Isn’t this little guy just the cutest? Of course this is an adorable combination of an old school Gameboy mixed with a Mudkip from Pokemon, and I just love the mashup of bright colors with the vintage Nintendo feel! Before you read on, however, I warn that you must prepare yourself. This is probably the most involved project I’ve posted so far, as it has *24* steps 😄 The steps are easy to follow, but this little guy might take you more than a few afternoons.
The story behind the gamekip is as such: My boyfriend has finally been able to get himself a new tablet! Even though he wanted an iPad, he made a financial compromise and got a Nexus 7 instead 🙂 My boyfriend it a total technophile, so he’s very picky when it comes to his electronics. He’s already gotten a super-tough shell case for the tablet, but he wanted a soft case for transporting the tablet too. This way the hard case couldn’t crush anything or come loose in his bag or something. ALSO, he insisted that the case must have a button closure (so there’s no scratching or hard pressing as with snaps, Velcro, or zippers), an inner pocket (with Velcro flap!) for his stylus, and a pocket on the back to hold his cord and charger. It’s all those details that make this project so involved. And (luckily for him ^-~) I was happy to do it, because I’m a fellow technophile and I would want all those things for my own tablet case if it were me.
All of these specifications worked perfectly with the Gameboy theme that my boyfriend wanted. The Mudkip dorsal fin worked perfectly as a closing flap, and the battery case on the back was the perfect storage space for his cords and charger.
So if you have a tablet in need of a home, and you too are a very discerning technophile, I hope you’ll give this project a try, even if it takes a whole weekend to finish x3! Considering the dimensions, it would likely fit all 7” (Kindle Fire, Nook, etc.) tablets with some wiggle room, or if you too put your tablet in a hard shell first, it would fit more snuggly.
I used scraps of fleece to put this together, as it’s already cushy so it makes a perfect material for a soft case. Though I can see making this from other light to medium weight fabrics as well, like cotton or a light twill if you prefer.
Materials & Tools:
• ¼ yd. of electric blue fleece (other light to medium weight fabrics would also work, but are less cushy)
• ¼ yd. of light blue fleece (other light to medium weight fabrics would also work, but are less cushy)
• 7” x 10” scrap of orange fleece (other light to medium weight fabrics would also work, but are less cushy)
• ⅓ yd. of lightweight fabric for lining (I used quilting cotton)
• 8” matching blue zipper (at least)
• 1” piece of ¾” wide velcro
• About ⅝” button
• Matching sewing thread
• Basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)
• 8” x 10” scrap of navy appliqué fabric (cotton or felt)
• 4” x 3” scrap of black appliqué fabric (cotton or felt)
• 2” x 2” scrap of white appliqué fabric (cotton or felt)
• 2” x 4” scrap of orange appliqué fabric (cotton or felt)
• 8” x 10” scrap of electric blue appliqué fabric (cotton or felt)
• 8” x 20” piece of light or heavy duty fusible web
Before you begin:
1. Print out the project pattern here
2. Assemble the pattern pieces, see the page here for more help
3. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out
4. Mark the fabric pieces with the markings from the pattern
1. To start creating the front of the case, begin by lining up one of your case top pieces to the case bottom front piece along the notched edge. The raw edges and notches should match up, then sew the two pieces together. Open up the seam and press it flat in preparation for the next step.
2. Next we’re doing all the front appliqué. Apply fusible web to your appliqué pieces and either iron them on with heavy duty fusible web, or iron then sew them on with light fusible web following the placement guidelines from the pattern. Sew them on with a straight or zigzag stitch; I used a zigzag stitch here.
3. Next we’re making the dorsal fin of the Mudkip. Start by applying the fin appliqué on each side of the fin. Do this similarly to step 2, where you iron the appliqué fabric on and possibly sew it in place. Follow the pattern guidelines to get the right placement, and repeat with the other fin piece.
4. When both fin pieces are appliquéd, sew them together along the curved edge, leaving the bottom straight edge free for turning it right side out. Remember that the seam allowance is ⅜” here because the piece is so tiny. Turn the fin right side out and press it lightly.
5. With your fin freshly pressed, next you’ll need to sew a buttonhole into the center. Use the pattern guidelines to get a good idea of where it should go, but ultimately the length and size of your buttonhole depends on the button you choose. Use the buttonhole function on your machine to get it just right.
7. Next up we’re making the mudkip’s adorable little cheek flaps. Take two of your cheek flap pieces and line up the raw edges. Sew the pieces in place along the curved edge, leaving the straight edge open for turning it right side out. Don’t forget here that the seam allowance is ⅜” to accommodate such a tiny piece. Trim the excess seam allowance fabric, and clip the inner corners, then turn the flap right side out and press it lightly.
8. Just like the dorsal fin, next we’re basting the cheek flaps in place. Line them up against the right and left side of the case front, using the pattern guidelines for help. Then baste them in place within your seam allowances. Now pat yourself on the back! That completes the tablet front and you’re ⅓ of the way there!
