Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

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!

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 12

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″
  • Thread
  • 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.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 1

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.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 2

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″.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 3

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 4

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.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 5

5. Flip the flap so that it is right-side out.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 6

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.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 7

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.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 8

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.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 9

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.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 10

11. Turn the bag right-side out.

12. Mark and sew two buttonholes on the flap, depending on the size of your buttons.

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 11

13. Insert the laptop and mark where to sew on the buttonholes, then sew them on!

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 12

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).

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 13

Laptop Sleeve Tutorial 14

Voila! A snazzy snuggly little laptop case for you!

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69 comments to Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

  • Amy

    That’s really nicely done Amy. Thank you so much for doing all that work. I’ve often thought of making one of these but get a little lazy when it comes to the math – so I really appreciate this.

  • Great laptop sleeve! I am definitely going to save these great directions. I already had fabrics picked out to make one but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  • Very cute! This certainly beats my plain black nylon cover.

  • Very nice tutorial. My lappy wants one. 🙂

  • sewbutterfly

    Thanks for the tutorial! Yours looks awesome!

  • Coco

    This is one of the most well annotated tutorials I have ever seen—it is so clear! Thank you very much.

  • Cecile

    Thank you for this tutorial. It’s one of the most detailed I have ever seen!

  • Thanks for the tutorial, it’s very well explained and clear! I think I may sew one for my me or for a friend!

  • Claudia

    Thank you so much for this beautiful tutorial. It is much appreciated. Exactly what I was looking for. Greetings from Germany

  • Holly

    This is fantastic – the case looks great and the instructions are very easy to understand, even for a beginner like me. I love how all the pictures have labels and arrows and things, so it’s perfectly clear what’s what and where everything goes. Thank you!

  • Caromiie

    Hi Amy!

    [I speak not very well English (I speak French) so I’m sorry for the possible mistakes that I am going to do…]

    Your sleeve is wonderful, bravo!! I just have a little problem. I don’t understand the sizes ( like 1/2″, 18″ or 45″) … perhaps it’s a silly question but what is the dimensions in centimeters?

    I hope you can answer my question!!

    Have a nice weekend


  • Amy — this is a fabulous tutorial, and I appreciate so much your amazing attention to detail. I am excited to try making these for Christmas presents. Everyone is my extended family is attached to their MacBooks (and now iPads) so this is a great gift idea. Finally — present I can make for the guys!

  • I love it. Wish someone would just make me one with patchwork love. I can’t fit it in right now. I’ll add it to my tutorial list for sure!

  • my poor laptop is so neglected…i just shove it in my purse. i’m so glad you did this….it’s on my list of things to do. thanks!

  • Tara

    I made a laptop sleeve for my oversized laptop and it turned out beautifully. I hope to make one for my nieces high school graduation that is coming up!
    Thanks for sharing this with us all!

  • Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial! I just finished making one for my sister for her birthday (she’s getting a new laptop from Dad but doesn’t know about it yet). Your instructions were very clear and easy to follow 🙂 I’ll post some pics on my blog later in the week. Thanks again!

  • Thanks so much for this wonderful tutorial. I just finished making my first laptop case. It turned out so well I think I might make a second one for a friend. Very clear instructions!

  • Brilliant!! Thank you for posting this! I did a very difficult laptop sleeve with zipper that I hated making…I’ll try yours next time, it looks very clear and smart.

  • Linda

    Made this for my 17″ laptop over Memorial Day weekend, including a draw-string bag for my mouse, powercord, and other accessories, and a pouch for an extra battery. Had everything on hand: a striped linen remnant for the outside, a mix of solids and prints for the lining, batting for the quilted parts, and buttons from my button box (I used Velcro to fasten the flap – the buttons are just decorative). Thank you SO MUCH for sharing such a clever pattern and well-written instructions. I love it!

  • Hi Amy
    thanks so much for all the work you did in making the diagrams, pics and instructions. One of the best pattern sites I have seen for such clear instructions.
    Going start my sleeve now!

  • shannon

    Thanks for a great tutorial! I was nervous about getting the dimensions correct – measure 10 times, cut once, I say! But this was such an easy project, especially with your very clear directions and detailed pictures. I made one for a friend in about an hour and a half. Next one (for me!) will take much less time. Thanks for the help and the post!

  • Effie

    I just found this post and I love it. I am going to make one. What kind of fabric did you use? Thanks!

  • fab

    thanks for the pictures and instructions it made it so easy for me. finish my sleeve thanks thanks 🙂

  • Eva

    Thanks for such a great tutorial! I am a very novice sewing (this was my 4th project) but a friend asked me to make a cover for her and I found this one and your instructions were super easy to follow. Thank you very much! I learned some stuff too! I’ve never “quilted” before and hadn’t sewn a buttonhole. 🙂 I’ve blogged and linked it back to you. Thanks again!!

