Sew yourself a quilted laptop case
Although there are plenty of great laptop cases about, they’re mostly quite expensive and it’s hard to find a cute one if you don’t want to spend hours scouring Etsy listings. Why not make your own that’s tailored to your computer and in a fabric you love? I’ve put together a how-to guide for creating a case in just a few hours that can be used to make an iPad case, a phone case or anything else that you fancy covering in colourful quilty goodness!
You will need:
- Two different cotton fabrics – enough of each to wrap around your laptop with a few inches spare in all directions (one for the outside, one for the lining)
- Medium-thick wadding – most fabric shops will have wadding on a roll to buy by the metre
- Bias binding
- An enormous and pretty button
- A little length of ribbon or elastic
- Sewing kit – thread, needle, scissors, pins, sewing machine
Lay your laptop on top of your material and wadding and cut 2 x wadding and 4 x fabric rectangles (2 each of your different fabrics) that are a couple of inches larger than your laptop in three directions – keep one side (one of the shorter sides) closer to the laptop as this side will be the opening. You can be quite rough at this stage as you’ll be cutting it down again later. Iron the fabric flat.
Take one wadding piece, a piece of your lining fabric and a piece of your outer fabric and create a sandwich with the wadding in the centre and the material on either side, good-side facing outwards. Starting in the centre, start pinning all three layers together, pulling taut as you go. Try and make sure the bottom layer isn’t wrinkling up as that’ll lead to a rubbish, creased fabric layer. Repeat with the remaining fabric to create a second sandwich.
Start running your sandwich through the sewing machines – I decided to create a criss-cross quilted pattern on mine, so I started by sewing diagonal lines across in one direction, and then in the other. I used a contrasting coloured thread, too. Repeat for both sandwiches (all this talk of sarnies is making me hungry. Tea break!)
Now you have your two sarnies, you can neaten them up a bit. Pin them together with your lining fabric on the outside and lay your laptop on top of them. Make sure the lining is definitely facing upwards (and downwards on the bottom layer!) as it’s going to be drawn on. Draw around the laptop, leaving a 2cm gap all the way around, so the drawn rectangle is bigger than the laptop. Remember that one of those edges will be your opening, so keep the laptop quite close to it! You’re going to sew around that line, so cut around it with a 1cm seam allowance.
Take your bias binding and cut two strips to the length of your opening. Pin one side of the binding open at the edge of the sandwich (as shown below) and sew along it.
Remove the pins and fold your bias binding over the edge so that it creates a nice neat edge. Pin it down as shown below, and sew along the bottom edge.
Remove the pins from the binding and put your two sandwiches back together with the lining facing outwards. Sew along your drawn line, leaving the bound opening free. Cut away excess fabric and wadding and turn your pocket inside out.
Nearly done! Your button and ribbon/elastic are to keep your laptop in the case. Sew your button next to the opening, loop the ribbon around it and pin it on the inside of the opposite side of the case until the positioning seems right – there needs to be enough tautness to keep it on the button, but enough length to make sure the ribbon goes over the button in the first place. Sew it in to place, and remove your pins.
And there you have it! A nice project for a weekend, or spread over a couple of evenings while it’s rainy. Since it’s a fairly make-it-up-as-you-go-along guide, try adapting the case to make presents for friends – you could add a pocket for a notebook and pen, use a zip along the top instead of a button or create a lid that folds over the top instead of leaving the side open. Have fun and be creative!