quilting Cotton for outer fabric. I did a patchwork combo of different sizes.  Dimensions are listed in the Sewing Cover Instructions.  If you would like to use just one print you would need approximately 1 yard.
- Quilting Cotton for lining fabric. Again I did a patchwork combo of different sizes.  Dimensions are listed in the Sewing Cover Instructions. If you would like to use just one print you would need approximately 1 yard.
- Quilting Cotton for button tabs. Dimensions are listed in the Sewing Cover Instructions.
- Scissors or rotary cutter/mat - Coordinating thread
- 2 Buttons (size of your choice)
- Hand Sewing Needle if your sewing machine doesn't sew on buttons.


Stenciled Fabric Instructions:


Go on and choose one of those pretty colors.  I know it's tough...they are all so lovely!

Experiment and play.  Mix them up if you'd like!  I used a combo of yellow and green to get the tone I used.  You can mix the Martha Stewart Crafts Paints with Martha Stewart Crafts Paint Medium for a softer feel to your fabric. Since mine was going on a home decor project I wasn't too worried about how soft it was.  Next choose the brush that will work for your project.  I used the brushes that you see standing up.  They worked fabulous! But be warned...don't be silly like I did and jump right in with the wrong one.  I used that little paint brush you see lying down on my test swatches. Big mistake. Oops. You can see my boo boo a bit lower down.

Grab your stencil of choice.  I used the stars and graphic circle ones on this stencil.

Prepare your working surface by laying down an old cloth, newspaper, or in my case I taped down some old drawing paper. I used the tape to also tape down my clean fabric.  I then placed the stencil down on top of the fabric.  Make sure if it's the first time using your brush that you check for any stray bristles.  I also recommend doing test swatches to practice using the stencils and brushes and perfecting the method you'd like to use.  It was my first time and it took me about 6 swatches/tries to get my method down right and to feel confident to put it onto my project fabric.  I found it easier to add a bit more paint than to use too much.  Once you get going you get a good idea of how much to put on your brush and how to evenly spread it onto your fabric.  It's fun and I definitely recommend giving it a try!

Lay your stencil down and paint away.  I just used my fingers to carefully hold the stencil down. My fabric didn't move at all so I found after testing out different methods of holding the stencil down that this is what I preferred.  Carefully lift your stencil up and continue across the row using the guides on the stencil to line up your next section.  You can see some shots of mine below. Can you spot the one pic that was my practice blunders???

Once you are happy with your design on your fabric let it dry.  Once dry take a clean cloth and put your iron setting on wool and set the design by ironing both sides.  Easy peasy! Feel like you're ready to try?  Great!  Have fun and when you're done come join me to get that sewing machine cover done. Now let's get sewing!

 Sewing Machine Cover Sewing Instructions:  

*Seam allowances 1/4" unless otherwise noted.


 If you would like to make a cover custom sized to fit your exact machine measure the height of your machine from the bottom of one side all the way over the machine and down to the bottom of the other side.  Add 1/2" to this measurement.  This will be your height.  Now measure the width of your machine from the left to the right side at the widest point (usually the base).  Add 1/2" to this measurement.  This will be your width.  If you would like to make one exactly like mine you can simply follow the cutting dimensions listed below.  The dimensions listed will fit a machine sized 18"W (includes knob) x 27 3/4"H.

Cut your fabric according the following dimensions:  
Options: If you would like your cover to look like mine follow the directions of what sizes to cut below or incorporate your dimensions using mine as a guideline.  If you would like to make up your own combination of patchwork or just use one overall print your rectangle dimensions before sewing should be your sewing machine width around plus 1/2" and the height of your machine plus 1/2".  So for example my machine was approximately 27 3/4"W x (17 3/4"H)18"H (including knob) so I knew for my finished cover I would need it to fit those dimensions comfortably.  I went by having the cover be approximately 18"W x 28 1/4"H when finished and sewn. *See diagram below for letter references.

- Cut (1) piece of outer fabric for the main outer (a) at 18 1/2"W x 13"H.
- Cut (1) piece of lining fabric for the main lining at 18 1/2"W" x 20"H.
- Cut (2) pieces of outer fabric for the bottom border (b) at 18 1/2"W x 5"H.
- Cut (2) pieces of lining fabric for the bottom border at 18 1/2"W x 4 3/4"H.
- Cut (4) pieces for patchwork (c) at 6"W x 3 1/4"H.
- Cut (2) pieces for patchwork (d) at 7 1/4"W x 3 1/4"H.
- Cut (2) pieces for your tabs at 11 1/4"W x 4"H  


You need to cut three pieces that once sewn together will equal the measurement of your rectangle width.  So for instance my rectangle width is " and my middle patchwork pieces are wider than the two outer.  I cut my (2) outer patchwork pieces (c) at 6"W x 3 1/4"H and the (2) middle pieces at 7 1/4"W x 3 1/4"H.    See diagram above.  
Take the first piece of your patchwork (c) and place it right sides facing with your middle patchwork piece (d) and sew together.  Press your seam.  Now taking the other end of your middle patchwork piece (d) place it right sides facing with the other patchwork outer piece (c) and again stitch together and press.  See diagram above.  Repeat this step with your other (3) patchwork pieces.


Take your patchwork strip and your main fabric outer (a)and place right sides together.  Sew these together.  Press.  Topstitch along this seam with a 1/8" seam allowance.  Now topstitch along the seams you created when you joined your patchwork pieces together with a 1/8" seam allowance. See diagram above.  Repeat for the opposite end of your cover.  It's looking great!!!  Don't you just love that extra wow factor that some simple topstitching can add! Now we are going to add the bottom border piece (b).

