Wednesday, 21 March 2012

How to make a Kindle cover (or Kindle Case)

I love my kindle. I got mine to save me money as I love very old books that are out of copyright. However as much of a convenient money saver that they are the cases available do cost a pretty penny. Reading lights also cost too much for me to afford. So after a request from a fellow Kindle user I made up this very simple case to keep  the screen clean and scratch free as well as keeping all of my 'Kindle Bits' in one place. This design uses only simple stitches and should be easily followed by a relative newcomer to sewing.This basic method could be adapted for many other things including notebook, net-book, tablet PC's. The design makes a long padded lined strip of fabric. This is then folded over the length of the Kindle and top stitched down the sides. IT d is only folded over the length  of the kindle and not in half. the excess length can then be folded over to form a flap. This wont need any stitching in place, just  some Velcro.

You will need.

Outer fabric (I have used some brocade)  20cm X 55cm
Wadding  20cm X 55cm
Lining (something soft. I have used soft cotton velvet, but fleece would also work well) 22 X 55cm + 12cm X 12cm for internal pocket.
Cotton fabric (to use as a backing for the wadding.20cm X 55 cm
Needle & Thread

Optional extra.
Grosgrain Ribbon (a small off cut would do)

Step 1. Pin the wadding to the WRONG side of the outer fabric  and to the Cotton Backing, efectivly sandwiching it between the cotton and outer fabric. Baste (straight stitch) with a seam allowable of 1-4 inch
This gives you a nice padded case however you could run Diagonal lines of top stitching over your strip or quilted fabric to give it some texture. I sewed around the repeating pattern of my brocade to give my  case a classic almost upholstery look
Now to the lining. If you decide to have a small pocket to put cables and a light in it is best to have that on the back, and placed before attaching the lining to the outer.

Hemm the fabric for the pocket on all sides by folding along the length but 5 mm, and then folding it again before stitching along the fold.

Decide where to place the pocket (I placed the bottom edge of my pocket 30 cm from the top of the strip of fabric) and top stitch in place.

Now RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER pin and sew the outer and the lining together along the long sides,
Press and then sew along the top short side. This is because the lining should be slightly wider than the outer fabric. turn the pouch right side out and lightly press again before folding the open raw edge of the bottom in on itself and top stitching it in place.
Now place your kindle on top of the soft lining and fold the bottom of the strip of fabric up until it meets the top of the Kindle. Mark on the lining were the top of the kindle and the bottom of the kindle is.
You know know where you need to fold your strip to form the case. AND you know where the top flap will reach when you fold it over. Top stitch a large piece of the soft side of Velcro onto the outer layer where the top of the kindle will be (remove Kindle first obviously) now add a smaller piece of the rough side of Velcro on top the lining side of what will become the flap of your case.

If you like use  some grosgrain ribbon to attache a "D-ring" onto the back of the pouch in between the top of the inner pocket and the fold for the flap.

Now we're almost done. Fold the bottom of the strip up to the place marked. You should have a few mm of lining showing on either side. Top stitch down each side where the lining meats the outer fabric. This gives a nice 'Pipped' look. And there you have it. your Kindle Cover!.

A few notes. Why did I use a smaller patch of Velcro for the lid. The rough Velcro can chew up many fabrics so you want it to hit the soft Velcro and NOT the fabric of your kindle cover. So we give it a bigger 'Target' by using a small section of rough and large section of Smooth.

We could have sewn the Velcro for the flap on the lining before attaching the lining to the outer to avoid any top stitching showing on the top. This however would not have been very strong and secure, so just make sure you are very neat when sewing the Velcro on the flap.

You could buy fabric for this project. However it's an example of the benefits of storing off cuts in a suitable container as you may well be able to make this out of any old bits laying around your sewing/project room

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Plastic bag holder.

