When my husband was getting ready to give his old laptop to his mother, I thought "You can't just give it to her naked. It needs some kind of protective sleeve." But I didn't want something boring, or worse - UGLY! I had seen the Monster Laptop Sleeve and thought to myself that it didn't look to me like $65 worth of fabric and sewing.
I'm genetically predisposed to look at things and figure out how to make them myself for less, so of course I looked at this and said "I can do this!" Except that the more I looked at it, the more I realized that I didn't just want something fun, I wanted it to be reversible. Twice the fun!
I'm not good at sewing, and I'm terrible at visualizing things in three dimensions, so making it reversible took a lot of trial and error to get that part right. I did two - one for me and one for my mother-in-law. The one for me was my beta, and I ended up re-doing it at least twice. I took pictures of my mother-in-law's, once I was sure I'd gotten the kinks out of my process.
Step 1: Materials
Appx. 1/2 yard each of 2 different kinds of fabric
Embellishments (I used felt for the eyes, but you can use anything)
The fabric can be anything. If you'd like a little more protection you might use neoprene, and a great source of neoprene is old mouse pads. Sew a few together and use them as one of your pieces of fabric.
It's best to use fabric that you can use sideways. Bolts of cloth come in two widths - 45" and 60"., so you can make your long cut along the width of the fabric. If your fabric is stretchy, you won't be able to use it sideways and you'll need closer to a yard.
Let the fabric suggest the decorations! Fabric paint, buttons, feathers, bits of leather, other pieces of fabric - anything you can sew, snap or glue to a piece of fabric will probably work.
Step 2: Cutting Your Fabric
Measure your laptop.
The short side of your fabric should be the width of your laptop, plus one to two inches, depending on the thickness of your laptop. Macs are thin, so an inch is good. Older laptops are fatter and need a little more room. The long side of your fabric will be the height of your laptop (the measurement from the front to the back, not the measurement from bottom to top) times two plus eight inches. In my case, my fabric was going to be 15 inches by 30 inches.
Lay your two pieces of fabric with their right sides together and measure, marking the measurements on your fabric with pins or small dots from a felt-tipped pen. I used cans to hold my fabric in place while I cut - more experienced seamsters might use fabric weights.
Cut according to your measurements.
Step 3: Add Embellishments
If you're sewing on your decorations, now is the time to add them. Fold the fabric to resemble your finished product to determine placement of your decorations.
Pin them in place, then sew on.
Step 4: Sew the Layers Together
With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, sew the short ends together.
Step 5: Fold and Sew Pocket of Sleeve
With your fabric laid out on the work surface, fold the short end toward the center. Fold back until you've made a pocket deep enough for your laptop. Pin the fabric in place.
Sew one side all the way - you'll be sewing through four layers of fabric for most of it, so go slowly. On the other side, start at the opening of the pocket and sew. Leave a 3" gap in the seam at the top to pull the piece right side in.
Step 6: Pull the Piece Right Side Out
Pull the fabric right side out through your gap in the seam. You will have to do a little pulling and tugging to make sure you get the corners of the seams fully turned out.
Once you've pulled it fully right side out, you can sew up the last three inches by hand.
Step 7: You're Done!
Put your laptop into your finished laptop sleeve. Take it to your local coffee shop or library and bask in the jealous glances you'll get from those around you. And if anyone around you is snickering at the thought that you paid sixty-five bucks for your laptop sleeve, YOU get the last laugh!