iPad Tech Case


How to Make a Tech Case with Shea Henderson of Empty Bobbin and Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Co. Shea and MSQC’s Jenny show us how to make a custom case for any tablet that is quick, easy, and perfectly fitted to your device.

For more details click here: http://land.missouriquiltco.com/ipad-case

Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Jenny: Hi, it’s Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and I’m here today with Shea Henderson from Empty Bobbin Studios. Hi, Shea.

Shea: Hi, Jenny. Thanks for having me.

Jenny: Oh, it’s awesome. And you just actually have a new book, too?

Shea: Yes, yes. It’s called School of Sewing and today we’re actually making one of the projects from that.

Jenny: That’s very cool.  It’s a great little book.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: So what do we need to make this project?

Shea: Sure. We’re making the Tech Case from the book, which is a customizable fitted…

Jenny: It’s going to look like this.

Shea: Yeah. It’s for your iPad or a Tablet.  Yes.

Jenny: So awesome. Slide it right in there.

Shea: Yes. And it’s got a button hole. You’re going to learn to use your buttonhole foot. This is very exciting.

Jenny: Oh, that’s huge. Yes.

Shea: Hahaha

Jenny: I am actually very excited about that myself.  So, what, what do we need to make it?

Shea: Ok. You need some fat quarters and we’re using this bundle from Cotton and Steel, but we used four fat quarters of fabric for the inside, the outside, the pocket, all that will be in four fat quarters.  We’re also going to be using some fusible fleece and we’re going to be using some woven interfusible interfacing.  Some people call it Shape Flex, some people know it as SF101.

Jenny:  Haha, the numbers.

Shea: Yes, so, we’re going to be using those types of interfacing today.  The other thing you’re going to need is a button, and the button is anywhere between five-eighths of an inch to an inch and we’re just going to choose a fun, colorful button.

Jenny: So a nice big button?

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: That’s awesome.

Shea: Exciting.  So the other thing you’re going to need is this printable template that’s on our website and it’s also available there with a formula page for a fill in the blank sheet for figuring out the measurements for your cutting and you’re going to want to go ahead and cut that template and we’ll use it here in just a minute to cut some fabric.

Jenny: That’s really cool.  So that will be available on the site?

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: Alright, perfect. Perfect.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: So, what do we do now?

Shea: Now we have to measure the device and the important rule is the all important: measure twice cut once comes into play here.

Jenny: Oh yeah, haha.

Shea: So, we’re going to measure with three dimensions on your device and you’re going to want to write these down.  This is all available on the printable template, so don’t worry if you feel like we’re, we’re kind of skipping around, but it’s all on the fill in the blank sheet.

Jenny: Well, one of the cool things about this is that all of us have different size devices.

Shea: Exactly.

Jenny: So you… and actually you could use this for anything that you wanted a little pocket for.

Shea: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Jenny: And it’s…

Shea: and, yep.

Jenny: Once you know the size…

Shea: Yep, exactly.

Jenny: Perfect.

Shea: So we’re going to measure and I’m just going to use a ruler.  So we’re using the width of the device and you’re always going to want to round up to the nearest quarter inch.  You never want to ever round down.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: ‘Cause…

Jenny: I don’t ever want to say like that, “sixteen-fifteenths”.

Shea: No, nope, nobody likes to do that. No.

Jenny: Hahaha, no.

Shea: No, we don’t have time for that. So, we always want to round up, you never want to round down because you would make an iPad sleeve that doesn’t fit your device.

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: And that would be bad.

Jenny: That would be bad.

Shea: So if you, if you find that it’s like right at the quarter inch mark, go ahead and bump it up to the next one just to be on the safe side, but you’re going to measure the width and the height and also the thickness, so laying it flat and putting it down here and getting it at eye level, and you want to measure the thickness of your device and write those three numbers down.

Jenny: K, perfect.

Shea: And now we’re done measuring, which is exciting.  So we’re going to…

Jenny: Just going to set this down here.

Shea: Ok.

Jenny: Don’t forget it.

Shea: Ok, that’s perfect.

Jenny: I know, they’re our lives.  Our lives are on that.

Shea: Yes, I would not forget that.  So, you’re noticing we’re going to have two different shapes or two different sizes cut.  The, the interfacing and the fleece we’re actually going to cut a little bit smaller and I’ll explain why here in a minute, but we’re going to make some cuts on fabric for the exterior, the interior, and the pocket and to cut those, we’re going to make four numbers here.  Measurement A, if you’ll hang with me, is the width plus the depth plus one inch.  I’ll repeat that.  The Measurement A is the width plus the depth plus one inch which gives us our seam allowance.  That’s Measurement A.  Measurement B is going to be the height plus the depth plus an inch.  So the height and the depth and an inch gives us measurement B.  Ok, so you got Measurement A and Measurement B, and then measurement C and D is what we’ll use for here.  Measurement C is simply the width and the depth–we’re not adding an inch there.  Ok.  That’s measurement C, width and depth.  Measurement D is the height and the depth–you’re not going to add the inch.

Jenny: Now, this, you know, I’m not a numbers girl.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: So, this all sounds a little bit overwhelming to me, but you have this cool page…

Shea: Uh-huh

Jenny: …that they can print out and put their numbers.

