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Kindle Case

January 13th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

A dear relative recently acquired a Kindle DX, and wanted a case for it.  There are lots of e-reader cases around, but not so many for the over-size DX, so I decided to see what I could whip up.

The first issue was the Kindle itself; Mr. Noile and I both have Sony e-readers, so I needed to see the Kindle before I could figure out a design.  Happily for me, Staples now carries Kindle in-store — a brand-new development.

I trotted over to the store with a transparent quilting template in hand and outlined the Kindle on the template, not forgetting to stand the Kindle on its edge so that I could get the width.

The store’s manager, who saw me messing with his Kindle, asked if he could help  me.  When I explained, he grinned and said “Creative!  I like it!” instead of showing me the door.  How cool was that?!

It was important that the case be nice to handle;  it also had to be easy to get the e-reader in and out of it; and the closure had to be simple but effective.  Early on, I decided it would have an open top and a loop-and-button closure, but I went through probably six different design prototypes, before deciding on something completely different from what I’d originally intended.

My relative is a scientist — a mycologist, to be precise.  I really, really wanted to make this case of felt, and add a lovely, lethal example of Amanita muscaria to the front.

It might not be everybody‘s dream to have images of poisonous mushrooms around, but it probably would have been just right in this case.

Alas!  It was not to be.  I was able to find the necessary colors, but the only in horrid synthetic felt, and the good wool felt pieces in my stash were all wrong, color-wise.  Just the same, I tried, and made a prototype from the yucky felt.  It looked looked, well, cheap.   Felt made of recycled plastic may be noble, and it may be fine for costumes, but it’s downright awful for anything that matters.

Plan B was to locate real wool felt.  I’d thought I’d find it one stop away on the turnpike, at Olde Peddler Wools.

Not exactly, as it turned out.  But I DID find a fantastic store, which deserves its own post.  (And will get it, too, as soon as I catch up.)  The wools at Olde Peddler are (mostly) hand-dyed, and (mostly) cut into various lengths for rug-making.  Sadly, though,there was nothing remotely useful for creating a mushroom-adorned case.

I did, however, find a lovely piece of felted wool.

I used the original template to make a pattern, adding a small seam allowance, and then measuring around the sides and bottom to get the length of the strip that connects the front and back.

I discovered that the December 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping (what a terrible magazine!  but useful, in this case) was the exact thickness of the DX, so I held my  nose and bought a copy.  I used that to determine the width of the side strip, adding seam allowances, of course.

There was just enough wool in the pre-cut piece to make the front, back, and the side band.  For the lining, I’m afraid, I had to resort to the dreadful felt.  No matter; it worked fine, and it’s hidden, so it can’t easily offend aesthetically.

E-readers need protection when they are lying about, and the screens demand respect, so I used the quilting template for  front and back reinforcement pieces, and cut them to the exact size of the Kindle.

Front and back each had three layers. Above, you can see utility felt on the bottom, the thin plastic template in the middle, and the lovely wool on top.  Sorry about the chopped off corners at the top . . . I’m better with my sewing machine than with my camera.

I decided the best closure would be a loose loop with an over-sized button, so I attached oval elastic to the back lining before assembly.  I debated anchoring it to the template and/or the back of the case, but the extra support didn’t seem necessary .  .  .

but I did make sure that I zig-zagged very far down the elastic for durability.

I originally planned to do a blanket stitch around the outside, however my fingers balked  — they’re iffy from way too much computer use — so I gave up that scheme, too, but not before I’d outlined a guide all around the front:

For the button, though, I punched two holes through the plastic template, and made sure it was sewn through all layers.  I didn’t want this closure to be frustrating, and a mobile button was not a recipe for success.

Preliminaries finished, all that remained was to baste the front and back to the edging strip (how did I manage to take not one photo of that???).  I zig-zagged all around, encasing the raw edges (including at the front and back openings), and there it was:

Unfortunately, this is where I goofed up a bit:  My seams were a bit smaller than they should have been, since I’d originally planned for a wider blanket stitch.  No matter; I left them just as they were, since I was far more worried about the case being too small than a bit larger than necessary.

That seems to have been a good choice; the case turns out to be just as easy to use as I’d hoped, and appeared to please the recipient very much.  Mission accomplished, if many iterations later, and in a radically different form than first visualized!  I’m loving my new “well, that didn’t work, where do I go next?” sewing style!


The lovely mushroom family image can be found here.

Kindle image from Amazon.

Disclaimer: No one supplied remuneration to me for anything mentioned in this blog post.

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  1. January 21st, 2011 at 21:28 | #1

    Very nice design and outcome. Nice job.

    • January 23rd, 2011 at 13:56 | #2

      Thanks for your comment, Anita. It got held up because you accidentally typed an @ sign instead of a dot in your URL. I changed it so that your name now links to your blog.

  2. shams
    January 14th, 2011 at 00:33 | #3

    Very cute and useful!

    • January 17th, 2011 at 09:31 | #4

      I hope the Kindle appreciates the felted wool — it was so nice I had to restrain myself from making a warm, cuddly pillow from it!

  1. January 30th, 2011 at 11:24 | #1