  • This looks great! I love the fabrics you used. This is the next project i’m going to make and I was hoping you could tell me what type of fabric you used to make yours. I just want to make sure to get the right kind, thanks!

  • shelly

    awesome tutorial! I made one for my brother who just started college using this and it turned out great! He’s going to LOVE it, THANKS!

    I wanted to add though that at first when I was measuring I got the wrong dimensions because on the apple website (where I went to look up the measurements for the laptop my brother has) what you refer to as height they call depth and vis-versa. In case anyone else goes to the apple site to figure out their laptop dimensions I wanted to mention this difference to avoid further confusion.

  • Mirissa

    Thank you for making such a clear, simple tutorial. I wanted to make a sleeve for my laptop before I go on a trip and this is perfect. I just wanted to warn other macbook users that the width (height) using this formula is too wide. I tried the lining on my laptop before I sewed them together and ended up cutting off about an inch. I’d already decreased the ease to 1/2″, so I think it’s just because macbooks are so thin. I absolutely love the way it’s turned out. Thanks again!

  • Thanks, Mirissa! Actually, I made this for a Macbook and you can make it to fit any computer, since the formula uses your computer’s actual measurements. However, some people may like a tighter (or looser) fit, in which case you can just adjust the 1″ ease I have included down or up to fit your needs, just as you did. Thanks for the note!

  • Aleta Groat

    I am waiting on my first ever laptop to arrive and am excited about making this sleeve for it! I think, though, that instead of buttons I’ll try velcro. Guess that’s my laziness coming out! Thanks for the great pattern!

  • Jen

    I am so glad I found this tutorial! I just bought fabric to make this.

    The lady at the cutting station brought up a good point that I had not thought of; static. She suggested grabbing an anti-static bag to put inside.

    Have you had any issues with static? Did you buy special fabrics, or just plain ol’ anything?

    I bought some flannel for lining, plain ol’ regular fabric for the outside, and quilting batting for the padding.


  • Stephanie

    Do you have a full size picture so I can see the final product?

  • Verena

    Thank you so much! It is easy and very elegant.. I made one as a Christmas present for my boyfriend.

  • Excellent tutorial! I’m a complete noob at sewing, and this tutorial was mostly easy to follow from beginning to end!

    The one suggestion I’d make is adding a photo or diagram to step 9… I found this step difficult to translate without a visual aid, so my exterior fabric was still wrong-side out when I turned my bag inside-out in step 11.

    Other than that, this tutorial is great! Highly recommended (o_o)==b

  • Katherine

    I just made this! It turned out really cute! The instructions were super easy to follow… I have a macbook air, which is very thin, so when I followed the formula for the measurements it was about an inch and a half too roomy for my liking. So I ripped it apart and shrunk it down a bit and now it is perfect!! I love it. I also sewed an elastic hair band into the flap and sewed on a button for the closure. Really nice. Great tutorial!! Thank you, Amy!

  • Ad

    Does this pattern make the bag reversible or is that possible with the flap?

  • Tiffany

    this tutorial is still getting love. I was up until 2a making one. your hard word did not go unnoticed.

  • This is the most amazing tutorial! So clear and well-explained, I made a case for my Macbook Air that I am really happy with.

    Thank you so much.

  • Emma

    Im struggling a bit :$ im a complete beginner, but i absolutely love this cover, its gorgeous but im having a few problems understanding the instructions 🙁
    For my macbook Air 11inch these were the measurements i came up with
    10.24” width fabric and batting
    31.96” length of exterior piece
    26.28” main lining and batting
    6 1/2“ flap and batting
    Are these any where near accurate? :$

    After step 4 has me baffled, i cant tell which way the flap fabric is turned from the pics??
    eeek ! Help

  • David

    I was trying to make a laptop sleeve like on (section laptop sleeves) . This tutorial really helped me, thanks!!

  • Chriss

    The fabrics you used are great. your efforts must be rewarded. I think if i give it a try i can make a Laptop Leather Briefcase or laptop sleeves?? Please let me know if you have any idea about making briefcases..

  • Emily and Janet

    My Mom and I just finished making my laptop sleeve (using your tutorial), and it came out beautifully! Your blog/ web site is amazing and very helpful! Thanks (:

  • Victoria

    I love this tutorial, I just finished making a laptop sleeve, it looks great, I will e-mail you a picture 😉 I am very proud because it was the first time I quilted anything and it turned out so well. Thanks for the tutorial. It was really easy to follow. =)

  • Shari

    Thanks! I’ll be trying out this pattern tonight, I’m going to add straps so that I can carry it easily!

