Thursday, May 9, 2013

Felt Tablet Case Tutorial


If you check Etsy out you'll find page after page after page of tablet cases in all shapes, colors, and sizes, but I didn't see one that was just right.  I wanted something colorful, inspiring, and embroidered, so I decided to make my own.  If you want your own embroidered iPad Mini or Kindle Fire cover, take a look at the tutorial! (excuse the bad nighttime photos -we college students have to craft in the dark).

The first thing you need to do is select your quote.  My favorite poets are Rilke and Hafiz (sometimes spelled Hafez), but Pinterest is a good place to look if you don't have one in mind.  Some of them can be pretty cheesy, but comb through for a bit and you may find gems.  Goodreads.com is another good option.

After you select your quote, gather your materials.  For an iPad Mini or a Kindle Fire, you will need one square of felt for the case (mine were 9x12 inches), plus more felt for decoration, four inches of thin elastic, two buttons, thin lining fabric (if you want), embroidery floss, needles, scissors, and a ruler.


First, sketch your quote and design out.  Since my quote was "May the Gratitude in my Heart kiss all the Universe" (from Hafiz) I wanted to incorporate both a heart and something starry or sunny into my case.  I did a few drawings to figure out just what I wanted it to look like.

Once I had it all planned out, I cut a heart out of yellow felt and appliqued it right on.




Continue adding shapes, fancy stitches, and your quote until it looks like your version of this (except taken in better lighting):




Once you have the embroidery part done, it's time to do the assembly.  I used covered buttons and elastic to make two secure closings at the top.  At this point I'd mention that this case could be used for pretty much anything from travel document storage to tea bag carrier to well, anything.

Back to buttons.  My buttons weren't super attractive, so I decided to cover them.  So here's a mini covered button tutorial-in-a-tutorial.  All you need to do is cut a circle of fabric or felt just a little bigger than your button, sew around it in a circle, gather the fabric, and secure it.  Here it is illustrated in four easy steps:  


 You also need to cut your elastic.  I did 2 1.5 inch pieces, but depending on your seam allowance and button size, you may need a little more.  Fold each one over and sew the raw edges together firmly.

To insert the loops, you need to fold the top seam down and snip two small holes in it -one for each elastic loop.  I did mine about an inch and a half in on either side.  Pull your elastic loop through the hole loop edge first.  Sew the raw edge firmly to the INSIDE layer of the top seam. Once they are both attached, sew the top seam down-like a hem.


Sew your buttons on the back where they match up with the elastic loops.  The top of your tablet cover/pouch will now look like this:


Time to add the lining.  This isn't 100% necessary, but I think it makes the final product look more finished.  I picked some snazzy purple fabric to use for mine.  There are two things that are really important here.  The first is making sure you pick a thin fabric so the ipad mini or kindle fire fits in the case.  The other thing is to not cut the lining fabric too big (it will bunch up and not lie right).





Once you've cut and sewn all the seams, (leaving .5 inches on the top open), slide the lining seam-side first into the pouch. 

Fold the top edges down and match the seam up with the top seam of the felt part of the pouch.  Pin in place like so:





Sew the linings together, making sure to do a nice strong stitch through both of your elastic loops for good measure and to make sure they lie right.  Make sure that your lining lays nice and smooth inside the bag. 




Once you've tucked your lining back in and smoothed it out, your pouch is ready to be put to use!

Don't forget to close the loops ;)






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