Utilitarian sewing. A tale of two laptops, a fast car and a pretty princess.

Back to sewing. Sort of. Part of what’s taken up my sewing time over the last week is the construction of cases for our new laptops. It was a fun project and allowed me to indulge in my affection for funky Japanese import fabric. Here’s the result. Can you guess which one is mine and which belongs to Mr. Bug?

[two snug laptops]

I tried two methods of construction. I haven’t done a lot of sewing of accessories, so I was winging it! I made Dan’s first and for his case I constructed the shell, then the lining, then attached the two layers at the opening. For my case I attached all layers for each side (lining, stabilizing layer, batting and shell) the sewed right sides together, finishing the exposed seam and trimming the top with bias binding. I’m not sure which way I liked more, although I’m leaning towards the method I used on Mr. Bug’s case. I took more photos of construction on my case, so that’s what I’m including in this post.

The best part of these cases is the zipper-pocket I included for bits and bobs and the cord. I hate how the foam cases at the stores don’t have a place for the cord. Plus, it’s another opportunity to include polka dots in the case… always important when sewing for computers!

[I totally raided my pajama fabric stash for the pocket lining.]


Here’s a quick overview of the construction steps.

First I gathered supplies. I used about 3/8 yard of the lining and shell fabric and about half that of the pocket lining. I needed about that much batting – I used wool batting because that was what was on hand. I had a bunch of heavy white cotton on hand and used some of that to stabilize the shell  fabric. Finally for my case I used a 22” zipper, 2 yards of ribbon, a packet of bias binding for the interior and some fun gingham bias binding tape to finish the edges of the opening. For Dan’s case I just needed a bit of velcro and the scraps to make the straps

After cutting the fabric into rectangles (I cut around 17 x 13” for our laptops which measure about 15 x 10”) I prepared the zipper. First I made a horizontal cut as shown to the left. I cut matching pieces of the heavy white cotton and sewed where the zipper opening is, right sides together. I trimmed the seams, flipped and pressed so that the finished edges would line up nicely along the zipper tape.



For the next step I assembled the sides.
Zipper side – I layered the pocket lining (pink polka dots), batting, then lining fabric (the bird fabric)
Non-zipper side – I layered a piece of heavy white cotton, batting, then lining fabric.

I drew X’s as a guide, then stitched along the X’s to quilt the fabric together.


Next I assembled the whole thing and  sewed the bottom seam.

I layered the shell fabric with the quilted squares, pinned together, then sewed the bottom of the case right sides together.

Then it was time to do a fitting! I tucked the laptop in to the case and checked the sides. It turned out the size was perfect for my computer, so I sewed the side seams, right sides together.


I finished the seams on the inside using bias binding. Olive was the only color I had on hand, and I decided to suck it up and use it anyway. Nobody will see it, after all!

Did I mention the bird fabric is flannel?




I decided to make finishing the top easier by zigzagging the edges and trimming close to the zigging. I used a very cool bias binding that I bought already made! I don’t like making that stuff.





I attached the ribbon closure by making a small loop in the center of my length of ribbon and sewing along the top. I like the simple ribbon because I can wrap around my case, and tuck a notebook in too, if I’d like. I used shorter fabric straps and velcro for Dan’s case.

The ribbon is hot pink and FUZZY!!





Yay for snug laptops!

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  • Tasia
    November 25, 2010

    Those are really nice cases! Love the idea of the pocket for cords. Rapunzel for the girl, cars for the boy. Cute and functional!

  • [patty the snug bug]
    November 16, 2010

    hey ladies! the cases are really slimline – i meant for them to protect the computers INSIDE my ginormous work tote with the pinking shears and 18 apples. And Mr. Bug takes his computer in those string-bags that he gets at all his marathons (you know, rectangles with a drawstring that makes backpack straps??) Since our computers are all shiny and new, they're going to STAY THAT WAY!! They were also nice to just carry the computers under our arms when we went to brunch this weekend (how geeky could we possibly be??) but they don't have straps/handles of their own…

  • Andrea
    November 16, 2010

    Those are some really cool bags! I too am stuck with a bulky laptop backpack for work, since I have half a million other things to carry along with it, but I wish I could carry something fun and stylish like this instead!

  • Laurwyn
    November 16, 2010

    That makes me want to make one for my Mister as a Christmas present!

  • tanitisis
    November 16, 2010

    Such pretty bags! I love your Rapunzel fabric :). My laptop lives in a ginormous backpack… it's not nearly as cute, but it *is* easy to carry and big enough to haul my Wacom tablet with me if necessary, which is an upside. I guess I could put the laptop in a cute case *inside* the backpack, but it's already bulky enough as it is, /sigh…

  • LAP
    November 16, 2010

    Oh such pretty Rapunzels locked in their towers! I love the car fabric for a laptop bag too.

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