I recently designed and made this little laptop sleeve for my sister, and I thought some of you might like to make one for yourself (or someone else) as well!
I quilted the lining to make it cushy without it looking too crafty. Feel free to swap it around and quilt the exterior instead. I chose buttons (these happen to be vintage ones from my little button stash) after some discussion with my sister, but you might like some fancy metal hardware or velcro or even an elastic band that attaches at the flap and wraps around. I made a second version of this laptop sleeve out of coffee bags with a cute elastic/vintage button closure you might want to try as well.
Laptop Sleeve Tutorial
- Approximately 1/2 yard each of two fabrics, one for exterior and one for lining
- One piece of batting, approximately 18″ by 45″
- Two buttons
Measuring, Calculating, Cutting:
1. Measure the height, width, and depth of your laptop, as indicated below.
The laptop I was using was 14 3/4″ wide x 9 3/8″ high x 1 1/2″ deep.
2. Calculate the width for your fabric and batting pieces (all the pieces will have the same width):
laptop height + laptop depth + 2(seam allowance) + 1″ (for ease)
I’m using a 1/2″ seam allowance, so for my sister’s laptop, that worked out to 9 3/8″ + 1 1/2″ + 2(1/2″) + 1″ = 12 7/8″.
3. Next calculate the length of the exterior piece:
2(laptop width) + 2(laptop depth) + 2(seam allowance) + 5″ (for flap) + 1″ (for ease)
For my sister’s laptop, that worked out to be 2(14 3/4″) + 2(1 1/2″) + 2(1/2″) + 5″ + 1″ = 39 1/2″.
**Errata: This calculation seems to be yielding a number that is 1″ too long. I can’t seem to identify where the error is, so please just subtract 1″ from the number you get here. Thanks!
4. Now we need to calculate the length of the main lining and the batting for quilting it:
2(laptop width) + laptop depth + 2(seam allowance) + 1″ (for ease)
In my case, this turned out to be 2(14 3/4″) + 1 1/2″ + 2(1/2″) + 1″ = 33″.
5. The last calculation is for the length of the flap lining and the batting for quilting it. This is easy, because it’s going to be 5″ for the flap, plus a seam allowance and 1″ of overlap (we’ll get to that later). So, it’s 6 1/2″, no matter what size your laptop is.
6. Okay, so now that you have your measurements, cut your one piece of exterior fabric, your main lining and flap lining, and the two pieces of batting for quilting your lining.
1. Lay the main lining piece on top of the larger batting piece, and the flap lining piece on top of the smaller batting piece, and quilt in whatever pattern you like. You could even start with pre-quilted fabric here if you like.
2. Turn down one short end of the exterior fabric 1/2″ to the wrong side and press. Fold the exterior piece with right sides together so that the folded edge lies 5 1/2″ from the unfolded edge.
3. Lay the quilted flap right-side down on top of the exterior fabric so that one long side lines up with the unfolded edge of the exterior fabric and the other long side overlaps the folded edge by 1″.
4. Start at the end opposite the flap and sew with 1/2″ seam allowance along one long side, down the short side with the flap, and the up the other long side. This will sew the long sides of the exterior together and the flap lining to the flap. Trim the seam allowance around the flap to 1/4″ and trim all four corners to reduce bulk.
5. Flip the flap so that it is right-side out.
6. Fold the main quilted lining piece so that right sides are together and the short edges are lined up. Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance up each long side. Leave the short end open. Trim seam allowances to 1/4″ to reduce bulk.
7. Turn lining right-side out and turn open edge under 1/2″ and press. You can baste this down if you don’t think it’s going to stay well enough.
8. Slip the exterior of the bag inside the lining. The exterior should still be wrong-side out with the flap right-side out, and the lining should be right-side out.
9. Line up the top of the lining with the top folded edge of the exterior fabric (remember where we folded that edge down 1/2″ earlier?). You can only do this on one side of the sleeve — on the other side you will need to line it up so that the edge of the main lining overlaps the edge of the flap lining by about 1″. (I think when I got to this part I was so eager to sew that I forgot to get any photos. But I think you’ll easily see what I mean by this point.)
10. Stitch around the top about 1/8″ from the edge to attach the lining to the exterior.
11. Turn the bag right-side out.
12. Mark and sew two buttonholes on the flap, depending on the size of your buttons.
13. Insert the laptop and mark where to sew on the buttonholes, then sew them on!
I made a little drawstring bag with French seams in these two fabrics for my sister to put her power cord in (also forgot to get photos of that before I mailed it off).
Voila! A snazzy snuggly little laptop case for you!