The Undercover Makers Mat is a free pattern by @lillyellasworld. It’s designed to sit under your sewing machine so the pockets at the front can be used for all those bits and pieces that tend to collect around the floor (or maybe they just live under my machine). And then, when you are done sewing there are ribbons on the sides that enable you to tie the mat over the machine to protect it.
This pattern is very easy to read and understand. You really can launch right in and you will be fine. Additionally, there are hundreds of makers mats on instagram (#undercovermakermat) showing a variety of colour choices and versions. But if you are still on the fence about making it, or just want some extra advice, I hope this helps.
Tips and tricks
- Fabric placement
The instructions for piecing together the front pocket are easy to follow and this is where you have a great range of choice to style the mat to your tastes. The only thing I would say is take some time to consider how the placement of your fabrics will be affected by the double layer of pockets and the size of the binding you choose.
To explain, here is a close up picture of the pockets where I appliqued a EPP diamond to the centre of each of the back pocket pannel. Now it works with the diamonds half hidden and the buttons on top, but I should have moved the diamond up at least a quarter of an inch so that the princess could have been centred on the diamond.
It’s just about cutting out your fabrics in the squares and rectangles as directed and then having a play. Remembering to note the seam allowances!
2. Pocket size
I followed @lillyellasworld directions and sizes exactly. It gives a good range of pocket sizes. But again this is a spot where you could customise. I would recommend placing the mat under your machine and testing how far you would like it to hang down in relation to what tools you want it to hold.
I sew on quite a tall table and so there’s plenty of hanging space. When I make it for myself, I am planning on adding a third row of pockets, with a skinny one for my rotary cutter which I manage to constantly loose under my machine.
3. Binding size
I ended up using premade binding just for time saving reasons but this meant it was about an inch wider than recommended in the pattern.
I actually like the wider binding as a frame, but do take into consideration that a wider binding will cover up the bottom and sides of the pockets more than intended.
You can see here below, this meant that the transfers I used were caught in the edge of the binding. Not the end of the world but next time I’ll keep the wide binding and just shift the pocket placement up 1/2 an inch.
4. Batting/wadding choice
I chose to use two layers of a very thin wadding that combined gave a nice puffy effect after some straight line stitching.
Really, the thing that should govern your choice is the base of your machine and how it will sit on top of the layers. The excellent thing is that that is something you can experiment with before you even cut the fabrics. Just lay out the backing, wadding and top fabric under your machine and see of it’s to your liking.
5.Quick and easy ties
Ribbon. The key to this step is ribbon. Looks stunning and it simplfies this step wonderfully!
@lillyellasworld pattern calls for a paper pieced centre. Having made her butterfy charms pattern before I can highly recommend her paper pieced patterns. But this particular pattern is a great chance to go crazy with buttons and ribbons and other accents. And the thread bag that hangs on the side is another great place to personalise!
In terms of recomendation, I will definitely be making another one just for me. I’m not sure there is a higher recommendation than that!
The maker’s mat pictured here is one I made for a swap on instagram run by @amisterbaker. The theme of the swap was ‘Once upon a Time’ and my partner requested a princess theme, no dragons, in colours of pink, reds and oranges.
The base fabric of hearts is from Spotlight, the accent pockets are made from Tula Pink and the front pockets are cork.
My fabric pull :
The plan coming together :
The final project :
The package with a few fun extras :
I’m still waiting on my package for this swap, so I’ll update with pictures once I’ve received it. Always fun to be expecting lovely post!