Shea:  Fill in the blank, yep.

Jenny: Oh, that’ awesome.

Shea:  And it’s simple math.

Jenny: It’s just a fill in the blank page.

Shea: Simple math.  We’re not doing anything with sixteenths or seven-eighths or anything like that.

Jenny: Haha, thank heaven.

Shea: Very simple. So you’re going to fill those in.  Now for the measurement A and B. So, for instance, if mine was nine and eleven.  So, I would cut nine inches by eleven inches for two linings, two exterior pieces, and then one pocket. Ok.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: That’s the A and the B.  And then we’re going to put that to the side and we’re going to do the C and the D measurement.  So, if it was nine and eleven, we’re going to be cutting eight by ten.

Jenny: Ok, so just an inch smaller.

Shea: So just one inch smaller, uh-huh.

Jenny: Perfect.

Shea: And we’re going to cut two, actually three, of the woven fusible interfacing and four from the fusible fleece…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …which seems like a lot, but I’ll explain why we’re doing that for.

Jenny: So we need two, two outside bag pieces, two lining pieces, one pocket piece?

Shea: Yes.

Jenny: And then you need two of your fusible fleece and three…

Shea: Four.

Jenny: Oh, four of your fusible fleece.

Shea: Four, which seems like a lot.

Jenny: And then…

Shea: Three of those.

Jenny: Three of your, of your, of this…

Shea: Woven…

Jenny: …really woven, Shape Flex.

Shea: Which is really my favorite interfacing.

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: I use it all the time.  And then the last thing you’re going to cut is this flap since we need a flap for our Tablet cover and you’re going to use that template page and cut out the template and you’re going to cut along the dotted line.  We’ll get to the solid line a little bit later, but you’re going to cut one lining, one exterior, which kind of is an accent color…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …and then one from the woven…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …and one from the fusible fleece.

Jenny: Ok, perfect. So, how do we get started?

Shea: Alright, then we start fusing all the things.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: The thing you want to do here, and I’ll use the pocket as an example over here and fuse.

Jenny: Alright. Let me scoot this.

Shea: And then when we…

Jenny: Let me move it a little bit so we can see what we’re doing here.

Shea: Sounds good.  And if you remember that we had those measurements and they were, like, an inch off, when we fuse the interfacing to the back of it, there’s going to be a little bit of fabric, actually, a half an inch, all the way around, and the reason I like to do that is it kind of reduces the bulk…

Jenny: Sure.

Shea: …on the inside of the project.  Makes it a little easier to sew.  So that’s our pocket and then you’re also going to fuse that with the lining the same way, so that gives up all of our woven interfacing.  And then when it comes time to do the fusible fleece on the exterior to make it nice and thick and padded, we’re going to sew, not sew, but fuse fusible fleece to the inside and we’re going to use two layers and we’re not going to fuse them all at the same time, we’re going to fuse one, let it cool down for a second, and then fuse the other one.

Jenny: Oh very cool, ok.

Shea: Ok. And my iron sometimes doesn’t like to touch the fusible fleece even if it’s the non-fusible side.  And we’re going to make sure the bumpy side is touching the wrong side of the fabric.

Jenny: Ok, bumpy, bumpy, bumps to the wrong side.

Shea: Bumpy is the glue and I like to kind of flip this over and fuse on the fabric side.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: Sometimes my iron likes that a little better.

Jenny: I think the irons of the world will thank you.

Shea: Hahaha

Jenny: Hahaha

Shea: Haha, sometimes my iron spits water at me and it gets mad, haha.

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: Alright so the next one, we’re going to let it cool for just a second.  Kind of wave it around.

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: Yeah, and we’ll do the second layer.  You just want to lay it right on top and, again, there’s that half inch all the way around so that we don’t have to sew through that later on, which is kind of nice.  Sometimes it’s hard to sew through lots of thick layers, so…

Jenny: Ok, so then to recap this.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: What we’ve got is we’ve got the two exterior pieces that have two layers of our fusible fleece.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: We have a pocket that has the Shape Flex.

Shea: Yes.

Jenny: And we have our lining that also has the Shape Flex and just one layer on those.

Shea: Just one layer, yep.

Jenny: And so two pieces of that.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny:  And then we have our little flap right here and the, again the lining has the Shape Flex and the outside piece is where you put the fusible.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: So you’re always putting your fusible on the outside.

Shea: And the flap only has one layer of fusible fleece.

Jenny: Oh, ok.

Shea: Yeah, but yes.

Jenny: That’s good.

Shea: Yes, it does have the fusible fleece.

Jenny: Alright, so the flap has one layer and then this is going to be your, your lining piece, correct?

Shea: Uh-huh.

Jenny: Right?

Shea: That’s good.

Jenny: Perfect.  So now, what do we do next?

Shea: Now we’re going to get to some really exciting stuff where we get to customize this to fit what we want, so we’re going to make this pocket.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: If you’ll grab the pocket piece…

Jenny: There’s the pocket piece.

Shea: Yes. We are just going to fold it wrong sides together…

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: …and give it a little press, and you can kind of decide if you want that little divided part in the pocket to fit maybe your phone or cords or maybe if you have a stylus or a pen you like to use…

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: …you can always stick that down in there.  What we’re going to do, if you’ll hand me one of the exterior pieces…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …I’ll just kind of show a before and after here.

