As Toni can verify, I’ve had a very cautious approach to using a sewing machine. I took classes in school sure, but I was already very good at sewing by hand even then and the machines were so old that half to time they didn’t work. So while I’ve learned a few things and how newer models work, I would still default to hand sewing for years. Well I decided to change all that starting a few weekends back. My sister is a fashion major and, as my birthday gift, offer to sew me a new purse as long as I had the pattern and materials ready for her. After she was done (and it’s super cute) I had about half a yard of scraps that I didn’t want to just toss. My thriftiness wouldn’t allow it! So I scoured the internet for ideas that I could use these bits and pieces for. I found tons of ideas but only about 8 appealed to me. For the next few weeks I’m going to highlight each one I picked, how easy it was for a beginner, and how I feel the final product turned out. Today I started with what seemed to be the simplest of the lot, a mousepad.
Now I’ve been considering buying a mousepad for my desk for a few months as my mouse has worn thru some of the top finish in spots, but it’s started catching on those so the timing here was almost perfect. It would also allow my to make something that would fit the very unusual size I would need (10″ by 6″) for my small desk space. Following the instructions from How Joyful, I gathered my materials.
What you see here is my cut fabric, some dollar store shelf liner, and a paper towel. You basically sandwich these together (fabric, liner, paper towel) and pin in place before sewing – if needed. The paper towel is used to keep the needle from sticking to the rubber bottom of the non-slip liner, so you could use something like tissue paper instead if you don’t have any paper towels on hand.
After you sew around the edge, you then turn it over and slowly rip off the paper towel. Doing the edges first makes removing the middle much, much easier. Try and get as much off as you can since you’ll want the rubber of bottom mat to be able to smoothly touch the surface.
Now for the time consuming part. You flip it back over and apply Mod Podge to the fabric side in a nice even coat. You’ll want 2-3 coats of modge podge total and it’s an hour to dry between coats, so be sure to set it up on some parchment paper or surface you can easily clean. I did my first coat at night and then the second in the morning, but you do with what works for your schedule. Now if yours is anything like mine, the edges started to curl during the drying and I wasn’t having that. I recommend taking a hot dry iron once it’s fully dry (mine was set to cotton since that was my fabric), place parchment paper over the mouse pad and then iron it to fix this.
Here’s my mouse pad at it’s new home. I also trimmed the edges of extra fabric/rubber pad so it looked nice and neat after ironing it. So what did I think of it in the end? Well, there’s a few things I’d change but overall it’s a great easy pattern for a beginner. I don’t like how the surface feels for mine, but that could be on the type of modpodge I used, and it’s much thinner then a normal mouse pad so maybe adding some interfacing on the back of the fabric would fix that issue. Other then that, only time will tell if it holds up to daily use. I rate it 4/5 bobbins. Good and easy, but needs tweaking for personal preference.