Holy crap — we’ve been married for three years now. When did that happen? (As an aside, happy first anniversary to Jordan and Brian of Project: Nest!)
We haven’t really put much emphasis on our wedding anniversaries so far. The Pie and I agree that they will probably only become more significant to us when the number of years we have been married is greater than the number of years we were together before we got married (which is five, if you’re counting). So until then, our real anniversary is still the night of our first date, which was September 19th, 2004.
After nearly eight years together, we’ve faced down our share of financial, emotional, family, scholastic, and health problems, and we’re stronger for it. We know that we can assemble a barbecue (and/or IKEA furniture) without fighting, and that I am way better at folding laundry than the Pie will ever be. For his part, he has really good taste in dogs, and Gren is the best wedding present we could ever have hoped for.
Because of our current financial situation (broke-ass students), we have stopped exchanging gifts on birthdays, Christmas, and special days like this. Instead we spend time together and cook the other person dinner. In the interests of having something to blog, and because the traditional gift for a third anniversary is leather (doesn’t THAT sound kinky), I decided to break that rule and give the Pie something practical that I upcycled from something else.
He recently bought himself a new tablet, the Asus Transformer Pad, and it’s a real beauty of a machine. Not the cheapest machine either. So I thought I would make him a little sleeve to slide it in for protection.
I have this jacket. It’s not real leather, but it’s pretty convincing. I bought it at Value Village a few years ago (surprisingly, it was my mother who pressured me into the purchase). I think it’s really neat, but it’s one of those items of clothing that I always feel very self-conscious wearing. Plus it jingles every freaking time I move. And the Pie was always a bit jealous of it, anyway, because it made me look like a badass female Wolverine. So now he can have it.
Because I’m doing this in secret, I have this lovely ancient text on social science field research methods standing in for the size and the shape of the tablet when the Pie leaves the house and takes it with him.
I’m measuring everything around that, and of course I’m not being scientific at all. This is less of a DIY post and more of an inspiration to you to upcycle stuff you like into other stuff you like.
I could also only work on this on Sunday nights, when the Pie was out playing Street Fighter with his buddies, so my pictures aren’t all that great. Sorry in advance.
I had lots of ideas involving using bits of zipper and pockets to make it look way more badass but then reality broke through my manic mind and told me that I wasn’t that good at sewing so I should keep it simple.
The first thing I needed to do was dismantle the jacket, which involved taking out the lining and cutting along the seams of the pleather.
And the elbows had this annoying fuzzy stuff sewn in that took forever to remove.
I used the back of the jacket as the main part of the tablet sleeve, as it was largest and flattest. I kept the bottom end of the back for visual interest, as you can see these two snaps here.
I debated between these two linings. I originally wanted something less than geometric because I knew that my sewing and measuring skills would make sure that fabric with straight lines showed all my mistakes. But the other fabric I had that would have worked wasn’t quite right for this particular project. So I went with the lines.
First I reversed the outside and the liner and sewed them together in a big rectangle with one open side, and then I flipped it inside out.
Then I turned up one end and sewed the thing into a pocket. I also installed the bottom snap while I was at it, which meant I had to make sure it would line up properly later on.
I still need a flap to make the sleeve into a sort of envelope, and I want to make use of these big white stripes. I was originally going to do two stripes coming together to form a chevron in the centre but then in my mind that looked too much like a ladies’ clutch purse and I didn’t think the Pie would like that very much, so I’m just using one set of stripes.
It actually took two attempts to cut the triangle flap so it fit properly on the pocket. I wasted the other sleeve by cutting it too small. I hope it will come in handy for something else some other time.
I got lazy and didn’t add any extra lining fabric on the flap, other than what was already there, so you can see it ends rather abruptly right at the snap.
But there you have it — it fits the tablet perfectly, with room to spare on the side for the charge cord, if desired.
I can definitely see myself picking up other leather jackets in thrift stores, just for the ability to use the fabric itself. Maybe the next thing I make will be a little more genuine in that respect. I guess that’s something to consider for anyone who likes to upcycle — second-hand clothing is not just for wearing. Where else are you going to get such awesome fabrics for cheap?