I sewed! (Laptop Sleeve for an ultra-portable computer)

Chris Brooker
December 5, 2010

First I have to start by saying that I’m totally disapointed by all the different computer cases out there. I’ve had this problem for a while, but this is the first time I’m writting it down. I’ve typically had small computers, Ultra-portables they’re typically called. Small, light, which is exactly what I want. Something that  I can bring with me without a second thought and don’t need a bag with wheels on it to carry.

I also want to protect these expensive machines but the cases out there are HUGE! Even the ones made for 13″ laptops or for netbooks are just huge, with tons of extra fabric (or neoprene) hanging over the sizes of the computer. Not the tailored case an ultra-portable machine deserves.

Then there is how I’d like to use the case. I have a Ben Sherman vertical messenger bag, which isn’t a laptop bag (they’re also huge), so it has no padded pocket for a computer but it’s the perfect size for me and it perfectly fits a 13″ computer. With my old computer, I would just put it in the bag and after a while I noticed it got scratches from the day to day wear. It needs a case before going in the bag.

With the new MacBook Air I wanted to correct that problem. So I went looking for cases again. Nothing, huge, massive, ugly things. I did however find the perfect case but it was for an iPad and wouldn’t fit the MBA. It was like a big sock that you could slip the device in and it would protect it from minor abuse. That’s what I wanted! There is nothing like this for computers, at least not that I find in stores.

So I stopped at Fabricland and set out to make one!

I managed to find this amazing fabric. It was knit on one side (like a sock) but was soft and fleecy on the other. I picked up a meter (which is lots).

I also picked up a small and cheap little sewing machine. I don’t have one, but have used them before. I was hoping it would do the job.

I cut a piece of the fabric larger 20% larger than the computer.

You can see it’s nice and big.

Here’s the little sewing machine I picked up for $30 at Zellers. I had just tested a piece of the fabric to see how it would sew. Worked great.

I cut a second piece of fabric the same size as the first and folder one end over to make a seam, tacked with pins.

With the “pocket” inside out, I started sewing it up.

With one side sewed up, I put the computer in to set a line for where to sew the other side. I want this sleeve to be tailored. Drew the red line.

After sewing the second side and the bottom of the pocket, I cut away the excess fabric.

Flipped it right-side-out. Looking good.

The moment of the truth. Oh ya!

Snug and cozy! Perfect and on my first try. (Yes, I do know this is a super simple project for anyone who knows what they’re doing with fabric. I’m still proud of the results.)

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