Category Archives: ✔ iPad bag

My new iPad carry case
I say: Distressed canvas is the new sexy
Wife says: Just a manky old bag

Bagus Completus

Finally, after several weeks of sporadic needle work, the iPad bag is finally complete.

Well, sort of.  The carry strap is still not quite done, but I want to mark a project ‘complete’ so bad that I’m going to ignore that little discrepancy.

The bag took a little longer than expected, as once the leather straps had been sewn around the outside of the bag I realised that they didn’t line up. This required some expletives, followed by un-stitching and restitching of part of the straps.

I now own a matching set of carry bag and iPad sleeve made from an ex-WWII haversack, and leather offcuts left over from furniture making.  The bag is much smaller and lighter than a laptop bag, but big enough to hold the iPad, charger,cables, dock, livescribe notepad and pen and various other items I require for business travel.

Bag Complete

Matching Set

Sleevus Completus

Following a delivery from Birdsall leather & craft in Australia I was finally able to finish the iPad sleeve.  My wife was gob-smacked that I had actually completed something, which was probably the best part of this project.  I just didn’t tell her that the sleeve was done, but the bag was nowhere near finished yet 🙂

The canvas flap (made from left-over canvas from the ex-WWII haversack) was already hemmed, and the corners sewn over.  The next step was to attach this to the leather sleeve.  Once that was done the final step was to use a leather scrap as the anchor for the harness post to close the bag.

Sleevus Completus!

Flap stitch detail

Flap in progress

Sleeve complete

Detail of completed sleeve


While I am waiting for some hardware to turn up in order to complete the carry bag, I have been working on a leather sleeve for my new Apple iPad.  The intention is that the iPad lives in the sleeve, which is in turn carried in the bag.

I started by selecting two pieces of leather and tracing the shape of the iPad on to these, adding a 5mm seam margin on one, and a 10mm seam on the other.  The smaller piece sits against the screen of the iPad, and the larger piece follows the curved contour of the iPad back, hence it needs to be somewhat larger.  I didn’t happen to capture any images of this stage – sorry.

The next step was to use some strong waxed linen thread and a sharp leather awl to double-needle stitch the two pieces together using two needles at once.  Start from the open end on each side and stitch down to the bottom corners first.  Then insert the iPad and use it as a former (carefully!) when stitching the bottom seam.  You’ll need to stretch the leather over the curved shape of the iPad to get a good fit.

I then hemmed the edges of a piece of left over canvas from the WWII bag to use as a flap.  The corners of the flap are also folded and stitched over.  Once again by hand because my sewing machine skills are non-existent.  When I get some time I will attach the flap to the sleeve – but another project has come up in the meantime…

Leather iPad sleeve

Canvas flap for iPad sleeve

Canvas flap shown in place


With the bag in pieces, the first step is to join it back together again. I employed a great tool here that I highly suggest everyone make use of (if you have access to it) – your mother. My mum is much handier with a sewing machine than I, and we just happened to be visiting 🙂

Here is the bag mostly stitched back together, with an iPhone for size comparison. My iPad turns up tomorrow, so I better get a move-on!  Shown with a beautiful piece of Andrew Muirhead Scottish leather found on TradeMe.  Just the flaps left to finish by hand before attaching leather and straps.

Stitched back together about 5cm thinner than previously

Fine Andrew Muirhead Scottish leather


On the mission to make the perfect iPad bag there may be no compromise.  Or something like that.  So instead of just adding leather to the ex-WWII haversack as it is (the easy way), I just had to make it narrower first (the hard way).

A lot of unpicking later, quick whip around with the scissors, and the bag is ready to be stitched back together again.

This bag is designed to replace my current bulky laptop and laptop bag that I currently use for business.  It will carry my iPad, iPhone, Livescribe pen and pad, business cards, and perhaps a few other sundry items.

Bag unstitched and narrowed by several cm

Front pinned back in place

37 pattern webbing

My laptop weighs half a ton.  Because the battery only lasts 2 hours, whenever I travel the charger needs to come along for the ride, which weighs another 100kg.  The bulk of the two means I need a whopping great laptop bag, which weights an arm and a leg. The end result is like travelling with an elephant.

So I have ordered an iPad.

Of course, the iPad is a magical device, and so requires an equally magical bag to carry it in.  One a lot smaller than the old laptop bag.

The bags from temple bags are amazing, so I looked around on TradeMe for a bag the right size and with the right look to re-purpose into my own iPad-carrying creation.  I found a British ex-WWII pack designed in 1937 that will make the perfect base (’37 pattern webbing small pack, or haversack).