Jenny:  And the exterior’s the one with the foam.

Shea: Yep.  So we’re going to–or the fleece–and we’re going to take this and put it raw edges along the sides and bottom, and this is the folded part, right here.

Jenny: That’s ingenious.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: That’s awesome.

Shea: So, it’s kind of lined on the inside and outside all in one step.

Jenny: So should I sew…

Shea: Uh-huh.

Jenny: … a top stitch on this first?

Shea: Yep. We’re going to topstitch right across the top.

Jenny: Let me do that real quick here…

Shea: Perfect.

Jenny: …‘cause that’s kind of fun.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: Let me get my, my things centered right.

Shea: The interfacing just makes that pocket sturdy and aligned.

Jenny: Well, not only that, but it’s completely lined…

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: …because you fold it in half.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: That’s a great idea.

Shea: Yeah, I love that.

Jenny: Alright, here we go.

Shea: Perfect. So then you would just place it with the raw edges along the bottom and the sides and you can trim those threads, if you want.

Jenny: Trim that thread.

Shea: Perfect.

Jenny: There you go.

Shea: And then we’re, since we’re going to sew the whole project with half-inch seam allowances, you can baste this in place by pinning and sewing it a quarter of an inch all the way around and you can see we’ve done that here where we’ve sewn a quarter of an inch all the way around.  You can stop and pivot or you can sew off the edge, it doesn’t matter.

Jenny: ‘Cause it won’t show.

Shea: Not going to show.

Jenny: Ok, perfect.

Shea: So then it’s time to make the divided part. You can, you can not do this if you don’t want to, but I kind of like it because you can stick your phone down in here…

Jenny: Sure.

Shea: …or you can add a second layer and stick a pen down in there.  I just recommend sticking your device in here then taking it out before you go to the sewing machine, but…

Jenny: Yeah, but it gives you the exact size.

Shea: Yeah, but it gives you a nice size.

Jenny: That’s perfect.

Shea: And I like to use, there’s a little point turner we have here.

Jenny: Oh, ok. Here.

Shea: And I like to grab my ruler, sorry, there we go.  Grab a ruler and then kind of, if I know where I’m going to have it be, I can mark with a point turner and it leaves just a little bit of a mark in my fabric. I can see what I’m sewing…

Jenny: Oh, yeah!

Shea: …but I don’t have a mark to erase.

Jenny: Great idea.

Shea: I just like to use that. Yeah.

Jenny: Great idea.

Shea: So then this side is totally done.

Jenny: It’s already done.

Shea: It’s done.

Jenny: Isn’t that amazing? Magic, magic of television.

Shea: Ta-da!

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: Put that here.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: Now we get to do the most exciting part, which is the flap and the buttonhole.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: The moment we’ve been waiting for.

Jenny: I’m actually really excited about that.  You know, a lot of people are afraid of buttonholes and they’re…

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: …just not…

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: The feet we have now makes it so easy.

Shea: Exactly. And, if you want to, and if you don’t mind grabbing your buttonhole foot from your machine.

Jenny: I already did.

Shea: And we’ll talk about it a little bit.

Jenny: Are we going to do that before we sew it, or…

Shea: We’re just going to talk about it a little bit before we go to the machine and then we’ll kind of give it all a go.

Jenny: Perfect.

Shea: So the buttonhole foot that comes with your machine probably looks like this and most machines come with one, but sometimes people see them and they think, that’s a bit of a monstrosity.

Jenny: Haha

Shea: I’m just going to put that away.

Jenny: They’re like, I don’t know what that does.

Shea: I am going to pretend that I don’t know it’s there.  So, it’s one of those things that comes with machines but people don’t usually use them and you’ll notice that there’s a little slider on it and the reason that slider is there is because that is where you put your button.  You might think, “why am I putting the button in the presser foot or in the foot?” So you put it in here and you kind of squish it down.

Jenny: Very cool.

Shea: So it fits and that is what tells your machine how big to make the buttonhole.

Jenny: The buttonhole.

Shea: So…

Jenny: So, it’s really automatic.

Shea: Ha

Jenny: You know when I was sewing on, you just went, you, like, draw lines…

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: …because you want to…so this is so much easier.

Shea:  It’s like hands free sewing, so…

Jenny: Haha

Shea: … we will get to that exciting part here in just a minute, but we wanted to show you that is what we’re getting to with the buttonhole foot.

Jenny: Very cool.

Shea: The thing you want to do when you are sewing this is you are going to put the two flat pieces right sides together.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: Just like this. And sometimes people get nervous about sewing a curve and so I give two recommendations.

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: Let’s lower the stitch length and make it a little bit smaller on your machine…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …because it’s a little easier to sew a curve if the stitches aren’t as long.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: And then, if you’ll notice, on this template there’s a solid line that goes around it and that’s a half inch difference between the edge…  

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …we’re going to cut along here and you can use your pen, Jenny.  It’s very exciting; bust out all your elementary school cutting skills…

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: …cutting paper.  I’m just going to cut around here.  Alright. And I like to mark on the woven fusible interfacing ….

