Friday, February 5, 2016

Xylophone Carrying Case DIY

I teach in a small Christian elementary school and for every performance, we travel to our Upper Campus about 5 miles away.  The more Orffy I've become, the more xylophones I've been travelling with and the more nervous I get transporting the bars!  My mother is a seamstress and we've been brainstorming ways to safely travel with bars.  

Then I saw this post on Facebook by Jennifer Loomis!

Jennifer used a towel and rolled it for protection. LOVE IT!  So I took her idea and ran with it!

I chose to use fleece (in school colors!) and put together a DIY with instructions and pictures. The dimensions of xylophones vary with size and brand, but here are my measurements for Sonor Meisterklasse Sop, Alto/Tenor, and Bass


Approx. 1yd Fleece per xylophone (56")

Finished Sizes: (w" x h")
Soprano: 31" x 24" (13 bars)
Alto/Tenor: 37" x 24" (15 bars)
Bass: 33" x 23" (13 bars)


Step 1: Cut fleece to desired length
Step 2: Fold fleece in half and remove any selvage.

Step 3: Fold bottom (folded edge) up about 5.5 inches.  For longer bars, fold up more. Pin and sew three edges (left, top, right.  Bottom edge is a fold). I use a tight zig-zag stitch to top stitch rather than turn inside out.  Fleece doesn't fray and the zig-zag stitch is very strong through the two layers.  

I used my seam ripper to hold the bottom fold in place while I zig-zagged through the 4 layers of fleece where the fabric was folded.  It was a little tough on my little machine, but she made it through!

Step 4: (This step differs from Jennifer.  She suggested placing bars and pinning to know where to sew.  I tried this once but since it was such a short distance, the extra pins were a little tedious and once I removed a pin, I was flying blind.  Instead, I decided I'd rather have a line to follow.)
Measure and mark and sew 2.25 inches for bar pockets (Sop and Alto/Tenor) or 2.5 inches for bar pockets (Bass).

That's it!