My Mom in law has a vintage Olympia manual typewriter that she’s pretty attached to but its’ vinyl cover was in sad shape. Since it’s one of the more common manual typewriters, it occurred to me that other typewriter enthusiasts might be happy to have this pattern as well. It wasn’t anywhere close to something I’ve made before, but I think I gave it a fair shot. You, too, can make a cover for your vintage Olympia typewriter in an afternoon with this tutorial and pattern.
You will need:
1/2 yard main print
1/2 yard lining
1/2 yard fusible fleece
two strips of 2.5″ x WOF (width of fabric) for binding
Vintage Typewriter Cover Pattern
Heat and Bond and fabric if you want a decorative applique
Straight pins, Clover Wonder Clips, walking foot, water soluble pen
I used Riley Blake Small Aqua Dots and Clean White for the main print and liner. The orange binding was leftover from a quilt and was found at Joann’s. The typewriter fabric is Type from Windham Fabrics.
1. Set your fusible fleece on the ironing board with bumpy side up. Then place the main print on top of it with the right side up. Fuse the pieces together with your iron.
2. On your cutting mat, cut a little off the bottom of your fabrics to remove the selvage edge. Turn the fabric so that the cut edge is at the zero. Make a cut at 20.75″.
3. Turn the fabric again so the cut edges are at the top and bottom and lined up on your mat. Cut a little off the side to make a straight edge. Turn the fabric so that the cut edge is at the zero and make your next cut at 16.75″.
4. Print out the Vintage Typewriter Cover Pattern and cut the pieces out. Tape the two large pieces together where the lines were dotted.
5. Place the 20.75 x 16.75″ piece of fabric tall-wise on your mat. Place the small pattern piece on a bottom corner. Trace the pattern with a water soluble marker. Flip the pattern over and trace the opposite corner. Cut both pieces out. This will be the front of the cover.
6. On your remaining main fabric (the non 20×16 piece), trace the large pattern. Flip it over and trace it again. Cut both pieces out.
7. Start pinning the left side piece to the back side of the cover. Then start pinning the piece to the front of the cover. Work your way towards the center in order to fit the side piece properly. You may have to finagle the side piece to fit around the curves. It took me a few times of redoing the pins to get it to fit.
8. First straight stitch the side piece on with a 1/4″ seam allowance using your walking foot. Flip it to make sure the seam looks good from the top of the cover. If it is good, go ahead and use a zig zag stitch to secure the seam. If it is not good, rip the seam out, repin, and sew again.
9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the right side piece.
10. Repeat steps 2 through 9 for the lining fabric. Use caution when sewing the second side piece on that it is being pinned on the right direction. I made the mistake of having the seam on the wrong side and had to rip it all out. Not fun! It is easy to miss when using a solid color fabric.
11. If you want to add a cute applique to the front of the cover, now is the time to do it. I fussy cut a little typewriter. First iron heat and bond to the back of the item you want to applique. Then, peel the paper off, trim around the item, then pin the item in place. Once you are sure of the location, iron it in place. Sew close to the edge to make it a raw edge applique.
Yes, that’s my BRIGHT Christmas pillow in the background. No, I haven’t put it away yet. Don’t judge…. at this point I might as well keep it out until Christmas.
12. If you don’t want to add binding you can place the liner on top of the main fabric, sew around and leave an opening for flipping, then topstitch. You can do it just like Carli did in her Reusable Snack Bag Tutorial. If you think binding adds a nice touch, follow the remaining instructions in this tutorial. I used a straight joint rather than a 45 degree, but you can do whichever you are comfortable with.
13. Turn the outside piece upside down. Place the liner inside so that the wrong sides of the fabrics are together. Use Wonder Clips to secure the edges all the way around. Baste stitch all the way around using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
14. I wrote a tutorial last year for creating and finishing binding for a quilt. You can follow those directions for joining your binding strips together, as well as sewing them to the project. There are a lot of photos there to help you. I joined my strips together with a straight stitch rather than a 45 degree angle, but you can do whichever you are comfortable with. You can also chose to hand stitch part of the binding by starting with your biding on the outside of the cover. I’ve chosen to machine stitch it. My guess is you will too, as you might be on hour three of the project at this point. If that’s the case, your binding will be on the inside of the cover.
15. When it comes time to join the beginning and end of the binding, you can use the 45 degree angle method in the biding tutorial or you can do a straight angle. A straight angle is easier and saves time (and confusion). If you are at the “close the binding” step on the tutorial, leave the 1/4″ opening and iron the strips to make a crease like in the first photo. This time, pin the two creases together and straight stitch right on the line. When you’ve done that, the finished binding will look like this.
16. Sew the binding the rest of the way so that it is completely sewn all the way around the project. Flip the binding to the front side of the cover, clip it all with the Wonder Clips again, and sew it down. Continue to follow the binding tutorial if you need more photos and instructions.
Here it is with the cover all finished. Isn’t that much prettier to look at? The cover will not only keep the dust out but will also bring in some happy colors to her arts and crafts studio.
If you are a vintage typewriter enthusiast, you might like to check out this link for the Typosphere!
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