In Which I Make a Laptop Sleeve

5 08 2008

My last laptop sleeve was definitely a learning experience: I figured out where the pattern needed to be changed and what I could go to make the end product better. Learning to sew somewhat consistently was definitely up there. Anyway, when I convinced my friend Clara to make her first personal computer a MacBook, I decided to take up needles and make her a laptop sleeve, keeping in mind everything I learned from the last bag.

This is a lot of stockinette stitch. The nice thing about this project was it used up a lot of scrap yarn I had lying around. I used the random stripe generator to come up with the stripe pattern and, despite the size, it only took me a good week of knitting at random times to put everything together.

All the notions: I really liked the flannel liner I placed in the last laptop bag, so I went with another vintage owl print from Joann’s. This one is a little brighter, more 70’s, and matches with the general vibe of the bag.

I sews up the bottom seam and the side and it’s ready to go into the wash.

Something went awry with the felting – the bag came out of the wash felted but misshapen. Additionally, one of the yarns I used didn’t felt… at least not very well. This totally reaffirms that I need a better way of tracking those loose balls of yarn and what they are good for. Thankfully, the yarn, while not felting all the way, felted enough so that it would not fall apart when cut through. I ended up cutting the bottom and the top to even them both out, leaving me with a tube and whole lot of thinking to do about how I was going to put it together.

Initially, I attempted using a sewing machine to sew the bottom seam together and, in the process, broke Margi‘s sewing machine needle. (And proceeded to lose it… oh, yes, I am the master sewer!) I gave up and brought it with me to Wisconsin, where Joanna’s ability to sew bravely would hopefully yield results. After playing around on her sewing machine, I finally hand-sewed the bottom seam, going over it several times with several difference stitches. Then we sewed the edges of the liner together and began to sew the liner into the felted sleeve until we realized that we had laid the liner in the bag incorrectly:

Oops. After a lot of stitch ripping, I got the liner sewn into the sleeve with the fun print facing the correct way, leaving me to think about how to seal it up. I attempted to create a flap, eliminating the need for buttons or Velcro, by cutting slits along each edge and cutting one side along the top of the liner. I sewed the sides of the remaining flap to the sides of the laptop sleeve and flipped it over. The end result wasn’t perfect, but functional. I attempted bias tape but haven’t figured out how to make it look presentable rather than clumsy.

All in all, it turned out pretty well. The sewing skills need work – not all of us can be sewing geniuses like Adam, but they’re coming along. When I attempt the next one, I’m going to try to figure out a way to construct it so it felts with the flap. I would need to make a slightly longer piece of knitted fabric with a different orientation… still wrapping my head around possible ways to accomplish that.

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