How to Make a Patchwork Laptop Casecomments (16) May 3rd, 2013
A laptop bag is a must for protecting your computer, but who says that "practical" has to mean "boring"? Why not make a vibrant, colorful patchwork bag with a pretty button closure? Fat quarter packs are your best option for this project, especially because they often contain various prints and solids in the same color family. Or, you could use smaller scraps from your sewing stash.
I recommend walking feet for all machine-quilting projects because they step over batting and fabric with ease. But if you don't have one, a standard presser foot will do.
What You'll Need:
Cotton batting, such as
Warm 'n Soft
Cotton fabrics, a variety of prints and solids
Iron and ironing board
Optional: Walking foot
Prep your fabrics
The amount of fabric you need depends on the size of your laptop. Measure carefully to ensure a good fit.
1. Measure the length and width of your laptop. To calculate the amount of fabric you'll need for the bag: add 2 inches to the width, double the length, and add 8 inches for the flap so it will accommodate the laptop's depth.
2. Cut the lining and batting. Cut one piece of lining fabric and one piece of batting to the measurements calculated in step 1.
3. Cut the fabric. Cut your selected fabrics into strips of various widths to the length calculated in step 1. The strips should total the width measurement plus 1⁄4-inch seam allowance on both long sides of each step.
Make and quilt the patchwork
Sew the strips together, stack your quilt sandwich, and topstitch to quilt the layers. I prefer random decorative quilting stitches on my bags, but you can stitch-in-the-ditch (sew between two pieced fabrics on the finished seam) if desired.
1. Sew the outer fabric. Sew all the strips together lengthwise from left to right. Press each seam toward the darker fabric.
2. Quilt the patchwork. Place the batting on the wrong side of the patchwork, and pin it in place from the right side. Install a walking foot (if desired), and machine-quilt the patchwork on the right side through both layers. Stitch with a series of vertical lines or "in the ditch" if you prefer. For perfectly straight lines, use a ruler and a water-soluble pen to mark the stitching lines before you sew.
Finish the pouch
Line and finish sewing the bag, and then choose a color-coordinated button for your closure to round out the look.
1. Cut the patchwork piece and lining. Draw a curve for the flap on the wrong side of your patchwork piece and lining. Use fabric scissors to cut along the line through all layers.
2. Line the patchwork. Lay the patchwork right-side up on your work surface, and place the lining fabric wrong-side up on top of it. Pinch an 1⁄8-inch tuck across the lining at the flap fold, and with all edges and seams matched, pin. Sew around the edges with a 1⁄2-inch seam allowance. Stop 4 inches before the starting point. Trim the seam allowance on the curved flap to 1⁄8 inch. Turn the bag right-side out through the opening. Press the opening shut, pin, and topstitch. Finger-press the flap edge to the right-side of the bag so it looks like piping, and topstitch.
3. Sew the buttonhole. Find the center of the flap, measure up 1 1⁄2 inch from the edge of the curve, and mark the buttonhole position with a water-soluble pen. Sew a buttonhole on the flap with your sewing machine.
|Measure for the buttonhole placement.|
4. Attach the button. Fold the flap to determine the button position. Sew the button to the bag under the flap and aligned with the buttonhole.
excerpted from SewStylish Quick Stuff to Sew, Vol. 3, p. 24
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