One would hope you all know what I’m saying ^-~ But for those of you who don’t, I suppose I should let my nerd flag fly for a bit here. Today’s project is inspired by the book to rival all books: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “The guide,” as written by the funny late author Douglas Adams in the achingly witty sci-fi novel of the same name, is an electronic book created by one of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor, that can show you how to see the marvels of the universe for less than forty Altairan dollars a day.
That’s right, electronic books were thought of as early as 1979, and this project is a nod to the fact that the actual guide would probably be a lot like the Nooks, Kindles, and iPads we carry around today ^-^ I personally made this one to fit my Nook snugly, but I can see this case also fitting just about any other 7” tablets. Be sure to check the dimensions of your tablet to be sure, though.
Materials & Tools:
• ⅓ yd. of light to medium weight fabric for case (stiff cotton or light twill would be perfect – I used interfaced faux suede)
• 11⅜” x 8⅜” piece of super heavyweight interfacing, must be very stiff, like cardboard (the brand you find may differ, but I used a brand called Peltex)
• 9¾” length of ⅜” elastic
• Matching sewing thread
• Basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)
• Complementing fabric paint for the outside writing
• 6” x 8” piece of freezer paper for the paint stencil
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. First we’re making the corners that help hold your tablet inside the case. For each of the case corners, fold the fabric square diagonally with wrong sides facing, then iron the triangles flat. Line those triangles against each corner of your Inner Case – Right piece, so all the raw edges are lining up. Then baste all the triangles in place by sewing around the perimeter of the inner case piece.
2. To finish the inner part of your case, you’ll want to sew the left and right sides of the inner case together. Keep in mind that we’re going to sew this seam with a basting stitch so you can open up the seam later to turn the case right side out.
With that said, line up the raw edges of the Inner Case – Right and Inner Case – Left, matching up the single notches. This is to ensure that you’re lining up the long edges of the pieces. When you go to sew them together, sew at the usual stitch length for about ⅝”. Then switch to a basting stitch, your longest stitch length, as you sew down the rest of the length of the pieces. Before you finish, switch back to a normal stitch length again about ⅝” before you reach the end. When the seam is complete, iron it towards the left side of the inner case, away from the section with the corner tabs. Be sure not to iron it open.
3. Before we sew the outer case, we’re going to attach some elastic to it so you’ll have a way to hold your case shut when you finish. Take your length of elastic and baste each end to your outer case where the pattern guidelines indicate. Do this from the right side of your fabric, and when you finish it should just look like you have a strip of elastic going flush down the side of your outer case. It’s simple but it works!
4. With all the little details complete, you can now sew the inside of your case to the outside. Layer the pieces together and match up all the raw edges. Then sew around the entire perimeter of the case.
When you finish, clip the corners and trim the seam allowances down to about ¼”. Then using your seam ripper, carefully open up the seam you made in the middle all the way across. Use this opening to turn your case right side out. Poke the corners so they look nice and crisp, then iron the whole thing so all the edges are sharp.
5. From the opening in the center that you made, this also where you’ll be inserting your Peltex. Start to push it in with the adhesive side facing the outside of the case. Since interfacing of this type is a little flexible, use that to your advantage to shift it into place. It should be a really snug fit when you get it pushed into all the corners. When you have it *exactly* how you want it, take this opportunity to iron the interfacing and fuse the adhesive so the outside of your case will stay looking just how you want it 😀
6. With the interfacing all snug, you can then sew the opening closed. Lay the seam back the way it was before you ripped it open, and edge stitch down the fold, anchoring it in place. This is the first of two seams you’ll be doing that creates the spine of your case, as you can see from the pattern guidelines.
7. Now we do the second of the seams that creates the spine for the case. This one is ½” away from the first, going towards the left of the case. Check the pattern guidelines to see what I mean. Sew down the entire length of the case as before.
8. Usually for my other projects I would have you appliqué or paint your motif towards the beginning of your project, while the fabric is still flat and easy to work with. But for this project, it is very important that the finished motif be centered nicely on your case, and it’s easy for the fabric to shift in an unsavory way that could make your placement look bad. So for this project I said no to appliqué and a definite yes to paint, as you can do it when the case is complete.
With that said, check out the fabric painting tutorial to get the knitty gritty. But the last step involves applying a freezer paper paint stencil to your outside case. Use the paper pattern as a placement guideline, and try your best to get it centered as nicely as possible. Now go on some galaxy-roving adventure because YOU’RE DONE!
So please tell me there are some fellow hitchhikers out there so I don’t feel so lonely >w< I hope maybe you’ll give the books a try so it’ll give you a stronger reason to give this project a whirl ^o^ You could always make it with another painted motif, as the case itself is a nice little cushion for your tablet.
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!
So long, and thanks for all the fish!