I made something for myself this week. Or rather, I made something for my newest love: my first MacBook. My husband and I are late converts to the whole Mac world (he claims he resisted so long because he didn't want anyone to think he could ever be swayed by an advertising campaign involving anyone who would ever date Drew Barrymore). But we're in now and there's simply no going back.

I needed a laptop sleeve to protect my McBook when I need to throw it in my bag; it's also nice to cover it with a little extra padding when it's just in the house, because, you know, there's a terminator in living with us. I didn't look for a pattern, and I wish I had planned a little more before I got started, but in the end it worked out okay.

I figured all I needed to make was a big padded envelope. I used two medium weight fabrics for the outside and the lining, and put some batting between them. I didn't use specific measurements, and instead just measured around the laptop.

I started by figuring out where I wanted the velcro to go, and then sewed it to the lining (for the flap) and to the outside fabric (for the inside closure).

Then I sewed the edges of the outside fabric and the lining together (without the batting) wrong side out. After turning it right side out, I placed the batting inside, folded the whole thing into an envelope shape with the lining on the outside, and sewed the edge together. Then I turned it right side out, and I was 80% done.

Unfortunately, I left finishing the top edge for last, and that's where it got kind of messy. I put a binding on it (like quilt binding), and I wasn't very precise in my measurements or cutting, so it's little bumpy and uneven.

Here's the back side and some more pictures:

Overall, it's a little sloppy. Anyone more experienced ever made something similar or have any ideas on how to be more precise? How would you have finished the top edge? The velcro closure is all right, but I could have used something stronger. Maybe a button and button-hole (or two)? I'll probably make another one when I fall hard for some new fabric.

6 comments

  1. Kate // February 13, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

    It's very cute!! When I had a macbook in grad school I used this from Case Logic: http://www.caselogic.com/13_reversible_macbook_macbook_air_sleeve/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=101941

    Maybe if you were making another one you could put the opening on the side and that might work better? Maybe less stress on the opening??

    I don't really know. It's cute fabric, though!

  2. Cara // February 14, 2009 at 8:17 AM  

    Binding is what I would have anticipated using for the top edge. Did you cut your binding on the bias? Bias binding is significantly more forgiving when turning corners, etc. For closure, I love the magnetic snaps for any bag that's heavy enough to hold them. Don't be intimidated; they are much easier to install than the look. Just mark where you need the prongs to go and make a button hole in each place.

  3. Jacqui // February 14, 2009 at 6:32 PM  

    So cute! I need a new bag for my larger MacBook as my old one made from wetsuit-type material is for a smaller iBook. Such a great way to indulge a fabric fetish and yet be practical :) I was thinking about your flap issues and wondered if constructing the flap separately and then attaching it to the 'envelope' might not be the best way to go. I made a messenger back from this tutorial (http://amingledyarn.wordpress.com/gallery/tutorial-hip-mama-diaper-bag/) which utilised the technique I'm thinking of so might as well steal her photos and instructions :) I'm specifically thinking about step 4 for the flap and the from Step 9 onwards for attaching it to the rest of the bag. You end up having to hand-sew the lining together at the join between flap and bag but that's not a biggie.

  4. Suzy // March 17, 2009 at 5:36 AM  

    That is really cute.
    I did a simple laptop cosy a few years ago, and it is still going strong. Mine was just two rectangles, with bound edges at the top and the velcro inside. There's a picture here:
    http://floatingworld.typepad.com/floating_world_views/2006/09/laptop_cosy.html

  5. Emily // April 3, 2009 at 4:40 PM  

    When I had a big, clunky laptop, I designed and knitted a knit one. It looked very homemade, though, and I hated it pretty quickly. Here is a really old picture. (The design was published but the site that published it has gone down.) I did a zip top.

    Now I have an custom Austrian one (boy, that phrase makes it sound way cooler than it is - it's like this but laptop-size) by these people.

    I know personally, I prefer a top open/closure: that is, an opening at the short end of the laptop instead of the long end. I also dislike velcro because of the likelihood of it hurting my fingers or my remotely delicate clothes. That said: your case is really cute!

  6. MelissaJane // May 18, 2009 at 8:50 PM  

    I'd have to think about the flap...but re a previous commenter: I would NOT use a magnetic clasp on a LAP TOP bag! Magnets and hard drives do not go together!