  • Katy

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. As others have said, it is so well written and the instructions are fabulously photographed. I have just finished making this in under 2 hours. My first experience of quilting but seeing as my laptop arrived this morning i had not a moment to waste.

    Your efforts are appreciated.

  • Angela

    Great tutorial. I’m just a bit confused about step #10. I see how everything matches up, but I’m finding it difficult to do the 1/8 stitch all the way around without stitching part of the opening shut. Did you hand sew this part?

  • Dear Amy

    Thanks so much for this excellent tutorial. I’m going to give this a try to make a cover for my Kindle and another as a cover for a hand warmer.

    Best wishes


  • Great Tute! I’m giving these to everyone for Christmas this year! <3 <3

  • Just whipped up this little gem with your help! You’re instructions were so simple to follow and all of the annotations were incredibly helpful! What I love most is the formulas mean I can make one of these for ever piece of portable electronics in my life…iPad, Kindle, iPhone, walkman (kidding!). Thanks for making sewing so simple and for making me look like a rockstar at Starbucks!


  • This is so great! Thank you very much for this fabulous tutorial, I will definitely try to make one for my laptop.

  • Thanks for this great tutorial! I’ve used it a couple of times now, and the instructions have been a pleasure to follow.

  • Ethel

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I’ve made a laptop sleeve and iPad sleeve with this. Works like a charm. Super duper tutorial! ;P

  • I love this!:) I once made a similar sleeve for my iphone and figured out an alternative way to close the bag on the top, but this is much better. I will definitely make one for my new ipad! One question: what kind of batting (quality, material) did you use?

  • Kerry

    Holy crap that was easy! Thanks for posting this! I almost tried to come up with my own pattern, but this was super easy and exactly what I wanted to make!

  • Rachel

    I was able to make this in an evening. I did have to redo the flap, I put it on backwards and even with that mistake finished it in a few hours. I plan to make many more as gifts. Thanks.

  • I made one of these a couple of nights ago! Such a fun idea! Thanks for the tutorial.

    I am likely going to be mentioning this on my blog, would it be ok if I left a link to your tutorial in case anyone else wants to make one?

  • I made this 2 nights ago and I LOVE it! It was so easy to make and didn’t take long at all. It’s a little big and I’m not sure what went wrong and where but it’s not so big that I can’t use it for my 13″ laptop with no problem.

    Thanks for saving me the money. I almost bought a $50 laptop cover before I came across this! 🙂

  • Nancy

    I finished my laptop sleeve yesterday! &
    The pattern was a breeze. I didn’t do a button closure because I’m just too lazy. I did velcro instead. Originally I sewed a couple buttons on the flap just for show, but they looked silly. Thanks for the great pattern!

    My non-crafty friends don’t understand why I make things like this when I can just buy one for less money/hassle. I tell them, “If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand.” 😀

  • I figured out where the extra inch is in your height….

    your seam allowance says 1 1/2 instead of 1/2″.

    Thank you for this tutorial, I am making one right now!!


  • Corrie

    Thank you for the excellent step-by-step directions!

    This was my first sewing project, and even though I totally messed it up, it works! My un-quilted exterior looked lumpy, so I unstitched it, turned it inside out (had to lop off the flap), and made a beautiful envelope for my new laptop that actually fits like a dream. Thanks so much for making such clear directions!! I’m sure it would have been perfect if I knew how to cut and sew in straight lines…

  • Sofa

    This is the so wonderful thing. Only best wishes for you.

  • Michelle

    I’m glad you wrote this three years ago! : ) Such a great tutorial – probably the clearest about how to create a pouch that’s lined. It’s the first sewing pattern I’ve followed online and it worked really well! Thanks so much : )

  • I fiund this after searching for tutorials and it seemed most user friendly. I have made a sleeve for my daughter’s mac book. As she is quite accident prone I quilted the lining and the patchwork outside. To my amazement it has worked out really well as I usually make a real mess of things but your tutorial is so easy to follow. Many thanks.

  • Thanks for the step by step instructions. It was most helpful!

  • Hi Amy,

    Thanks so much for going to the trouble of posting this. I made one with a patchwork exterior, felted sweater padded layer, and a PUL liner for my new laptop. It worked out perfectly. I thanked you and linked to you on my blog post about it. Hope that is ok.

  • Dawn

    Made it today for my daughter! Turned out so cute! We added a monogram. Thanks for the directions!

  • This looks so fun, would this be an OK project for a beginner?

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