pattern for dulcimer case

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pattern for dulcimer case

Postby Mrs. Chips » Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:45 am

Where does one find a pattern for sewing a dulcimer carrying case. I would like a pattern for the teardrop design. Thanks!
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Postby Gail Lewis » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:40 pm

I am a seamstress, so maybe I can help you. It can be made simply. I don't think there is a pattern, as there are so many styles of cases ---as well as many sizes and shapes of dulcimers. I have made my own cases. I measure the dulcimer and make a rectangular case to fit the measurements (with some ease). Remember that the case has to fit around the thickness of the dulcimer, not just the length and width. So allow for that. If you are experienced at sewing, you may want to box the sides. Use some quilt batting between the outer layer and the inner layer, to pad the case. You may want to put a layer of a waterproof fabric in there too, since we go to so many jams where it may rain or be damp. You can use any fabric, even an old quilt. I saw a case made out of a blue jean leg (crude, but functional). Make a closure from velcro, zipper, etc. Make some backpack straps, or take some from an old backpack. I also like a large pocket for my music book, a couple of small pockets for the tuner, capo, picks, etc., and a place for a pencil. Velcro closes these securely. Making your own "custom" case is fun and it will be exactly the way you want it. Smile
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helpful suggestions on pattern

Postby Mrs. Chips » Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:44 pm

Thank you very much for your input on how to make a dulcimer case. I'm not an experienced seamstress, but I'm related to someSmile. When you say "box the sides," do you mean use a cardboard or plastic insert to make the case stiffer? I'm glad you suggested batting and waterproof fabric. It rains an awful lot where I live, so its best to be prepared.
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Postby KenH » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:02 pm

I think what Dulcitunes means by "boxing" is to make 4 separate sides of appropriate size, rather than just folding a long narrow rectangle of cloth and sewing across the narrow bottom and up one side. You could certanly sew in a liner arrangements where cardboard pieces could be slid in place to stiffen the gig bag a little.
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Postby Gail Lewis » Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:42 pm

Yes, Ken, you are correct when you explain "box the sides". You could also stiffen the bottom with a flexible plastic sheet, maybe one of those thin kitchen cutting boards--cut to size, rather than cardboard. This would be another way of making the case more water resistant. I am thinking of making a case for my new dulcimer and have been thinking about methods to make it sturdier, more water resistant, and easier to carry than the other cases I have made. Just haven't had time to begin to make it right now. Have you seen the cases that Lee (and Doug) Felt make? They are really top of the line. I don't know how to make one that nice.Razz
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Postby KenH » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:04 pm

I've got one of Lee & Doug's cases. I wonder if there isn't a sheet of 1" thick foam in between the layers.... Why not make a gig bag of naugahyde lined with one of those pre-quilted fabrics - or even a cheap $5 "lap throw". Naugas aren't on the endangered species list, and their hides really are water proof (especially if you wax the seams after you stitch them). The plush throw would be nice on the wood as you slide the dulcimer in and out. Make a flip-top lid with a tie or big wooden button. Another good liner material is the "headliner" cloth they sell at JoAnn's and similar big shops. it's the stuff used to replace the headliner in your car - 1/4" foam with a satiny cloth sealed to it. That on the inside and Nauga on the outside would make a nice semi-rigid case.
Last edited by KenH on Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby harpmaker » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:17 pm

My sister, Folkfan makes tote bags for me from a doubled quilted fabric she gets from Walmart. It won't keep the dulcimer from getting crushed, but does protect it from the usual dings and scratches when traveling. Anther option would be using an old sleeping bag for the material. You can pick those up for almost free at yard sales. That would give a lot more protection. I think that would have to be hand stitched though..... I don't profess to know much about sewing. I just mention what I need and it magically appears...
Last edited by harpmaker on Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Crow » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:39 pm

I made one from a rug ... lined it with headliner material, folded it length wise and sewed the bottom and long side. I did insert a strap of webbing in the side when I was sweing it, and since it was too long, I just folded the top over so I wouldn't have to cut off the fringe. My son took off with that one. Haven't seen it since it was finished Rolled Eye But I have one of Lee's Cases to, love it!
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Postby Snow Leopard » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:50 am

If you order one of BearBranch Dulcimers' special picks for $40 (it's a little expensive because it has a bear stamped on it), they also send you a very nice case that's very well padded. The fabric seems pretty water resistant, and I imagine if it's sprayed with Teflon water/stain repellant spray, it would do real well. Of course making a case is like making a dulcimer; one gets to be creative, give it special character, and save money in the process. Admittedly, though, if I tried to sew a dulcimer case, I would have to give someone 40 special picks and also pay them $40 to take it -- it would be a real dog of a case. My mother was a fantastic seamstress who could make anything, but not one thread of that talent rubbed off on me. In fact, every time I touch a sewing machine, everything goes wrong and I think the earth tips on its axis and hurricanes form and earthquakes happen and... SL
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great dulcimer case jam session

Postby Mrs. Chips » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:23 pm

I've never heard of naugahyde before. I'll look it up on Google. I like the idea of a material that versatile. The possibilities seem endless. Thanks for all the brainstorming. Since my husband is going to make another dulcimer of a different size and shape, I will need two cases. Perhaps I will buy one and make one. I'm grateful that Snow Leopard mentioned an alternative to sewing if necessary. I could never earn my living sewing--I'm too slow Tongue . I will take a look at Lee's cases as well.
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Postby KenH » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:18 pm

Naugahyde - a.k.a. imitation leather; a.k.a. plastic leather; a.k.a. leatherette; a.k.a. vinyl upholstery material. I think "Naugahyde" was one of the original manufacturer's trade names of the product. Comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. Available at virtually every fabric store in the universe...
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Case Construction

Postby Bonnie » Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:04 am

Hi. Just made a semi-box case for my Yocky. Here's what I did. I measured the length width and depth. Then I cut and constructed the sides, ends, bottom and top out of cotton cloth, 1/4 inch foam, buckram for stability and a thick microfiber fur. I double padded the ends for stability and used velcro for fasteners. The handles are webbing. While not the best looking thing on the planet, I can say I'll find Destiny anywhere in the crowd. The case is a first try. I'd probably do things a bit different, if I were to attempt it again. Which I will, because my other dulcimer, Marge, is a bit too long for the Yocky case. Bonnie
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