Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Handmade Laptop Bag


I made a foolish decision. I purchased a 17” laptop.  This was foolish, because almost no where, on God’s green earth, can one find a laptop bag big enough to fit such a monstrosity of a computer.  At the time, I had no clue I would run into such a debacle.  I, blinded by the large screen and number pad, possessed not a clue into the lack of portability that would ensue when purchasing these features. So I’m sure you can figure out what I did…

A Laptop Bag Designed by Me!

I graciously helped myself to my stash of fabric make a perfectly sized laptop case for my over-sized, “portable” computer.

If you can manage to follow my steps, you may be inclined to try to make your own.  I used a 1/2” seam allowance and happily finished with a functional laptop bag.

Step 1: Seclecting the perfect fabrics.

I decided to use one of my prized Heather Ross fabrics, Natural Roses from Far Far Away 2, and some leftover blue fabric from the back of a quilt I haven’t quite finished yet…
Step 2: Cutting pieces for the inner lining and outside. I based the construction of the bag on a box with an open top.  I carefully measured around each edge of my laptop, then cut each side, adding to the length and width an 1 inch for seam allowances and 1/2 fudge factor.  (I couldn’t imaging going through all this trouble for the bag to be too small!)
Step 3: Practice by making the lining first. I made two sets of fabric boxes, one for the inner lining and one for the outer.  I made the inner lining first to test my design.  I sewed together the four sides of the box, then the bottom.  Before sewing on the bottom, I carefully pinned it in place.
Step 4: Make sure the laptop will fit in the bag! I anxiously “tried on” the laptop bag by slipping my computer into the lining.  It fit!
Step 5: Add some cushioning. Next, to add a little extra padding, I basted batting onto the inside of each outside bag piece.
Step 6: Create some unique handles. Using the top edge of my largest side, I sketched a creative shape for my handles on some trace paper.  With some fancy folding (in half) I was able to make them symmetrical.  (Please be aware that these handles serve a more aesthetic purpose than functional.)
Step 7: Add your own whimsy and charm. For fun, I was inspired by the Velveteen Rabbit and appliqué a little bit of whimsy on to my bag.
I created the outer shell of my laptop bag by duplicating my inner lining box construction, and sewed together the sides, then pinned and sewed on the bottom.
Step 8: Create and attach a flap for securing the bag closed. I created a flap for the top of my laptop bag, being careful to make sure it fit between my handles.  I made the flap close with a button hole, because I was nervous that if I tried velcro, the pieces wouldn’t line up.  I’m mad at myself for forgetting to switch from my basting thread to my finish thread.  Luckily, I remembered before stitching around the edge.
Step 9: Sew it all together. After basting on the flap between the back handle, I put the exterior bag into the lining and sewed around the top.  Through a hole in the side of the lining, I flipped the bag right sides out and lining sides in.
Step 10: Finishing Touches I edge stitched around the top for a finished look, then carefully attached the button into place
Now that's a handmade laptop bag! Now, I have a super cool, handmade, and one-of-a-kind laptop bag.  I think it’s really awesome!

No comments:

Post a Comment