Mini Maker Case SAL Kickoff – Cutting & Prep

Happy Monday, friends! It’s time to kick off the Mini Maker Case Sew Along 2020, so let’s jump right in!

I want to first say that I’m SO thrilled that over 2600 of you are sewing along over these next two weeks! It’s going to be a lot of fun and I cannot wait to see all your finished cases. If you’re just joining in, please take a minute to join the sew along email list here and check out the full schedule and SAL specifics here.

I will have two posts this week as we begin preparing all our case pieces. Today I will be talking about cutting, working with your interfacing, and preparing the top & bottom of the case. Thursday I will share some tips about sewing up the body panel with the zipper – don’t fear zipper newbies. We got you! We will be working through the pattern in the order it’s written, so you can follow along and work ahead at any time!

I’ve also created a Facebook Group for the Sew Along that you can find here. This will be a perfect place for posting questions and getting answers much quicker than I can provide due to the large number of participants! You can also share additional tips or tricks you use along the way and share photos of your work.

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Now let’s get started! If you haven’t yet posted one, I’d love to see a photo of your fabric pull for the case! if you are Instagram, please share it with the tags #MiniMakerCaseSAL2020 and #minimakercase. If you are not on social media, you can email me and I’ll share some in my next post.

The first step in the pattern is cutting, directions on page 2 of the pattern, and above you can see all my pieces laid out. Please pay close attention to the measurements in the pattern, as some of them may be unusual to you, such as 5/8 (.625) and 7/8 (.875). Click here for a tutorial on how to read a ruler if you have not cut these sizes before.

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I fussy cut about 99% of all the fabric that touches my fingers (which is partly why I’m sooo slow at everything, but alas…), so I made a down and dirty video with my favorite tip for fussy cutting using tape on your quilters ruler. I hope you find it helpful!

I use the same trick for fussy cutting all my pieces, such as the handle. Because I’m a visual person, I often “mock-up” things when I can’t make a decision. Below you can see I folded up a fabric scrap to help decide how to fussy cut my handle.

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The next steps are to create your handle (optional!) and the top & bottom of the case. You can find these directions on page 3 of the pattern. Before we get into that, I want to talk a little about interfacing. The notes section on page one of the pattern covers the interfacings used and talked about some substitutions. I know supplies are harder to find and aquire right now, so if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to ask your location store or an online seller if something you’re looking at would be a suitable substitute. I also recommend looking at the Pellon website where you can find specific details on each interfacing that may help you choose a substitution.

If you have never used interfacing or the interfacing specified in this pattern, PLEASE be sure to read the directions that come with them so you know how to properly work with them. For example, you can press directly on the non-fusible side of the Shape-Flex, but you cannot do this with the Fusible Fleece or the Peltex or it will stick to your iron. If you do happen to make a mistake, I’ll share my favorite iron tip – Faultless Hot Iron Cleaner! Once I learned of this product, I am NEVER without it! I should probably buy some stock, actually…

Since you cannot press directly on the Peltex, sometimes you have to get creative when you need a specific placement, so the short video below shows how I center my Peltex on the top and bottom case pieces.

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Now you’re ready to start your handle and the top and bottom of the case. I don’t have much to add on these steps as they are detailed in the pattern, but I do have one quick note about the handle. The size and placement of the handle is specifically crafted to best hold and distribute the weight of the iron in the case. I tried a variety of different sizes and placements and found this to be best. You are welcome to adjust the size or placement of your handle, but I wanted to point out the intention of how it’s written.

Another general tip I have that will come in handy as you begin this project is about using Frixion pens for marking. If you’ve never used one before, they’re basically like magic. You can find them online and at most office supply stores. The ink disappear with heat via rubbing (if using on paper) or with a hot iron. I use them ALL THE TIME for marking placement, measurements etc. One important thing to note though is you will want to do a test on a fabric scrap to make sure the pen doesn’t leave a residual mark after ironing it. It’s rare, but it happens. Sometimes on darker fabrics, you will see a faint light line. I often use it sparingly, in inconspicuous places and only after testing. Also, if you buy the ball-point style, you can get refill packs!

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That covers it for today! Before we go, just a few extras…

At the end of the Sew Along, I will be picking one winner to receive a pink Mini Oliso Iron! I will also have a couple other prizes along the way that I will share next week. Winners will be drawn at random from all photos posted on Instagram with #minimakercasesal2020 and #minimakercase or emailed to me if you do not use social media. You are welcome to post as many progress photos of your case as you wish and each photo counts for an entry!

I encourage everyone participating to follow the #MiniMakerCaseSAL2020 hashtag and spend some time browsing it to find new friends to follow and comment on photos to encourage everyone along (you don’t need an Instagram account to view the photos). It’s a great place to ask questions or see if others need help. You are also always welcome to leave a comment on this post or email me with any specific questions you may have, I’m always happy to help!

This Thursday I will have the next post in the Sew Along talking about the body panel and zipper, so work at your own pace until then and share your progress!

Happy stitching!
~ Nicole

4 thoughts on “Mini Maker Case SAL Kickoff – Cutting & Prep

  1. Stacy says:

    Hi Nicole! For the fusing video – isn’t that exactly how you would do it if using double sided fusible as well? You said in the video that you wouldn’t do it like that. I’ve never used 2 sided fusible but it’s all I could find so I’m a bit nervous before I do that step! Thanks!


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