My daughter has been asking for a case for her portable game console for ages. So this week I made her dream come true. I am sharing with you this tutorial for the Nintendo DSi console. It includes three compartments to safely store game cartridges. The case is made of felt and lined with patterned cotton (I used the Woodlands collection from Riley Blake Design) so it is at the same time soft and cosy. It closes with a velcro tape so it is easier to handle for smaller people. The tutorial includes steps to add appliqué at the front of the case but this part is absolutely optional.
The project is of medium difficulty, it may take from 3 hours to half a day to complete. The trickiest part is the final steps where lining and felt are assembled. Boxing the corners can also be a bit daunting but I can tell you that it takes only a bit of practice to get your hand around this technique. Below is the step by step tutorial to make your own portable console case, with loads of pictures as usual.
For this project you will need:
- Two pieces of felt: a 31×18.5 cm (12.2×7.3”) piece and a 4×12 cm (1.6×4.7”) piece
- Thread matching felt colour
- Lining fabric: a 31×18.5 cm (12.2×7.3”) piece
- Velcro tape: approximately 19 cm (7.5”)
Optional – for appliqué:
- Fabric matching lining and featuring motives that can be used for appliqué
- Thread matching appliqué fabric
- Fusible interfacing fabric
1 – Adding velcro to lining fabric
Turning lining fabric right side up, pin one side of the velcro tape 1.5 cm (0.6”) away from lining top border (see picture 1). Stitch along both lengths of the velcro tape, close to the edge. Trim the excess of velcro as shown on picture 2.
2 – Adding velcro to felt
Lay your felt piece and pin the second part of the velcro tape so the top of the tape is 22 cm (8.7”) away from the felt top edge, as shown on picture 3. Stitch along both lengths of the velcro tape, close to the edge. Trim the excess of velcro.
3 – Stitching cartridge compartments
Lay the felt piece velcro facing up and closer to the top edge of the piece. Pick the smaller felt piece, it will be used to create the cartridge compartments. Pin the smaller felt piece in the small space between the velcro and the top of the larger felt piece. The smaller piece should be in the middle of the larger piece and approx. 1 cm (0.4”) away from the velcro top edge as shown on picture 4.
Stitch along the left, bottom and right side of the smaller felt piece as shown on picture 5. Stitch close to the edge, but not too close as the felt could fray. I found 3 mm (0.1”) is the safe distance for the felt I use.
Mark the two inner compartment separation with a pin, each 4 cm (1.6”) away from the closest side edge. Then stitch along these markers and you should get something as shown on picture 6.
4 – Optional: appliqué motives
Following manufacturer instruction, apply the fusible interfacing fabric to the back of the fabric you have picked for the appliqué. Cut out as many shapes as you need, but be aware that they should all fit in a 8×14 cm (3.1×5.5”) rectangle.
Now mark the emplacement for the appliqué: lay the felt with the velcro sitting vertically on the left of the felt. Mark two lines with a couple of pins: one is 11.5 cm (4.5”) away from the right edge, the other is 19.5 cm (7.7”) away from the right edge, just as shown on picture 7. The appliqué will be stitched between these two lines.
Move the felt by 90 degrees so the part with the compartments and the velcro is now at the bottom. Pin in place the pieces to appliqué, leaving 2.5 cm (1”) padding on each side, as this space will be used for the sides of the case. Using a running stitch and the contrasting thread, appliqué the motives. Don’t stitch to close to the edge of the motives to prevent fraying. 3 mm (0.1”) seems to be a safe distance. See example on picture 8.
5 – Stitching the lining
Lay the lining right size facing up. Fold the piece so the bottom edge is now 10.5 cm (4.1”) away from top edge. The bottom part of the piece now forms a pocket. Pin the edges of the pocket and stitch along left and right side of the pocket allowing for a 1 cm (0.4”) seam (don’t stitch the rest, i. e. the part showing the right side). This should now look as on picture 9.
6 – Stitching the outside
Lay the felt piece with velcro, compartments and appliqués facing up, and with compartment opening towards the bottom edge of the piece. Fold the piece so the bottom edge is now 10.5 cm (4.1”) away from top edge. The bottom part of the piece now forms a pocket as seen on picture 10. Pin the edges of the pocket and stitch along left and right side of the pocket allowing for a 1 cm (0.4”) seam, just as you did for the lining.
7 – Boxing the corners
Now we will box the corners to form the case shape, i.e. move from a flat case to a 3D case. If the following explanations don’t seem clear to you, I found this article from Craftapple quite useful when boxing my first corners.
Pick your lining piece. Lay flat one of the corners of the pocket so you end up with a pointy shape where both sides form a 45 degrees angles with the seam line (see illustration on picture 11). Mark the line perpendicular to the seam line whom length is 2.5 cm (1”). The seam line is then at 1.25 cm (0.5”) from each side as shown on picture 12.
Stitch this 2.5 cm (1”) line twice and cut the excess of the corner as shown on picture 13.
Repeat this step for the other corner of the lining pocket and for both corners of the felt outside. You’ll see the case now has an actual box shape.
7 – Assembling felt and lining cases
Turn the felt case so wrong side show up (velcro and compartments should be inside). Make sure lining case has right side showing. Insert the lining into the felt case. Pin and stitch the fold over part as shown on picture 14. Allow 1 cm (0.4”) for seam, it should be the continuation of the seam that formed the box (see picture 15). Clip the corners and turn over the two parts of the case.
Insert the lining in the felt. Fold over the edge of the lining that it is still open and pin. The felt does not need to be folded over but may need to be trimmed to match the straight line formed with the lining, see picture 16.
Top stitch along the fold over and the case top edge as shown on picture 17 and 18. That’s it!