Tuesday, August 4, 2015

iPad sleeve tutorial - another clothes upcycle

I've been trying to make things for my daughter's school carnival stall that kids will appreciate, so I figured plenty of kids have iPads, surely they'd like pretty covers for them!

So I made some iPad sleeves from old jeans, shorts and shirts!

I used the denim for the outer fabric, the shorts for the inner, and the old sports shirts for an extra layer of padding in the middle. I also used some left over scraps from previous clothes upcycles for the appliqué on the front.

So here's how to make a simple pretty iPad sleeve.

First cut your pieces. You will need.
6 rectangles 28 x 23 cm (11 x 9")
2 outer fabric, 2 inner (lining) fabric, 2 padding
You will also need a button, 
small length of elastic - a hair tie is ideal!
Some fusible webbing and scraps of fabric for the appliqué on the front.

First decide on your appliqué design. I chose hearts and printed outlines from my computer.  Iron on some fusible webbing to the back of your pretty scrap fabric, then draw your design on and cut out the pieces.

Following the instructions for your fusible webbing, iron your cut out pieces onto one of the outer pieces of fabric. For mine, you peel off the backing paper, place on your fabric then cover with a damp cloth before ironing for few seconds.
Then either appliqué stitch or use a tight zig zag stitch around the edges to hold more securely in place. (I find the glue weakens after a while and the appliqué pieces tend to peel if I don't stitch.)

Next you need to add the button fastening to the same front fabric piece. Place it centrally and 4 cm (1.5") down from the top edge and stitch into place.

Then pin and stitch your elastic on the top of the other outer piece centrally and with around 2.5 cm (1") of a loop sticking out over the top edge.

Now to stitch your pieces together.
First your outer and inside padding pieces.
Lay the outer pieces right sides together and then put a piece of the inner padding on either outside of these like so.

Pin then stitch around the side and bottom edges, leaving the top where you stitched your button and elastic, open.

Trim the seams close to your stitching.

Now take your inner (lining) fabric pieces and pin those right sides together along the side and bottom edges. This time leave a gap about 10 cm (4") wide in one of the sides. You will need this at the end to turn your sleeve right sides out.

Stitch remembering to leave the gap open.
Now turn your outer fabric and padded piece right sides out and slip inside your inner (lining) piece.

Push all the way in and line up the open raw edges at the top. Pin these together all the way around.

Stitch all the way around the top, then turn the sleeve right sides out through the gap you left in the side of the lining.

Make sure the raw edges are folded into the gap in the lining, then hand-stitch the opening closed.

Finally, push the lining inside the outer sleeve and make sure the opening is neat and in line. 

Top-stitch around the opening to hold both fabrics in place.

All done!
Slip in your iPad 

and fasten the button with the elastic loop!

I made a couple of different coloured appliqué heart sleeves.

They are nice and simple to make, so I will be making more of these for the stall.
Any suggestions for appliqué designs for the front are welcomed!!

Note: my daughters have Samsung Galaxy Tablets rather than iPads and they fit into these sleeves too!

I also made another design with a pocket from a pair of shorts on the front.

Which design is your favourite?

To see what else I've upcycled so far this year from old clothes for the school carnival stall,

Or if you are looking for more sewing tutorials, I have over 100 free tutorials available for all kinds of projects and all sewing ability levels on

I'll be linking this project to many of the fabulous linky parties whose pretty buttons are on the bottom of this page and whose direct links are on my linky party page.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Round Tuit 269

I can't believe it's August already!!
Time is just flying by this year!
I'm teaching again for the next couple of weeks, so nothing much exciting to report. Still trying to keep up with some sneaky sewing and blogging, so more posts and tutorials still coming so watch out for those!

For now - let's see what you've all been up to.


Welcome to this week's linky party. A place where you can link up your posts and creations, and be inspired by others.