Take your border (b) piece 18 1/2"W x 5"H and pin it to the patchwork strip you just attached to your outer fabric with right sides facing each other. Sew these together. Press.

Topstitch along this seam with a 1/8" seam allowance.  Repeat for the opposite end of your cover.


Take your main fabric piece for your lining ( 18 1/2"W x 20"H) and place it right sides facing each other with one of your lining border pieces (18 1/2"W x 4 3/4"H).  Sew them together.  Press.  Topstitch along this seam with a 1/8" seam allowance.  Repeat for the opposite end.  Great job!


Cut your tab fabric pieces out of your desired fabric.  Press this in half lengthwise with your right sides facing each other.  Sew (1) short end and your long side together with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Leave the bottom of the strip open.  Clip your corners (careful - don't cut through your sewing) so the tab will lay nice and flat.  Pull tab right side out through your open end.  Pull/push your corners out nice and carefully.  Something as simple as the end of your knitting needles works great for this.  Press tab.  Topstitch around entire perimeter of the tab as close to the edge as you'd like.  Repeat this step for your other tab.


Place your outer and your lining pieces right sides facing together.  Measure 1" away from your patchwork row & mark for tab placement.  Pin your tabs where you marked by placing them inside your fabric pieces (sandwiching them in) with your raw ends sticking out a 1/2".  Sew around the entire perimeter with a 1/4" seam allowance but leaving a 4" opening on one of your straight sides to pull the cover through.  Trim your corners being careful not to cut through your seams. Turn cover right side out.  Press.  Your cover should now look like the image below (minus the buttons).


Choose your desired buttons.  Mark on your tab where you would like your buttonhole.  Sew your buttonhole using your desired method/machine settings.  Try the cover on your machine and mark where you would like your button to go.  Sew on your two buttons being careful to only sew through the top layer of your cover so it's reversible.

Put that gorgeous cover onto your purdy machine!!! Lovely!!!  You did such an awesome job!  Now go have some fun!  Grab some fabric paint, create or use your favorite stencil and make some fabulous new prints to add to your mother's day projects!!! Wouldn't this look adorable on an apron or even a wall hanging?! Love it! So many options and wonderful things you could make. I foresee many more fabric stenciled projects from Martha Stewart Crafts in my future!  Happy sewing!

A huge thank you to Plaid Crafts, Blueprint Social and Martha Stewart Crafts for the wonderful and generous selection of loot! I'm still drooling over it all! I can't wait to create more!  You can find the fabulous line of Martha Stewart Crafts products at Michael's stores across the US and Canada and in select Jo-Ann and independent stores nationwide in the US.  Make sure to follow along with the rest of the Martha Stewart's Mother's Day Campaign from Plaid Crafts on the following:

Have you painted on fabric with the Martha Stewart Crafts Paint line before?  Do you love stenciling? What tips do you have for stenciling on fabric?  I had lots of fun experimenting with it and would love to know what your fave project to make is! Let's chat's on!

 find my post disclosure here.


  1. Great tutorial and LOVE how your hand printed fabrics turned out.

  2. This is great - thanks for the tutorial and for recommending the fabric paint/stencils. Seems like a really fun thing to try (I love stenciling with freezer paper and stuff and these paints seem lovely).

    How stiff are they once they're dry? Would you use them on clothing? What about on knits? Just wondering how they'd work :).

    Awesome job Shannon!!


    1. They weren't too bad. I wouldn't use the fabric paints on clothing without using the Martha Stewart Crafts Fabric Paint Medium with it. You mix them together to allow the fabric to have a softer feel to it.

      I only tried it on quilting cotton so I'm not sure how it would be on knits but if I try it out I'll be sure to let you know! It's worth a shot though, they are awesome to work with!

  3. awesome shannon! and I totally love that you made the prints with the stencils! way cool

  4. Okay, a sewing machine cover has been on my list for WAY too long! I love this, I think it will be my post KCWC reward. Im putting that cool Martha stuff on my mothers day wish list!

    1. yay! so glad you liked it! let me know if you make it - i'd love to see pics!

  5. oh martha. how I love you. I used to watch her show every single day when we had cable. I'm sure they are doing lots of fun things with the new stuff on the show right now!

  6. So cute! I love that you "made your own fabric" with the stencils. The paint colors matched up so well with your floral fabric! Love this project! :)

  7. If martha doesn't put this on her own website herself, I'll be stunned. This is so incredibly gorgeous! i can't believe all those patches are stencils. It truly looks like high end fabric purchased right out of the store! Just wowed here.


  8. The color combo & fabric is absolutely LOVELY! I love your project!

  9. I am so impressed! Your fabric looks straight from a store! So pretty! And this tutorial is amazingly detailed! You're making Martha proud!
    ~ KIM @ Sand & Sisal

  10. Oh my gosh, I love how you created your own fabric!! So neat!

  11. Thank you....I have wanting to sew a cover for my sewing machine but have not liked what I had found...that is until now... love that you created your won fabric...something else that I have wanting to now I just have to make one of these as you have made it so easy even I can not mess it

  12. I was going to ask where you got that fabric till I got down to the tutorial! It's fab, really fab and so darned inspiring!
    Thanks so much for the tutorial on not only the machine cover but the painting of fabric ~ I'm going to have to try my hand at it.

  13. Thank you so much for the great tutorial. I just learned how to sew for less than a month and I found your tutorial very helpful. I made this project yesterday however I did not use any buttons since I am not sure how to use the buttonhole feature yet.

    1. Awww, yay! Thank you so very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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