It is jam hot. I keep saying it to myself, in my head. Jaaaamm HOT! Then suddenly rain. WET. I thought summer in Portland meant sun all the time guaranteed but it doesn’t, it means rain sometimes too. I’ve been travelling about the city a lot lately. Mostly looking for a place to live, but sometimes just to explore. I’ve taken to being one of those people who uses a coffee shop as their office and I quite like it, maybe I’ll do it more often even when I do have a home to call home!
Because of my new office/home situation I’ve been carrying my laptop around with me most days. Back in the old days I used to occasionally take it places if I was staying somewhere overnight, but I never fussed over buying it a case and would wrap it in a jumper instead. Sorry, sweater. But, in the final days before moving over here I decided that I might want to wear that jumper on the journey and then what would I do? In a brief afternoon I made myself a swaggy new laptop case for the upcoming plane ride. Good job I did, it has been most useful. A travel essential, if you will. Plus it makes me look semi-professional* when I step into one of my many offices around town!
*semi-professional because I did not line it…which I would have done if I had more time. But this way is at least very straightforward and easy and it still works, and looks pretty on the outside. All good things.
Here is how I did it and you can do it too!
What I like about this laptop sleeve is that it can be made to any size, and you can individualise it with the quilting and pockets. And it doesn’t take too long either, maybe two hours tops.
Draw around your laptop or tablet and then add 1.25 inch all around. I did it on graph paper because then you don’t really need a ruler. Use these paper templates to cut out four rectangles of fabric. I did a pattern for the outer and solid for the inner. Cut out two rectangles of quilt batting too.
Cut a pocket for the front by using the same paper template but cut off 2 or 3 inches off the top so it is shorter. Again, use the template to cut out two layers of fabric and a piece of quilt wadding. You will also need a length of bias tape or a strip of fabric to edge the pocket. I did mine with 2″x width of paper templates and a doubled it over so there is a raw edge and a folded edge.
You will also need a zip that is long enough to go across the laptop and down about 2″ at the sides.
Sandwich and pin the layers – fabric,batting,fabric – together like in the photo above. And then quilt them like in the photo below. Let your creativity take hold of you and do whatever quilting takes your fancy. But don’t change your plans half way through because it doesn’t look intentional… who would even do that?
Then zig-zag the edges and pop that bias tape onto the pocket top. I did a line of topstitching too because I think it looks neater.
Assemble one big rectangle and the pocket on top of each other. Then sew them together like in the picture below. Edges and then the middle bit. This just makes it less saggy, and is a handy small pocket too. It perfectly fits my ipod in it..ahh happy accidents!
It is time for the zip. It’s easy, no worries man! Lay it down onto the pocket one first right sides together. Keep the zipper closed and all intact. Pin it like a voodoo doll. It’s got to be pinned on a curve and it will do it if you will it hard enough I promise. Just play around and you’ll figure it out. It took me a while to manoeuvre it but it all worked out. Maybe you’ll do it straight away and wonder what I’m talking about. Good for you, your a natural zip person! Sew the bastard down at a 1/4 inch seam.
Okay, so one half done, one half to go. Put the second rectangle piece on top of the other, right sides together. Pin the zip again. It’s probably better to pin while the zip is closed, just so your sure that your not pinning it wonky. After it is pinned open it out again so you are ready to sew. Then sew it, just like before at 1/4 inch seam.
You see how there is a flap on the edge of the zipper? That scares me a little and I think that it might get stuck in the zip, so I did a second line of stitching to flatten that down. I trimmed the odd bits of quilt batting away too, to make it look a little neater.
Hey oh! You didn’t think I forgot about the bottom did you? Now you’ve got to turn the case inside out and sew with 1/4inch seam allowance from one end of the zip, along the bottom of the case to the tip of the other end of the zip. Sew across the zip at a right angle to hold it down and strengthen that area. Back and forth it.
Trim all the threads, and you are done! Go get that laptop and put it in it’s new home! You are now fully equipped to travel anywhere, with some degree of professionalism, and you can wear your jumper as well. This case will save your life, I’m sure of it.
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