February 23, 2010

Padded external hard drive organiser

My little sister just turned 21. She likes to write stories. She also just lost her primary USB, with data on it which she didn't have saved anywhere else (partly because she had run out of space on her laptop).

From there, the idea for her present blossomed (and then reached fruition very quickly.... ahh, deadlines!)

First of all, I bought her a 320GB external hard drive. I promptly decided that she needed a pretty case to keep it & the cable in, and a pen & pad for spontaneous writing.... I was happy to finally have a project to use my Little Red Riding Hood FQ from Kokka.

I was inspired by all the handy organising rolls I had seen floating around. Here are some links to such tutorials, in no particular order, in case you want to make your own:
I didn't end up using any of them in particular... I just winged it. First of all I played around with some fabric & pins, sketching possible layouts at the same time.

I decided I wanted the hard drive & accessories to sit neatly in a row, whereas I wanted the book to be able to be opened without needing to take it out. I guesstimated some dimensions for all the pieces I'd need.

As I would only have one shot at the cutting & assembling, I took the unprecedented step (for me!) of testing my pattern with some scrap material first (in this case an old sheet). I cut and pinned and uhmed and ahhed and finally adjusted the final pattern piece sizes.

As you can see, I decided to have a huge top flap to stop the hard drive from falling out. I also decided to sew in a layer of bamboo batting to protect it a little bit form bumps and scratches.

My original design had a thin strip of fabric running through the spirals of the book and clipping at the top - this would stop the book from moving around too much. In the end though, the pocket was tight enough that it wasn't necessary.

I had planned to have the roll close using a pair of cute wooden buttons. Two disastrous button-hole attempts later, and I gave up on that idea. Hello, velcro!

Luckily I'd made the closing strap extra long, and I simply trimmed it back after each attempt, folded under the new raw edge and sewed it shut again. Velcro is far easier to use anyway... though it's not as pretty having the extra sew line for it showing on the strap.

Also, sewing the second piece of velcro onto the main part (behind the pocket where the external drive is) was pretty difficult as I'd already sewn everything up. It had to be done mostly by hand.

My sister loved it, and I wouldn't mind having something similar myself. Why is my hard drive roaming around somewhere, getting scratched & losing its cable? Why don't I ever make things for myself? I seem to get most creative when creating for others. And now that I've "done" the external drive case, I'm sure I'll be looking to try something new for my next project....


Ruby Star said...

That is so cool, what an awesome sister you are!

JenMeister said...

Hehe, I just realised that I used such a "little kid" fabric, even though she's 21 now... am I just avoiding believing she's anything other than my "little" sister? :)

Ruby Star said...

lol, i have a little sister too she's 7yrs younger. I keep calling my daughter my sister's name because i'm so use to my sister being the little girl in my life. Oops!
I think the fabric is that cute & classy that it suits any age.

Anna Bartlett said...

Great idea Jen. And lovely and personal. I've got an idea for a kids crayon/pad pouch thing to try one day soon too. Wish I had a birthday coming up to give me a deadline. Do make one for yourself too! What fabric are you going to choose for yourself?!

Martta said...

so clever! your (little) sister is a lucky duck. hahaa,i still treat my brother as a little boy even though he is only five minutes younger than i am (we're twins).

also, wanted to pass on the kreative blog award to you. hope you don't mind. there's more information about it on my blog.

JenMeister said...

Thanks everyone! You're right Anna, I will make one for myself, but not before finishing a few swaps I have in the works. Exciting! I'll be sharing soon.

Martta, How lovely to have a twin :) I have two sisters, we are spaced out by 4 years each. Quite an age difference at certain life stages :) Thanks for the award - I'll check out the details soon :)

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