Reverse Applique Sewing Machine Cover and Sewing Organizer

Alex Caves | August 18, 2017

Need to brighten (and straighten!) up your sewing space? This easy-to-make, no-fray reverse applique sewing machine cover doubles as a notions organizer to keep your creative sanctuary clean and captivating!


Sewing is inspirational and fun, and while our creations can be stunning the process can also be messy. This attractive reverse applique machine cover will protect and organize your tools! Our project uses Terial Magic to keep the process easy and the raw edges fray free during construction!  Learn how to keep your work space and your handiwork crisp and neat with this simple reverse-applique sewing machine cover project crafted with Terial Magic!

Supplies Used

  • Terial Magic Fabric Stabilizer
  • Zip lock-type bag (1-gallon capacity)
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Tape measure
  • 3 coordinating fabrics (approximately 1/2 yd. each)
    • Printed fabric (technique works best if print features distinct shapes 1-2" in diameter)
    • Solid fabric
    • Print or solid lining fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • 1-2 yards coordinating bias tape
  • 1/4" foam sew-in stabilizer or batting (about 1/2 yd.)
  • Several sheets of card stock (or other material easy to cut and trace for creating sewing patterns)
  • Small, sharp sewing scissors
  • Larger sewing shears
  • Contrasting fabric pencil
  • 2 sets of "swimsuit hook" attachments
  • Light box or light table (optional)

Creating Your Cover 

Step 1: Treat Your Fabric   

Treat all three fabrics (print, solid, and lining) with Terial Magic; this process will miraculously stabilize your fabrics and make the fraying problems that you would usually encounter when creating reverse applique designs disappear! Place the fabric into a bag and spray to saturate the fabric making sure there are not any dry spots. Next, massage the fabric so that it is well covered, and then hang for 5 or 10 minutes to let the Terial Magic infuse into the fibers and dry to damp. Press fabric smooth and flat.

First time Terializing your fabric? Check out this quick, nifty video to see the whole process!

To recap: 1) Saturate fabric. 2) Hang until damp. 3) Iron to dry and smooth.

Step 2: Prepare Your Pattern

Cut out your machine cover pattern pieces from a sturdy, traceable material like card stock.

The dimensions of your cover will, obviously, be dictated by the dimensions of the machine you plan to cover. Luckily, the structure of this cover is SO simple, you can easily create your own customized pattern, and you can use our sample template as a guide. Note that our pattern includes two pieces in one, the "wave" you will use to create your reverse applique textile and the main body pattern of the sewing machine. Use 2 separate pieces of card stock to trace and cutout the wave and the machine body pattern pieces. You can create your own pattern piece for your pocket, adjusting the height to serve your storage needs.


The width of your pattern will simply be the width of your sewing machine. To get the length of your cover pattern, measure the height of your machine, double it, then add the depth of the machine (plus a couple inches for added volume); this should allow your pattern to wrap over the top of your machine and nearly touch the table on both sides. You can cut your pattern a bit long at first, then wrap, test, and trim as necessary.

Step 3: Layer and Cut

Layer your three Terial treated fabrics on top of each other and secure them with two to three pins. Lay your machine cover body and pocket pattern pieces over fabric and trace them with a fabric pencil.

Cut through all three layers along the marked lines of the cover body pattern to create 3 identically-shaped layers.

For the pocket, remove the bottom (lining) layer of fabric, then cut along the lines to create 2 identically-shaped layers.

Step 4: Re-Layer and Sew 

Place the cut solid fabric piece on top of the right side of the patterned fabric piece.


Stitch the layered pieces together for both the machine cover and pocket, staying as close to the edge of the fabric as possible.


Step 5: Plan Your Cutouts

For this next step, you will to make the print of the under-layer visible through the solid over-layer. Here are some ways to do this: a) Use a light box/table, as shown in this tutorial b) If you don't already have a light box, you can create a makeshift version by placing your fabric on a glass or Plexiglas table, positioning a flashlight underneath, and then shining the light up through the table surface c) Use a window. Tape the edges of your fabric to a window where daylight shines through to reveal the print of the lower fabric layer

Step 6: Do the Wave

Take the stitched cover body piece and illuminate it using one of the methods in Step 5. Once the layers are lighted and visible, arrange the wave pattern pieces (or any other shapes you create yourself) over the fabric to create the cut away pattern desired. Trace around the wave lines with a fabric pencil. 


