Monday, June 23, 2014

DIY Laptop Sleeve: An Upcycle

Take a look at Etsy, and you’ll quickly see that a cute laptop or tablet sleeve will run you anywhere from $35–45. That’s a lot of cash that could be put toward paying a utility bill or a giant bag of dog food, am I right?

With some increased responsibilities in my program’s press, I’ll now be taking my laptop with me almost everywhere. And with my luck (remember when my dog spilled wine on my laptop the week before finals?), I figured it’d be best for me to get some sort of cushiony protection for it as soon as possible. But what graduate student has that kind of extra money?

Well, what if I told you it’s incredibly easy to make your own laptop sleeve? And still totally cute, I promise.

Here we go!
Dog assistant: optional.
Things you will need: 
  • Two old t-shirts (or some fabric)
  • Sewing machine 
  • Thread
  • Pinking shears
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape 
  • Laptop or tablet

Start by laying out your shirts. I used an old t-shirt and the top from a pajama set, because who really wears those, anyway? 

Dog assistant is being very helpful.
Decide how you will get the most fabric out of your shirts. Use your laptop/tablet for a size reference. 

In this case, I cut off the sleeves and front of the shirt because the back gave me enough to cover both sides of the laptop. 

Fold the fabric over the laptop and trim off that weird collar piece. 

Make sure you leave three to five extra inches on the top for an envelope-type flap!

After all that trimming, double check that the fabric will still cover the laptop and that there's at least a 1/4 inch seam allowance on all sides. My fabric is a little uneven because I don't like to measure. 

Now the other shirt. I'm using this one as a liner for the inside of the sleeve because it's pretty soft. Once again, decide how to cut the shirt to get the most fabric out of it. 

In this case, up-and-across worked pretty well to get a nice, long piece. 

Lay out flat and trim to match your other rectangle.

Once again, a very helpful little guy.
Pin rectangles together, outside of the fabric facing in. Leave a small section unpinned so you can turn right-side out later on.

Don't forget to play ball with your assistant. 
Break out that sewing machine and go to town! Remember, 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

When you're done sewing the edges, turn it right-side out again. 

Grab your laptop again. Flip the fabric over so the pattern you want to end up on the outside of the sleeve is facing up. 

Fold the lower edge up to the top of the laptop, leaving extra fabric for the flap. Pin the sides together.

Sew the sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and it should look like this: 

Flip right-side out... 

Stitch up that small section from where you turned it inside out, and you're good to go! If you really want to get fancy, you could add a button closure or some Velcro to keep the flap closed. Personally, I like the ease of a simple envelope flap. 

How easy was that?! Cute and functional! 

What do you do with all that extra fabric? It'd be a shame to throw it all away. Why not use the scraps to fashion some homemade dog toys?

If you use this tutorial, I'd love to see the results! Happy crafting! 

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