The Dowager’s Box, all sewn up

So, it’s finished.

Box closedBox open Lid detail Box filledEach time I make this box, I learn something.

This time, I used harder, denser card, which makes the box more rigid, but also much, much harder to cut correctly, and a bit harder to manipulate when bringing all the shapes together. The instructions tell you to label each piece of card, and I agree this is absolutely necessary, especially the top and base, and indicating which way is up on the inner side panels.

Experience does make the glueing process less sticky, and that aspect was a lot tidier than on my first attempt! The inside pockets were a lot easier the second time round too, now that I’ve equipped myself with a load of quilt binding clips to hold everything in place while the glue dries.

I’ve also found I prefer thin cotton quilt batting rather than high loft polyester for the padding; to my eyes it makes a crisper, more refined box shape whilst still offering a padded surface.

It’s not perfect; it will take a lot more goes at it to make something closer to perfect, but it is a good, functional and attractive box, and I’m keeping notes about how to refine it further next time. One note about this particular box to anyone planning to give it a try; I made the band that goes round the edge of the lid very slightly narrower than it should be; I wanted to see a 1/8″ strip of the pale yellow lining at the edge of the lid, almost like piping. Follow the instructions in the pattern if you don’t want to see this.

(In case you missed it in earlier comments and you fancy making one for yourself; Tialys has confirmed that she’s still offering a $2 discount on the pattern for this box for my followers. Just quote BOXCLEVER at the checkout when you purchase the downloadable pattern pdf.)

I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out. And I think the Dowager will be too!

40 thoughts on “The Dowager’s Box, all sewn up

  1. anne54 says:

    Boxes are magical things, especially this one, because it has a secret! However, yours is in more wonderful because of the fabric and colours you have chosen. The pink and lime green just zing!

  2. claire93 says:

    like anne, I love the citrus colours – brilliant job!

  3. tialys says:

    It’s lovely Kate – she’s going to adore it.
    I have tried lots of different battings and now I usually use low loft polyester if I don’t have any cotton stuff to hand. My friend made one with high loft polyester and we weren’t overly keen on the effect – it was a bit too ‘puffy’ – although it’s all a matter of taste I suppose.
    I like your idea of leaving some of the lining fabric showing around the edge of the lid. Was it more difficult to hide the stitches?

    • katechiconi says:

      Not really – I used ladder stitch instead of hemstitch – but I did have to be very tidy about finishing the corners of the lid rim pieces, because they’re slightly on view. The only other thing I might do is reduce the overall size of the base liner by about 1/8″ overall so I don’t have to be so forcible about getting it to fit!

  4. I love the colours of this. I should get my act together and order the pattern and try one for myself, but then I would be annoying you with questions about each stage!
    Let’s see how my WIP pile shrinks in the next month.

  5. manicmumdays says:

    Gorgeous Kate! You are so clever!

  6. It’s absolutely beautiful !!!! the lady who will get this will be over the moon !!

  7. rutigt says:

    And now, when I´ve seen the finished version, I love your choise even more. It´s a beautiful box!!!!

  8. Lorij says:

    Kate, it’s so beautiful. The colors are brilliant!!!!! As you’ve probably learned by now about me, I love bright bold color.
    Your mother-in-law will be so pleased.

  9. Kirsten says:

    The Dowager is going to be one organised lady, what with the chair tidy you made for her and now this pretty little box.

  10. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Awesome Dowager’s Box i ever seen 🙂

  11. It’s stunning and anyone would be happy to receive it.

  12. It’s even prettier than I imagined! Those colors are just gorgeous. Lucky MIL, she will surely be thrilled.

  13. pattisj says:


  14. EllaDee says:

    To echo the consensus. It’s gorgeous. I love the bright crisp colours and organic pattern of the fabric. The green is fabulous. I imagine you are #1 daughter-in-law 🙂

  15. […] Husband Crochet tool kit, tatting tool kits 1 and 2 Octagonal sewing box tested for Tialys, same box made for the Dowager Gerbera bag AHQ laundry bag Striped tuffet Paper pieced tea pot and cups heat pad and mug […]

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