Despite my online presence I can be a bit of a luddite when it comes to the latest tech devices. So it may come as a shock to know that when the Kindle Fire came out last year I’d actually pre-ordered one for my son’s 14th birthday. At the time the thought of needing a cover seemed silly, but now that the Fire has been confiscated and shared by the entire family, um, we need a cover and I’m not going to pay for something I can make. Initially I whipped up a crochet pocket to keep it save and it wasn’t until this weekend that I finally dug out the sewing machine and threw together a quick cover.
The title of the post may be how NOT to make a Kindle cover but the fact of the matter is, it’s not that bad! It just needs a little TLC and tweaking from a seamstress much more mastered than I. It started out as a semi-complicated plan with elastic stretching in various directions but was quickly simplified with Velcro and a piece of clear vinyl. I hope this, in the very least, gives you an idea of how you can quickly and easily sew your own Kindle cover.
- 2 pieces of your cover material cut into 12” x 9” rectangles
- 1 piece of clear vinyl cut into a 6” x 9” rectangle
- 1 piece of cover material cut into a 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” square
- 2 pieces of 1” Velcro cut 2” long
- 1 sheet of plastic canvas
- matching threads
Don’t start off by measuring and cutting out three pieces of the plastic canvas so that it is the same size as the Kindle. Instead cut it so it is just a smidge (one row on the canvas) smaller than the Fire, then set aside.
Looking at the picture below you’ll see how NOT to cut the tab for closing the cover. It does not need to be four inches long…I honestly don’t know where I even came up with that measurement.
Because if it is this is what you’ll end up with…
Don’t worry I cut it down a bit and tried again until I ended up with the terribly off-centered tab you see below. Symmetry is over-rated, that’s what I always say.
The two larger pieces of material make up the back and front of the cover. Now that I had my tab made I lined up the corresponding piece of Velcro the back piece and sewed it down. Um, I think I actually did that part right, mind you I didn’t leave it hanging over the edge like you see here.
Next I sandwiched all the materials together in this order: back cover/right side up with pre-sewn Velcro patch to the left – piece of vinyl lined up along the right – front of cover/right side down. Pinned it into place and began sewing.
As you can see from the picture I mistakenly thought I should leave the vinyl side open…I hate to give it away but this is where the original plan REALLY got wonky.
Aww, isn’t it cute and aren’t I smart?…that is what I was thinking when I snapped this picture. Completely ignorant to the off kilter mess I was about to create.
Seriously though this is the step where you’d insert all three pieces of the plastic canvas. Go ahead and leave them in a stack and scoot them into the cover as far as they’ll go, we’ll be separating them out later.
Fold in the opening and begin sewing it closed being sure to pin the tab into place so that it lines up with the corresponding Velcro.
Do you know what’s so wrong with this picture? Um, how about vinyl doesn’t really sew well with the foot I’m using so I’m going to end up practically pulling it through the machine, not to mention the material I’m using is kind of slippery so we’re going to end up all over the place.
Voila…kind sad huh? From the angle you almost can’t see just how horrible this seam looks.
BAM! And then you sit it on the table and see this…now you know why this is a how NOT…but don’t worry we can fix it. Yes we can!
For starters, I didn’t show it but the cover wouldn’t even close properly because I’d cut the plastic canvas too big. A correction was already mentioned above, if you made this mistake it’s so not my fault!
CORRECTIONS: Go ahead and rip this horrible stitch out, take out all the plastic canvas, turn the cover inside out, pin the tab into place and stitch the entire cover closed.
Now rip out the stitching along the bottom on the side without the vinyl. Insert the canvas back into it and stitch it back up…by hand this time.
Now separate the plastic canvas so that one piece is behind the Kindle and the rest are in the other side. To keep it in place use colorful embroidery floss to play around and make a few designs on the cover. According to the 14 year old, this is where I really messed up…he doesn’t like that the stars and swirls and plain old weirdness aren’t symmetrical. ( I really hate that word.)
Side note: I’m glad I went with the tab, because when I flip it around I can comfortably hold it in my hand and play.