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I am a cheapskate. If I can spend less money by doing something myself, I’ll waste my time before I waste my money. I do try to be realistic about the types of task I am capable of accomplishing. I also try very hard to consider the costs–if it’s cheaper to buy exactly what I want, that’s what I’m gonna do.

I recently bought myself a set of interchangeable circular knitting needles, which I’ve been wanting for a year or so. I find circular needles to be a royal pain to organize, so the concept of being able to pick my cord length and pick my needle size is just downright sexy. The set I bought comes with a plastic pouch to store everything in, but let’s get real here: I love my tools. My shiny tools deserve better than to languish in crinkly plastic pouch, no matter how well it’s constructed.

I was actually almost delighted when I opened the box and found that the zipper pull had broken in transit. What luck! The fact that I had purchased materials to make my own case was justified by the shoddy craftsmanship of the standard pouch. I whipped out my sewing machine (love that birthday present, Mom!) and went to town.

The design is my attempt to reverse engineer something like the Della Q cases, I won’t lie. I love their stuff, but again: I’m cheap. The materials for this cost me less than ten dollars, and since I had fun with the project, I consider my time and labor free. I won’t be selling these things, ever, because my ability to sew in a straight line is severely challenged, but for my personal use, I’m quite pleased.

I used broadcloth for the lining and pockets. From finished edged to finished edge, this is about 12×16 inches, the top flap being two inches shorter than the other sections to allow room for the button. Once I had ironed the hems down and pinned the top together, I sewed the pockets only to the lining by the dividing seams and the bottom seam of the top pocket.

The tie is composed of two pieces of the lining fabric, sewn up with an angled tip and reversed. I pinned them in between the outside and the lining and sewed them in as I sewed the two pieces together. Instead of turning the top upside-down over the pockets and leaving a hole to reverse it through, I laid the hemmed top and front together as they go and sewed all around the edge, using a green thread that matches the outside. The final piece was the shell button, which fit nicely in between the two pockets.

These instructions don’t quite qualify as a pattern or a tutorial, I know, but hopefully they’re useful for other fabric rookies a start on a simple project. If you want quality, I’m sure the real thing is worth the asking price, but if you’re a cheapskate who doesn’t mind a few imperfections, this project worked out pretty well.

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