Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tutorial: Tablet Carrying Case

This is a re-post of the tutorial I shared for Ellison Lane's Back to School Series.  This makes a great Carrying Case for your tablet devices!   I have a basic commercial case for each of these devices but  found that when I traveled, I always felt like my iPad and e-reader were bumping around in my tote bag.  So, I came up with this Carrying Case - which is really a glorified pouch with a couple of modifications.  So if you have made any kind of zippered pouch, this construction will already be familiar to you and you can crank one of these out pretty quickly.  Here we go!

iPad & e-Reader Carrying Case
Finished Size:  11.5" x 9.5"
Supply List:  
(2) Exterior Fabric Pieces 10.5" x 12.5"
(2) Lining Fabric Pieces 10.5" x 12.5"
(1) Divider Panel Fabric 10.5" x 20"
(2) Batting 10.5" x 12.5" (or fusible fleece)
(1) Decor Bond Interfacing 10" x 10"
(2) Fabric for Finished Zipper Ends 3"x 3"
(1) Zipper (at least 10" long)

Prepare Exterior/Interior Fabric:

Prepare your exterior panel pieces by quilting fabric and batting together.  I chose to piece my exterior panels and quilt them, but you could also use a solid piece of fabric with fusible fleece.  Both will make it nice and cushy.

(You might notice in some of the pictures that I also used light interfacing on the lining pieces, but I have made these cases without doing that step, and haven't really noticed any difference in the end product.  I just happened to have some and thought I'd try it and see if it made any difference.  Up to you, but totally not necessary). 

Divider Panel: 

I added a divider panel in the middle of the case so that I could keep my devices separate.  I have found it handy to have two large "pockets" in the case, but if you want to skip this step, that's fine too!

Fold your Divider Panel Fabric piece in half, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and press.  Open it back up and lay it down wrong side facing up.  Lay your Decor Bond interfacing piece centered on one half and fuse to the wrong side of the fabric.  The top edge of the interfacing should fit right into the crease you just pressed.  This is going to be the top of our divider panel.  

Now fold your divider panel piece back wrong sides together.  Place folded divider panel on top of one of the lining pieces.  I placed the bottom of the panel 1/4" above the bottom of the lining piece to help reduce bulk in the seam of the final product.  Stitch the divider panel onto the top of the lining piece around the sides and bottom with a 1/4" seam.

Zipper Preparation:  

Now lay your zipper on top of one of the exterior pieces and mark the end.  Sew a few stitches back and forth a little before your end marks, then cut off the extra length of the zipper at the mark.

Let's add our fabric pieces to the ends of our zippers to give it a nice finish.  Fold your 3 x 3 square of fabric in half WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and press.  Fold that folded piece in half again and place over the zipper end and pin.  True confessions - I always fudge this step a little and cut my fabric squares generously so that I can get it just how I want it and trim to what I need.  You may want the length of your zipper a little longer, in which case, just slide the folded fabric piece down a bit before pinning.  Just make sure they are even on both ends of the zipper.  So, we are not going to worry about that overhang of fabric - we'll trim it later!   

Sew 1/8" across top of the folded fabric over the zipper.  Be careful when your needle goes over the zipper and go slooowly!!  If you feel any resistance against the needle, stop, raise your presser foot, slide the zipper/fabric forward a bit, then return presser foot and continue on slowly.  Your machine will thank you. Your needle will thank you.  Your eyes and any other exposed body parts will thank you.  I will now end this zipper installation public service announcement.

Do the same on the other side, making sure to move the zipper pull back so that the presser foot has clearance to go over it.  When you do this, be sure to clip the zipper sides back together at the end (as you can see here with the Clover binding clip - love these things!).  You want to make sure the zipper teeth are touching when you sew your 1/8" topstitch over the fabric so that the zipper can close all the way.  Again, be cautious as you sew over that zipper! 

Fold back the ends of the fabric and clip the ends of the zipper (so this won't be in the seam when you sew the pieces together).

Trim any fabric overhang to be even with the edges of the zipper.

Attach the Zipper:

Lay one of the lining pieces Right Side up and lay your zipper on top.   


Next put an exterior piece Wrong Side up on top.  So the right sides of the lining and exterior pieces are touching, with the zipper in between.  

Clip/pin and with your zipper foot, sew through the layers close to the zipper (remember, you may need to move the zipper pull out of the way, sew some, then move it back to accommodate it going under the presser foot.  Open up this piece so that the wrong sides of the lining and exterior fabrics are touching.  

Now sew the remaining lining and exterior pieces to the other side of the zipper, laying down your lining piece first right side up, next the zipper with the pieces we just sewed on (the "free" side of the zipper lined up with the top of the lining piece), and lastly the exterior fabric wrong side up on the top.  Clip/pin and sew closely along the zipper. 

Next, open up the pieces so that you have a lining and exterior piece on each side of the zipper.  Press, and topstitch 1/8" from the edge of the fabric along the length of both sides of the zipper, using a 2.8 stitch length.  This gives a nice polished finish and prevents the lining from getting caught up in the zipper feet.  

Now it looks like this.  We are getting close!

Sew Together:

Open up your pieces and line up the exterior pieces right sides together and your lining pieces right sides together.   Open up the zipper at least half way or you will be getting real intimate with your seam ripper after this step!

 As you are lining up the sides, scootchie the zipper teeth towards the lining and pin/clip all around, making sure to leave an opening about 5" in the bottom of the lining piece.

Sew all around using 1/2" seam allowance.  

Clip all 4 corners to reduce bulk.

Turn inside out  by pulling the exterior through the opening you left in the lining.  I love this part - It's like watching a pouch be born!  Use a blunt tool to push out the corners.  Press your seams.

Close the hole in the lining by folding the raw edges in and top-stitching across the bottom.  Tuck your lining inside the outer case.  

It's done!

 Enjoy toting your mobile devices around in style.  And if any of my family members happen to be reading this, you may or may not be getting one of these for Christmas.  Just sayin'.  Act surprised.

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