Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 29: assembling the tape measure cover

Now I’m up to the not-very-favourite bit of this project by Carolyn Pearce…..assembly <groan>!! It helps, though, if I cut everything out ready, before I start. So here are all the bits that I’ll need: stitched pieces, acetate for stiffeners, thin wadding, matching fabric for the long joining strip, and the tape measure itself.

Tape 17

Thin wadding is placed on the reverse side of the stitched piece, and also on one piece of the acetate (I held it down on the acetate with double sided tape, to stop it slipping). I unpicked the blue guide placement stitches first, then worked running stitch with strong quilting thread, a quarter of an inch in from the edge of the fabric, and gathered it up to attach the fabric over the padded acetate.

Tape 18

Here are both sides completed up to this stage.

Tape 19

Then the long strip that will go around the tape measure is attached in the same way to the long strip of padded acetate.

Tape 20

Here is where I hit problems big time. Entirely my own fault! When I re-read Carolyn’s instructions in her book ‘Home Sweet Home; an embroidered workbox’ they were very clear. I just didn’t bother to read them properly  😛 .

What happened was that, somewhere along the line, I took the long piece of acetate that I had cut out to the measurements that Carolyn gives in her book, and temporarily fitted it around the edge of the actual tape measure, to check the fit. When I found that it overlapped by about an inch, I assumed that the measurements in the book were wrong, so I cut the inch off. SPOT THE DELIBERATE MISTAKE!! I hadn’t allowed for the fact that the long strip has to fit THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE TWO STITCHED CIRCLES, and not the actual tape measure, which is bound to be smaller!!! How stupid was THAT?!

So, I had patiently started to slip stitch the long strip onto the first circle. When I got most of the way round, I realised that the strip was far too short. So I swore, unpicked it, made another strip to the correct length, and started to stitch it on. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the SECOND long strip that I stitched on….it was the first one again! And I only realised that…you’ve guessed it… as I got most of the way round and it STILL didn’t fit. You can see, in the photo below, that I must be stitching on the strip that was too short, because there are little tufty pieces of thread sticking out of the top edge of the strip, left over from when I’d unpicked it before. Doh! How stupid can you get.

Tape 21

Anyway, eventually, I got the correct strip stitched on neatly, and it looked like this, with a quarter inch gap to allow the tab of the tape measure to stick out:

Tape 22

Then I slip stitched the second circle onto the long strip – this time, with no mishaps at all. Half way round, I even remembered to insert the tape measure, too  🙂

Tape 23

Finally, I stitched a row of Knotted Pearl Stitch over the slip stitches on each side.

Tape 24

Now there’s just the tassel on the tape itself to do, and it will be finished.


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14 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 29: assembling the tape measure cover”

  1. Arrgh! How exasperating! I always prefer embroidery to assembling and I can just imagine how you felt! The almost finished result is looking lovely however and well worth all your effort. 🙂

    1. I echo Kathryn…embroidery over assembly. If only I had an Assembly Fairy…. I follow the Home Sweet Home, as well as your other posts, religiously, Janet, as I’ve assembled all the threads and fabrics for my cottage. Just have to start. Thank you for sharing your experience generously.

      1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Yes, an Assembly Fairy would be good. In the USA, many people seem to send their stitching off to ‘finishers’, but obviously that costs, and I like to have the sense of achievement that I’ve done it all myself….even when I do it wrong the first time!

    2. I have had this book for a few years now and had forgot all about it but you have now flared up new inspiration for me to start on this project

  2. As a Theater Costumer (seamstress for Theater productions) I can empathize with a) not reading instructions carefully enough, b) doing it wrong and having to rip it out, and c) making the same mistake again! Still, after all the extra work, don’t you feel a greater sense of accomplishment? I bet you’ll always remember this!

  3. It’s wonderful reading about you putting these parts together, Ive done all the embroidery for the inner pieces… Started on the actual house… But am yet to find the courage to actually put them together.

  4. Thanks for being so honest about what can go wrong. I once sewed a zipper in wrong side out and I’ve never forgotten that. I enjoy your blog so much and you do such beautiful work.

  5. I follow your progress on this project avidly but have just worked out how to leave a comment – duh! You have stitched each of these items so beautifully and even constructed them as you go – I am in awe of that since I am terrible about construction too. I am really looking forward to seeing your progress on the box part.

    1. As I’ve often mentioned in my blog posts, I really don’t like the construction part, as there’s so much risk that it’ll all go wrong then, and my embroidery will be ruined! So, if I didn’t make the smalls up as I went along, I don’t think I could face making them up at all. A large batch of assembling would just be too much to face. The ‘assembler’s block’ would be enormous! And doing it publicly like this, I don’t think I could face the backlash!!!

  6. Amending the old adage of Measure twice, cut once. It now should be ” Read thrice, measure twice, and sew once”. Congrats on finishing.

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