Free Design: Round Keepsake Case

June 1, 2019By Joanne BankoFree Design of the Month 11 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

Create a keepsake case for trinkets, treasures, jewelry, and more! The top of the case is embroidered with an heirloom design sized exactly right for this custom-made case. This small case makes a pretty storage container and it’s a great gift idea too!

Tip: As with all fun creative projects, it’s best to read through instructions before beginning. Enjoy!

Materials and Supplies:

Note: Top circle of case is embroidered in a 4-inch hoop. Optional quilting on the bottom circle is embroidered in a 6-inch hoop using a fill stitch motif from My Design Center in the Brother XV8550 with SAVRXVUGK2, Premium Pack II Upgrade Kit installed. Additional Brother models include My Design Center option. Check your machine for details and specific steps for creating fancy fills.
  • Brother Embroidery Thread, Brother Bobbin Thread, and size 11 embroidery needle for embroidering.
  • SA147 Brother clear open toe foot.
  • Basic sewing notions including thread to match or blend with fabrics, and a size 14 sharp needle for sewing. A stiletto is helpful for stitching seams.
  • Brother Free Design of the Month. Please see Figure #1 at the end of this supply list.
  • Compass or another tool to draw a precise 5 1/2-inch circle.
  • One piece of grosgrain ribbon measuring 5/8-inch X 3-inches long for ribbon tab, and one piece of grosgrain ribbon measuring 1/8-inch X 5-inches long for attaching to zipper pull tab.
  • Make-A-Zipper kit to create a zipper measuring 16-inches long, or one 18-inch polyester zipper.

Quilt weight cotton fabric for case:


Fabric #1 Print fabric:

  • Cut two strips measuring 4-inches wide X 15 ¼-inches long for creating side of case.
  • Cut two pieces measuring 6-inches square for lining inside of case.
Note: Fuse medium weight interfacing to wrong side of each of the above pieces.

Fabric #2 Solid white fabric:

  • Cut one oversized piece measuring 8-inches square for embroidered top circle.
  • Cut one oversized piece measuring 10-inches wide X 12-inches long for bottom circle quilted in 6-inch hoop with My Design Center motif. Note: If you choose to quilt the fabric using an alternative method you can cut this bottom piece to equal approximately 6-inches square.
Note: Add thin fusible craft fleece to wrong side of the above pieces.

Brother Free Design of the Month:

Finished size of Round Keepsake Case:

  • Diameter 4 ½-inches wide X 3-inches high.
Figure #1

Steps to Create Case

  1. Set up machine for embroidery and transfer Free Design. Hoop 8-inch fabric square in 4-inch hoop. Embroider heirloom circle. See Figure #2. Remove from hoop and set aside temporarily.
Figure #2
  1. Select the piece prepared for bottom circle and quilt using one of the options below:

Option #1:

  • Quilt fabric and batting together using the 6-inch square hoop and a motif created using My Design Center fill patterns. See examples in Figure #3a and #3b.
Figure #3a
Figure #3b
Note: Fill stitch pattern sized 50% smaller in My Design Center.

Option #2:

  • Quilt fabric and batting together using desired stitches on the sewing side of the machine or simply leave the fabric plain.
Note: Bottom side will not show. However, it’s an extra special touch to add ornamental quilt style stitching to this piece.
  1. Press top and bottom pieces so they are flat and smooth. Create a pattern using the compass or similar tool to draw a precise 5 ½-inch circle on a piece of paper. Use this paper pattern to cut top and bottom circles, along with matching circles for lining. Gather supplies to prepare for constructing the case. See below:

  1. Prepare side piece for added zipper as follows:
  • Fold and press each 4-inch wide X 15 ¼-inch long piece in half, with wrong sides facing and long edges matching. Set up machine for sewing. Use zipper kit to make a zipper slightly longer than strips, or center standard zipper along strips, having both stoppers extend beyond short ends.
  • Use a zipper foot to sew zipper to each folded edge. When using a zipper kit, make the zipper slightly longer than the strips and trim excess after stitching. Tip: With the zipper making kit there are no stoppers to keep the zipper from being zipped off either end. Take care that the zipper tab is not pulled off the zipper before the next step of making bar tacks is finished.
  • Once zipper is sewn, open the zipper part way and create a bar tack ¾-inch from each short end.
Tip for Creating Bar Tack: Snap on the clear open toe foot. Lower feed dogs and use a zig zag stitch to stitch across zipper coils. For an easy way to create the bar tack, select the button sewing stitch and increase width to 4.5. See Figure #4a, #4b and #4c.
Figure #4a
Figure #4b
Figure #4c
  1. Fold the 5/8-inch ribbon piece in half and pin to center of short end, covering the zipper tab. Open zipper half way. With right sides together, match short ends of strip and sew ½-inch seams, creating a circular piece for the side of the case, taking care that zipper teeth are pushed together at the open end. See Figure #5.
Figure #5
  1. Your case is almost finished. Prepare to sew top circle to one edge of the strip and bottom circle to opposite edge. It’s important that each seam is sewn using an accurate ½-inch seam allowance. You may find it helpful to mark seam lines with a removeable marker so you can match them as you sew. See Figure #6.
Figure #6
Tips for Sewing Circles: Quarter mark each circle and each edge of the zipper strip so you can match up corresponding edges. When sewing, you’ll need to pivot frequently, easing circular edge to match straight edge. Sew slowly, adjusting fabric as you go. A stiletto is helpful for maneuvering the fabric. See three images below:
Figure #6a
Figure #6b
Figure #6c
Note: In these photos you’ll see that edges were overcast to prevent excessive raveling and to keep layers together during stitching. You can opt to skip this step if your fabric doesn’t require it. When you’re finished sewing the seams, trim to a ¼-inch seam allowance to eliminate bulk. Overcast edges to finish construction of case. See Figure #7.
Figure #7
Tip: To help shape the case you can dampen it and then stuff the case with colorfast, dry wash cloths, leaving them in place until case is dry. Having the case stuffed will also allow for light pressing with an iron. If you need to wash out your markings you can thoroughly wet the case, stuff it while wet, and then set it aside to dry thoroughly before using. See images of finished inside of case and bottom of case in Figure #8a and #8b.
Figure #8a
Figure #8b

You are finished! Enjoy!

Options and Ideas:

  • With the Make-A-Zipper kit you can choose to make a zipper with two pull tabs facing in the center of the side piece. With this method you can open the case from the center outward.
  • Create a case with a monogram or another favorite motif in place of the top design.
  • Consider using bias binding to clean finish all inside raw edges in place of overcasting.
  • These round cases would be ideal gifts for a bridal party, especially if you added a name or monogram to the case.
  • Choose an appropriate fabric and you can make this case to hold a men’s watch.
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11 Comments

    • Thanks for your comment Pat! I love your term for this item! I could have called it a trinket box. That has a nice ring to it 🙂

      It’s so much fun to make this sort of thing with pretty fabric and embroidery topping it off.

    • Thanks Cindy! I appreciate your comments 🙂

      It took a bit of thinking to make it circular but the end result was good. The design was my inital inspriation.

    • You are so right Carla! This could be made in so many different fabrics. And, as long as the design motif fits in the 5-inch circle it would work just fine. It would be fun to make this as a special gift package and you could even embroider a special message on the bottom.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment Anita! It’s great to know that you liked the project. Happy Sewing!

  • Joanne, this attractive project would make a perfect gift for anyone if the fabric and design were varied. But as shown it is just lovely and perfect for friends, teachers, etc. Your directions make it so easy. Thanks!

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