Coffee break crafting: how to make an iPad cover from a woolly jumper
Apparently, an iPad mini was the must-have gadget this Christmas. (Who knew that Christmas required gadgets?) I am not a gadget person as a rule – friends blanche with horror when they discover that our kitchen has no electric kettle, no coffee-maker bar my husband, and no microwave – but I admit to a weakness for the sleek user-friendliness of Apple products. I feel a very lucky girl indeed, therefore, as my coffee-maker most generously gave me this year’s must-have gadget as my Christmas present.
The sleekness of the iPad mini is such, however, that the thing threatens to slide out of one’s hands at any moment. Not to worry: there are any number of companies happy to supply you with a case/ cover/ bomb-proof rubber-edged shell for your slippery new toy. I duly ordered what I thought was the perfect case, a fake leather one in a subtle dark purple. (Apple’s own expensive covers come in urban shades which my husband says look like the colours of a suburban French school building.) If there had been an affordable case in real leather, I’d have bought it, but there wasn’t. Anyway, this PU ‘leather’ one looked and felt ideal. But I can’t use it. It seems that I am very sensitive to some chemical in the material of the case. It made my sinuses feel battered and my head ache, and it smelt awful. So I was back at square one, with a beautiful, shiny, vulnerable new gizmo and no cover. What to do?
Well, make one, of course. I have gone from sleek and shiny to woolly and hand-made. If you look up ‘how to make an iPad cover’ you will discover that hundreds of people have made their own, out of everything from patchwork to old books. The juxtaposition of state-of-the-art technology with hairy crafting is a very pleasing one, to my mind. Here’s how I made mine.
First, I sourced some smooth woollen fabric. For me this meant retrieving a loved-to-shreds old cashmere jumper from the fabric recycling pile, and putting it through a boil wash. It came out of the machine shrunken to child size and lightly felted: just what I wanted, as felting thickens and strengthens the wool without spoiling the softness.
The next day, when the jumper was dry, I laid it flat on a table and put my iPad on top of it to measure out where to cut. From the body of the jumper I cut through both front and back in a rectangular shape, twice the width of the iPad with a little over for seams.
Then I folded the double thickness rectangle over, and sewed up two of the sides. Oh, wait, first I made a pot of coffee. Very important, as the point of this post is sort of that you can make this cover in the time it takes to drink a couple of cups of coffee (depending on your sewing skills, of course: you may be a one-cup seamstress). I like the meditative nature of hand-sewing, and sewed the seams in a simple backstitch.
Once the sewing up was finished, leaving one end open, I trimmed the seams to reduce their bulk,
and turned the cover inside-out, so that I had a nice neat envelope.
A little tweaking to the interior of the envelope was needed: I sewed the two layers of each side together to tidy them up. I hope the photos explain better than my garbled words!
By now the coffee pot was almost finished, but I just had time to add a little decorative detail. I tacked on a strip of sample cashmere colours that had come free with a catalogue,
and finished it off with a mother-of-pearl button (friends from our crafting group may remember my lovingly hoarded button collection).
That was it. Finished in a bit of a rush; very amateur; but fun and easy to make and satisfying to use. My iPad seems very happy in it. Ta dah!
Not directly related, but another way of enjoying a quiet coffee break in the winter, is to be found in abroad thoughts from home: about books, not gadgets.