How to make a laptop carry bag

Keeping your laptop free from dust and dirt is very important. When transporting such items, a laptop case might simply be too big, and often they get put loosely into bags. Why not custom make your own bag for it, to keep it dust and dirt free while at home, and for transporting it safely? As well as keeping your laptop safe and clean, it will also make it look really nice.

What you need

It’s nice to choose two different coloured/patterned fabrics so your bag is more interesting. Choose two pieces of fabric (pure cotton is ideal as it can be easily cleaned) roughly a metre long.

Two D rings (for attaching the handles – this will make the handle stronger than simply stitching it to the main bag).

Around 1m of fusible fleece for your lining and handles

A zipper that is the length of your laptop (it needs to fit your laptop in the bag, so don’t have one that is too small! Slightly longer is OK)

Two clasps to attach to the D rings and handle.

A sharp pair of Scissors

Iron and sewing machine

Pins or wonder clips

How to make

First of all, as this is custom made, you need to measure your laptop. To need to measure the length and the width. For the inner fabric, cut the pieces that are around 7/8cm longer and wider than the measurements for your laptop. This is to allow for the thickness of your laptop and the lining. Cut one piece with the same measurements (7/8cm liner and wider than your laptop) from the other piece of material. Round off the corners on all of these pieces so that they mould to your laptop (if your laptop has square edges, leave them be!). For making a pocket on the front of the bag, cut a piece of material that is the same width as the others, but shorter, by around 10cm or so.

Cut fusible fleece that is the same size as all the 5 pieces, so that there is a piece of fusible fleece for each piece of material, including the pocket.

Now we need to sort the material for the handle. To match the bag, take a strip from each piece of fabric. It needs to measure around 1m long by 7cm wide. If you want a slightly shorter/longer strap, adjust accordingly. Cut two pieces, of from each piece of material as well as a piece of fusible fleece measuring the same as the two pieces of material.

Following the instructions of the packet, iron the pieces of fusible fleece to the wrong side of all the pieces of material. For the handle, just choose one of the pieces of fabric to iron the fusible fleece to.

Now to put the bag together. Take the smallest of the pieces of fabric (the one that will be used as a pocket) and fold a small amount (around 2cm) of the length from the straight edge (without the curved corners) to make a hem. Pin the folded piece and sew the machine or stitch by hand. Press the material and then leave it to one side for now.

Take your big piece of material to be used for the outer part and one of the pieces for the inner part. Place these two pieces on top of each other, right sides facing each other. Put the zipper in between the edges of the two pieces of fabric, with the zipper facing down on the main piece of fabric. The edge of the zipper should be in line with the edges of the fabric. You are only attaching one part of the zipper at this point so make sure it is only one edge that is in line with the edges of the pieces of material. Pin all these parts in place then sew together.

Now take the other two pieces of material that are left that were for the inner part. Sandwich them together like the other two pieces, right sides facing and place the other length of the zipper in between these two. Pin together and sew. The zipper should now be attached to all the pieces of material except of course the pocket.

Now you are going to put it all together. Have the main bag now laying with right sides facing so that the part with the zipper is at the top (it should be like the material has been folded in half where the zipper is). The two pieces of material that will make the outside should be together and the two pieces for the inside should be facing each other. Sandwich the pocket part between the two outside pieces of material. Line the bottom of the pocket up with the main pieces (not the hemmed edge!). Whichever part you want the pocket on, ensure that it is placed right side facing on this piece.

As the material is all in place, before sewing together we are going to add the straps. Take the off cuts of the main fabric and cut two strips measuring 7cm by 18cm. Fold in half length ways, right sides facing. See along the long edge then turn the right way out so wrong sides are facing and press. Place the D ring where the fold is. Do this for both of these pieces of material. Now to add them to the rest of the bag. Place one either end between the two outer pieces, roughly, 7cm from the top, ensuring the raw edges all line up. The D rings should be further in the material.

Sew all the way around the bag now, leaving a small gap where the inner material meet as an opening to turn the right way. Once seen, turn the right way. Press flat and sew the opening up. Make sure the inner fabric is now on the inner part of the bag so you have the basic part of the bag now minus the handle. Top stitch the edge near the zipper so it looks nice and neat.

Lastly, you need to attach the handle. Place the two pieces of material for this with right sides facing and sew the long edges. Carefully turn the right side out and press it flat. Take the clasps and push the ends of the straps through then slightly, fold over and hem in place. Attach to the D rings of the rest of the bag and you are ready to go! You should now have a beautiful but strong bag for carrying your laptop around!

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