Sunday, 13 December 2009

Mum’s birthday tool roll tutorial…

So you’ve made your brushes (and maybe whittled some wooden tools – that’s them on the right), but now you need somewhere to keep them safe and tidy. I used some vintage fabric snagged at a car boot sale and some fancy stitching to make a roll to keep em all in.
What you will need:
Approximately half a metre of fabric
Half a metre of ribbon
Tape measure
Tailors chalk or pencil
It is worth knowing what you are going to put into your tool roll in advance. Because I wanted it to house various things of different widths, I needed pockets of different sizes. I laid out the brushes and wooden tools on the table along a tape measure. It turned out I needed to give each thin brush an inch, the wider brush two inches, the widest brush four inches, and the tools an inch and a half. This gave me a length of 22 1/2 inches, to which I added an inch either side. If you are making pockets for specific things, make sure you write down each measurement!
Measure the tallest thing you are going to put in your roll and add an inch – mine came to 12”.
These are your final measurements – I needed to cut two pieces 24 1/2” by 12”. The third piece, which will be your pockets, should be 1/3 as high as the main piece. I cut mine 4” by 24 1/2”
Start with your pocket. Fold over 1/4” at the long side, and press.
Sew down the fold with a fancy stitch you’ve never used before, and likely never will again (ooh, that’s pretty!)
place your pocket on one of the main pieces, lining up the edges.
Fold your length of ribbon in half, and place the folded bit slightly over the edge on one side of the main piece.
Place your left over main piece face down over the whole thing and pin.
Sew through all layers, leaving an opening. Turn the whole thing the right way out through this opening.
It should look like this, a puffy mess. Press flat, making sure the opening is pressed even with the sides.
Now grab that list of measurements and your tailor’s chalk and mark your pockets.
Now sew your pockets, going slightly over the edge of the top of the pocket. I sewed all mine at the same time, hence the diagonal threads, I snipped them off after.
I topstitched around the whole edge to close the hole and stabilise the roll – hey look, I did use that fancy stitch again!
Now pop in all your carefully measured tools and marvel as you roll it up and tie it neatly with the ribbon, and think “That thing’s huge, I wish I’d put a carrying handle on it” :)


  1. Wow, your mom is one lucky girl! Seriously. What a cool gift!!

    I featured your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  2. This idea is also great for makeup brushes, paint brushes, or I use a similar one for my different size crochet hooks!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I saw your tut and made one for my little girl's markers with a matching mini Tote (She's almost 3). I called it markers rolling case.
    come along and check it out!

  4. Just made one for my own Mum's birthday coming up...she's going to love it!

    I made a matching art tote with a pocket just the right size for the brush roll, too!

    Thanks for the great turned out so well for this beginning sewer!