Monday, January 22, 2018

Easy Sew DIY Felt Kindle Cover with Scrabble Monogram

My new Christmas Kindle Paperwhite needed a place to call home when not in use and sewing a fold-over felt sleeve is such an easy craft project that I decided to DIY my own. Quality felt is naturally padded, soft on screens, and simple to sew since it doesn't require hemming.  To dress it up a little, I made a scrabble tile inspired monogram applique of my initial. I wanted something reading-related and Instagram friends will know I like playing with Scrabble tiles. :) Easy and cute!

To make your own similar Kindle cover, you will need quality felt, a small piece of elastic, coordinating thread, scissors, a rotary cutter and board (not essentials, but makes the job so much easier!), and basic sewing equipment. The case can be fully hand sewn, but is much quicker to make if the outside edges are machine sewn.

I opted for a soft heathered grey wool felt for the case - it's lovely and thick and bought by the meter so the case could be made from a single piece folded and joined at the edges.  For a little extra pizzaz, I added a dark grey felt liner. You can line the full case if you wish, but I opted for the back side only to give the fold-over flap a little extra style and reinforcement. I also backed the scrabble tile in the same dark grey to tie the accents together visually.

Sizing the case:
  • Measure and cut felt to size for your case. The sleeve shown is made from a single exterior piece of felt sized to approximately 2 and 1/2 times the length of my Kindle and is the width of the kindle plus seam allowances at each side. The internal lining (optional) is used on the back side only and is cut just slightly smaller than the exterior felt. 
To create a basic sleeve, the felt needs to wrap around the Kindle (or other electronic device/tablet) and fit semi-snug. Don't forget your seam allowances! If you are including a fold-over flap, as shown, the back needs to extend long enough to fold over the top and extend long enough to be held in place. If you are using a large enough piece of felt, it can be folded from a single piece (as shown) or two pieces can be joined at the bottom (include extra for the seam allowances). 
  • Optional: Cut to slightly round the corners of your fold over (as shown). Use a template object to trace a curve and ensure both sides are evenly rounded.
  • Cut a piece of elastic to fit the width of your felt with extra for sewing into the seams. 
  • Set aside while you prepare the monogram.

Creating the monogram:
  • Cut a small piece of beige felt to desired size. Since a real tile size would be very tricky for felt lettering (although you can embroider if you'd like), I upped the side of my felt tile so that the thickness of my L would look similar to the width of my elastic for a cohesive design.  Cut small pieces of black felt for the letter and number. Tip: Small piece of felt can be tricky, you can rough cut and then do a tidy-up trim after attaching if that helps with cutting, positioning, and sewing.
  • Hand sew the letter and number to your beige felt tile. Trim if/as needed.
  • Optional: Sew the beige felt tile to a complimentary slightly larger square felt backing, if you wish, as shown. I used blanket stitching as it's a favourite of mine for working with felt.
  • Check positioning on the yet-to-be-sewn case for your monogram and pin to secure in place. Sew the monogram onto the case felt.

Creating the case:
  • Layer your felt if using the optional liner (as shown) and fold into position for sewing. 
  • Check positioning for your elastic and mark. Do NOT sew the seams together at these points at this stage. 
  • Working upwards from the bottom fold, sew along the seam line to join the side edges, taking care to smoothly join up the seam lines when they meet.  Leave small gaps at the marked points for adding elastic.
  • Position elastic so that the attaching ends are concealed behind the internal liner (if used) and the outside piece of elastic is the width of the case without slack. Sew (can be machine or hand), taking care to ensure that the outside piece of elastic is free of the seam line. This is a little trickier to do on the second side as elastic needs to be lifted out of the way while you sew, but can still be done carefully on a machine if you're not need to sew by hand (it's just a few stitches either way) by positioning the elastic free of the foot and holding it clear of the thread/needle.

A few thoughts on my new Kindle: I am a lover of real paper books, so when Santa tucked a Kindle under the tree, I wasn't sure how I'd like it. I've read on devices before, primarily iBooks while travelling for the convenience of carrying a luggage-free mini library on a device I'd already be taking, but didn't really read e-books other than whilst travelling. The Kindle was intended for reading at home. Books are expensive here (one of the reasons I love The Book Depository so much) and I read very quickly, so it's hard to justify a trashy novel. The Kindle is small and light with a great charge life, but best of all it it doesn't have screen glare/reflection like most devices so I can read outdoors. I you have an Amazon Prime account in an eligible location, you can borrow a book per month from the Prime eligible lending libraryTry Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial) or more books via separate subscription ( Try the Kindle Unlimited Membership Plan). I'm still working out what the best fit will be for me as library services in our location are rather poor compared to some of the options open to other regions (any happy users with recommendations?). I'm also definitely not ready to give up real paper books, but I do think that this can be a happy middle ground for grabbing a quick read. 

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