27 January 2012

Laptop case tutorial

It took me an afternoon to make this laptop sleeve. It would've taken a whole lot less effort if not for the ambitious lining at the sides. But I think the extra work pays off. The main exterior fabric is marvelous - a printed waterproof laminated fabric I scored in Hong Kong. 

These measurements fit a 13" macbook (13"x 9"x 1")

- Laminated bird fabric 2 x {15" x 10"}
- Side faux leather lining {35" x 2"} 
OR 2 x {15" x 2"} and {10" x 2"} (I used 3 separate pieces because my material wasn't long enough. Extra steps will be in italics)
- Jersey 2 x {14" x 12"}
- Quilt batting 2 x {14" x 12"}
Closure (not in picture)
- Velcro {1.5"} 
- Faux leather {14"x 2.5"}

A note before you start sewing: Do not pin leather or laminate fabrics as you will leave holes. Use binder clips or clothes pegs to keep fabrics together instead.


If you're using 3 separate pieces of leather, connect them to make a long strip. Press seams open. Unpick or leave 3/8" (seam allowance) unsewn from the ends to turn corners later. 

1. Line up the long sides of the leather and exterior pieces right sides together. Sew down. Ensure seams are pressed open as you sew. 

2. Stop 3/8" from the end (or whatever measurement you use for seam allowance). Leave your needle in the fabric. At this point, clip a small square from the leather. This is to allow you to line up the leather with the fabric after the corner.
Because you already left the ends unsewn, you don't have to cut a square. 

3. Pivot 90*. Line up the side of the leather with the fabric, sewing a right angle. The leather will not be lying flat at the corner. 
Repeat Step 2 and 3 when you reach the next corner. 

4. Match other exterior piece with leather lining. Repeat Steps 1 - 3. Trim excess fabric, especially from corners but be careful not to cut into the stitching. 


5. Pin batting to wrong side of jersey. Machine quilt in whatever way you like. I sewed diagonally, following the white patterns of the jersey. It's easier to sew from the middle outwards.

6. Match quilted-jersey pieces right sides together and pin. Using your laptop, mark out where you want your seams to be, about a 1/2 inch border around. I left about 1.5 inches from the top. Sew seams. 

7. Place your laptop inside to ensure a snug fit. Adjust seams if necessary. Cut away excess fabric. Turn inside out so that the right side of the jersey is on the outside.  

8. Place lining inside exterior, keeping right sides together. Match the tops of the interior and exterior, ensuring the side seams of the interior meet the middle of the leather. Use clips to secure. 

9. Sew around the top through all layers, leaving an opening in the middle for turning. Turn the fabric inside out through the opening left at the top. 

10. Tuck the interior all the way into the exterior shell. The exterior should extend into the insides of the sleeve.

11. Hand stitch the opening closed, being careful not to sew into the outside fabric. 
At this point, you may top stitch around the opening. I chose not to since I would be sewing the strap and velcro through all layers which would secure it. 


12. Sew prickly side of the velcro onto the right side of leather about 1.5 inches from the edge. Fold leather right sides together and sew sides, leaving an opening for turning. Turn strap right side out. Top stitch all around.

13. Measure where the middle of the sleeve is and make a mark. Attach the non-velcro end of the strap. The square sewn here is 2x2". You might find it easier to glue and clip the strap to the sleeve first. Sew through all the layers.

14. Flip the strap over and mark the point the velcro hits. Sew the furry side of velcro in place through all layers as well.

Enjoy! (or give it away)

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