Tessellated Owl iPad Sleeve

posted in: Sewing, Tessellations | 0

I recently made an iPad version of my Owl Laptop Sleeve.

At first, I thought this was going to be super easy. My first sleeve went so smoothly and the only major issues were the velcro size and placement (easy fixes!). But at the same time I was a little nervous for a couple reasons – the sleeve was not for me so I really wanted it to be perfect, and I didn’t have an iPad so I was unsure about the sizing. This project ended up being quite a challenge and taking more than twice as long as I thought it would! But I learned so much. Skills acquired:
  • Making of a muslin
  • Embroidery on a non-grid fabric
  • Fabric pattern placement

First things first – acquiring the dimensions of an iPad. I would have much preferred to measure the iPad in person, but I found the dimensions online. I then took my pattern and adjusted the dimensions accordingly. But… as I began to sew the pieces together, it started to look really small. Super small. Since I had all the pieces pre-cut, I decided just to go with it and finish the sleeve, hoping for the best. But, once I finally had a fitting, it was indeed much too small.

This is how I learned the importance of a muslin! When I make things, I usually only make one and improvise as I go along. It seems like so much work to sew two of something– to make an entirely complete model before beginning the actual piece. For most of the projects I create, I’m not sure doing that is entirely worth it. I’m lazy, and I figure I can live with imperfection. I’m convinced now that making a muslin is worthwhile for large projects, and something I’ll do before sewing my first piece of clothing. For the sleeve, I kept a record of all the original measurements of the pieces and was able to alter them just enough to make a perfect fit, and have the velcro in just the right place.

I also embroidered initials on the case. I haven’t done much gridded embroidery on cloth without a visible weave. There is an awesome site with some great embroidery/cross stitch alphabets so I mocked out some letters in Monaco, and then used waste canvas to layout a grid. I taped it on the case once I had the placement down. Waste canvas is great! You can just pull out the threads once you finish and you’re left with only the stitches.

I’m happy with how those letters turned out. Waste canvas was great, too, for figuring out how to position the design on the fabric. It’s a grid and see through – really easy to place.

I also really thought about the pattern placement, too. It definitely gives you a headache planning this stuff out, but it’s totally worth it. In my previous sleeve, I matched the owls by row, so the rows would roughly be the same on the front and back. I didn’t pay attention to how the columns lined up, so on my laptop sleeve, it actually almost matched on one side (nearly complete owls were created over the seam) while the other was weirdly off– very bizarre and slightly creepy looking. For this one, I aimed to center the pattern, and also wanted to have a more abstract pattern over the seam (to avoid weird deformed owl faces). I was lucky that the dimensions of the case relative to the pattern scale made this turn out very well.

I’m super happy with the sleeve! I think it turned out perfectly.

Like my owl fabric? It can be yours! Check out my Spoonflower page here. And if you make something out of my owls, please send me a picture.

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