Hand sewing has never been so fun! I’ve done a few small projects recently that were made completely by hand, and the outcome was great! When trying to decide on which project I’d like to tackle next, I thought I would challenge myself a little more and go for something I wasn’t sure could even be executed properly without a machine. Since Mothers’ Day happened last month, I thought my mom would love to receive a gift from me that was made using my own two hands. After thinking of ideas, I decided the perfect present for her would be a pieced iPad sleeve–complete with 45 separate pieces, binding, and a fun purple backing (to go on the inside of the sleeve!). I didn’t use a pattern because I couldn’t find one to fit what I wanted, but the results were still fabulous!
I won’t get into a ton of detail about how I put this project together, but I did want to share some of my experience so you can get the most out of your experience with piecing and sewing by hand vs using a machine. To begin, I had a solid idea in my head of what I wanted my sleeve to look like: 2 x 2″ squares all pieced together in different colors and prints, with an easy open slot to put the iPad in. After arranging (and re-arranging) all of the little pieces, I found a design I liked best. I spent the next few days sewing all of them together by hand before attaching the batting and backing fabric. If you’re going to do this, I suggest taking it slow- the more squares I added, the better my technique got. By the end, I had rows of perfectly aligned squares and even more super straight seams!
When it was time to add the backing fabric, I went with a Quilter’s Candy basic in the color lavender and a fusible batting so that it wouldn’t move around while I put the fabric sandwich together. The purpose of sewing the pieces in this order- batting, backing, main fabric- is so that when you flip them right-side out, everything it where it needs to be. Remember to leave a little opening on one of the sides, getting around the corners before stopping your stitch makes this whole process even easier. I used a ladder stitch when closing the little side I hadn’t sewn together so you couldn’t see the stitch when it was finished.
After I finished sewing that side, I folded it in half so that the right sides were together and sewed along the bottom and side of it. When this step was complete, it still looked like it was missing something. I ended up sewing an elastic onto the inside of the sleeve and a sweet purple button onto the front so the iPad was safe and secure for my mom to take it around with her. Once the button was added, I was finally finished with my mom’s gift and I couldn’t be more happy with the results!
I love this idea because you can use it for so many things! If you don’t have an iPad or tablet, try creating one for your cell phone, laptop, or giving it to someone you love, like I did! Since giving my mom her gift, seeing her use this sleeve almost every day never fails to put a smile on my face and hers. I think this is a great project for someone who doesn’t have much experience with quilting and wants to learn, or someone that doesn’t own a machine but is still interested in creating beautiful things.