Jenny: Uh-huh

Shea: …. side is just a little easier.  We’re going to center it along there and you’ll notice we can now mark around here with a pen.

Jenny: You know, that’s great for beginners.

Shea: Uh-huh

Jenny: That’s going to be a little safety tip for them.

Shea: Yep, because it makes easier to see if you’re on track and it gives you a nice, pretty curve.

Jenny: One of the things that’s cool about this, too, is that it, it, it’s just going to make it really easy for people to see the line…

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: …and sew around it and it takes the fear out of it.

Shea: Yes.

Jenny: You know for, for…

Shea: Make it stay on line.

Jenny: I mean, if you don’t, for people who don’t have a…that steadiness.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: And this is your outside flap so you want it…

Shea: You want it to be nice.

Jenny: Yeah. You want it to be pretty.

Shea: If your machine happens to have the needle down feature, this is a great time to use it because you can pause the needle down, lift your presser foot, and kind of readjust as you’re sewing around.

Jenny: So, I’m just putting these right sides together.

Shea: Right sides together, yep. Then you’re going to sew a half inch seam all the way around.  You’re going to leave this straight edge unsewn.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and end…

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: …because we’re going to be turning it right side out and we don’t want to have those stitches popping up.

Jenny: We’re going to backstitch here.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: We’re just going to stay right on that line.  Boy, that line is really helpful.

Shea: Well, good. Haha.

Jenny: I’m even slowing down to stay on it.  Well, and the curve part, I think, is important so that it just stays really nicely.

Shea: Right.

Jenny: I, you know, I…there have been times where I’ve done something and the outside line isn’t perfect and, boy, it shows.

Shea: Yep. Yep.

Jenny: This is why it makes it easy.

Shea: Makes a big difference.

Jenny: On the home stretch now and we’re going to backstitch again.  Alright, let’s see.

Shea: Alright. Looks perfect.

Jenny: Hey, I did pretty good right there.

Shea: Yay, awesome.

Jenny: Haha, ok now what do we do?

Shea: Now you’re going to take and cut that seam allowance just right, kind of right down the center. Down to about a quarter of an inch.

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: And you might be thinking, “why didn’t we just sew a quarter of an inch to begin with,” but it’s just easier to sew with a thicker seam allowance when you’re sewing a curve and then trim it down.  It’s kind of like a garment sewing technique.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: And if you feel you need to clip a little bit, you can around that curve.

Jenny: I think.

Shea: Yours is quite small enough, you don’t have to.

Jenny: It’s pretty small.

Shea: That’s good, that’s good.

Jenny: And then we’re turning it?

Shea: Yeah, uh-huh, yep. Turn it around and we’ll press it.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: Ta-da!

Jenny: Ta-da!

Shea: Looking good.

Jenny: Cute. Alright.

Shea: So, we could stop here and just attach it, but that wouldn’t necessarily give us the professional look we’re going for.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: So, we’re going to do some top stitching.  Are you a fan of topstitching?

Jenny: I love topstitching, I do.

Shea: Ok. So, we’re going to do some topstitching and I’ll show you guys a little trick that I love.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: I like to use an edge or a ditch foot.  Does your machine have one of those?

Jenny: Oh, I can actually show you.

Shea: You don’t have to use it.

Jenny: This? No I want, I’ll try it.

Shea: I would like to show it, ‘cause it’s fun.

Jenny: I’ll try it.

Shea: You can try it if you want.

Jenny: Ok, haha.

Shea: Haha. So this is the edge or ditch foot.  If you don’t have one that comes with your machine, you might have an overcasting foot. You’re looking for a foot that has a blade right down the center.  You can kind of see where there’s a blade in the middle.

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: And what’s great about it is it can run right along the edge of your project or the seam of a project and you can move your needle to the left or the right like a sixteenth of an inch or so and it gives, like, a perfect top stitch distance.  So, it’s not wobbly.

Jenny: Awesome.

Shea: It’s really nice and straight.  So, you can use that and just kind of move your needle to the left a little bit.

Jenny: You know what’s so funny? Today our machines generally come with them, you know, like a smattering of feet…

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: …but we don’t know really what they’re for…

Shea: Right, right.

Jenny: …so, this is really helpful.  Ok. So now am I leaving my stitch length short?

Shea: Leave it short.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: Since you’re going on a curve still, so you’re just going to go, I can typically aim for, like, sixteen or an eighth of an inch.  Whatever I feel like looks good.

Jenny: So, so now the way this looks to me, right here, is my ditch foot is on the edge so I’m sewing way off to this side.

Shea: Yeah. The blade is going to run right along the fabric.

Jenny: So, I want to put my needle over.

Shea: Over to the left.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: Yep. And you don’t have to worry about backstitching this time since we’re not turning it inside out.

Jenny: Let me see, how far do I want it? There. I’m just going to move this as far as I can.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: Haha, safety.

Shea: And sometimes if people feel their machine just won’t grab that fabric so that they’re sewing through some thickness, we’re going to have a half inch seam allowance when you sew this flap on, so if you want to start actually on the fabric, you can–you don’t have to start ahead of it in order to begin your project.  Sometimes starting on the fabric keeps your machine from…

Jenny: Now, I’m a pretty good top stitcher, so I’m kind of anxious to see what happens…

Shea: Haha

Jenny: …with this, with this little foot, because I’m a really good eyeballer…

Shea: Yes.

