Monday, January 24, 2011

A Sewing Non-Tutorial

Welcome to the "How to Make a Kindle Cover" FAIL edition!

I had grand plans of making my own Kindle Cover and sharing a how-to with you, but I screwed up (in multiple ways), so look at this as more of a starting point combined with a "what not to do".

My goal was to make an easel style cover that would acommodate the M-Edge light. I'm not going to bother with all the measurements, because mine weren't right.

Things started out promising.

I wanted a tab to fold over the bottom and keep the case closed when not in use and also serve as a support to help keep the cover from just sliding open when it was in "easel mode". So I cut two pieces of fabric the same size and sewed a piece of the hook side of velcro on one of them Then I laid the other piece on top (right sides together) and sewed around three sides Flipped the whole thing right side out And sewed around it all with a very narrow seam allowance to give a nice edge

My cover was to be made up of one long pocket of fabric stuffed a stiffener, so next I sewed a piece of the loop side of velcro onto one of those so I'd have somewhere to attach my tab
Another key feature I wanted was a pocket to hold the light. I cut a piece of my fabric that was just slightly bigger than the tab on the light. I folded the edges under and pressed them. And my fabric melted. Take a break to play with the smiling baby. Ignore my double chin...I inherited (as did Sedona) the lack of a chin from my mother, whataya gonna do?

Back at the sewing table, I had a feeling things were headed downhill, so I just grabbed the nearest non-melty fabric and cut it to the right size (I eye-balled it this time)
I folded under the edges and pressed them Sewed a straight line across each short end so they wouldn't unravel And lined up where I wanted the pocket to go on the finished cover I sewed the pocket along both long sides, keeping both short sides open And this was the last time things were really going my way. The light fits in that pocket perfectly I put my kindle on top along with the elastic I planned to use to hold the kindle in place and noticed Problem #1. My math was way off somewhere and that pocket was too high. This is where things went wrong. Rather than taking the pocket off and sewing it lower (as I should have done), I forged ahead.

I taped my elastic where I wanted it to go (easier than pinning) and put the other piece of fabric on top (right sides together)
This is where things were so derailed, I stopped taking pictures. The short story: sewed around three sides, flipped it right side out and discovered Problem #2 My top elastic was too loose, I should've stretched it a little while sewing. And Problem #3 My bottom elastics were too short, they needed to be longer and higher up so they'd hold the kindle better. Keeping with that forge ahead mentality, I just sewed another elastic on there (which isn't at all neat...the ends aren't tucked into the seam now, not to mention there's not really anything holding the bottom of the kindle now). And Problem #4 I didn't make the cover wide enough to accommodate the width of the battery case on the light.

Still forging ahead, I put my stiffeners in there (I used cardboard from a diaper box: one piece for the back, one piece for the top and one piece for the front). I was on the right track here. I left space at the top of the kindle to fold the light over the top and I made the top stiffener wide enough to accommodate the width of the light. I slid in the back piece, sewed a seam as close to the top edge of that piece as I could get, slid in the top piece and sewed a seam as close to that as I could get, and then slid in the front piece. At that point, I should have folded in the top edges, slid my velcro tab in the middle and sewed across it. I knew the project was a bust at this point though, so I didn't bother folding them in and they'll probably fray horribly by tomorrow.

Because I didn't move that pocket, I ended up with my front piece being too short. Here's the finished product

And with it opened
And here it is in easel mode. Since the front piece is so short, my tab won't reach back to velcro and hold the keep the easel from sliding open

But it actually manages to stay open anyway
Overall, my theory was good, but my math was off. Actually, if I'd just moved that pocket lower when I realized it was too high and sewed the bottom elastic a little differently. Oh, and made it wider. Then, it would've been fine. All minor things really, but with 3 kids to look after, it took a long time to get all this done (all in one or two steps at a time), so I'm pretty frustrated with it. I'll probably try again (with a different fabric...I didn't like working with that stuff).

P.S. Grandma keeps asking if my kids are still alive. Yes, they are and we got along mostly okay for the weekend. We have changed up some of our rewards/punishments with the accountable kids program and I made a sign laying out the new guidelines we discussed (Sierra helped come up with it), complete with pictures for Sedona's sake, and we're starting fresh today.

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