Recently I came into possession of Dan’s old Nokia 770 internet tablet. It was a fairly pretty thing as gadgets go, black and silvery plastic, but kind of square and clunky. I thought I’d take the edge off of the geekiness by making a pretty, embroidered, pink case. Well partly pink at least.
The case is machine lace. I made a paper template of the gadget’s shape including areas to be left open – one at the bottom for cables, and another for the screen, which is under the flap at the front. I traced this template onto clear, water-soluble fabric with a biro. Onto the water soluble fabric I placed scraps of pink, white and black chiffon, pink, sparkly yarn, and designs cut from some scrap lace. The bottom edge of the front flap is entirely existing lace. I affixed these items to the water-soluble fabric with a bit of water, which made the surface gluey enough to hold them in place.
Next step was to fill in the template area with circles and circles of overlapping machine embroidery in black thread, taking care to interlock all of the embroidery and to fill all of the template. Once this was done I went around the edges with a close zigzag stitch in white thread, to provide contrast with the main body of the machine lace and to match against the scrap lace.
Sewing done that next step was to wash away the water-soluble fabric, warm water and gentle rubbing got rid of most of the fabric. A certain amount of it remained in the threads as a gluey substance which would then dry and add stability to the final shape. I left the machine lace to dry, formed around a pack of cards. When it was dry I sewed it along the seams into it’s final shape.
I was worried about the robustness of machine lace as a hardy case for a gadget, but so far it seems to be holding up. The gadget itself has a hard case to protect itself, so that wasn’t a consideration. And my gadget looks so, so pretty now.