tutorial: fabric laptop sleeve

by Admin on 16/12/2007

in Geek Crafts, Whip Up Tutorials

This laptop sleeve is a breeze to make with the help of an 18mm bias tape maker. It’ll keep a 15” laptop very cosy and safe from scratches and bumps. The flap is secured by Velcro set at right angles so that it can be adjusted to fit varying bulk carried in the pouch. [great idea for pressies too]

Materials: 45cm medium-weight fabric (cotton drill, canvas, duck-cloth or denim) for the outside of the sleeve (or you can use lighter fabric fused to medium-weight interfacing) + 50cm contrasting medium-weight fabric for lining and binding + 40cm Fusible wadding (pellon or batting) + 45cm Woven, iron-on interfacing + 60cm Velcro + Matching threads


Draft the pattern following the dimensions below. Then cut out 1 each of the following, using the same pattern piece – outside fabric, lining, wadding and interfacing.

Fuse the interfacing to the lining piece and the wadding to the outside piece. NOTE: If you’re using lighter weight fabric than a canvas or drill, fuse interfacing to both the lining and outside pieces.

On the lining piece, sew (the prickly side of) a Velcro strip across the curved edge of the flap, 1.5cm from the straight edge TIP: Measure and draw a chalk line to follow before you attach the Velcro.

Sew 2 x 10cm strips of (the fuzzy side of) Velcro to the front of the bag body, about 10cm in from each of the side seams. TIP: Use a square ruler to measure and mark the Velcro placement with chalk – this will help to keep it at a right angle.

Place the lining and the outside pieces together, with the right side of fabric facing out. Stay stitch .4 mm around the outside edge, holding all the layers together.

Make 2.5metres of bias binding (as per Bias Tape Maker instructions) in the lining fabric.

Fold the binding in half and press a crease the full length of the tape. TIP: Make the top “half” of the tape 1mm shorter than the bottom. This will make it easier to catch both sides of the binding in the stitches when you’re attaching it to the sleeve.

Fold the binding over the straight, short end of the laptop cover. Sew it in place along the folded edge of the binding. Take care that you catch both front and back edges of the binding in the stitches. TIP: If you’re not confident of the accuracy of your sewing, you can zigzag the binding in place.

Fold the laptop cover at the notches and stay stitch (baste) the edges together – forming an “envelope” shape. NOTE: Turn the sleeve inside out and check that the lining fabric has also been caught into the staystiching. Start binding 1cm in from the bottom corner of the pouch.

Backtack (backstitch) and sew the binding all the way around to the other corner – stopping 1cm short of the corner. Be careful on the corners to ensure that you have caught the bind on both sides of the pouch.

Turn the pouch inside out. At each of the bottom corners, pinch the side seam down towards the folded bottom edge

Draw a line across the corner – about 1.5cm from the corner point. Pin the corner into place. NOTE: Don’t make the corners too large but also don’t miss catching the bind in the corners.

Sew across the corners, following the chalked lines, and backtacking (backstitching) at the start and finish of each seam. Voila! Finished Laptop Sleeve!

About the designer:
Since the age of three, Nicole Mallalieu has been a passionate designer and maker of all things “textile”, and has worked in both the fashion industry and independent handcrafts scene for nearly twenty years. She now designs bag patterns, teaches bag making, and has an online bag-making supplies store.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tamara December 17, 2007 at 7:49 am

thanks for posting this – my friend and I had a sewing afternoon yesterday and drew up our own pattern we were a bit stumped with the binding – so very glad to have found these instructions today – so very generous!


2 Junie Moon December 17, 2007 at 8:59 pm

This is a grand idea–I need a laptop case like this. To be honest, I don’t always understand some of the terms used on blogs, like “pressies.” What is a pressie?


3 Nikki December 18, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Junie Moon – you obviously read a lot of Australian blogs! We Aussies shorten EVERYTHING and put an ‘ie’ on the end (..a bit like Junie?). “Pressies” are PRESENTS…. as in gifts. Glad you found the tutorial useful (I didn’t write the “pressies” bit in it, by the way – that was added on).


4 Pascale April 22, 2008 at 7:55 pm

A great tutorial, and it looks easy. It’s a good idea to hide the end of the binding in the corners at the bottom. I’ll keep a note of it.


5 Ellen January 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

All these little details are what makes this such a great tutorial and the finished version look so chic. I love it! Thank you.


6 FrankieP January 29, 2010 at 5:15 am

“Fuse the interfacing to the lining piece and the wadding to the outside piece.”

How do I fuse wadding to something?


7 kath_red January 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

you can buy fusible wadding! isn’t that great – or using a tacking stitch to hold it there.


8 mel April 8, 2010 at 2:12 am

how do u make this for a mini laptop? can someone help we with the measurements? if your interested respond in a comment thanks!


9 Tiffany June 4, 2010 at 12:53 am

I just made one for a mini – easy!!! I just eyeballed the dimensions, wrapped it around and thought real hard. I made it bigger than it needed to be. Then I used a huge seam allowance, and tried it out, then decided it needed to be smaller, so I went around again a bit inside the old stitches. Then I cut off the extra from the seam. I also made a flap that is longer in the front. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I had made one already with a liner and padding and sewing inside out and made a complete thick bunchy mess. Gah. I was already planning version 2 with something like a quilt binding for the edges, and then found this tute – perfect timing! I made mine with one layer of pre-quilted stuff from the fabric store for the inner layer, and one layer of quilter’s cotton on the outer. I made my own bias tape out of a complimentary fabric, and it was so easy! Honestly, the hardest part of the entire project was making the binding. Next time I will try to find someone with a bias tape machine! I also skipped the velcro, and instead used a loop of wide elastic stitched to the center of the back. My sister is going to love it!!


10 amantha July 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I have a really big laptop. its 17.5 incher. how would i go about making this for my laptop? What would the measurements need to be? Also, i really like this idea, bcz i can never fine a laptop sleeve that fits and that i like, so this give me the chance to make it perfect :) I might combine it with the “Book Tote” tutorial i read earlier :)


11 Carmenz Artesanía April 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm



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