The best thing about this project is that you can make it with stuff just lying around your house. The only thing I bought was the book for $2 at Goodwill. If it had a cool enough cover, I would have just left it as is, but I like the fabric on this one. I'll try and keep it to 12 easy steps with plenty of photos. If you have any questions or suggestions, drop me a line. So here we go...
Splityarn's Circular Needle Case Tutorial
Stuff you'll need:
The right book
Two scraps of material to cover the book
Iron on hem tape
Handy dandy office clippy thingers
1. Find the right book. Ideally kind of tall (this one is 8 x 10.5) and at least an inch thick. The thickness will give your needles a little room; you don't want them smashing together, for that would negate the need of a needle case. If the cover is interesting or it's a funny titled book, you could leave out the front cover part. I originally wanted a cheezy 1970's knitting book, but I couldn't find one I liked.
2. Dig through your stash to find some fabric you like but hasn't been allotted a project yet. My outer fabric is some kind of stretchy mystery stuff that I got out of a 'who will buy our scraps' bin at the Narcissist studio in Vancouver (super cute dresses by the way.) The inner fabric is just a random black fabric scrap from a previous project.
3. Cut the pages out of the book by slicing close to the binding. Cut out a piece of cereal box and glue it to the inside of the spine for a little extra stability. It should be just a little smaller than the spine itself so that you can still close the book with ease.
4. Cut the cover fabric about an inch and a half bigger than the size of the book. You'll need some to overlap into the inside. Smear some glue on the outside cover (a sponge brush works wonders) and press the fabric onto it smoothing out any wrinkles. Pay special attention to the spine, you want to make sure it's not so tight that you can't close the book. This is easily avoided by gluing with the book closed. I used Aleene's Tacky Glue, but you could use regular white glue or even contact cement (although that's a little excessive). You could use hot glue, but it leaves funny glue bumps under the fabric.
6. Cut out the inner lining fabric so that it fits just inside the cover and leaves a cute little border of the outer cover fabric. Half an inch? Quarter of an inch? Your call.
7. When I'm working on a project like this I don't worry about professional edges all pressed and top stitched, I'm lazy. That's why I used iron on hem tape along the edges of the inner liner. If you don't have hem tape, you could just use fray stop or something, it just depends on how picky you are.
8. Dry fit the faux hemmed liner into the book and lay out your needles to figure out where you want the elastic to go. For my 16" circulars I used two strips of elastic down each side. For the 24" circulars I went with one strip down the middle. I used about 30" worth of elastic. It doesn't matter the thickness, just use whatever you have on hand.
9. With chalk or pins mark on the liner where to sew the elastic at the top and bottom and all along the elastic where you want your divisions to go. I marked out 1" spaces for the 16" side and 3/4" for the 24" side. Sew ‘em down. I don’t clip the threads between spaces until after. Like I said, I’m lazy.
10. When all your elastic is sewn down, do one last dry fit. Once you glue down that liner, you can’t make any changes, so make sure you get it right. You’ll notice that my 24” side elastic isn’t dead centre. This is why. Again, I’m not fussy and it still works fine, so it’s not a huge deal.
11. Glue down that inner liner and use the handy dandy office clippy thingers to hold it in place for a little while until the glue bonds.
12. Put all your needles in the case, take a bzillion pictures to post on your blog, fix yourself a margarita and flaunt your creativity to your pals! Just be sure to tell 'em you got the idea from me.
Oh - and if you don't want to make one? You can always buy one of the ones in my shop