Make a decorative sewing machine cover from re-purposed neckties.
Step 1: Stock of Neckties for Upcycling/re-purposing
Any ties will do for this, have a look in your local charity shop / thrift store, silk is a lovely fibre to work with!
I cheated with my horde as I wanted to create a specific rainbow effect so I sourced these 100% silk plain ties from ebay @ 1.19 GBP each. I bought 2 off each colour: red, yellow, green, blue, purple, lilac, pink, so 14 ties in total. This way I could influence the colours of the finished piece and also have consistency of the sheen / finish and handle to the fabric.
Length isn't too important here either, we will be trimming to the shortest component tie.
Step 2: Laying Out
I wanted a rainbow effect from the available colours so laid out my ties ready for pinning, play around with the ties you have until you're happy with the layout.
In the previous step I mentioned I had 2 off each colourway, I've laid out 1 tie wide end against the narrow end of its pair, so the 2 reds lay together, then the 2 yellows, followed by 2 greens etc. It goes wide, narrow, wide, narrow.. which gives some interesting lines in the finished piece.
Step 3: Pin It!
Pin along the length of the ties, you will find not all ties are the same length (even if they're from the same vendor!) so be consistent lining up with one end and you'll be fine, pin the whole length right side to right side (so that's the front of the tie against the front of another, that way all your seams will be on the inside of the finished piece).
Sew a straight stitch seam along your pinned length.
I'm a lazy seamstress and remove pins as I sew with the machine, but you could hand tack if you're not comfortable doing this, and remove pins after tacking. I used a (UK) size 10 ball point machine needle as I was working with silk.
Step 4: Trimming
After all the seams have been sewn neaten up any uneven edges and remove the point from the tip of the ties, we're going to be binding that raw edge.
Step 5: Closing the Cover
After sewing all the ties together fold your cover in half lengthways (so fold is perpendicular to the seams) and cut along this fold, now pin and sew the 2 halves together with 1 seam (so you end up with a shorter wider piece).
You can see the repeat (pattern) this action causes, in my cover I started with 2 red ties but have 4 red "stripes" in my piece.
Fold this over, right side to right side, and pin and sew the 2 side seams.
You should now have something resembling a handle-less bag, just pop in a lining and sew on some handles to take your project down this route!
Step 6: Finishing the Raw Edge
I used black satin bias binding to nicely finish the raw trimmed edge.
If you've left your cover inside out - great! If you've turned it right side out - turn it back for this step!
Pin and sew the right side of the binding against the wrong side of the cover, ensure you line up the raw edges. Ensure you pin the (tie) seams flat under the binding.
Now turn your piece right side out, and pull the flap of binding you've just created over the edge to encase it, pin and sew this side of the binding.
If you wish you could "sugar bag" the piece at this point, especially if you've decided to make a bag, this will give the bag some depth and "box" out the bottom.