Friday, March 20, 2009

Monkey see…

Monkey Do.

I am guilty of one of the most common failings: Love of The World, manifest in this instance by my attachment to the iPod. This one replaces my old Mini which still works. I did not imagine four years ago that I even knew more than a thousand songs. Well after you've rationalized buying an iPod, you may be chagrined to encounter yet another petty need screaming for your attention when you're holding that slippery jewel in your clammy hands, getting fingerprints all over it. It needs a case. It needs one because by bringing that iPod home, you have opened yourself up to the possibility, nay, inevitability of sharp anguish and remorse should its perfect shininess become marred. But now (that you have the little thing that makes you so happy) you can see a bit more clearly into the abyss of "Want!" And when Apple sends emails to show all the ways you can pimp your iPod, and you peek into that abyss and see there is even more spending required, spending that is not as much fun as it used to be… well that is when the worm starts to turn.

This was an easy project, finished in one evening with the TV on. That said, all props are due to the people overseas who actually sew these things together. I am convinced they have more than one specialty sewing machine to accomplish the task but that needn't stop anyone from making their own. Just having the iPod satisfied all my superficial status urges. I didn't need a status case for it, I needed one that it wouldn't slip out of and that wouldn't slip out of my hand.
I've had this soft red leather for ages, a gift from my friend Caroline. I have a whole skin but the amount I used for this was negligible. I decided the suede side of it was perfect for clinging to the iPod. I traced the front and back profiles and cut each out twice. I cut out a single strip for the side gusset piece to fit the depth of the iPod. I used a piece of an old polyester mattress cover to add padding between the leather pieces, making sure the suede side was on the inside, I sandwiched the polyester between each front and back piece.. I used a size 100 needle and regular thread, sewing very slowly, especially around the opening for the earbud jack. For the front flap, I cut a piece of plastic from a fast food container, cutting a slit on the inside to slide it between the leather flap pieces and zig-zagging over the slit to close up the opening.
When it was done, it fit poorly, and the openings for the screen and click wheel didn't line up too well. I just pinched up the excess, eyeballed how much I needed to take in the seams and sewed them over again; a fitting, like a slipcover. Using a straight stitch and then zig-zagging the edges together. Somewhere in this house there is always some styrofoam, clinging to something where it shouldn't be. I put a small piece of that, the width of the iPod, in the bottom of the case to be a cushion and also to further prop up the pod so I could see the window clearly.
Baffled as to how to attach this to the loops I've sewn over the back pockets of some pants to hold the iPod clip, I sewed a strap on the back with a buttonhole. The buttonhole is simply small stitches around a slit. If I did this again, I wouldn't make those stitches so short, it probably weakens the leather rather than strengthens it. Then I got fancy, wanting this strap to be strong, I doubled it an cut it from the irregular edge of the skin, using one of my machine's decorative stitches in yellow to hold those pieces together.

It's a little lopsided, which suits. And it was completely free, which delights.

Materials: Soft red leather
Batting, not too thick.
Plastic fast food container
Sewing machine ( this could be just as easily done by hand).
iPod ( a good model, it holds still for fitting purposes).