Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 44: making the roof lining

The Home Sweet Home workbox by Carolyn Pearce is getting very near to completion, now, which is very exciting!

Here are the pieces of narrow cording that I made, as ties to attach the roof to the gable ends of the house itself. They are each about three inches long, made from two full lengths (six strands x 2) of Anchor stranded cotton twisted then allowed to fold back on themselves.

Make 17

Making sure the ends of each piece had a large knot in (to make it easier to stitch through and attach securely), I attached the ties to the outside of the box lining seam allowances with quilting thread, halfway along each gable end side.

Make 18

Then I fitted the box lining inside the box, and Ladder stitched all around the top edge (again with quilting thread), joining the box to the lining, and holding the end of the ties in position at the same time.

Make 19

Now for the roof – the little chimneys were made from a tubular green bead with a small round wooden bead on top (bought on Ebay), attached with strong brown quilting thread to the embroidered back roof panel’s seam allowance.

Make 20

On the front roof panel, I stitched two Buttonhole stitch loops, lined up with  the corresponding chimneys on the back panel, to hold the box closed when it’s all assembled.

Make 21

Carolyn recommends Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch in her book, which is probably better, as the finished buttonhole stitches don’t then twist round, but I forgot, and did ‘normal’ Buttonhole stitch instead.

Make 22

The roof lining was FIDDLY!!!! Here are the necessary pieces, set out before I started – fabric, mount board pieces, and some quarter inch wide white elastic.

Make 23

The narrow strip of lining fabric is for covering the narrow elastic. Carolyn explains a very detailed and neat way to cover the elastic in her book, which meant getting the sewing machine out. I couldn’t be bothered to do that, so I wrapped the fabric around the elastic, turned under a small hem, and oversewed it in place by hand, making sure I didn’t catch the elastic in the stitching. Worked fine for me…..

Make 24

The next part of the process is the only part of the book’s instructions that I wasn’t happy with. I tried Carolyn’s method, and it was a nightmare. This is what she suggests – then I’ll show you what I did instead!

Carolyn suggests pulling up the elastic pieces so that the fabric covering is ruched, then pinning it in place centrally on the lining fabric BEFORE you’ve attached the lining to the mount board. Then place the tool that you want to be held on the underside of the roof in place on the lining fabric, and pin through the elastic where you want the elastic to be held down, to securely keep the tool in position. Then attach little buttons at the ends of the elastic (but within the dimensions of the panel’s front), then take the tool out and stitch across where you’ve put all the pins in, on a sewing machine. Then attach the fabric lining to the mount board (even though it’ll be pulled out of shape by all the elastic and machine stitching).

You can probably tell from my description that I didn’t think much of this!

I did TRY to do it. Here’s a picture of how far I got….  DON’T DO IT LIKE THIS!!!!

Make 39

But after trying to attach the fabric to the mount board, I realised that with the elastic already stitched down, I couldn’t get the tension on the lacing tight enough, so I threw it away and started again…..

So, the second time, I laced the fabric over the mount board FIRST. Then I stretched the elastic across the board, tying one end to the other end across the back of the mount board with strong Perle 12 thread. I also stitched through the casing covering the elastic a few times at the very top and bottom on the reverse side, to stop the elastic slipping out of position.

Make 40

The completed panel looks like this – simpler, without the ‘holding down’ bits of stitching on the front, or the buttons, but it still holds the scissors in place just fine.

Make 41

For the second panel, where I want to have two tools – a stitch ripper, and a laying tool – I made just two tiny stitches in the centre of the elastic strip through to the lining fabric with cream cotton thread that wouldn’t show, before lacing the lining fabric to the mount board. That made it as easy to attach as the  first one. Then I tied the two ends together across the back of the panel as before.



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7 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 44: making the roof lining”

  1. You are almost there and you must be so proud! If I ever get to making the house itself as opposed to its different projects, I will probably leave the elastic out because it sounds quite complicated. My first question is: did you find the elastic got in the way by creating an extra thickness when you joined the lining to the roof? Your method is really easy to understand.
    Secondly, how long was the length of 2 x 6 strands that you started with? Did you do all four in one length and then cut them, or individually?

    1. The elastic didn’t get in the way when I was joining the lining panel to the roof itself, as the panel measurements allow for the lining piece to be quite a bit smaller all round, so the thicker part where the elastic is just sits inside the border space, and doesn’t interfere with how the roof closes. When I was ladder stitching the lining panel to the roof panel itself, I just stitched though the elastic piece as well for a couple of stitches. It wasn’t that difficult, really, although I had expected it to be.

      1. Re-cord – How long was the length of 2 x 6 strands that you started with? Did you do all four in one length and then cut them, or individually?

      2. I used two lengths of six-strand Anchor, about eight feet long each. I knotted the ends together, making one loop. I put a pencil inside one knotted end of the looped threads, and hooked the other knotted end over a door handle! Then I twirled the pencil round, keeping the threads pulled taut, twisting the two threads together until they started to kink, then I folded the two twisted threads in half on themselves, making a cord about two foot six long to use for the roof ties and loops for the inner lift-out box. I cut this into pieces, knotting the cord first before I cut it each time, so that it didn’t unravel. I had plenty this way.

  2. Goodness! The first method looked brain-scramblingly difficult! If I ever make this project I’ll definitely be referring back to this article! 🙂

  3. I love watching your progress on this piece. Makes me want to make my own, but I don’t think I can do justice to the finishing.

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