Jenny: …but now I’m following this little guide and I’m not looking at my stitches, so, ahh!

Shea: Haha

Jenny: I should cross my fingers on my other hand.

Shea: It should just ride along that guide, just perfectly. And it works that way if you have two seams next to each other like on a bag or a kid’s clothing project. I use it a lot when I’m sewing my kids’ clothes.

Jenny: There we go. Alright, what do you think? Wow, that is pretty good.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: That’s awesome.

Shea: Awesome.  Well, good deal.  You can see here, we just got a nice little topstitch around there, and now it’s time to transfer the buttonhole placement on our template.  So we, I’m going to step over here and start some buttonhole sewing.  But, first, we’re going to mark this template….

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …on your, on your flap.  So, you can see that it’s here on the flap there’s a, a line.  We’re going to fold this in half.  There’s a lot of fancy ways you could transfer, but this is kind of how I like to do it.  I’m going to use this mark…

Jenny: K.

Shea: …and I’m going to…

Jenny: Oh that’s a good idea too.  

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: I probably would have cut a hole in the fabric.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: But this, this makes it better.

Shea: What I might do here is just mark this so I know where the beginning and end of that line is so when I fold it, the line kind of disappears.

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: Alright, so then I’m going to mark right here.  That is where my button hole is going to go when we sew it.

Jenny: Perfect.

Shea: Ok.  So now we are ready for the buttonhole and, if you remember, we put our button in the buttonhole foot…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …and squished it down nice and tight, so we know how big to make that button hole. Ok, you’re really ready?

Jenny: You think I can do this?

Shea: You can totally do this, Jenny.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: Ok, I’m game.  I’ll try it.

Shea: Ok and I recommend…

Jenny: Hah. I think I was just putting it on backwards.

Shea: The button will go back behind.

Jenny: The button will go behind, yep.

Shea: Ok. And it will snap on just like your regular presser foot.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: And you’ll notice there’s some…

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: … some kind of crosshairs, if you will,

Jenny: Yep.

Shea: There’s some marks on the side and a mark right in the center of where that needle goes down.  That’s telling you where the needle’s going to hit.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: It’s more like a crosshair.  So, what you’ll want to do is make sure that your machine is set to the buttonhole stitch selector so it’s this rectangular basic.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: You got it on there?

Jenny: Yep.

Shea: You don’t have to do any kind of, there are lots of machines come with lots of different buttonholes; We just do a basic one.

Jenny: Does this button hole will do a basic one? There’s this thing.

Shea: The lever has to come down.  Look at you you’re an “A” student Jenny.

Jenny: Haha

Shea: Haha, so you have to… haha

Jenny: I knew that was for something.

Shea:  And that’s the thing that people sometimes forget is they forget to lower that lever and then the machine doesn’t know where to stop making the buttonhole so it just makes this really long buttonhole.

Jenny: Uh-oh.

Shea: By the time you’ve discovered that you didn’t lower it, it’s too late.

Jenny: Then you have a little ripping.

Shea: Yes, yes or a lot of ripping…

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: …depending on how quickly you realize it.

Jenny:  So, we have to change stitches or anything?

Shea: Yes. Just change to the buttonhole selecter.

Jenny: And it just works that easy?

Shea: You change the foot and lower the lever, yes.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: So now you could, and I recommend this for people who have their first time trying it, is to try it on some practice material that’s about the same thickness.

Jenny:  That’s a really great idea, haha.

Shea: Because if you are, like, really unsure about it, you’ve just sewn this beautifully top stitched curved flap.

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: And you don’t, you don’t want to mess this up.

Jenny: You’re sure I’m not going to mess this up.

Shea: I’m confident, Jenny.

Jenny: Alright then, let’s do it.

Shea: Confident or really brave, we’ll see, haha.  Yeah, so we’re going to put this underneath there and you’ll notice that, I’ll show really quick, that the mark is here to here.

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: And the buttonhole foot will start at the front and sew backward first.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: So we’re going to put our buttonhole, our needle, right over the front–the one that’s closest to the curve.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: So, put that in there. You’ll want to make sure that your slabs are going straight so your buttonhole, you know, is not curving to the left or right.

Jenny: Alright, so, right there, and does that look pretty straight? Looks straight to me.

Shea: I think it looks pretty straight.  Ok, so, sometimes I like to lower my needle down and you’ll…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …always want to consult your manual, because each machine is different.  Some have a little, you know…

Jenny: So these little, these little crosshairs are helping me to center up the line for my button.

Shea: Yep, they are.  Yep, they are.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: So, you’ve got it in there.  Now this is like hands free sewing.

Jenny: Haha

Shea: When I taught my friends how to do this they swore their machines worked like magic that night, because it just does it on its own.  Make sure your buttonhole is selected.  Got that lever down.

Jenny: Got my lever down and it has to be, is it behind or in front of this little pick?

Shea: It depends on your machine.  This one, it is behind.

Jenny: Oh yeah, there we go.  Alright, make sure my flap is straight.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: I have to say, I’m a little nervous.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: There it goes.

