But suppose you jumped on the tablet bandwagon, but you don't have an iPad. Maybe you have a Xoom. Or a Kindle. Or something in between, like my 7" Galaxy Tab. Its hard to find cases for these. You can't walk into an Apple store or a Brookstone and pick up a accessories for them.
Sure you can get a case for your tablet... from the manufacturer. And it comes in any color you want, as long as you want black. So where are the cool accessories for you?
Well, gentle reader, the cool stuff is as close as your sewing room. Because I am going to help you make your own sweet gadget sleeve, no matter what kind of gadget you have.
This sleeve features ~
- cushy felt lining for extra protection
- exterior patch pocket for earbuds, sync cable, extra memory, etc
- button closure
- made from recycled / re-purposed materials!
Materials required ~
- rear quarter panel of a pair of jeans
- two pieces of felt (I used eco-fi brand)
- decorative button
- elastic hair tie
- marking pen (optional)
- sewing machine (optional, you can also hand sew, or use fabric glue on the major seams)
- iron (also optional, but recommended)
Step 1: Measure Twice, Cut Once
- Get a single sheet of newspaper and fold it. I used a Wall Street Journal, but you don't have to be as classy as I am. Its also fun to make patterns from the Sunday Funnies and the classifieds.
- Put your device so that it lines up with the fold and the edge (see image 1). Fold up the edge to measure the thickness of your device. Let about 3/8" extra hang over the top of your gadget. This is your seam allowance.
- Draw a line around your gadget. Draw another line all around that is the same width as the width of your fold (height, plus seam allowance)
- Cut along the outside line and open up the paper at the fold. Ta da! A pattern!
Recap for people who like math:
Cut a rectangle out of a piece of newspaper.
The rectangle's length should be equal to 2 * (gadget_length + 2* (gadget_height+3/8)).
Its width should be gadget_width + 2* (gadget_height+3/8).
For example, my gadget_length is 7.5, gadget_height is .5, and gadget_width is 4.75. So my pattern is 18.5" x 6.5"
2 * (7.5 + 2* (.5+.375)) = 18.5"
4.75 + 2* (.5+.375) = 6.5"
Step 2: Bits and Pieces
TIP: make sure that you leave room around the pocket for top and side seams. Don't cut too close to the pocket or you will have trouble sewing it together later.
Also cut out felt at this time. Cut two sheets as shown.
Step 3: Sew Sew Pockets
1. Fold the denim in half, right sides together. And sew up the sides.
TIP: One way to make this easier is to iron before sewing. Another strategy is to start sewing from the open end and go towards the fold. It seems like every time I start sewing from the fold, it always gets uneven at the top from the fabric sliding as I sew. But if I start at the top, I know I'll always end up with an even fold at the bottom.
2. Sew the pieces of felt together, sides and bottom as shown.
TIP #1: You should actually not sew completely around. You will need an opening for turning later. I forgot, so I'll show you in the next step what to do if you forget too. :-)
TIP#2: If you clip off the points of the corners, you'll have an easier time getting the corners to lay flat later.
Step 4: Admire Your Intelligence
Just rip out a little bit of the seam on one of the sides.
Step 5: Button and Loop
- Turn the denim piece right side out.
- Sew the elastic hair tie on the back, pointing towards the bottom (closed) end.
- Sew the button on the outside of the pocket. Don't sew the pocket closed!
Step 6: Get It Together
- Slide the denim piece inside the felt as shown.
- Sew the top edges together. (it helps if your sewing machine has a removable panel and a sleeve arm) TIP: be careful when you sew over the section with the elastic. Those metal clips can break or bend your sewing machine's needle.
- Pull the denim through the gap that you made in the felt piece.
- Keep going until you have the denim completely pulled through.
- Sew the gap closed. (I did a kind of sloppy job here. Lets just pretend that I wanted you to be able to see my stitches.)
- Stuff the felt lining into the denim sleeve.
Step 7: Fit and Finish Up
Woo hoo! YOU'RE DONE.
Put your tablet in its new sleeve. Put its accessories in the pocket. (my cell phone even fits) Slip the elastic over the button. Drop it in your backpack or purse and go!
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