Tutorial: iPad or eReader Cover From Old Ski Pants

Need a gift for a techie? How about a cover for one of their electronics?

diy ereader cover
This cover is a fairly easy sewing project, although you do need basic sewing skills. Since it’s a custom fit it would work with any size Pad, eReader, or other small electronic device.

This project came about because Brian bought a knock-off iPad (called a CherryPad) about a month ago and needed a cover for it. And although I made this because there wasn’t anything available in the size Brian needed, I’d do it again just for the savings.

How much did this cover cost? A whopping $3.00- and if I needed another cover, it would only be $1.50 since I could get two out of one pair of pants. I think that beats thrift store and even garage sale prices for used covers!

The cover starts with a pair of old ski pants.

Why ski pants? Because the fabric store didn’t carry Neoprene so I went to a thrift store looking for something similar and these fit the bill.

I looked for pants that were thick enough to protect the electronic device and yet had an outer material similar to Neoprene. These were a women’s size small and were actually made of wool and polyester. The price was $5.99 and it was a half-off day- gotta love three bucks!

In addition to the pants, you’ll need matching thread and narrow double-fold seam binding to match.

1. Turn the pants inside out. Lay the device on one of the legs, aligning one edge with the outside straight seam (the left side in the picture). Move the device so that there is about 1-1/2″ from the curved inside seam (I had to take out the inside seam because the leg didn’t lay flat on the pair I had). You will have to find the place on the leg that will give you the seam allowances you need for the device you’re covering- it was just below the knee on this pair.

2. Now you’re ready to cut: Cut 1/2″ from the bottom of the device, straight across and 1″ from the top, again straight across. Then cut the side with the curved inside seam from bottom to top of your piece, leaving 1-1/4″ seam allowance (edge of the device to cut edge should be 1-1/4″), leaving a rectangle of fabric just bigger than the device.

3. Starting at the top, sew the side seam using 1/2″ seam allowance and continue around the corner across the bottom of the rectangle.

TIP: When sewing the bottom corners, sew diagonally across both corners which creates more rounded corners when turned right side out instead of sharp points.

4. Turn right side out and check for size by placing the device into the cover. If it seems too loose, sew a new side seam slightly inside of the other sew line. Check and adjust until you get the right fit (see, this really is custom!).

5. When the fit is perfect, turn inside out again, trim the corners and seams and then serge or zig-zag the seams to finish them, since the device will be rubbing against them as it’s taken in and out.

6. Now we’re going to make the flap for the top closure. In order to have the front and back of the flap both look finished, I cut a piece from the waistband where it comes together above the zipper, cutting until it was even on the open long end and wide enough to go from side to side of the cover. This left me with an open short side and an open long side. The long side will be attached to the cover, but the short side needs to be finished like the other side.

7. Find a section on the waistband of the pants that has the same seam binding and using a seam ripper, remove a section long enough to cover the short end of the flap (pictured on the right in the picture above). If your pants don’t have any binding you can remove, use some of the narrow seam binding you purchased. Turn under the end that will be on the bottom of the flap and pin the binding to the open short side. Sew in place. Both short ends and one long end should now be finished edges.

8.*Right sides together, pin the unfinished edge of the flap to the top edge of the cover side you want to be the back. Sew 1/4″ from the edge (ignoring my fingers and the binding in the picture above, your flap should be sewn like you see it here).

*from this point on, using your free arm on your machine (if you have it!) makes it much easier.

9. Open the double-fold seam binding and place the narrow side close to the raw edge of the entire opening (the flap should be laying flat against the back- right sides together still). Pin in place, then sew on the fold line of the binding, BUT start sewing about 1/4-1/2″ in from the beginning of the binding. It will help create a nice joining seam as shown below:

10. Stop sewing about and inch from the beginning of your binding, and fold back the portion of binding you didn’t sew at the beginning. Lay the remainder of your binding right over the top of the folded portion and complete the sewing of the binding around the opening.

11. Fold the binding over the opening, catching all the raw edges. The part you folded will create a nice edge at the joined portion of the binding. Pin if you need to keep the binding in place to sew.

12. To complete the binding, “stitch in the ditch” (i.e., the seam line as shown) on the RIGHT side of the cover.

13. Now, it will look all nice and finished, but the flap won’t stay closed, so you’ll need to sew another line around the top edge. Bring the flap up which will push the seam binding you just sewed to the inside of the cover. Making sure the seam binding is folded over all around the opening, hold or pin this in place while you top stitch close to the edge around the opening as shown above.

14. Sew a small rectangle of Velcro to both the flap and the front top edge to keep the flap closed.

Ta-da done! That’s all you’ll need for most devices. I added a little pocket on the outside of Brian’s (sewing it on before sewing up the side in step 3) to hold a stylus that makes it easier to scroll on his CherryPad.

The knock-offs are cute (and waaaaay cheaper), but they don’t have that incredible touch screen that the iPad does- this is just a little more clunky to use, so the stylus really helps.

OK, what do you think? Easy? Hard? Weird? I just made this up and figured it out as I was making it, so if something is not clear and you’re wanting to make one, don’t hesitate to ask questions. And let me know if you make one and how it turns out!


This is linked to:
Strut Your Stuff Thursday
Transformation Thursday

Frugalicious Friday
Favorite Things Friday


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