For my birthday this year, my Mister gifted me with a brand new laptop. It was an extravagant gift to say the least, but one of the most thoughtful he’s ever given me. My old computer was a dinosaur and took 20 minutes to load a website. It wasn’t the most efficient way to run an online business! Since the old laptop was such a beast I didn’t take much care when I was bringing it places, I’d just toss it in a bag and off I went. I wanted to make sure my shiny new laptop got proper treatment, so I made it a pretty quilted bag of it’s own! Here’s my laptop bag tutorial if you’re interested in making one for yourself!
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I don’t have much experience making quilted items, as it’s a new skill I’ve been developing. It’s rather fun to learn new things! So I’m sure there are things I could have done differently during this project.
This is just my little disclaimer that I’m no quilting expert!
But I’m happy with the result and I use the bag often, it’s super practical. So I figured I’d share my laptop bag tutorial whether it’s perfect or not!
Laptop Bag Tutorial
I picked out a selection of pink and grey fabrics from my cotton stash. I’ve got a monthly fabric subscription from Stacked Fabric Company, and it’s the funnest mail ever! I get four coordinating fat quarters every month.
I decided to make each tumbler a finished size of 3.5″ x 1.75″ – 2 7/8″.
I measured my computer and calculated how many tumbler pieces I would need. My computer is 13″ x 9.25″, so I needed the topper to measure 28″ x 11″ including seam allowances. This required 40 tumbler pieces, 10 out of each of the 4 patterns.
First I cut out 4″ tall strips of each fabric. Then lined my tumbler template at the 4″ mark up on one side to cut out each piece, flipping the template for each cut to maximize the use of the fabric.
Once I had all my pieces cut out, I laid them out and rearranged them until I was satisfied with the pattern they created. Then I numbered each row in order to keep track of it all. That helped a lot when I was piecing everything together. (There’s only 7 rows shown here, but I actually used 8)
Note how I made sure to flip the pink heart fabric after row 4 so it would be right side up on both sides of the laptop bag.
Once all the piecing was done, I squared off the sides and cut out a piece of quilt batting and lining in the same size.
I cut out two strips of grey, 3″ x 25″ for the straps.
Here’s where I’m sure I’m breaking all kinds of quilting rules. But I don’t care. Lol
I opted to quilt my fabric by hand. I did a split stitch about 1/8″ of the way in on all the pink heart pieces and the tumblers that matched up.
I did it this way because I love hand sewing, and I wanted a unique look to my bag. 🙂
(sorry for the fuzzy picture, sometimes I don’t realize they’re fuzzy til I’ve got them uploaded on my computer, and now it’s too late to take another progress shot!)
Now all that’s left is to assemble the bag.
I folded the topper right sides together, stitched up the sides and flipped it right sides out.
I did the same to the liner but left a 4″ gap along one side and did not flip it.
To make the straps I folded the grey strips lengthwise and stitched them all the way down. I flipped them right sides out using a large safety pin.
I ironed the straps flat arranging the seam to end up centred in the back of the strap, and top-stitched along both edges of the straps.
Hopefully the picture helps explain what I did!
I stitched the straps into place on the topper, right sides together, and using lots of stitches to give it strength. Also, I made sure to let the straps overhang a little to make extra sure they won’t shred and pull apart.
Slide the lining over the topper, making sure to keep the straps tucked between the layers. So the lining and topper are now right sides together. Pin them together along the top, lining up the seams.
Sew the two together all the way around, about 1/4″ – 3/8″ in.
Now you can pull the whole bag, liner and all, through the gap left in the lining to get it all right sides out. This is a little tricky, but it works, I promise!
Tuck the lining inside the bag and topstitch around the top edge.
Now all that’s left is to close up the gap in the lining! Fold in the raw edges and sew the two sides together. It’s hard to see in the picture because it’s navy thread on navy fabric, but I hope it all makes sense.
And it’s done! 😀
I love my bag, the length of the straps is perfect for slinging over my shoulder and running out the door. And there’s room to fit both my laptop and a notebook!
What do you think? 🙂 If you like this laptop bag tutorial, you may also be interested in my Toothbrush Travel Wrap DIY!