Shea: You have your hands off.  “Look, mom! No hands!”

Jenny: Haha

Shea: And then your machine will eventually just stop.  Sometimes it’ll beep at you.  It’s like, “hey I’m done.”

Jenny: Oh my gosh. This is amazing.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: I am going to become a buttonhole fanatic.

Shea: Buttonholes and everything, right?

Jenny: K. This is really cool.

Shea: Isn’t it cool?  Yeah. And people ignore this foot on their machine.  They just don’t even think to use it.

Jenny: I could file my nails.

Shea: And see, it’ll probably go and it’ll beep at you, maybe it won’t, well, we’ll see if it’ll stop. Ha. ta-da!  That means, “I’m done”.  You can stop and lower. Lift your presser foot.  Take it off.

Jenny: O-M-G!

Shea: Haha

Jenny: My grandson told me that means, “oh my grandma,” by the way.

Shea: Haha, “oh my grandma”.  That’s funny.

Jenny: O-M-G, look at that.  Here we go. Ta-da.

Shea: So, it’s a beautiful buttonhole, but you’ll notice a button won’t go through it yet, so we get to take a pin and a seam ripper and we are going to take a pin, just a regular straight pin…

Jenny: Ok, there you go.

Shea: …these flower head pins will work, and we’re going to rip this open but so that we don’t rip through the entire flap, we’re going to take the pin and just place it right here–right along where that edge of the buttonhole slit is, or buttonhole, and we’re going to use a seam ripper.

Jenny: I think this machine comes with one. Oh, wonderful.  So…

Shea: And then you can just dig in the bottom part and carefully cut your way up.

Jenny: Alright, now here’s what I’m doing. I’m putting my, the long piece, all the way through.

Shea: Uh-huh. Yep.  And carefully.

Jenny: Just sliding slowly forward.

Shea: Yep.  Nice and straight and when you get to the pin, you’ll stop, just like that.  That’s good.

Jenny: There we go.  

Shea: You can take the pin out, and now our button will go right through there.

Jenny: Alright.  

Shea: Ta-da.

Jenny: There’s our button, we’ll check that out.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: And look at that, right through.

Shea: Perfect.

Jenny: Haha, there we go.

Shea: Haha.  So what you want to do, there’s just one last little step you could do, and we’re going to switch back to a regular presser foot and we would sew across here just to kind of baste that down to get it nice and, you know, put together.

Jenny: Ok, so just quickly.

Shea: You can do that if you want to.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: And you can raise that lever.

Jenny: There we go.  Thank you for reminding me.

Shea: Haha, just a quarter of an inch. Just a simple basting stitch across the top.  It’ll just keep it from shifting when we sew this all together.

Jenny: And then what is next?

Shea: Ok, next is like, putting it all together. It’s going to be all coming together pretty quickly here.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: Ok, so you got the flap done and you have the, you have the exterior totally done.  You’re going to take the other exterior and you’re going to put the flap on it and you want the exteriors to face each other.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: And you’re going to sew them across here.  You’re going to center it so there’s like a little bit of a space on either side.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: Ok, the space is going to vary depending on your device.  So if this looks different than yours, it’s probably because the dimensions are different than ours.

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: So, you’ll replace it here and stitch across there and we’ve already got one done here.

Jenny: Perfect.

Shea: So, this is what it will look like and so the exterior is ready to go.  So you’re going to take the front…

Jenny:  Cause you’ve already done the front.

Shea: Uh-huh. This is the pocket and this is the back, because this will come around to the front.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: Ok. So we’re going to put these right sides together and you want the pocket and the flap to the opposite ends.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: You have it like this, that’s bad.

Jenny: Uh, that’s not good.

Shea: Yeah. That’s not going to work.  So you want to put it like this and you can use clover wonder clips or you can use pins, but we’re going to sew with a half inch seam allowance on all sides except for the tops of the sides…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …and the bottom.  Make sure that you don’t sew larger than a half inch seam allowance, because, if you do, then you just made your device, your tech case, too small.

Jenny:  Ok, so we’re just going to sew down this side and, there we go.

Shea: Need a little help every once in a while.  Yeah.

Jenny: And I put a couple of pins in here to anchor it. And…

Shea: You want to backstitch the top where the flap is just because we’re going to be turning it right side out and you don’t want to lose some of your seams.

Jenny: Kind of just pivot here on the corners.

Shea: Uh-huh.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: You can pivot, you can sew off the edge, either way.

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: Perfect. We’re going to do the exact same thing with the lining.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: And I’ve started to pin it.  You can continue to pin it or take those pins out.  This will be a little easier to sew, because it’s not as thick.

Jenny: And we’re still working that half an inch.

Shea: Yep. And the bottom you’re going to leave at least four inches open at the bottom to turn it.  So, sew along both sides and then the bottom, but leave about a four inch opening in the bottom.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: Ok. So, now you’re going to clip the corners.  So, what we’ve done is we’ve got the lining sewn right sides together and the exterior sewn right sides together.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: The exterior is going to be a lot thicker.  We’re going to clip some corners, but we’re also going to taper the corners.  It’s something I like to do when I’ve got something that is kind of thick.

Jenny: Yeah I’m a taper-er, too.