Step 7: "R" Marks the Spot

Remove the pattern, and mark the area with an "R" to help remind you which area to remove later.

In the areas not covered by the wave pattern pieces, identify which elements of the print fabric you would like to reveal, and trace around those shapes. Mark these areas with "R"s.

Step 8: Remove and Repeat

Remove your body cover fabric from your light source. Place your layered pocket pieces on the light source and repeat steps 5-7.

Your cover body and pocket are now marked and ready for the reverse applique process.


Step 9: Stitch Your Shapes

Top stitch over the pattern lines you marked with the fabric pen.

Repeat for your pocket.



Step 10: Cut and Reveal!

Now it's time to remove your cutouts. Use a seam ripper or a small sharp pair of scissors to snip into the middle of each area to be removed, and then carefully cut away the fabric inside the stitching created in previous step.

CAUTION: Be careful not to cut through both layers of fabric, just the solid-color layer on top!



Step 11: Add the Cush!

Use your cover body pattern again to trace and cut out a piece of batting (we used foam stabilizer for easy insertion). Layer the foam between your reverse applique textile and lining fabric making sure that the sizing is correct.


Step 12: Three-Side Stitch Up

Sew around 3 sides of the cover body, leaving one side open (like a pillowcase).


Trim excess fabric around the seams


Step 13: Cut, Stuff, and Close

Slide the batting into the cover body sleeve created in Step 12. If it does not slide in smoothly, slightly trim the batting to allow for easy insertion.


Sew the cover body closed.

(Note: Because we used foam, inserting it into the pocket was a better way to achieve the quality construction we were looking for. If you wish, you can sew your batting and lining at the same time instead of making a pocket in place of Step 12).

Step 14: Get a Handle On It

Lay the cover body pattern piece over the sewn cover body. Trace the oval cutout in the center of the pattern with a fabric pencil. Mark the edges of the two fold lines on either side of the oval, then remove your pattern and use a straightedge and fabric pencil to connect the points on each end of the cover to create the fold lines. 



Sew over the oval and the fold lines. Use your sharp, precise scissors to remove the oval shape from the body cover. This time, remove all layers of fabric (solid, print, batting, and lining) to leave a hole in the cover.


Step 15: Prep Your Pocket

Take your pocket panel and sew a strip of bias tape along the top of the panel.


Place the cover body and pocket panel face-up. Lay the pocket panel over one end of the cover body. The long edge of the pocket panel NOT lined with bias tape should line up with the bottom edge of the cover body.

Sew the pocket panel onto the cover body, leaving the bound side free.

Step 16: Divide and Conquer

Use a ruler to measure and mark your pocket divisions with a fabric pencil. You can choose the spacing and number of the pocket divisions based on your storage needs.

Sew over your division marks.


Step 17: Hook It Up

Flip your cover body piece so that the lining faces up. Use a ruler to position and pin or clip your 4 hook and loop attachment pieces around the perimeter of the cover, hooks on one side, loops on the opposite.


Once you are sure that your attachments will line up, top stitch them to the cover body.



Step 18: Polish and Finish

Line entire perimeter of cover with bias tape and sew.


Voila! You have now successfully created your own unique compilation textile, convertible sewing machine cover / sewing table pad, and notions organizer, all in one simple project! Now all that's left is to step back and admire : )



Want to learn how to harness the stabilizing "magic" of Terial for other sewing projects? Check out more inspirational how-tos and tips from Terial Arts

Topics: DIY, Terial

Alex Caves
Alex Caves on August 18, 2017

Alex Caves is a do-it-all product designer with a background in metal fabrication, structural welding, woodworking, soft construction, ceramics, graphic design, and product design, no project is out of his wheel house. Being born in Japan and moving to America with his family at the age of 7 with next to nothing, he understands the value of quality, practicality, and creative problem solving, and brings a unique perspective with hints of Japanese influence into each of his works.