Pencil & iPad Cases for Travel

Cotton + Steel ipad and pencil case

The night before we left for our recent epic trip to New York and Boston, I (quite naturally, in my opinion) stitched up some cute little cases for my goodies along the way.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 9.11.14 PM

It’s not totally crazy.  Granted, night-before sewing can be frantic.  But who among us is immune to the allure?  I ask you.

Plus, when you travel, don’t you get super frustrated when you can’t find things in your carry-on bag?  I didn’t want to worry that my iPad was getting damaged along the way, or dig for a pencil, or have a great idea inspired by the manipulated oxygen levels at 30,000 feet and have no notebook in which to jot those ideas.  Organizing my things was the greatest idea EVAR, and Anna’s new book gave me just the tools to do it:

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 9.18.12 PM

I spotted piles of projects I couldn’t wait to make right away, but these two–the pencil case and the iPad case–were useful to me immediately.  And that totally justifies some late-night just-before-boarding sewing.


I think choosing the fabric took longer than sewing these up.  Making the leap to turn my gold metallic linen was the toughest step, but once that was made…well, it all just came together.


A quick trip to the local Hancock for interfacing and I was off!  The iPad case includes a tiny pocket for earphones, and a larger back pocket for a small notebook.  The dimensions of the case are plenty roomy enough for my iPad Air plus a composition notebook.


Anna makes a great suggestion in the book to match the metal of the zipper to the snap on the outer pocket–since I was totally at a loss to lay my hands on a brass snap (what up with THAT, Hancock?), I just omitted it altogether.  But I love the way the brass and the gold metallic linen work together!


For the pencil case, same zipper and same bias tape trim, and the fabric from the tiny pocket on the iPad case to make it all come together.  I loooove the little leather pulls on the zipper–Anna uses them throughout her book, and they really make the whole project seem so professional.  (There was one on the iPad case, too, but I must have lost it somewhere along the way–argh!)


The great thing about this pair was when it came in handy in ways I DIDN’T anticipate.  One night while we were in New York, we went out to dinner with one of my husband’s childhood friends for his 40th birthday.  I knew ahead of time we’d be there late–we don’t get to see him very often, and I didn’t even remotely want to be the wet sock who made everyone leave early because the kids were tired.  So I was prepared to stay well past their bedtimes.  About an hour past said bedtimes, they were losing some steam (they were GREAT the whole night, honestly, but no one can go forever).

On the way out the door to head to the restaurant, I grabbed the iPad case, which held my device, a small notebook, and the pencil case tucked inside.  At the restaurant three hours later, one child really wanted to play a game (which is only loaded on my iPad) and another really wanted to color.  Done and done!  Mommy had the supplies right there, and I didn’t even have to think about it.  We squeaked out a whole extra hour with our friends, and everyone was super happy to be there.


So there you have it.  I “sacrificed” amazing fabric that I’ve been hoarding, turning it into a project that I’ll get to see literally every day for the foreseeable future.  I gave up a scant two hours before a trip making something I’ll be using long after.  And I was the most prepared mommy in the room for a late night dinner with dear friends.

Sewing in amazing, y’all.

You Might Also Like

  • Mary Ann
    July 4, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Still in the middle of an epic road trip with family I wish I had seen this post before we left. I keep worrying that my iPad is not padded enough in that big bag at my feet. Although since the I am not traveling with littles this time I could skip the crayons!

    • Deborah
      July 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      This one has a nice layer of batting, but you could always add more if you want some insurance! Between this and the flip cover that came with the iPad, I felt totally confident that it was protected. I hope you make one–I’d love to see it!!