Quick Laptop Sleeve

I noticed I was scuffing up the not-my-laptop that I’ve been carrying, so I did a little “30 minute” sewing project (that actually took over an hour because I’m apparently retarded) after I burnt out on other things for the evening.

The intention is a little sleeve that will be snug enough to retain the laptop, and let me slide it between [note]books, etc. in a bag. That means a little long, with thick hems on the open end for retention, and no flaps, fasteners, or protrusions to hang up on other things in the bag.
Basically, I measured the wrapped length and width of the machine (to accommodate for thickness), cut a piece of fabric I had around to the full wrapped long dimension (+1.75″ for hems and clearance) and half the wrapped short dimension (+1″ for seams), hemmed the short ends, folded it in half, ran a seam down the sides, half-assed wrapped the first 2″ of each side seam, and called it adequate.


  • I can still sew well enough to go from conception to part on something trivial almost instantly.
  • My neglected sewing gear is still in working order.
  • My vintage sewing machine got her recommended periodic exercise and lube.
  • The finished product is functional and looks fine.


  • I initally cut the circumference of the machine … in both directions. 1.9 sleeves worth of fabric!
  • One day, I will sit down in front of a sewing machine and thread it the right direction the first time. That day was not today. Bobbin thread/direction? -Easy. Complicated path through the tension and take-up? -Easy. Passing the right way through the needle? -Derp. I’ll claim it’s the Singer vs. White thing if challenged.
  • I had to look it up and still managed to use the adjustable hemmer wrong in two different ways, one hem failed to fell, the other is not really straight.
  • I added allowance for generous 1/2″ seams intending to cut after … then sewed 1/4s and had to redo the side seams to make it snug enough.

Using my venerable old machine always makes me feel like it and 3 generations of my family are judging me when I do something inept or half-assed on it, which probably makes my projects better.

I think I’m satisfied. I’d like it to be just a hair snugger, but the fit is pretty good and snugger would have run the risk of finishing then not being able to get the machine in. I think I want to make some kind of companion pouch for the power brick, but I’m not sure how, an attached pocket would ruin the slip-between-things-in-my-bag functionality.

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2 Responses to Quick Laptop Sleeve

  1. Sarah says:

    My only negative opinion is that the third photo makes the fabric look like old curtains or perhaps some funky corduroy pants, but if you like the fabric then rock on. I’ve never wanted a sleeve for my laptop because it seems like too much extra work to slide the laptop into and out of it. I have a backpack with a separate laptop pocket and that’s sufficient for me.

  2. pappp says:

    My big laptop rides around in the integral sleeve of a Timbuk2 Shotwell, but I’ve been carrying the little laptop around tucked into another bag, in a lightweight sling, or just bare stacked on my folio, so it gets bounced around in and added/removed from larger bags rather regularly.

    It’s cut from a chunk of upholstery fabric that I bought as an end a while back and have used in a couple projects that needed to be robust and not offensively ugly; I picked it not for any good reason, but because between the coarse herringbone’s directional properties and my colorblindness (It’s squarely in the pathological notch for R/G colorblindness), it’s effectively constantly color-changing to my eye.

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