Well, it’s later.
Being honest here – I did not know the actual term for what this was so I Googled it. Apparently it’s called a Wrist Rest or Wrist Rest Pad, and it encourages a “neutral” wrist position to help avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, or whatever other long term health effects come from typing on a keyboard for hours on end.
I have never bought one of these things myself. Occasionally I’ve used them if they were at the work station I was sitting at, but I have never had one.
My friend approached me recently with the pad seen above and explained she has had hers since she was 19 years old (I don’t know her actual age, but I’ll go with 25!) and it is extremely well loved and used. The bottom had split from the gel portion so it was in two pieces. She asked if I might be able to come up with some type of way to enclose the pieces so she could continue using it.
I brainstormed a few different design concepts from a pouch with a Velcro closure, buttons, or snaps. I promised her I would come up with something. Driving home that night I thought about making a big zippered pouch slightly larger than the dimensions of her wrist pad. That seemed easy enough, because I have made several pouches already and felt I could sew one together looking halfway decent.
If you have never made a zippered pouch before, iheartstitching has a great YouTube tutorial available – and lots of other wonderful videos. This is awesome for more visual learners. I watched a few of her crocheting videos (I have no idea how to crochet) and they were easy to understand.
Anyhow, a few days later I remembered to bring a tape measure in, and while she was not around I was able to take the real dimensions. It was 22 inches long, 4.25 inches width, and less than one inch in height. The next day I started to cut out fabric pieces and added 1.5 inches to both the length and width to account for seam allowances and the bulk from the height of the pad. My pieces were 23.5 inches by 5.75 inches.
So the fabric wasn’t flimsy and droopy, I fused Pellon 950F Shirtailor interfacing to the exterior and lining pieces.
One of my favorite new sewing tips is to glue baste (using ONLY Elmer’s white washable school glue) zippers to tack them down. It works pretty well and no pins! I used a 22 inch zipper and with the extra leeway on the ends it was a perfect fit.
After both the lining and exterior were attached to the zipper, I pressed them well (WITH steam) away from the zipper – then top stitched both sides. Doing this will keep your fabric from getting stuck in the zipper teeth. (Something I despise – I have a winter coat with this issue and it is no fun)
At this point, I matched up my lining pieces with each other, and the same with the exterior pieces (Right Sides Together). Leaving about a 4-6 inch gap in the middle of the long section of the lining, sew around the perimeter with about a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I always forget which direction the zipper teeth should point (according to iheartstitching zipper teeth should be turned toward the lining and not the outer fabric for), but I think mine were going in the direction of the exterior fabric and it turned out okay. I’m going to try the other way to see if there’s a difference. (Sorry, forgot to take pictures of this part)
To sew the opening in the lining shut, I pressed in the raw edges and used Wonder Clips to hold it closed.
Here it is finished! It looks like a huge pencil case, doesn’t it?
The new cover in action! While I chose a very neutral gray fabric – Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in black (I’m obsessed), you could pick a fun print or bright color to really brighten up the office. I would advise using a heavier weight fabric for the exterior for a few reasons: it’s heavier duty and will hold up better under constant use, and the texture in the linen I chose is more “non-skid” on a desktop surface. Other suggestions would be home dec fabric or canvas. A cool zipper would also be a welcome addition – especially in gold or silver.
This project took about two hours from start to finish and is beginner friendly. It was a nice break for me after wrestling with that flight bag’s binding tape.
My friend is excited to be able to save her wrist rest pad and if say – something got spilled on it – it’s easily removable and she can toss it in the washing machine.
See you next time!