The Washington Post

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: How to make a tablet cover

Valerie Williams, an instructor at Bits of Thread in Adams Morgan, demonstrates step by step how to make your own tablet case. (Caitlin Faw/The Washington Post)

Valerie Williams of the Bits of Thread sewing studio in Washington says do-it-yourself gifters can make some cool, low-tech items. One of them is a tablet sleeve.

Williams shared her instructions and a pattern from her e-book “2 Yards 10 Gifts” to make a fabric tablet sleeve with The Washington Post. The book features gift ideas for anyone on your list — from baby bibs to bow ties — and the average cost of a project is less than $10. Below are the instructions from the e-book and a link to the pattern.


●Sewing machine

1 / 4th yard of fabric

Tablet covers you can make from Williams's book.

1 / 4th yard of medium weight fusible interfacing (like Pellon decor bond or craft fuse)

1 / 8 yard of interlining

●7-inch zipper for view A

1 / 2th inch button for view B

●5-inch length of narrow elastic for view B

●Zipper foot for sewing machine

Pattern with preparation and construction notes

Step 1:

Cut the fabric, interfacing and interlining as indicated on each pattern piece. Trim a half-inch off the top edge of the interlining, as indicated on the pattern.

Step 2:

Follow the manufacturer’s directions to apply two layers of medium-weight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the body. Let the first layer cool slightly before applying the second layer.

Step 3:

Fold under and press a half-inch toward the wrong side along the top edge of the body and lining.

Step 4:

Trim away a small square of the interlining at the upper corners on both sides. Position the interlining so that this edge of the interlining aligns with the top folded edge of the lining (see image in Step 15).

Step 5:

If you are using fusible fleece as interlining, follow the manufacturer’s directions to apply fleece to the wrong side of the lining. If you are using felt or cotton batting, pin and quilt the interlining to the lining in any design you choose (skip to Step 13 for View B).

Step 6:

For View A, pin the body and lining together, wrong sides facing, with top folded edges matching, and raw sides matching.

Step 7:

Insert the left side of the zipper tape between the folded top edges of the front of the sleeve, so that the distance between the fold and the zipper teeth is even, and the zipper pull is a half-inch away from the raw edge. Pin in place. Use a zipper foot to topstitch the zipper in place.

Step 8:

Repeat Step 7 with the other side of the zipper tape and the back of the sleeve, making sure the raw edges match.

Step 9:

With the zipper opened, pin the body to itself and the lining to itself, with right sides facing, making sure raw edges match all the way around.

Step 10:

Stitch all the way around using a three-eighth-inch seam allowance, leaving a hole at the bottom of the lining about three inches wide. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the hole, at all four corners, and along the side seams where the body and lining meet. Take care to not stitch over the zipper stops.

Step 11:

Trim the corners and the seam allowance all the way around, except over the hole in the lining. Turn right-side out.

Step 12:

Close the hole in the lining by pushing the raw edge inside, and stitching the hole closed using a one-eighth-inch seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end of the hole. Push the lining inside the sleeve, and press the final product carefully using a press cloth. Skip Steps 13-17.

Step 13:

For View B only, transfer markings for the button and elastic from the pattern to the body. Baste the loop of elastic to the right side of the body back, with raw edges matching. Sew on the button by hand (never use a sewing machine to sew on a button) to the body front, making sure to create a shank out of thread for the elastic loop to rest against.

Step 14:

Pin the prepared body pieces together with right sides facing, and folded top edges matching. Stitch together on three raw edges using a three-eighth-inch seam allowance, making sure that at the top, the raw edges meet, not the folded edge.

Step 15:

Repeat Step 14 for the prepared linings. Carefully trim the seam allowance all the way around on the completed body and completed lining, except along the top half-inch fold.

Step 16:

Turn the body right side out and press carefully. On the lining, fold down the top half-inch toward the wrong side. Insert the lining into the body, with wrong sides facing. Match the side seams and the folded top edges, and pin in place.

Step 17:

Stitch the lining and body together along the top, one-eighth inch away from the folded edge. Backstitch at the side seams and over the elastic loop. Press the final product carefully using a press cloth. Finished!

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