Make a Quilted Bag and Tote Your Laptop in Style

comments (26) January 2nd, 2018     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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Treat your laptop gently. Carry it in a made-to-fit quilted bag.
Cut your pieces according to this pattern.
Layer fabric and lining with batting in the middle.
Treat your laptop gently. Carry it in a made-to-fit quilted bag.

Treat your laptop gently. Carry it in a made-to-fit quilted bag.

Photo: Mary Ray

I love bags of all kinds-purses, totes, shopping-you name it. But when it came to choosing a bag for my laptop, nothing seemed to fit my style or my laptop. So I decided it needed a custom carrier. I made it from some pig suede skins, but fabric could be used as well, such as a tightly woven denim, poplin, or a great upholstery fabric. I'm partial to quilting-it not only holds the layers together nicely when padding is called for but it also adds texture. I love the symmetry of a basic grid pattern, but you can create your own quilting design to make your bag truly one of a kind.

What you'll need:

  • 1 yard fabric or leather skins
  • 1 yard fabric for lining
  • Batting: one crib-size fusible batt
  • 1/4 yard firm, 45-inch-wide fusible interfacing like Pellon's Décor Bond
  • Zipper (to determine the size, measure the length of the laptop and add 2 to 3 inches)
  • Four rings (available in notions departments or hardware stores)
  • Thread
  • Leather needle (optional)
  • Quilting guide bar
  • Teflon presser foot (it glides along the leather and keeps the stitches even)
  • Zipper foot
  • Large paper clips (for working with leather or suede)

Draw a paper pattern using the illustration below as a guide.

Measure your laptop to determine the dimensions for piece A (Front and Back). The length of piece B (Bottom/Sides) equals the bottom plus two sides of piece A; the width of B is the width of the laptop. Add 1/2 inch on all four sides of each piece for ease and 1/2 inch for seam allowances as indicated by the broken lines. Piece C (Strap) measures 30 inches by 4 inches. Piece D (Ring Holder) is 5 inches by 4 inches.

Using your pattern, cut out the following pieces:
A. 2 of fabric, 2 of lining, 8 of fusible batting
B. 1 of fabric, 1 of lining, 2 of fusible batting, 1 of fusible interfacing
C. 2 of fabric
D. 4 of fabric

(NOTE: If you quilt the bag, cut all pieces for section A 1 inch larger all the way around. Quilting reduces the size of the overall piece and you need to allow for this. After quilting, you can recut according to your pattern.)

  Cut your pieces according to this pattern.

Construct the Bag:

1. Fuse two layers of batting, according to package directions, to the wrong side of each piece A, fabric and lining. This creates enough padding to cushion the computer.

2. Place one fabric/batting section to one lining/batting section (batting in the middle) and machine-quilt the layers together.

  Layer fabric and lining with batting in the middle.
  Use a Teflon foot if you're sewing on suede and a quilting bar to ensure straight rows of quilting stitches.
  After quilting each A section, use the pattern to cut to size.

3. Open the zipper. Pin the top of one section A to one side of the zipper, matching the raw edge of the fabric to the edge of the zipper tape. (If you're using suede, use paper clips to hold in place.) Leave about 2 inches of zipper extending at one end, and place the zipper stop 1/2 inch from the side edge at the other end. Use a zipper foot and stitch close to the zipper coils through all thicknesses.

  Place the right side of one zipper half to the right side of one A section and stitch in place close to the zipper coils.

4. Trim away excess fabric close to the stitching.

  Trim away the fabric under the zipper tape.

5. Press the zipper tape under, exposing the coils. Edgestitch along the fold.

  Press the zipper tape to the wrong side.
  Edgestitch on the right side close to the fold.

6. Close the zipper and match the two sections. Stitch the other side of the zipper in place as above.

7. Make ring holders: Fold each in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

  Fold the ring holders in half, wrong sides together, and in half again.

8. Fold again, matching raw edges to the center. Stitch close to the folds on each side.

  Stitch ring holders close to the folds on both long edges.

9. Slip the holder through the ring, and sew the ends together with a 1/4-inch seam. Turn so the seam allowance is on the inside.

  Feed the ring holder through the ring. Stitch with a 1/4-inch seam. Turn right side out to form a continuous loop.

10. Sew each holder in place as marked on the pattern, with the ring at the top.

  Sew the rings holders in place according to the markings on the pattern diagram.

11. Fuse two layers of batting to the wrong side of the Bottom/Side (B) lining piece. Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the Bottom/Side (B) fabric piece.

  Fuse interfacing to the fabric B section.

12. Place the fabric and lining together with batting and interfacing in the middle. Pin one long edge of this strip to one A section, right sides together, raw edges matching with 1 inch extending at the top on each side. Stitch in place, pivoting at the corners.

  Layer the fabric and lining B sections, wrong sides together, and stitch to the A sections, pivoting at the corners.

13. Sew the other long edge of the strip to the remaining A section.

14. Finish the seam allowances by serging or binding.

15. Turn in the ends of the strip at the top and hem.

  Turn in the top edges of the B strip and hem.

16. Trim the extended end of the zipper, if necessary, and sew a folded scrap of suede in place to prevent the slide from coming off.

