Saturday, August 25, 2012

How to turn a placemat into an iPad bag

People around Seattle love their lattes and cappuccinos. So I wasn't surprised to find a set of woven espresso-themed placemats at a local thrift store.
coffee placemat iPad cover
I love the coffee cup illustrations -- they look like something you'd sketch while waiting for your tall no foam soy chai latte (yes, that's my drink). But the cream-on-midnight-blue border listing the drink names makes the placemat something special. It could double as the national flag of Starbuck's!

But could it hold an iPad? I doubled one of the placemats over and laid my iPad on top. Perfect!
I wanted to have one end extend over the top, to create a flap. Was the placemat big enough?
coffee placemat iPad cover
In fact, it looked a bit too big. But I didn't want to snip off that border. I also didn't want to deal with lots of fraying edges. What if I folded the edges over each other?
coffee placemat iPad cover
With one edge overlapping the other, the bag was exactly the right size. I managed to get the bulk under my sewing machine presser foot and slowly stitched them together. 
coffee placemat iPad cover
I decided to forgo lining since the placemat fabric is heavy enough to protect the iPad. The last step was securing the top. My zipper stash provided a matching dark blue separating zipper. To hold the flap down, I first tried small snaps. But my "where's the velcro" husband demanded I use the stronger option. He also suggested folding over the flap's top corners, to make the bag neater.
coffee placemat iPad cover
I'm happy with the final result. Hopefully another coffee and iPad lover will find the bag in my shop. (I loved the placemats so much that I went back to the thrift shop and bought the last 3, which I'm using on my kitchen table!)