tech case detail

Sewing skills project 8: Tech Case

tech case for iPad 2

Project

Tech Case from School of Sewing by Shea Henderson

Project features:

  • sew a curve
  • sew a buttonhole
  • sew a button
  • custom pocket
  • protective padding

Process notes

Fabric:

  • dark navy chambray
  • Marcus Fabrics Aunt Grace Ties One On #5369 in navy and white
  • Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in a taupe shade (possibly Cobblestone)
  • Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Sage
  • Pellon SF101 Shape-Flex woven fusible interfacing
  • Pellon 987F Fusible Fleece

Customized fabric measurements for iPad 2:

  • 8 3/4 x 11 for exterior, lining, and pocket
  • 7 3/4 x 10 for coordinating interfacing/fleece pieces

Equipment and settings:

  • Microtex 80/12 needle for most of the project, except for the final assembly used Jeans 100/16
  • used default stitch length settings for straight stitches
  • basting stitch #06
  • for topstitching around the opening, used 0.0/3.5 stitch with edge joining foot
  • used pinking shears to trim seam allowances
  • tried using the open toe foot to stitch the seam on the flap, but the fabric didn’t stay flat around the curves, so that didn’t work very well
  • switched stitch length to 1.8 around curves
  • for top stitching the flap used 0/3.5 with the edge joining foot on the straight parts and 0/3 around the curve
  • for buttonhole used 5.0/.3

tech case for iPad 2

Results

I ran into some confusion with the flap pattern piece in the back of the book because it says to cut 2 of the woven interfacing, but the written instructions say to cut 1 fusible fleece and 1 woven interfacing. I followed the written instructions and it worked great.

It was challenging to sew the seams when constructing the exterior pieces because the presser foot kept wanting to squish the thick part of the fabric out to the side. So my seams there are wobblier than I’d like. It’s definitely something to practice! It might have helped to put a thick, folded piece of fabric on the right side of the foot to even it out.

I’m really happy with how the final case turned out — it looks very crisp, polished, and professional. My iPad is a really tight fit along the sides (the height is perfect) so if I make another I’ll add extra ease into the width so it’s easier to get in and out.

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preppy Kindle 3 sleeve

Flannel and Navy Kindle Sleeve

Building off of my iPad sleeve project, I customized this Kindle sleeve for my Kindle 3 by adjusting the pattern piece dimensions and rounding the button tab. I also used the lining fabric for the inside of the button flap to add a nice contrast on that piece.

cozy preppy Kindle 3 sleeve

When choosing the fabric combo from my stash for this project, I was inspired by these images of classic outdoorsy preppy styles:

casual preppy

warm and cozy classic preppy style

Herringbone and Denim iPad Sleeve

After I finished reading Sewing to Sell by Virginia Lindsay — an excellent book about running a handmade craft business — there were many patterns provided in it that I wanted to sew. I started with the iPad sleeve since it was a small project and already sized for my iPad 2.

After setting out all of my fabrics to choose a combo for this project, I selected denim and navy/camel herringbone, inspired by this photo from a magazine:

denim navy and camel iPad sleeve inspiration
Casual, classic, and tailored ensemble

I made a few adjustments to the pattern to customize it for my design:

  • used a button harvested from a sport jacket instead of a magnetic snap
  • used denim and herringbone wool blend instead of quilting weight fabric
  • fused interfacing to just the wool blend pieces, not the entire exterior panels

I really like the final result, but I’d consider a few adjustments in the future:

  • increase seam allowance when joining the top panel to bottom panel on exterior pieces
  • increase overall height of the sleeve (my iPad comes just up to the very end of the opening, making it vulnerable to scrapes and nicks)
  • consider fabrics somewhere between the stiff/heavy denim and loosely-woven/soft/thick wool blend so the seams press open crisper and more completely
  • choose topstitching thread that coordinates with the fabrics more subtly
knitted space invaders kindle cozy

Space Invaders Fair Isle Kindle Cozy

A friend recently asked me if I’d like to make a cover for his new Kindle. Um, yes! He liked the green houndstooth Fair Isle sleeve I’d made for my husband, and likes red and black. Other than that, he was pretty open. So I suggested a few directions, including a video game theme because he’s a big gamer, and he selected a Space Invaders theme. I would have enjoyed making any of the ideas, but I was particularly excited to do something unconventional like Space Invaders.

This project was a great learning experience. The first yarn I bought was way too thick to accommodate the stitch pattern given the dimensions of the Kindle. The thinner yarn I replaced it with worked better, but it was still a challenge. I used size 0 needles, which seems to have affected the stretch and give in the finished piece because it’s not very stretchy. I might have fared better going down even more in yarn weight and using a size 5 needle.

After settling on my yarn and needles, I tested the fitting every so often and found that despite making a gauge swatch and customizing the stitch pattern for my specs, it was too tight. This required starting over a few times to get it back on track. My experience has pretty consistently been that my gauge swatch is looser than my final knitted piece for some reason.

fair isle space invaders kindle cozy
On one side I worked in a zap and exploding invader

Once I got the sizing right, things rolled along very well and it was completed in about a (big) day’s work. After blocking it, the Space Invaders Kindle Cozy was off to its new home.

cabled kindle cozy

Cabled Kindle cozy

After knitting a Kindle cozy for my husband I wanted one for myself. I love the way cabled knitting looks, so for mine I used some yarn from my stash and settled on the Celtic Cable stitch pattern from Super Stitches Knitting for this cozy, adapting it for circular knitting.

This is such a luxurious, cozy piece it really made me want to knit a big soft cabled sweater. And the Malabrigo is ultra decadent.

I managed to get the purl stitches right on my kitchener stitch for this piece, but the knit stitches are twisted and weird. I finally went to my local yarn shop where they helped me understand better what to look for with this stitch. Since then, I’ve been able to get it working right. I also consulted the Craftsy.com course Ins & Outs of Grafting, which was helpful.

houndstooth kindle cozy

Green argyle Fair Isle Kindle cozy

This is basically a sock for a Kindle, and is my first Fair Isle project. The houndstooth stitch pattern is from Super Stitches Knitting. It was a really good stitch pattern to start with because it’s a simple one at just 4 stitches.

I love this houndstooth pattern, and will probably make something else with it at this point.

houndstooth kindle cozy in progress
Top down Kindle cozy, just like the top of a sock

The yarn is Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima, which is 100% cotton. I learned that cotton is tricky with Fair Isle because it doesn’t have the stretch and give that a wool yarn has. While it technically fits around the Kindle, it’s not stretchy enough to make it easy to use.