Bespoke Creations: Dead Mouse Faux Leather Nexus 10 Case
When I was commissioned to create a Nexus 10 case for my customer, his brief included a pre-designed logo which was a Dead Mouse avatar that he had designed for himself. He also requested a design that would be suitable for a professional work environment. Quite a different aesthetic to my usual work! I was very touched that my customer believed in me enough for this, seeing that my usual work doesn't quite fit the corporate bill. A final request was for the case to be somewhat solid to offer as much protection as possible for his tablet.
My customer had a pretty good idea of the design he wanted, which meant my main worries were material and construction. I had spied a soft leather-looking fabric at my local fabric shop and thought that this would be a good fit. I tried finding a similar fabric for the yellow/off-white logo but was unsuccessful. Luckily my customer was happy to let me use felt for the logo and I think it adds a nice touch in terms of the different texture anyway.
So onto construction and that's where the problems started. I had backed the faux leather with a very thick interfacing to give the case a hard structure. The lining was a 2mm pale yellow felt. The faux leather was quite thin and quite malleable, so I was hesitant to use just that one layer for a back pocket as it would get stretched out easily over time as the pocket gets used. So it was lined with the yellow felt too.
It was all going fine from cutting it all out, putting the interfacing and lining on, sewing the logo, etc all up til I had all the final pieces and needed to sew all of it together to form the case. I pinned it together, loaded it into my machine and tried to sew it.
Well, let's just say my machine wasn't too happy with me. Neither were the 5 needles that got bent trying to go through the big thick wall I had created.
I tried a different machine, that machine didn't like me either. I tried to hand sew it. My fingers started hating me too.
By the end of that day of much hatred directed at me, I had only managed to sew about 3 cm of stitches. What a dark day that was and much shower brain-storm time needed.
Drowning my brain had the desired effect and I went back to work the next day with renewed energy. This time around, I remade the pocket, lining it with a thinner felt so that it would still be strong but without all that additional thickness. I also went shopping and got myself some leather needles and I also tried various presser feet on my machine. And then very, very slowly I set my machine to work. And my machine had obviously forgiven me, because stitch by stitch I managed to coax it to work with me and sew up the case. Success!
I definitely learnt a huge deal from this bespoke creation! And happily, my customer was really happy with his new Dead Mouse case. He even took the time to write up a review of it on his blog
, check it out! :)
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