When the iPad first came out, the cover options were pretty weak. The official Apple case was nice because it was thin and bent so you could prop up the screen. I usually make zipper cases for devices, but for the iPad it seemed preferable to have a case that could stay on while you're using it. I was inspired by the Gigabyte Roll Pad that I use for my laptop to create this quilted case. It opens like a book to hold in one hand, or rolls open to prop up your iPad so you have a good viewing angle.
I tend to be a pretty reckless sewer, so I've factored in a lot of wiggle room. You could use more acrylic rods to thicken the roll and velcro is just one idea for the clasp. I've ripped out plenty of seams and redone them with no adverse affects on the final product. Have an iron on hand to keep things straight between steps.
Step 1: Supplies
I cut out all pieces much larger than the final dimensions. That way if the fabric shifts during construction, you have plenty of margin for error and can square it back up before binding.
* Outer fabric: 21" x 11.5"
* Lining fabric: 21" x 11.5"
* Batting: 21" x 11.5"
* Interfacing: 21" x 11.5"
You can use fusible or non-fusible interfacing
* Plenty of thread
The harness keeps your iPad in place with elastic bands. I use webbing so the elastic is secured to something a bit more rugged than cotton fabric.
* Interfacing or other thick, stiff fabric: 9.5" x 7.5"
I had to cut mine a little narrow because I only had a scrap left. That's ok.
* 1 inch webbing: 2 x 9.5", 2 x 5.5"
* 1/2 inch braided elastic: approximately 0.75 yards
* 14 (or a few more) 1/8-inch acrylic rods
* Binding fabric to match the outside of the case (or something complementary): binding should measure 4" x 70" (err on the side of longer)
* Velcro or another closing mechanism of your liking (not pictured)
* Sewing machine (I use a quilting foot, but it's not necessary)
* Straight pins
* Sewing needle
* (optional) Rotary cutter
* (optional) Rotary mat
* (optional) Masking tape
Step 2: Create the Harness Base
Sew the webbing pieces onto the interfacing. Use a zigzag stitch along the edges where the webbing strips meet and at the end of the long pieces of webbing.
Step 3: Sew the Elastic Onto the Harness
Use your iPad as your guide to place the elastic so it doesn't block any of the buttons. The hardest corner is the top right by the power, volume, and orientation lock buttons. For the remaining corners, you can line the edge of the elastic almost so it almost reaches the inner corner of the webbing. Use a zigzag stitch to sew the elastic onto the backside of the harness.
Cut out the center of the interfacing and any other bits that show on the front. Set it aside.
(OPTIONAL) You might want to trim the outer corners at an angle since the iPad corners are round. If you do, sew around the corner so it doesn't fray.
(OPTIONAL) The harness is a good place to add a custom tag if you have one.
Step 4: Prepare the Main Case Body
The batting will attach to the lining fabric so that the iPad has some extra padding between it and the glass. The interfacing attaches to the outer fabric, giving it extra durability against the ends of the acrylic rods.
The final dimensions of the body will be 10.25" x 20".
Create an aligned stack of the 4 pieces. If using fusible interfacing, iron it to the wrong side of the outer fabric.
Stack the layers as follows:
- Outer fabric, right side out
- Lining fabric, right side out
Pin the layers together
Step 5: Sew 18 'pockets' Into the Case
Measure 8" from one end and mark it. I like to use masking tape to have a guideline.
Sew along the line. There's no need to backstitch to secure the seam because you'll be squaring up the fabric later.
Sew 18 lines parallel to the first line at 1/2" intervals, away from the edge from which you made the first 8" measurement. These will make pockets for the acrylic rods. 3 of the pockets will remain unfilled for the folding edge and 2 empty slots on the front of the cover.
You can sew your lines closer together if you prefer and add a few more acrylic rods. That will give your roll a bit more height. Just check it against the iPad as you go to see how many pockets you'll need.
Step 6: Square Up the Fabric Stack
Square up the fabric stack so it measures 10.25" x 20". From the first 'pocket' line, there should be exactly 7.75" to the end.
Step 7: Insert the Acrylic Rods
Insert the acrylic rods into the pockets between the interfacing and the batting (the rod shouldn't touch the fabric). Skip the 2 pockets at either end.
(OPTIONAL) This is a good time to sew decorative stitches onto the end of the fabric where the rod pockets end. This is the flap that will fold over the closed case. I like to sew lines perpendicular to the pockets.
Step 8: Bind the Case
Create enough binding to wrap around the entire case. I like to use a 1/4" double fold cross grain binding. Check out this video to learn how to make the binding.
Sew the binding around the case, on the outer side, as shown in the video. I like to start it at the 'bottom' of the case, on the end where there are no rods.
Iron the binding out when done.
Step 9: Attach the Harness
Pin the harness to the inside of the case. Sew around the outer edge and again along the inner edge. I like the case to open like a book, so take note of the corner on the harness that was fit for the power and volume buttons.
Step 10: Finish the Binding
Cut off any stray threads dangling from the case.
Whip stitch the binding on the lining side of the fabric.
Step 11: Add Velcro Closure
Cut the velcro to 9.75" long. Sew one piece at the very edge of the flap on the lining side. Mark where it meets the back of the case when closed (I use tape). Sew the matching piece of velcro on the back where marked.