Fabric: cotton drill or calico, plain, 50cm x 90cm; cotton, patterned, 40cm x 72cm Wadding, 40cm x 72cmFoam, Funky, scraps Dye, fabric, Dylon, for hand use, sachet: Jeans Blue; Flamingo Pink Paint, fabric, Dylon, Royal Blue, one potSaltString, ballGloves, rubberPlate, paperBias binding
25.5cm x 40.5cm
Make a laptop case
Cut cotton drill or calico into two pieces, one measuring 50cm x 60cm and the other 30cm x 50cm. Wash both in soapy water, rinse thoroughly and wring out but leave damp. Find the centre of the larger piece of fabric, pinch between finger and thumb, then tie a piece of string around it. Take a second length of string and wrap it around a few centimetres from the first. Repeat until you have tied a number of wraps. This will create a starburst pattern. Pleat the smaller piece, starting at one of the longer edges, then tie at intervals to create a striped effect.
Make up blue dye in a bucket, adding water and salt according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Wearing rubber gloves, place the larger piece of bound fabric in the dye bath and push down until it is submerged. Leave for one hour, stirring occasionally to ensure that the fabric remains under. Remove from the bath and rinse out the excess dye in clean water.
Rinse out the bucket thoroughly then make up a pink dye, adding water and salt as before. Wearing rubber gloves, place the smaller piece of fabric in the dye bath and submerge. Leave for an hour as before then take out and rinse. Remove all the strings and wash both pieces of fabric thoroughly in hot soapy water. Hang up the fabric to dry then press with a hot iron, to help to fix the dye.
Trim the blue fabric to 40cm x 51cm and the pink to 23cm x 40cm. Join the two pieces of tie-dye fabric along the 40cm edges with a 1cm seam. Press open and place the fabric face up on a pile of newspapers.
Use your computer to write and print ‘Out of Office’ or your chosen wording in a size to fit the case. Cut the letters out and use them to make stamps out of foam. Or use pre-cut foam letters which are available from craft shops.
Pour a small amount of fabric paint onto a paper plate. Dip the foam letter into it, making sure it has a thin (wipe off any excess on newspaper) and press onto the fabric, using the picture as a guide. Repeat until you have printed your complete message then leave to dry thoroughly. Press the area with a hot iron, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Cut 40cm x 72cm rectangles from patterned fabric and wadding. Place the patterned fabric wrong side up on your work surface, followed by the wadding and the dyed fabric right side up on top. Pin together and tack through all three thicknesses close to the edge. On the corners of the top flap (the striped tie-dye fabric) place a small round object such as a teacup, draw around it then cut to create rounded corners.
Bind the short straight edge. Then, with this bound edge at the bottom, fold up the bottom third, right sides out, then stitch the side seams. Starting at the base of one of the side seams, bind the seam, then continue up the side, around the curved corner, along the top of the flap, down the other side and over the other seam.