  Finish the end of the zipper.

17. Make the straps the same way as the ring holders. Feed through the rings, fold under 1-1/2 inches, and sew in place.

  Sew the straps to the rings.

Here's a tip: If you make your laptop bag from fabric, spray it with a fabric protector like 3M's Scotchgard so it will repel stains and water.

posted in: sewstylish feature, tote, suede

Comments (26)

elagenteco writes: This is truly great. Everyone should read the blog. This is called art in true sense.
Posted: 5:32 am on December 26th
user-7052380 writes: visit to have more ideas like this
Posted: 4:22 am on September 30th
user-7052380 writes: more you find at Burdastyle
Posted: 4:21 am on September 30th
user-7052380 writes: alright dear!
Posted: 3:26 am on September 30th
georgedavis1989 writes: wow! such a great bag
Posted: 2:10 am on July 2nd
Reshma Mehto writes: Nice Blog.Thanks for Sharing with us.
Posted: 4:35 am on April 4th
AzizaShaikh writes: Loving it, love your creativity
Posted: 12:52 am on March 15th
user-2010747 writes: Thanks, Mary! I see a large hot pink ultra suede in my future! I also have one of those 17" machines. I have a big heavy computer bag with a retractable handle, tons of pocket, and wheels that is great for travel, but I don't have anything for a short carry. This will do nicely! Thanks for your great instructions and photos.
Posted: 6:20 pm on March 2nd
Corrales writes: Thanks for the great idea(Christmas Gifts) I have pre-quilted fabric that'll work great, can't wait to start!
Posted: 6:19 pm on July 24th
genalorainne writes: Very explicit and detailed article, thanks. No one could read it and not understand it.
Posted: 2:49 pm on April 23rd
genalorainne writes: The bag seems a little biggish...I can always resize it, though, it's just that I would not do it that way.
Posted: 3:53 pm on April 2nd
Fabric1869 writes: That's great love the quilting and using a buckle as the attachment device for handles is inspired.
Posted: 8:55 am on March 26th
MarcioWilges writes: Wow this is really an interesting project. I did not know a quilt is even possible to be transformed into a bag for that matter. I will definitely try this idea out which will make a great gift for my ladies friends who do not need to be moving around with an ugly black coloured laptop bag anymore. Thanks for sharing this easy yet really practical idea with us.
Posted: 2:08 am on March 24th
saikiran writes: very nice tips
Posted: 1:43 pm on March 14th
anneinkzland writes: If you live in a wet climate, make your bag waterproof. Use a washable outer fabric and add a layer of plastic underneath it. My favorite computer bag is not quilted but has a recycled plastic rice bag between the outer layer and the lining. It was made by an NGO in Cambodia and sold in their shop. It's my "go-to" bag on rainy days.

Posted: 2:57 pm on August 25th
susan72 writes: Just what I needed to find. I have a 17" laptop. Thank you, I have some material. A thin leather etc.
Posted: 8:17 pm on March 10th
ediebeaty writes: So cute! I'm gonna make and use this for school.
Posted: 6:55 am on March 2nd
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Posted: 3:56 am on September 19th
mami50 writes: Thanks Mary ,
HUGZ, w.
Posted: 6:27 am on April 25th
niterose writes: I really don't like the laptop carring bags I see on the market. I have found some quilted fabric that I really like and want to use. I was thinking I wouldn't need 2layers of fusible batting only one with the linning farbic, does this sound right or am I going to have a mess on my hands. Aslo I am wondering about the strap.
Posted: 10:55 am on December 7th
RedHeadedQuilter writes: What a great tutorial! I have a 17" laptop and can't find a nice looking tote for it anywhere. I'll have to give this a try!

Posted: 1:03 pm on September 23rd
cat_moreau writes: I love the idea...I was given a bunch of upholstery and fabric samples and I was thinking of making bags such as this...however they are in books and have some paper on the back of them as it was designer sample books...any thoughts in how to proceed?
Posted: 2:36 pm on July 28th
MaryRay writes: I used real pigsuede. It's fairly soft. About midweight. Easy to sew. I don't know about a protecting product -- but that's a good question. However, sometimes I think that leather and suede acquire a nice patina the more they're used and that adds to their "character." I recently purchased a product at the grocery store called Leather Love -- planet friendly leather wipes. I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but the product claims to renew the finish on furniture, purses, jackets, shoes, and more. I'm not sure how they work on suede, however.
Posted: 11:52 am on June 8th
carlyjcais writes: I love this! What weight (or thickness) of suede are you using? Is it real pig/cow suede or faux? And is there any way to protect it from staining/rubbing from use and wear like your ScotchGuard suggestion?
Thank you- I learned so much!
Posted: 3:51 am on June 7th
NeedtoSewBlog writes: You make this look so easy! I can't wait to try it!

Thank you,
http://[email protected]
Posted: 1:54 pm on June 5th
Sweet_Dee writes: I really like this. It looks complicated to me (I'm a novice at quilting and the such) but I'm going have to try it some time in the future. With a few changes, it can even be a diaper bag. If it was wider and with pockets inside.
Posted: 7:52 pm on May 22nd
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