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February 11, 2013

Hello friends! I have something so exciting to show you. It’s one of those projects that had me squealing with delight as it was coming together and showing it to anyone who would look. Mail lady included. So now I am going to show you...and I just know you, too, are going to love this idea.

For Christmas this year I got an iPad. Yay! I bought a cover for it  and even a handy thing that clips on the back so that I can hold it easily in one hand. But what I found that I really needed was a bag with a handle for it. Otherwise it was being tossed in my purse with all the junk that resides there (used tissues, lipstick that has somehow lost its top, a sharpie that has also lost its top, a granola bar that is on the verge of exploding from its package and can no longer honestly be referred to as a “bar”, etc)

I searched high and low for a suitable bag but couldn’t really find one that I liked.and was in my price range. So, like any good crafter would, I set about making one myself. As someone who doesn't’t really sew, this might be a huge undertaking. Fortunately, in a flash of pure genius, I dreamed up the perfect way to make one with just the least bit of sewing...using a placemat! (that’s the part where you go “ooooooo”!)

The construction is super simple...you just fold the placemat up 8” from the bottom, leaving a 3” flap at the top. Use an iron to press these folds.

If you are just making a laptop sleeve (without a handle), you can just sew up the two sides. Could not’t be easier! Add a button and a loop of elastic in the middle of the flap for the closure (Velcro or snaps would work great, too!).

There are a few options for handles. For this one, I used store bought handles attached with a loop of sturdy ribbon (like grosgrain, velvet or twill).

I pinned the loop into place so that half of the ribbon width was in the side seam and the other was in the flap. I sewed into place using a zig-zag stitch.

A small detail that adds a bit of sweet charm to this bag is a little ribbon (or lace, in this case) tag on the side...

Simply pin the loop and sew into place. How cute is that? I also wanted to include a pocket, mostly for my stylus. (I am currently hooked on Draw Something, which I play with my adorable sister nightly! The stylus is my secret weapon.)

I used a muslin bag (with removed drawstring) to make a quick and easy inside pocket. I hand stitched the front flap down and then stitched the top flap to the inside of the bag.

I made 4 of these in no time at all...and I can’t wait to make more. Here are some details of the other bags...

This one is my favorite! I love that the placemat is reversible...that adds a dash of special to this bag. And the trim is adorable. For the handle, I sewed a tube from a strip of fabric and then pressed it so the seam was in the middle. I then sewed this beautiful vintage lace down the length of the strap. I inserted a vintage buckle for a cute detail.

Speaking of details, isn’t this ribbon loop sweet?

I sewed the pocket for this one on the outside...it was too wonderful to hide! I used an old lace collar that I had, perfect!

I added a decorative trim across the flaps of these.

A repurposed velvet belt makes the handle for this one...

I’ve been saving this special button for years...

Now go have fun making one (or four!) yourself. All of the placemats I used are from World Market (Cost Plus). Home Goods is another great source.

Don’t have an iPad? This bag is also perfect for other tablets or readers...and for all you diehards, a good old fashioned planner!

Learn all About my self-paced class, Happy Go Lucky Stitchalong. 

The project is set up as a grid-style sampler. You won't believe how much fun these samplers are to make. Each square in your sampler will represent something that makes you happy. And because what makes me happy isn't necessarily what makes you happy, each of us will have a different piece of art when we're done...one that will make you happy just by looking at it. Does it get any better than that?

Watch the video below to learn how to make your happy list and to see mine.
Speaking of videos, in the class their is a video for each of the 25 squares to show you how I stitched mine and to share tips and tricks. 
We all had so much fun making our samplers. Below are some of the student's creations.


Posted by Amy Powers  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)

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I'm not much of a sewer (sewing machine) either but I think I can manage these cute placemat tablet bags. I have a Fire and have not been able to find a suitable case. This is perfect! Thanks so much!!
Posted By Anne F  |  February 14, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Sorry, Colette! There will be a little stop motion animation project taught as part of the 12-week 4 Experts class later this year, Celebrate Everyday.
Posted By Amy Powers  |  February 14, 2013 at 07:18 AM

Amy do you mean there is a making stop motion video taught in the sampler class?? Confused.
Posted By ColetteT  |  February 13, 2013 at 03:34 PM

Yes! We're definitely going to make a stop motion animation together as one of the first projects! It's going to be so much fun. And thanks Laurie for your kindness...I hope to see you in this class too!
Posted By Amy Powers  |  February 13, 2013 at 01:56 PM

Amy you are awesome! I'm in love with your stop frame animation. Hope you teach how to make that too!!!
Posted By ColetteT  |  February 13, 2013 at 01:37 PM

I knew this was your post from the first sentence! Your fabulous attitude is infectious! ...and we did have a wonderful time in the class.
Posted By Smiles&Laughter  |  February 12, 2013 at 01:46 PM


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