Let me be clear – I’m not a good tutorial writer. Halfway through a project I think maybe I should have taken pictures to blog about it, and other times I think the project isn’t interesting enough to talk about anyway. Then again, it seems anything is fair game for online tutorials. And for the dumbest things – like how to hard boil eggs. I know because I have personally looked this up. Seems my husband and I disagree on the proper way to boil eggs and when I boil them, he feels they become impossible to peel. He has issues.
In fact, as bad a tutorial writer as I am, my top two posts on this blog happen to be how-tos: bottle cutting and Borax crystal ornaments. Apparently, people really want broken glass all over their kitchen and to do chemistry experiments with their laundry detergent. You’re a bunch of weirdos.
But I digress. Ukulele bag. I’m one happy month into ukulele ownership and in all that time, it’s been kept in a pillowcase when I’m not practicing. I’ve been looking for a sturdier bag to put it in but the “gig bags” out there for pineapple ukes kind of suck. Ugly, flimsy, some costing as much as three times the amount of the uke. I’m clumsy, so I want it in something that has at least a tiny bit of protection when I knock it off the coffee table. I looked at a bunch of online tutorials and I didn’t quite feel I had the skill – and no sewing machine. I had to come up with something simple but effective.
Enter the sweatpants bag.
Yup. I took a pair of my sweatpants and chopped them in half so I had two longish tubes. Turned one tube inside out and stuffed it in the other tube. That gives me smooth material against the uke so no fuzz gets caught in the pegs or strings. Sewed first the elastic (ankle) end of the inside tube closed, being sure to put a few stitches on each side to connect it to the outer tube, then sewed the outer tube shut. Sure, you could sew them both together but I did all this with hand stitching so it was easier for me this way.
So I have a basic two layer sleeve of fleece/cotton, wider at the bottom, that I can slide the uke into. It’s not a hard padded case or anything but for my purposes it will do just fine. Next, I shortened the inside tube but left it long enough that I could fold it over the bottom of the uke. Then the outer tube I kind of shaped and folded up over the outer front. Honestly, I kind of feel like I’m diapering it. I had planned to put some elastic loops on the end and two buttons on the outside, about midway up the case. Then I realized I had remnants of a cool silk shirt I had been cutting up for another project. It had sleeves that roll up and a strip of silk buttoned to keep them in place. Those are the two purple strips you see there, using the shirt buttons. I also took the hemmed collar off and sewed it at the top of the case, to make the elastic end look prettier. Then, the pocket for my tuner.
The little purple pouch with two zipper compartments has been kicking around a long time. I once sewed it into a coat when I went to Paris because I’m a paranoid traveller and wanted a secure inside pocket. Then it was in a light up suit for several Mardi Gras trips, holding money and extra batteries. Just a few stitches on each corner secure it well enough and my Snark tuner fits right in. Last, I wanted a strap.
This is the only part of the project I actually had to pay for. A whole $2.99 at Goodwill for a duffle bag with the perfect strap and D-rings. The zipper on the cheapo bag was broke so I didn’t even have to feel bad about throwing out the bag. I was just going to stitch the D-rings directly to the bag, when my husband asked if I had any of the purple material left. I did. I folded and refolded two strips for strength and put one around each ring, sewing the silk to the bag instead. Looks much better. That man might have issues with hard boiled eggs, but sometimes he comes up with a good idea.
This might be too hippy dippy for you. You might want something that looks more professional. Then again, you are playing a ukulele. Lighten up.