Do you often forget to toss your reusable shopping bags back into the car and then realize, once at the market, that you don’t have a bag to use? Do you then buy another… and another … and another, seemingly ad infinitum? Are you attracted to the most colorful bags on offer? Have you found yourself with an overabundance of bright plastic totes and, after much use, are many of them are coming apart at the seams? Sound familiar?
If you find yourself in this predicament, then you have most of what you need for this eco-crafty project. If you are an inveterate seamster like me, the rest of the ingredients come from your remnant stash and button bag.
This tutorial is specifically for making an iPad sleeve, but you can adjust the sizing to accommodate a Kindle, Nook, netbook, or any similar gadget.
Here is what you will need:
- One or more colorful plastic shopping totes (for the shell)
- A scrap piece of medium weight cotton fabric (for lining)
- A scrap piece of polar fleece or low loft quilt batting (for padding)
- A button
- 1-inch wide ribbon or handles from the shopping tote
- Your usual sewing equipment (shears, pins, thread, sewing machine, etc.)
Cut up your shopping tote into usable, flat pieces. For an iPad with a slim-line case, you will need one rectangular piece of tote bag that is about 12 x 18 inches. If your iPad has a bulkier case, you can add inches accordingly. If you do not have one continuous 12×18 inch piece, be creative and make a patchwork. Sew two pieces together, then fold the seam to one side and top stitch to flatten it (as pictured below).
Cut your lining fabric and your fleece the same size as your plastic shell.
Next, fold the shell piece cross-wise (so the two short ends meet), right sides to the inside, and stitch down the one long side and across the bottom, with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Trim the seam to about 1/4 inch.
Sandwich together the lining with the padding and fold crosswise with right sides of lining to the inside. Stitch together as above, but with a hair wider seam allowance. This will allow the padded lining to easily fit inside the shell. Trim the seam to about 1/4 inch.
Trim an inch of the padding away from the top of the padded lining.
Fold the top edge of the lining down an inch, over the padding, and pin (do not hem yet as some adjustment may be needed).
Turn the outer shell right side out. Fold the top edge in an inch and hem.
To make a button tab, I used a piece of the tote handle, but a piece of 1-inch wide ribbon or finished fabric will do as well. Fold the tab to a triangular point, as shown below, and stitch across the base and around the edges of the triangle. Baste this button tab to the inside edge of your shell, at the center of the back, as shown.
Slip the padded lining inside the shell, matching the side seams, and see how it fits. If the lining seems too bulky, seam it a little farther in (just a hair) and try again. You’ll get there!
Stitch the padded lining to the shell, all the way around the top. Run a few extra lines of stitching across the base of the button tab to ensure it holds tight.
Lastly, sew a colorful button on the front at top and you are done!
These make awesome gifts for your technology-loving friends.
And what could be greener than re-using a reusable shopping bag?
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