Shea: A taper-er.

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: So we’re going to clip the corners and then taper a little bit extra.  So, just don’t want to clip off any of our lovely stitching.  We’re doing this to all of the corners of the bottom.  You could do it at the top, too.  It makes it…

Jenny: Just makes it a little easier.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: Easier to turn.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: Alright, (singing) taper and clip, taper and clip.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: There we go.

Shea: Alright, so now it’s just about time to be done, so we’re going to turn the exterior right side out. Leave the lining that way.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: Turning the exterior right side out.  This is where it will start to actually look like an iPad case.

Jenny: I know. I love it when this stuff starts happening.

Shea: And you can use that point turner, if you like, to stick that down in here and make those points kind of come out.  You do a pretty good job.  Try to get those down in there to make it a little bit more.

Jenny: There you go.

Shea: Ta-da.  Ok. So, looks like this. And this you can kind of do a little run to see what it’s going to look like.

Jenny: A little visual.

Shea: Yes. And then we’re going to take this with the flap back against the backing and you’re going to stuff it down in this lining and it’s going to take a little bit of wrestling.  We’re going to stuff this down in here.  Sometimes it helps to fold it in half and then stuff it down in and that flap is going to stay down.  You don’t want the flap to be sticking out.  Otherwise, you’ll sew it incorrectly.  So, flap lays down in there.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: And then we’re going to pin.  You can press these seams open, if you want.  Sometimes people like to just push one to the front and one to the back, like make one seam come to the front and one to the back.  One thing I like to use is, if I do want to press, is a seam roll.

Jenny: Oh, ok.

Shea: You can stick it, obviously you do it before you stuff the exterior already, haha…

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: …but you can stuff this into your project and then your iron can lay right on top and press that seam open…

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: …without that kind of messing up what’s down here.  So, it’s a seam roll, and I happen to use…some people use it for clothes, I use it all the time for bags.

Jenny: I was going to say, one of those for clothing.

Shea: Yeah, for clothing.

Jenny: But it would work great for a bag.

Shea: Yeah.  So you’re going to pin at the side seams…

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: …and a couple places around the top.

Jenny: So, I’m just going to nest these seams then.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: Get them over, scootch them up close…

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: …and put a pin in there.

Shea: Yep.  I usually do one on each side and then maybe one in the front and one in the back and the center.

Jenny: Haha

Shea: Haha

Jenny: We’re so close.

Shea: Yes, so close, haha.  I can feel it, haha.

Jenny: Alright, got that one on.  I think this one is going to lay fine.

Shea: Ok. You’ll want to use the free arm on your machine if it has one.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: So, that kind of helps you to just sew around.

Jenny: So, this is what she means when she says “free arm”.  We take off our little case and then it, then we can put our, our little bag right around there and we’re half an inch-ing still?

Shea: Half and inch uh-huh.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: All the way around, and when it goes over that flap, it is going to be thick, so it might kind of help to slow, you know, slow down if you have to, but you’ll sew all the way around.  No need to leave an opening.

Jenny: There we go.  I’m going to backstitch right there.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: And…

Shea: Ta-da!

Jenny: I think we’re done.

Shea: Ta-da!

Jenny: Good to go.

Shea: Yes.

Jenny: Take out our pins.

Shea: Yes, take out our pins and you’re going to pull it through that opening that you left in the lining.

Jenny: Oh, here.

Shea: Some of those seams may kind of go pop, but that’s alright; we can fix them.  We’ll, we’ll sew closed that opening, here in a minute.

Jenny: Alright, I feel like I am wrestling.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: Haha.  Alright, here we go.

Shea: Ta-da!

Jenny: That’s our lining.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: And we’re going to poke out those corners.

Shea: Poke out those corners.

Jenny: Now, how do you close the bottom of your bag?

Shea: I like to just tuck it in.

Jenny: And then sew straight across.

Shea:  And if you do like to press your seams open, before you do this step that we just did, if you had pressed them open then they’re already kind of trained to tuck in.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: But I just do it like a very close edge stitch right there along. Uh-huh.

Jenny: Ok. I can do that.

Shea: Yep, you could hand sew it closed if you wanted to, if you didn’t want it to show.

Jenny:  If you’re crazy.  Haha.

Shea: If you’re crazy. Haha, this is true.

Jenny: I’m like, “this way is much better”.

Shea: Yeah.  No one is going to see–it’s at the very bottom of the lining.  No one’s going to see it.

Jenny: And, actually, if you go all the way across then they’ll think you topstitched your bag.

Shea: That’s… exactly. Purposeful.

Jenny: That’s right.

Shea: So, you stuff it down in there.

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: And some people like to skip this step, but I’m a stickler for it.  You want to press that opening nice and neat because I think that that is what is the difference between handmade and homemade is, like, really making it look professional.  Get that pressing.

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: Get the iron in there and you’ll kind of work this with your fingertips, if you can, with your thumb and your forefingers, just to get that nice and flat.  And then we’re going to go back to the machine and use that same free, free arm of the machine where we took the little accessory tray out and you’re going to sew all the way around.  You can use like a quarter inch.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: And you know how we used the edge stitch earlier? Edge or ditch foot for that top stitching.  People who have, people, a lot of quilters have those wonderful quarter inch feet with the guide…

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: …it’s great to use for this.

