The beauty of the laptop is that is can go anywhere, right? But the hazards of going anywhere are a bit hard on the good ole laptop, and I’m constantly fretting over the scratches and dangers my laptop might meet in my backpack. So I finally decided to make a laptop sleeve. Problem was, I didn’t like anything I saw online. It was all… too little, or too complicated, or too ugly. So I made my own how-to. So, here’s how to make a cloth laptop sleeve.
Gather materials. That will be: A sewing machine, thread, scissors, a ruler, a marking pen, quilt batting, buttons, and any little extras you want to embellish with. Figure out what fabric you want to use- it’s your chance to express yourself!
Measure your laptop. These are the measurements you’ll need for a 13″ MacBook. Side A: 39x28cm. Side B: 39×37.5cm
If you have another kind of computer-
Side A: Length + height (from the table up, how thick it is) + 3cm for seam allowance. That’s your length. Now take the width + the height +3 cm = that’s your width.
Side B: Same Width as A. Length is the same as A, but add however long you want the flap of your sleeve to be.
Measure and cut your fabric. This will be the lining.
Cut another set of Side A and B for the outside of the sleeve- but make this one 1cm longer on width and length.
Cut out some batting that is 3cm shorter in width and length than your original measurements. This will make the seams less thick.
Place the batting in the middle of the wrong side of the corresponding lining piece. Sew around the square of batting to applique it to the lining. You may want to put tissue paper between the batting and your quilting foot on your machine because the batting tends to get caught in the foot. Sew batting to front and back pieces.
Sew your front and back lining pieces together (right sides facing) with 1.5cm seam allowance. Do not sew the top where the flap is. See if your laptop fits inside it at this stage. If not, you’ve got some wonky measurements and you need to correct those before continuing any further.
Sew a bottom into your bag by flattening the bottom seam and sewing it to the side seam as pictured.
Repeat steps 6 and 7 with the outside pieces of fabric that do not have batting sewed to them. I pieced a top for mine because I couldn’t decide on one fabric. Be sure to iron your cloth before sewing together.
Turn the outside casing right-side out and put the lining casing inside of it so that the batting is sandwiched between the two layers. Now fold down the hem of the shorter front side of the bag and turn it to the inside, pin, and sew straight across.
Next, do the same with the cover flap of the bag, bringing the top edge down and folding it under to avoid any raw edges. It works a bit like bias tape at this point and frames the lining nicely. You’ll have to finagle the corners, maybe rip out a few stitched to make things lie flat.
Decide your button placement and make some button holes. Velcro works too, but I’m not fond of the noise as I’m opening my laptop in a quiet cafe, so I went with buttons. Sew a zig-zag stitch in a rectangle a little bigger than your button, then cut a slit in the middle.
Sew on your buttons, and you’re good to go! It’ll surely put a smile on your face every time you take your laptop out with you in the world. Don’t forget to add your name for supreme personalification. (That’s not a word, is it?) I carved a rubber stamp from an eraser to stamp the fabric- maybe that’ll be the next tutorial?