Electronics can cost a pretty penny or two (or ten thousand) so keeping them safe from damage is not only smart but necessary. In this tutorial, I'll teach you how to make a laptop/ E-reader/ tablet sleeve out of leather, with hardly any actual sewing and a cool factor that'll blow your roof.
Let's get started.
Step 1: Materials
For this project, I used
13 inch Apple Macbook Air
rotary blade and/or scissors
cutting board (self-healing ones are best for this)
top stitch or heavy duty sewing machine needle
top stitch or heavy duty thread in any color
sewing machine (but you can hand stitch instead)
grommets package and application tool. (I used 1/2 inch, bronze)
Step 2: Measuring
I measured my device to its exact measurements. Because its rather thin, I did not bother measuring its depth as leather is forgiving enough to stretch a bit.
After measuring, I took my leather piece and played around with how I wanted the final product to look. This is where I discovered how amazing the end grain of my leather is and decided to leave it raw (untouched, unsewn) and to expose that end as the top flap.
Step 3: Cutting
I decided a 3/4 inch margin on the sides would be best as I didn't want to put too much strain on the leather's stretchiness and the stitches I planned on sewing.
I cut two straight edges with my rotary blade and makeshift ruler using the width of my device and adding on a 3/4 inch margin to each side.
For the length, I doubled over the fabric, so half of it sat underneath my device, and the other half on top. Then I decided how long I wanted the front flap to be, and added that length to the piece sitting underneath. Picture 3 of this step better describes this process. The length of leather sitting on top of the laptop will be the front flap, but it is a continued piece of the back portion. simple, eh?
Please be sure of your measurements BEFORE you cut! Leather ain't cheap!
Step 4: Sewing
Since my leather piece was large to begin with, I ended up using only one running piece for the entire laptop sleeve. This means I only need to sew the two sides in order to create a pocket for my device. Yeay!
Using my regular-run-of-the-mill sewing machine, heavy duty thread and needle, I hand-cranked stitches along the two side lengths. I did this because my machine's motor couldn't handle sewing the leather. Therefore, I used the side wheel on my machine to move the needle through my leather, creating stitches. This can also be completely hand sewn, but would require a leather punch, which I didn't have.
After sewing one edge, I was pretty happy with the way the stitches saw and so I continued on to sew the other edge.
Pop in your laptop/ Ereader/ tablet to make sure it fits snugly inside. Remember that leather stretches, so over time, it'll conform to the shape of your device, so make sure its snug.
Step 5: Adding Grommets
After sewing, and snipping any extra threads, I decided where I would put my grommets, which would serve as the closing mechanism for my laptop sleeve.
Because my end grain top flap isn't straight by any means, I decided I wanted my grommets to be off-centered. This is just a personal preference.
Following the instructions on my grommets package, I traced the inner grommet hole onto the wrong side of my leather flap, cut it, and using the anvil the grommets came with and a hammer, I fitted my grommets perfectly. I ended up using two grommets, so repeated this step twice.
Step 6: Threading Through
Now that my grommets are in place, I threaded a stretch of cotton webbing under and over the grommets to achieve a design that I liked and served as a closer to the laptop sleeve.
I hand stitched the two raw ends of the webbing with contrasting thread to ensure the webbing wouldn't unfurl.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Now you are ready to use your newly-made hand-done laptop/ E-reader/ tablet sleeve!
btw- depending on your leather grade, it'll probably have enough give so you could throw in a few extra things like a notebook and pencils etc. This thing just keeps on giving!
Have a great time accepting compliments!