Grand TUA 2018

Participants in the Renaissance Handstitching class at Grand TUA 2018

Participants in the Renaissance Hand stitching class at Grand TUA 2018

On April 7, 2018 I attended Grand TUA – The University of Avacal. This is an annual event consisting mostly of classes, though some social aspects, SCA court, and martial activities are also included. This year for the first time the Kingdom A&S (Arts & Sciences) Championship was also included. Continue reading

Hand-made felted iPad Sleeve


iPad and felt sleeve

iPad and felt sleeve (What’s that on the screen? Why, my sewing music! Metal from Finland – Stam1na!)

Just before my recent trip to Hawaii I bought myself an iPad, largely because I wanted something I could type on with relative ease, but that was lighter than my laptop for travel.

With a new iPad, of course I needed a case to protect and carry it easily, and after spending hours shopping for one for my mum, I knew exactly what I liked – and what I didn’t. Unfortunately the one she had picked up was no longer in store, but I could still order it online. Worse still, I didn’t really have enough time to order it before I left on my trip.

iPad and felt sleeve

iPad and felt sleeve

So, although I knew I’d end up buying the case I really liked, I needed something in-between, so in a morning before heading off to an appointment, I whipped up this simple and easy felt sleeve. Of course, I had to personalize it just a little, so chose to quickly do some needle felting with some burgundy roving I had on the front.


Want to make one of your own? Here are the steps:

 Cut your pieces

  1. Cut two pieces of wool felt to the size and shape of the device – plus a little extra to go around the width and for seam allowances. This can get trimmed down later. I used one piece of grey and one piece of burgundy felt.
  2. Cut a number of narrow strips of wool felt – these will be the binding for the sleeve as well as the straps. I cut mine to an inch wide.


Close-up of the felting

Close-up of the felting

  1. (optional) Needle felt any design or be totally random on one side of one of the pieces of felt. Alternately you could applique, stitch, embroider, etc…


  1. Use a straight stitch to sew the two large pieces of felt together, wrong sides together, along three sides (in my case I stitched along the two long sides and one short side, but this would really be your personal choice. Most sleeves seem to be constructed this way though.)
  2. Slide your iPad or device in.
  3. Once your iPad or device is in, you’ll be able to see the fit. You might need to tighten it up a bit by sewing along one of the side seams. The fit should be relatively snug, but you should be able to slide the device in and out.
  4. Trim all of the seam allowances. Since I had cut my binding strips to one inch wide, I trimmed my seam allowances to less than half an inch.

Make your strap & continue

  1. Measure the height (from the sewn end to the open end) of your sleeve, an cut two strips to that measurement plus 3-4 inches. This will be your strap and closure. Sew these two together along the long ends, then fold over one edge approximately 1 inch, and top stitch in place. This is where your closure will go.
  2. Position the raw (not top-stitched) edge of your strap to the bottom of your sleeve, on the back of your sleeve, and stitch in place. Cut a slightly wider narrow strip (the extra width will be needed to accommodate the strap bulk as well) and bind this seam covering the raw edge of the strap.
  3. Bind the top edge of the front of your sleeve.
  4. Bind the top edge of the back of your sleeve, and stitch the strap into place at the top of the binding while attaching the binding. A short amount of the strap should go past the top of the sleeve to create the closure.
  5. Bind the two sides of your sleeve using the narrow strips of wool felt.

Fix the closure

  1. Hand-stitch snaps onto the top stitched edge of your strap. Alternately you can use Velcro. (I hate Velcro though, and use it as infrequently as possible)
  2. Fold over the strap and mark where the receiving ends of the snaps need to be stitched. Back the front of the case with a small piece of felt inside the case, and hand-stitch the other sides of the snaps in place.
  3. Done!
Back side of the felt sleeve (and of my iPad!)

Back side of the felt sleeve (and of my iPad!)


Millinery: Freeform felt

While I am thinking about millinery and felt, I thought I would share this video with you about freeform felt hats – a kind of interesting concept – but nothing that we explored in class ourselves.

What do you think?  I bet that to hold all those tiny ridges some additional sizing or stitching might be needed…?

Faux floral pompom fascinator

During my regular internet wanderings, I found a tutorial for a faux floral (using felt) pompom fascinator, and wanted to give it a try myself.

I’ve had a hard time finding wool felt at my regular fabric and craft stores – so for this project I started off with fake felt from Fabricland.  I did find wool felt at a few places subsequently, but figured that the result was ok with the fake stuff (it’s called EcoFelt and is actually made from recycled pop bottles!) so I didn’t need to cut into my (much more expensive!) real wool felt.

The Grosgrain Fabulous blog has really good directions along with clear photos, so I’m not going to replicate them here – but instead just share my own project!

A whole bunch of felt flowers

I started off making a bunch of different flowers using the basic instructions.  Some used more felt than others, some had different widths cut, and some were made from angled felt rather than straight-cut felt.  Ultimately I liked one of these better than the rest (the one on the top left) so decided to use it for the first project.

Underside of the flower - the pinked edges are from the side that met with the other flower.

The base of the flower is really flat, which makes it easy to glue or sew to other things.

With the clip and veil attached.

In the tutorial, the author made  a headband facinator based on a plastic headband.  I always find that these pinch me, mess up my hair, or are just plain uncomfortable – so I decided to do mine using a clip instead, and make it a bit smaller – more like a hair piece than a facinator.  I added some French/Russian veiling,  in a bird-cage style, and added the hair clip. I also made a second with one of the smaller flowers and just put a clip on it (no veiling).

It’s super cute, and I think I’d like to repeat it with a different colour – possibly trying to do something larger and more facinator/hat-like!