9. To start the back of the tablet case, we’re making the battery pack pocket. Begin by sewing the bottom pieces. Take your bottom center piece and bottom right piece and match up the single-notched edges. Sew along these edges to create the first half. Then, take your bottom left piece and match up the double-notched edges. This creates the main shape of your bottom back half, and should be similar to the one for the front (but reversed). Open up the seam allowances and press them flat.
11. With your appliqué all complete, next we’re installing a zipper in the battery pack. We’re doing a centered zipper method, so first we’re sewing the bottom back and the remaining case top piece together. Line up the edges and the single notches should match up just like in step 1. Begin sewing regularly until you reach the first seam from your bottom back, then switch to a long basting stitch until you reach the next seam, then switch back to a regular stitch. Your finished seam should have long stitches in the middle section, then regular length stitches on each end. When complete, open up the seam allowances and press them flat.
12. Just as with a typical centered zipper approach, you’ll want to lay your zipper right side down upon your open seam allowance. Using a zipper foot if you have one, or sewing close to the zipper teeth, sew down one side of the zipper, then move your zipper slider towards the middle of the zipper. Pivot 90˚ and sew through the zipper to get to the other side when you reach the seam from the bottom back, pivot again and sew down the other side of the zipper. Pivot 90˚ and sew down through the zipper one last time when you reach the end, and you should have encapsulated your zipper teeth in a neat little rectangle for the back of your tablet case. Trim off the excess zipper tape, then pull out the basting stitches from step 11 to expose your zipper.
13. With your zipper all complete, you’ll want to make the pocket functional by applying a lining to the back. Layer your case back over one of your lining pieces with both right sides facing up, then baste them together along the edges. When this was complete, I also topstitched above the zipper and through the bottom back seams, so the pocket was restricted to only the battery case area. Now take another well-deserved break if you need one because you’ve finished the back, and you’re halfway done!
14. With the front and back complete, you’re now free to sew them together, so they’ll be good and ready for the lining in step 22. Match up the straight side edges of your case front and back, and sew down the one side.
15. Now to tackle the inner lining, which includes a neat little pocket for holding a stylus if you have one for your tablet. Start by matching up your remaining lining pieces and sewing them together along their one straight side edge, similar to what you just did in step 14. Open up the seam allowance and press it flat.
16. Next we’re creating the stylus pocket. Take the two pocket pieces and layer them right sides together. Sew along the perimeter of the pocket piece, remembering to leave an opening where the pattern indicates for turning it right side out. Clip the corners and curves of your seam allowances, turn the pocket right side out, tuck under the seam allowances from your previous opening, and press the pocket flat.
17. To go alongside the pocket is the flap. Layer the flap pieces together with wrong sides facing and sew them together, leaving one short edge free for turning it right side out. Clip the seam allowance corners, turn the flap right side out, and press it flat.
18. Next we’re attaching the Velcro to both the pocket and the flap. Use the pattern guidelines to find the right placement, then apply the hook side to the flap and the loop side to the pocket with a straight stitch going all the way around the Velcro square.
19. To give your pocket some depth, we’re going to be sewing the dart at the bottom. Following the dart marking on the pattern, fold the pocket in half to match up the dart legs, then sew the legs together to finish the dart.
20. This part is a mite trickier. With your main lining pieces sewn together, the markings from the lining should match up more or less to provide a guideline for your pocket. You’ll want to sew your pocket along this guideline, allowing it to bend so it fits along the lines. You’ll see that the pocket will stick out slightly to make this happen, which will give it room to accommodate the stylus. Sew the pocket in place by edge stitching, and it should close up the opening from the pocket you left in step 16.
21. Now to attach the flap above it so it holds everything in. Line up about the flap with the guideline on the pattern about ¼” in from the raw edge, then sew it in place. Fold the flap down and sew it again, covering up your raw edges. Now pat yourself on the back, because you just finished the lining! Just 3 more steps to go and this baby is finished!
Putting it all Together
22. To start attaching the lining to the outer fabric, begin by matching up the top edges of your lining and outer case pieces. Sew along this edge, then open and press the seam allowances. You should have one big ol’ square with the outer case pieces on one half and the lining on the other half.
23. Now fold your square in half so that the lining matches up with the lining and the outer fabric with the outer fabric. Sew along this edge, being sure to leave an opening in the lining (as the pattern indicates) for turning it right side out. Clip the corners of your seam allowances, turn it right side out, and tuck under the seam allowances from the opening in the lining. Press the outer fabric section, and also the opening in the lining. Sew the opening closed either with a hand-sewn ladder stitch, or by machine.
24. We’re onto the last step! Start by tucking your lining down into your outer case and pressing the top edge so it’s nice and neat. We’re sewing on the button last, and to get the best fit I put my tablet in the case, then flipped over the fin to see what was the best placement. You’ll want to mark that spot with a fabric marker and sew your button on that spot. Now enjoy your new case, because you are finally DONE!
Whew! That was kind of a marathon, but hopefully now you have an awesome new case for your tablet.
Do you have any tablet case styles that you prefer? Are you also an extra-picky technophile? Let me know in the comments!
I hope you enjoy making this project, please feel free to let me know if you have any problems, questions, or comments about it!
And if you do try making the project, I’d love to see it! And I’ll send you exclusive free patterns as a reward!