Autumn is breezing its way into our lives, but as I’ve been told this is no excuse to start hibernating, I’ve barely had a moment to stop and admire the colours of the season! The brief glances I’ve snatched between returning my attention to my new limb (read, permanently attached mobile device) have sparked some simple inspiration though – and with an adorable new tablet cover I can take the falling leaves along with me everywhere I go.
This falling leaves device sleeve is super-duper easy as well as both cute and practical! It’s a quick project to slip in during your downtime and use up scraps, and once it’s finished you can admire it everywhere you go.
Felts (your base colour, and then two or three extras for your leaves)
Thick iron-on interfacing
Leaf templates (optional, you can freehand draw your leaves, or use a template you’ve bought/printed out/made from actual leaves… whatever works for you!)
Sewing your sleeve
Your first step is to measure your device – if it’s a bit of an awkward size round UP to the nearest half inch, rather than down. My device measured roughly 5.5”x8.5” but yours might be slightly different. Cut two pieces of interfacing the size of your device. For your first felt rectangle, add an extra ½” to the width and length (allowing for ¼” seams). For your second felt rectangle add an extra 1/2” to the width, and an extra 4” to the length (to allow you to make the flap at the top). Iron your interfacing onto each of the felt squares – placed ¼” up from the bottom and ¼” in from each side.
Now it’s time for the sewing machine! First take your longer felt square to make the closing flap. I’ve added a hidden branch to the underside of my flap, so you see it when you open the sleeve up to get your device. If you’re adding a hidden branch like I have, cut a branch shape just slightly narrower than the width of the sleeve, and under 2 inches high. Once it’s cut, sew it into place right at the top on your rectangle, upside down, on the side with no interfacing.
Once your hidden branch is in place fold the top section over on itself. You want to fold away from the interfaced side and onto the plain side, so the branch is hidden away. Sew down the two short edges to secure your flap and leave the long edge open – this is because we’ll be turning the flap inside out later to hide the stitching and reveal the branch.
Take your shorter rectangle, and pop a pin about 2″ from the top so you know how far down the flap will come. Cut out enough leaf shapes to fill the space below the pin to your satisfaction (I used 6). Fold each of your leaves in half, and gently press them with an iron. This will give them a subtle 3d effect once they’re sewn in place. Arrange them in your blank space, pin in place, and sew each one with two or three lines of straight stitch straight down the middle.
Now take your front and back felt pieces, and pin them together with the interfacing facing outwards. Sew with a straight stitch around the two long edges and the bottom edge, 1/4″ in. Your straight stitch should just miss the interfacing, ensuring your seams aren’t too stiff for you to turn the sleeve out! Remember to strengthen the start and ends of your sewing by reverse sewing back a couple of stitches.
Now you can turn your sleeve inside out, and turn the flap inside out as well. Lightly press the sleeve into shape around the edges. To close the open side of the top flap, I ironed a little piece of iron-on hemming tape between the layers, but you could just as easily use a pretty decorative top stitch.
To finish your tablet sleeve, choose two largish buttons and a piece of ribbon. Sew one button in the middle of the flap, and one just below it on the main body of the sleeve. Tie a short length of ribbon around the base of the lower button, and pop a hand-stitch on it to secure. Finally, pinch your leaves back up a little if the sewing has flattened them out, and you’re finished! To close the sleeve, wind the ribbon a few times around the buttons in a figure of eight, then tuck the rest away underneath. Congratulations, you’re ready to grab your coffee, throw on your scarf and head out the door!
If you make a falling leaves sleeve yourself, we’d love to hear about it. Why not take some photos and post them to our Facebook page or tweet them at our Twitter account. We’d love to see what colours you choose, and how you get creative with your shapes!