Starter Craft: sew the world's easiest Kindle Touch Cover!
Looking for a great starter sewing project - one that's easy and has great, functional results? Try out my easiest-ever tutorial for making a Kindle cover - and work on basic skills like threading your sewing machine, attaching a button and choosing complementary fabric.
This Christmas I received a Kindle Touch. I don't use it 100% of the time (still love the crazy old books at my local library!), but it's been useful to me in ways I would never have imagined. Yay for technology!
Problem is, I haven't been taking care of it the way I should have. I finally decided that I needed to take a few hours and make this dang thing a cover!
After trawling the entire internet (or did it just feel that way?), I got fed up with some of the wacky bells and whistles people lather on to their Kindle covers. I don't need it to stand up or involve elastic - I just need it to work, darn it!
In response, I came up with this tutorial - the world's easiest Kindle Touch cover. There are no crazy materials, just stuff you can get at any craft store.
- One piece of dark-colored cotton broadcloth, measuring at least 18.5" (47 cm) x 8 inches (20.3 cm). I used a Kaffe Fassett for Rowan fabric from the master's Floating Flowers Voile collection.
- One piece of light-colored cotton broadcloth, measuring at least 18.5" (47 cm) x 8 inches (20.3 cm). I used an out-of-print Japanese quilting cotton from the sadly defunct Reprodepot online shop. Improvise!
- One piece of thin cotton quilt batting (or wadding, in the UK) - 18" (45.7 cm)x 7" (17.8 cm).
- Thread to match your darker fabric.
- A scrap of ribbon, equal or less than .5"/1cm in diameter. I love upcycling so I used a cherished concert wristband that matched my outer fabric.
- One button, diameter equal or greater than one inch (2.5 cm)
- Sewing machine - it's possible to do this project by hand, though! Just follow the instructions and use a backstitch where machine stitching is specified.
- Iron and ironing board
- Hand needle and thread.
2. Put your two pieces of fabric right sides together and lay them flat on a table. Place your piece of batting so that it lies on top, equidistant from all sides. Pin, with the pins perpendicular to the side of the fabric. This helps your machine to go over them without the metal-on-metal contact that can lead to broken needles and bent pins.
3. Cut a 5" (12 cm) piece of your ribbon. Hold it so that it forms a loop. Squeezing the bottom ends together, position the loop so that the raw ends are even with the outer border of the fabric sandwich, between the two pieces of cotton fabric. Pin the ends in place (see diagram.)
Above: here's an X-ray view of how your loop will look inside the fabric sandwich - and here's a diagram of where you'll be sewing. Stitching over the batting will keep it in place when you turn your sandwich right side out.
4. Load your machine with your matching thread. Set your machine so that your stitch size is on the small size (but not too tiny! Experiment on some scrap cloth if necessary - you want a stout seam with a lot of grip, but without creating stitches that are invisible to the naked eye.)
Starting midway on one of the longer sides of your rectangular sandwich, stitch through all three layers as close to edge of the batting as possible (see photo). Aim to be 1/4" at most from the edge of the batting. Go all around the perimeter of the batting, stopping when you're 4 inches from your first stitch. Reverse to lock your stitches, sewing outside your main stitch path. Cut your thread, leaving a 6" tail.
Right: a nicely trimmed corner - trimmed close to the thread, but not exposing or cutting into it.
5. Trim your corners! This will make having nice clean corners on your finished Kindle cover possible.
6. Turn your work inside out. Using a pair of scissors (closed!) or a not-terribly sharp pointed object (knitting needles are ace for this), poke your corners out from the inside. Stop when they resemble right angles on the outside.
7. Using a hand needle and thread, sew the opening in the seam shut - I used a whipstitch.
8. Flatten your piece - then press it with a hot iron. Press the lighter side first, then the darker side.
9. Grab your Kindle, and play around with where you want the upper flap to start.
10. Once you're happy with the coverage of your flap, pin the sides of the main part of your cover. Again, place the pins perpendicular to the side of the fabric.
11. Starting in the lower right hand corner of your cover, stitch in a u-shape, stitching one side closed, then over the three sides of the flap, then closing the second side. Stop stitching, leaving a tail. Cut the thread and, using the hand needle and thread, sew in your machine ends.
12. Try out your cover - it should fit your Kindle with an inch or so of ease. That way if you want to put anything else in the case - a microfiber cloth for keeping your Kindle clean, for example, or a small notebook - you can.
13. With your Kindle still in the case, grab a pin. Pull your ribbon closure a bit so that the flap shuts comfortably, without folding over of the top edge of the Kindle cover, and without being so loose that the Kindle can move vertically. Place a pin where you want your button to go, so that the ribbon closure will remain taut in this position.
14. Grab your button. Sew it to the front of your Kindle cover. If it's the kind with holes, as opposed to a shank, use the method described for use with thicker fabrics here.
15. Try out your cover...is the button creating a secure fastening with the ribbon loop? If so, you're good to go! If not, try repositioning and resewing the button.
A note: this tutorial is based on a starting device size of 5 x 7" (12.5 cm x 17.8 cm). If your device is wider, add that amount to the width of your starting rectangles. Ditto if it's longer. This is called a Kindle Touch tutorial because it's what I've got - but you can tweak it to fit any make or model. If you adapt it for the Kindle Fire, however, consider using thicker batting and stouter fabric to protect that device's more delicate screen.
If you've got any questions about this tutorial, please post 'em in the comments section - I'll be happy to help!
See more of Ellen's creative work over at Little White Bird. And please treat your Touch with caution - just because it's in a case doesn't mean it's indestructible!
[This pattern is copyright Ellen Lindner 2012. Not for commercial use.]