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
First of all, these caught my eye and are on my 'to try' list now:
Mocha Quinoa Energy Bars from Pancake Warriors:

For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button here.
Creating my way to Success
Now it's your turn:
Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!
I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!
And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!
By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on this post next week.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Boxy Denim Pencil Cases a tutorial - another clothes upcycle

I still have plenty of scraps from the clothes I'm upcycling into things to sell at our school carnival this year.  This is another project to use up some of those denim jeans scraps.

My girls tell me they like this type of pencil case just now, rather than the large, flat ones I've made for them previously!

Here's how to make one.

You will need, denim jean (or other) scraps, fabric to line the pencil case and a zip - at least 26cm (10") long.

Cut 2 inner fabric rectangles 26 x 17 cm (10 x 6.75")
Cut 16 strips of denim, 17 x 4 cm (6.75 x 1.5"). I did 8 each of two colours, but you could do any combination and pattern of colours you choose!

Don't worry if some of your pieces have seams in them - I think this adds extra character to clothes upcycles, reminds you where they came from AND means less waste as you can use so much more of your clothes scraps this way!

Take your strips and stitch them together one by one along the long sides. Make sure you have right sides of the fabric facing and stitch using a 2/8" seam.

Continue until you have joined 8 strips together, then start again with the other 8.

You should now have your two outer rectangles to make your pencil case with.

Press all seams on the back of these rectangles open. This reduces bulk and makes it easier to sew.

Place your zip face down on the top long edge of one of your outer rectangles. Then place one of your inner rectangles face down on this. Your two fabrics should be right sides together with the zip sandwiched in between.

Pin along the top edge, making sure all three edges (two fabrics and the zip) are in line with each other.

Then using the zipper foot on your machine, stitch where you have pinned close to the zipper teeth.

Then open out your fabrics and pull back from the zip smoothing them flat. Top-stitch along the top fabric, close to the zip. This will keep the fabrics from getting caught in the zip as you open and close it.

Place this piece you have just stitched on top of the other inner fabric rectangle, so that both inner pieces are facing right sides together.

Now lay your other outer fabric rectangle face down on top of the whole thing.

Pin along the top edge, then as before, stitch using your zipper foot close to the zipper teeth. Then open out the fabric and pull back from the zip. Top-stitch down the other side of the zip.

Now fold the fabrics over so that the two outer pieces are facing each other and the two inner pieces are facing each other. Pin and stitch down the two outer edges as shown here.

Now reach in and open up your zip, then turn your pencil case so that it is inside out, still with the zip open.

Smooth out the two fabrics and lay flat so that the zip is on the top in the middle, running along the same line as the seam on the bottom. Pin both edges closed. Keep the zip open, but make sure the zipper teeth are touching at the open end of the zip.

Stitch along both edges, running backwards and forwards over the zip ends a few times to secure.

   Then using pinking shears trim the seam to prevent fraying, as this seam will remain exposed inside your pencil case.  Alternatively you could use a zigzag stitch along the seam or if you're lucky enough an overlocker (serger).

Now to make your pencil case 'boxy'!

Pinch each corner between your fingers like this to make a triangle.

Then flatten the triangle and sew in a straight line across it about 3 cm (1.25") in from the point.

Repeat this for all 4 corners. I usually run 2 or 3 lines of stitching on each corner to make it secure.

Trim each corner off with pinking shears. (or trim with regular scissors and finish the seam with a zig zag stitch or an overlocker/serger)

That's it! you're done. Turn your pencil case out and admire your work.

Here you can see the strip with the seam in on the side of the pencil case.

I love look of the boxed end of the case.

I made another different coloured striped pencil case like this, and also a plain brown denim one.  I will be making more using up more of my denim scraps for the carnival stall.

Do you or your kids prefer this boxy type pencil cases or the flat ones?  Here are the flat ones I made recently from old jeans.(tutorial link here)

To see what else I've made so far from old clothes for the school carnival stall, go here.

And for over 100 other free sewing tutorials I've made for sewing all kinds of things and all levels of sewing ability go to,

I shall be linking this post to many of the fabulous linky parties whose pretty buttons can be found on the bottom of this page and whose direct links can be found on my linky party page.