Thursday, September 5, 2013

'Puter Sleeve

This past summer, my computer hard drive crashed. All my files were backed up, so I didn't lose a thing, except maybe a little time traveling back and forth to the computer doctor to get things back in tip-top shape. That crash got me thinking that it was time to invest in a new laptop.

And so I did. Shiny and new. Super thin with all the bells and whistles! But if this little machine is going to travel with me it needed a cushy travel sleeve. With the Labor Day holiday, I made myself take a few hours to make a super-simple little treat. Here's what I did.

First, I took some measurements. The laptop is about 8-1/2" by 12", and not even 1" thick. My goal is to to make simple sleeve, no pockets or straps, just something I can slip my laptop into so I can slide it into another bag and not worry about scratching anything. So I want the computer to fit comfortably, not overly snug.

So, I cut three strips, one 6-1/2" wide, one 1-1/2" wide and one 3-1/2" wide, then sewed them together and pressed the seams. Maybe you can't tell from the photo, but the 6-1/2" strip has hummingbirds in the batik print! I love it! (It's from Hoffman!)

That gave me a 10-1/2" wide pieced strip. Just right for the laptop height, so now I need to trim the width. Since, eventually, I'll fold the strip in half, I want the strip to be twice the width of the computer (about 12" x 2 = 24" plus about 2" for seam allowances and wiggle room), so I trimmed the strip to 10-1/2" x 28"). Then I cut a piece of lining fabric, a little larger than the pieced exterior, in the 12x28" neighborhood. I pressed all the fabrics nice and smooth.

Next, layer batting (I have lots of extra wool batting pieces, so I used that), lining right side up, and the pieced strips, right side down, on my work table. And pinned with straight pins--at the edges, especially, and in several spots all over the middle. Just enough to keep the layers stable through the next step.

I sewed 1/4" away from the edge of the pieced top, all the way around, leaving about 6" unsewn on the bottom edge for turning. Removed all the pins, trimmed the lining and batting even with the top. And clipped the corners to reduce bulk.

Then I turned the whole schmear inside-out through the opening. Then pinned the opening, and edge-stitched it. A few more pins to prep for quilting . . . this time safety pins!

. . . and quilt.

Fold the quilted rectangle in half, right sides together--in other words, the lining (also pretty Hoffman fabrics) facing out. Because the recharge plug is on the side of the laptop, I want the sleeve to have a little opening at the top edge, so I can have the computer in its comfy sleeve while it's charging. I pinned along the bottom and most of the side, except for maybe that last inch from the top edge.

I folded the top edge back, at a slight angle and tacked the flap, so it doesn't flop around too much and look weird.

Turn the sleeve right side out. . . Ta-done!

Happy Stitching!

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