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I’ve Sewn a Bag for a Cigar Box Guitar – or is it a Giant Pencil Case?

Amp and guitar

Well I could never do this for a living, I spend entirely too much time dithering about.  If your read my last post, you know I needed to make a protective cover for the other half’s birthday present, a cigar box guitar.  He said he just needed something to keep the dust off, he wasn’t going to be taking it off for gigs, and he wanted vinyl.

Black padded and quilted fabric

I decided I could make him a very large zipped bag for it, that could undo on the long side.  I went on e-bay and found this padded and quilted black fabric which I thought would make an excellent lining.

36" Red Zipper from Zipperstop, Etsy

36″ Red Zipper from Zipperstop, Etsy

Then I went hunting for a 36″ zipper.  My usual suppliers only do dress zips to 22″, if I wanted anything longer I had to buy a seperating zipper. I googled it and found exactly what I needed in Etsy, but from the States.  I tried and failed to find anything like it in on-line in the U.K. so I bought it from Zipperstop in New York.  It arrived 7 days after I placed the order. Some of our domestic mail doesn’t travel that fast!  In addition to being the right colour, length and a lovely quality, it also has the extra long zipper pull!  This is a bonus for the other half, as he has big hands!

Sample lined pouch and flap

Sample lined pouch and flap

Once I had everything ready, I chickened out.  I thought maybe it would be easier to make a long pouch with a flap?  As I had given myself some ground rules for sewing with vinyl, including test everything on a sample, I tried the idea out.  The flap idea did not work for me, it was awkward however I tried to add it on.  Then the other half pointed out that dragging it in and out of the narrow end would mean that the rough ends of the strings would catch on the fabric and make pulls.  He made helpful suggestions, and I dithered some more before deciding to go ahead with my original idea!


This time despite my ground rule saying I should use a non-stick teflon foot I chose to use my walking foot instead (or Even Feed foot in Janome land).   It handled the vinyl and lining perfectly.  (I love my walking foot!   I only take it off if I absolutely have to).  Here you can see it finishing the top stitching.

Dented end

Yes, it does have the classic crumpled ends so often found on zipped bags, though not so noticeable on such a very large bag.  

The options are:


a) to add tabs to the end of the zipper so the ends are flat, but the width of the opening will be reduced, as above   (see tutorial here by Flossie Teacakes)

Zipper Tab

b) to make the  zipper longer than opening so it can open wide. ( Similar to the zipper on the Gadget Guard, and here in Noodlehead’s tutorial ).

Dented and undented! Michelle’s solution

c) to finish the zipper ends by hand as explained in this tutorial by Michelle “How to make a Zip Pouch without Dented Corners”,


d) have dented ends and live with it!

I didn’t want to make the opening smaller, and the zipper I bought wasn’t long enough to do the extended loose-end method.  Sadly I only found Michelle’s tutorial after I finished sewing the bag, so I have dented ends!  I’m not sure how well it would have turned out if I had tried Michelle’s method on vinyl,  maybe next time? 


I found a use for that sample pouch – I turned it inside out and told him he could use it as a string cover – no worries about catching now!


Here you can see the guitar, happily nestled in it’s very own padded bag.

giant pencil case

All done.  Complete. Finished.  Yes, it does look like a giant pencil case!  No I have not added an applique, or a handle.  I could, if he decides it’s necessary,  but he says he’s happy with it as it is.  Job done!

Matching Vinyl Amp cover and cigar box guitar bag, as promised!

Matching Vinyl Amp cover and cigar box guitar bag, as promised!


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