Monday, 1 September 2008

Laptop Cover Tutorial

I bought a dinky new laptop and despite its cost it did not come with a bag, sleeve or any way of covering it to reduce scratches etc.
So I came up with this idea, it may not be very revolutionary but it could easily be adapted to other products and I am going to make another version for my Nintendo DS at some point.

Firstly I wanted to keep everything really simple so I created a rectangular pattern I decided how far up the laptop the opening would be and how far down the flap would come. Make it a little wider that the laptop itself. See pic.

This photo shows how high up the laptop and the section above is the flap which will come almost down the the base of the case.

I then cut out two pieces of fabric. One for the outside and one for the lining. I decided to use the same for both. Lovely bit of Cath Kidston fabric.

I then used a cotton fleecy batting which was placed between the layers and pinned. You can use whatever you are used to because the aim will be to lightly quilt your cover. This will give a protective thickness and you will now how thick you want the cover to be. I would avoid using synthetic wadding. I cut the fleecy batting smaller than the outer fabric to make sewing up the seams less bulky.

By dropping the feed dog I used a complimentary thread and quilted the fabric. Due to the design on the fabric I decided to roughly quilt around the flowers. This kept the flowers untouched but the layers stitched. You could determine your quilting on the fabric chosen. You could save time by purchasing pre-quilted fabric. I stitched through all three layers
Before I got too carried away with the quilting I added two magnetic fastenings.

These are easy to use but you do need to take care when making the holes to insert the prongs on the back of the fastening.

Magnetic Fastening

Make two dots where you would like the top and bottom of the fastening to be. The back of the fastening has a split pin so make small holes either side of the position dot. (Sorry about this photo, looked much better on the camera!).

Once the prongs have been pushed through the fabric from front to back then put the washer on and push the prongs in to the middle or out wards. They are easily pushed with your fingers but a small hammer.

Here I have both halves of the fastening ready to snap together. If you are concerned about magnets and your laotop then use another form of fastening.

Across the two short edges I put a piece of silky bias binding to neaten.

Using Bias Binding

Sew the binding onto the back of the fabric. I used to do this the other way around until a friend showed me this way. Put the pins at right angles as this makes them easier to pull out.I then stitched along the edge of the binding with the machine foot next to the edge of the fabric.

Turn the fabric over and carefully bring the binding around to the front and pin again. Try to keep it as straight as possible. You may need to trim some of the fabric if the binding struggling to go over the edge. Then stitch along the edge of the binding to secure.

At this stage I added some embellishments. Due to the thickness of the quilting it is possible to sew on buttons, sequins etc and not have the thread showing on the inside. With a little bit of fiddling and pushing I also added some flower shaped brads. Again I did not push them all the way through because I did not want them to scratch the laptop.

I also carefully added some hand stitching to the petals. You can basically do whatever you want. I love hand stitching so I did go to town a little on this.

Fold your cover where you had decided to have the flap etc and again using your bias binding seal the side seams. Remember to fold over the raw ends of the binding to prevent fraying. Use plenty of pins at this stage to stop the fabric from moving too much as you stitch through all of the layers of fabric.

I simply wanted a cover to keep dust off etc but at the same time my laptop is protected if I put it in my work bag. It does not look like a laptop so does not get any unwanted attention. I would never have a traditional laptop bag.

You could easily adapt this, some examples could be....
*Other products
*Add a strap
*Add pockets for CD's or memory sticks either under the flap or inside the body of the cover.
*Have a zip to fasten the laptop under the flap.

This seems to be very long and I really do hope that it makes sense. The area to set this out on blogger is not very big and I had to keep scrolling up and down.

Anyway, Let me now how you get on and if you email me any of your makes I will post them on my blog with a link to you. Please let me now what you think.
I thought that I would gradually do the other tutorials in order of popularity over the coming months.

My next thought will be a giveaway for my first blogiversary on 8th September.
For now I am going to go and have a lie down!!
Take care


Julie said...

Wow! What a great tutorial! Thank you for taking so much trouble over this. I learned a lot and wll come back to this when I have time. I hope you enjoyed your lie down :)

Lisa said...

What a great idea. It's gorgeous, too!

Linda said...

Thank you for the tutorial! Great choice of fabric!! :D

Paper Girl Productions said...

Wow! Great job! Looks awesome!!

April said...

that's really pretty - well done

April xx

Lynn said...

How cute! I want to make one. I carry my laptop to work sometimes, and I use a bag. This is such a great idea!

picciolo said...

this turned out great, and a wonderful tutorial too. Now I just need a laptop!
: )

twiggypeasticks said...

Oooo that's lovely, well done. Love the Cath Kidston fabric and pretty embellishments.
Twiggy x

Anonymous said...

Great job! I love the fabric you picked... so cheerful! Thanks for the comment the other day. I did another post on my blog if you want to check it out.

summerfete said...

thats so lovely!

Nan said...

I feel as if I could go right out and make one of these now, you did a great job, good description and pictures. Too bad I don't have a lap top! LOL,

Greedy Nan said...

What a good idea. Our laptop came with no cover - it was extra and we weren't prepared to pay even more money than it wasn't worth in the first place. Your hand-stitching is lovely. I seem to aspire to everything other people do and feel my work always looks a mess - why? I might even have a go at one of these myself.

Scrappinfor3 said...

Great tutorial. One question though. . .should magnets be avoided near a hard drive?? Wouldn't want anyone losing info.

Indigo Blue said...

Not really sure to be honest, the fastenings for not very big. I have not had any problems and it is only in the case if I take it out of the house. Of course other fastenings could be used for piece of mind such as velcro etc.

frankenpug said...

Very thorough and I love how your laptop bag turned out! I especially like all of the embellishments you added!

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