We're often told it isn't easy being green. Since my childhood though we've moved on a lot environmentally speaking/ We now don't use CFC's our cars are a lot more efficient   and we have curbside recycling (Yes I Rosebery when it all went into one big bag). So let us not be too hard on ourselves. Take a step back and give yourself a pat on the back for coming this  far. That said this year we will see a new environmental rule pass.  In Wales all shops must charge at least 5p for "single use carrier bags". This is to encourage people to use harder wearing bags or baskets. This rule will be spreading to the rest of the UK soon and so we thought we'd help you get ready for it. A simple plastic carrier bag holder can go a long way to saving you from buying new bags. You can store some of the lighter re-usable bags OR keep regular carrier bags in it ready to reuse a few more times (or to use to line a small bin in your study or bathroom).

You will need
Fabric -non stretchy, any weight will do.  heavy furniture weight will stay upright more when empty but lighter fabrics work fine too- aprox 40cm-65cm  
Off cut of Ribbon
 1/4 inch (aprox 7mm)  elastic 

To begin with cut your fabric into a rectangle about 65cm by 40 cm.
You could use a simple seam by sewing right sides together along the 65cm edge however this is a good opportunity to practise a French Seam. This seam encases the raw edges helping to reduce wear and tear. So fold the fabrics so the 65 cm edge rests against the other 65cm edge WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. 

Sew along the 65cm edge with a seam alowance of 1/4 inch. Press the seams and the roll the tube of fabric inside out. Now sew along the seam again with a 1/2 inch seam.  

You now have a wonderful French Seam which will protect the raw edges from wear and tear, also hand in unlined garments such as shirts.  

At each  end create a hem by folding the fabric over to the wrong side by 1 am, and rolling it again by 1 cm. sew, leaving a small gap at the bottom for threading elastic through.

 attach the elastic to a safty pin and thread it through the bottom hem pulling th elastic so the bottom cloases to about half of the original width wehn unstretched.

Loop a small amount of ribbon over and sew to the top of the container and there you have it. A custom made plastic bag holder.  

   This project encompass much that I love about sewing. It can be made with little odds and ends you may have in your sewing box/room. It's useful, decorative and unique. In fact I've often made up these handy bag holders out of scraps and sold them at festivals alongside other things I've made. It helps people be environmentally friendly whilst letting me experiment with new stitches and seams as well as embroidery. This is just a basic pattern and idea, take it and let your imagination go wild!

Monday, 12 March 2012


Welcome to the brand new update, Needles&Pins.
Each month we will keep you updated with the latest news from Fabric8 in Felixstowe and Colchester along with new products, special offers and how to's. We would like to invite your feedback on these updates, so if there's anything you want updating on please get in touch with us via facebook, email or mention it next time you are in store.

Until next time, keep creative!
The Fabric8 Team
  Feeling patriotic this year? Bunting, table clothes, napkins...
With the Jubilee and Olympics not far away are you getting into the spirit of things yet? From cottons to fleece, we have it all when it comes to flying our flag this year!

Our stocks are limited, so make sure you order online or pop in to your nearest Fabric8 soon.

Jason Smith joins Fabric8 at Felixstowe
Having worked for major retail chain Paul Simon for over 14 years, Jason joins the Fabric8 team as Store Manager at our Felixstowe branch, offering a wealth of experience and enthusiasm! Preferring the traditional family-like business to that of the corporate world he’s been used to working in Jason commented, “I’ve been a customer at Fabric8 for years, I enjoy the products, advice and friendly service you get each and every time you visit one of the stores.”  He continued, “So when I was told of the vacancy for Store Manager at the Felixstowe branch I have to admit I was really excited.  I applied for and got the job and I’m loving every minute.”
Having introduced some changes in-store as well as new lines Jason feels he understand what customers want having been one himself, “We’ve made some general improvements and additions to the store but been careful not to ensure the place and products are still recognizable to the local community and other customers.”

White Angel Net Curtains now available at Felixstowe
Due to popular demand we are now stocking White Angel net curtains at Felixstowe, as well as Colchester.

This is a fabulous and affordable range of made to measure white and cream net curtains. There are 26 designs to choose from plain to pattern.

All you need to do is bring the drop measurement required and the  width of your window and our helpful team will work out the rest for you. It only takes around 2 weeks from ordering to receiving your wonderful fully finished and weighted nets.

Our Colchester branch currently has the Serena range (plain design) in stock available to buy by the metre. Please see Instore for details.

Clearance and special offers...
  • New Look patterns only £2.95 until 17th March