Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Isn't Technology Grand?

Recently my parents bought me a new iPad for my birthday (thanks Mom and CC!).  It was just in the nick of time, as I was leaving my job which had given me an iPad to use while I worked for them.  I decided to throw myself headfirst into appreciating my new gift by making it as functional as possible - so I bought a Bluetooth keyboard to go along with it!

And what place does this post have on a blog dedicated to creativity?  Good question!  Answer: I made a lovely protective case for my keyboard - and I used a wonderful app in the design process.   These are both things that I thought were worth sharing, so here we go!

The Materials Used:

Mom and I took an amazing trip to England and Paris this past summer, and as crafty sorts we came home with suitcases full of crafty things - including this delicious art nouveau fabric from Liberty of London (the ACTUAL Liberty of London!!!) and this package of buttons from The Button Queen - an unassuming little shop that will absolutely knock your socks off, if buttons are your thing!  Can't remember where I got the striped fabric - it's reminiscent of men's suiting material.  The other material here is a thin polyester batting, to provide a bit of cushioning for the keyboard.

Bamboo Paper is Amazing!

And this is the app that helped me to design the keyboard case - Bamboo Paper by Wacom (just to be clear, I'm not associated with them in any way - I just think this is a cool use of the app and thought others might like it too!).  With my new iPad I took pictures of some of the materials and inserted the pictures right into the Notebook.  Then you can edit and annotate to your heart's content.  I love this!  I have a highly portable, easily transferable digital record of my creative work!  Coolio!

I cut the three fabrics into identical rectangles per the dimensions on my schematic.  BTW, the picture above was literally a picture of my iPad that I took with my camera.  Low tech.  The picture below is High Tech - Bamboo Paper can share pages from a Notebook with Evernote as .png files - I feel so technologically competent!

On to the Build

So, I sewed the three fabrics together in this order...

If you look closely at the bottom of the picture you can see that the Liberty print is right side down, with the striped material right side up.  Bottom layer is the batting.  I sewed a narrow seam around the edge of the rectangle, leaving a small opening to turn the sewn fabrics right-side-round.

My Secret Weapon

I have a secret weapon for turning fabrics and getting those pesky corners as crisp as possible.  Sometimes you have to look at what you already have on hand and see if you can find a new use for it.  Here it is:

The Knit Lite is a brilliant tool - literally - for people who want to be able to knit in the dark!

There is actually an LED light in the pointy end of the knitting needle!  Clover made these - I'm not sure they still do - but everything they do is genius.  Oh Clover, you're breaking my heart!

A la Missy Elliot

Oh my!  Anyways, I flipped it and reversed it...

...ironed it, and added the narrowest edging stitch I could manage...

...and double checked that the keyboard was still going to fit...

...and put a pin in it to mark my place... it turned out, I could sew an even narrower seam than I thought:

Yup, that purple thread is the seam.  I couldn't believe it didn't fall off the side while I was sewing it!  I miscalculated and forgot to add enough width to account for reversing the seam, so I just changed my plan.  Worked out fine.

Buttonhole, Baby!

I got to break in the buttonhole foot on my sewing machine to finish this up - it was dead simple.  Just stick the button in the top half of the foot, and the machine does the rest.  I literally rested my head in my hand while it worked!

The Finished Product

I'm delighted with the keyboard, the case and the app that helped me to create it!  Isn't technology grand?


  1. Great directions! Thanks!

  2. Hey Kathryn -- this is great! Very clever! When I get an ipad I'll have you make me covers!
    xx Carolyn

  3. And what a clever idea to use the knit light for the inside corners!
    xx Carolyn