Jenny: That’s a great one. Yeah.

Shea: ‘Cause then it’s going to ride right along that thick seam so you’re just going to slide it on there.  I like to start at the back, just behind that seam, like, just behind this seam.

Jenny: Ok.  We’ll do that.

Shea: Sometimes starting on the seam can be tricky.

Jenny: And I am just going to use my foot…

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: …the edge of my foot as my seam…

Shea: Yep, that’s perfect.

Jenny: …and just start…  

Shea: All the way around.

Jenny: I love it when I get to do a project like this.

Shea: Haha

Jenny: Because it’s so different from what I normally do.

Shea: Yeah, yeah. And it’s useful.

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: It’s instantly useable. It’s a great gift.  You can make several of them from one of those fat quarter packs.  

Jenny: Yeah. What do you think? How many do you think you could make? Like eight?

Shea: I think you could make at least five.

Jenny: A bunch.

Shea: Depending on how you put the fabrics together.

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: That’s quite a bit of presents right there.

Shea: Yeah, it is, haha.

Jenny: Alright, I am going to backstitch right here.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: Just a few stitches and cut.

Shea: Ta-da!

Jenny: Ok, perfect.

Shea: Ok.

Jenny: That is one of the things when I started sewing, of course, I was a clothing sewer but I wanted, I didn’t want my stuff to look homemade.

Shea: Yep.

Jenny: And it’s these finishing tips that really…

Shea: It is.

Jenny: …that make it.

Shea: The pressing and the topstitching really make a big difference.

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: I think interfacing, too, makes a big difference.

Jenny: Yep.

Shea: Ok. So this is the magical moment you’ll put your device in here.

Jenny: Let’s see.

Shea: And you can measure to where you want.

Jenny:  Where did it go? Should we see if it fits? There we go. Here it is.

Shea: Alright, we’ll slide this down in.  It fits perfectly.

Jenny: Oh, awesome.

Shea: And then you can close it over here and see where you want to put the button, where the center of the buttonhole is, and you can just mark it with a pen.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: So, I’m just going to put the pen in the middle there and just put a little dot…

Jenny: Alright.

Shea: …‘cause now we know where to put our button.

Jenny: We sure do.

Shea: Alright, we’ll take this out for sewing the button.

Jenny: Ok, that’s a good point.

Shea: You could, you could, if you had a flat button with just the two holes or, you know, the four, you can use the button foot or the regular standard presser foot of your machine.

Jenny: Uh-huh.

Shea: And I know you think you’ve done this before where you sew the zigzag back and forth…

Jenny: Yeah.

Shea: …with no stitch length, but a nice wide stitch.

Jenny: Right.

Shea: You want to, like, lower it by hand to make sure it’s not going to go through the button…

Jenny: Right.

Shea: …‘cause that would be bad, but since this button, if you can see it, it has…

Jenny: It’s recessed.

Shea: …it’s recessed down in there and we wouldn’t be able to do that, so we’re going to sew it by hand to sew it on there.

Jenny: Ok.

Shea: And then we’ll be done.  It will be all perfect and done.

Jenny: Awesome.

Shea: It will look like, just like this one right here.

Jenny: That is so cool. So, here, look how beautiful this is.  I mean, how easy and quick.  The other I want to point out is, this one has no button, but…

Shea: Has Velcro.

Jenny: Like if you’re chicken and you don’t want to sew a buttonhole.

Shea: Haha.

Jenny: I promise you that was so easy.

Shea: Yep, yep.

Jenny: And so this project actually comes out of this book we have here.

Shea: It does. Yeah.

Jenny: And this is, this is Shea’s new book, The School of Sewing, and it’s just an awesome book.

Shea: Thanks.

Jenny: And if you look around behind us, we have all kinds of projects that are in this book.  How many projects are in this book?

Shea: There are twelve.

Jenny: And it’s actually including this.

Shea: Yeah. Actually including the quilt.

Jenny: Including the quilt.

Shea: It’s me teaching my eight friends and neighbors how to sew over the course of a year.

Jenny: Oh, very cool.

Shea: We got together once a month and we made small projects, like this, that they can finish in class and most of them are able to be gifted to other people.

Jenny: Well, and the fact that you took a year to do it.

Shea: Yeah.

Jenny: Means that you, that you, you know everybody really got to try everything.

Shea: They did.

Jenny: And it’s really, the homework is done.

Shea: Yeah, and the quilt in the back, I think that your, your, you love to make a half square triangle.

Jenny: I do, I love half square triangles, haha.

Shea: And if you look in the back, we made half square triangle quilts, but, because I knew everyone wouldn’t want to make the exact same quilt, we have…

Jenny: Oh, that’s awesome.  Oh, very cool.

Shea: …twenty-seven different half square triangle layouts.

Jenny: Yeah, there’s so many things you can do…

Shea: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jenny: …in your spare time.  Well, I have really enjoyed having you today.

Shea: Thanks.

Jenny: And I love this.  This is so great.  So, be sure and check it out and we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on “The Device Bag.”

Shea: Haha

Jenny: We call it a tech…

Shea: Tech case.
Jenny: On the “Tech case,” from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

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