Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MacBook (Faux) Leather Case With Elastic Closure

Got another tutorial for ya'll! Well, this has actually been sitting as a draft for a while now. I decided to go ahead and post it since I'm in a "tuting" mode. :) A couple weeks ago I posted that I had created a prototype of a laptop case (MacBook Air Leather Case With Elastic Closure). I wanted to wait until I had time to do another one before I posted a tutorial, but I wanted to make sure that I didn't forget anything later.  My excitement about the bag has since wore off as some of my design flaws became more obvious. But nonetheless, it's still a decent design. Maybe you can perfect it and share it with me, because it'll be a while before I do a second one. :)  I'll update the tutorial if and when I do another one though. I know I didn't take enough process pictures and it's a bit wordy, but here goes nothing!

  • 1/2 - 3/4 yd. of a leather-like material
  • 1/2 - 3/4 yd. of a lining fabric (I choose a microsuede material)
  • black elastic (I used 3/8" because there was a limited selection.  I'd use 1/2" if available)
  • Xacto knife
  • marking tool

  • leather ~ $5/yd, Hancock Fabrics
  • lining ~ $4/yd, Joann
  • elastic ~ $1/2yds, Walmart
Cut 1/2" from the selvage to have a clean straight line to work with.
Measure the long end of your laptop.  For this tutorial, we will refer to this as  measurement A.  Take A, add 1", and add the thickness of the thickest part of your laptop.  This will be the length of your lining fabric (make parallel to the selvage).  Measure the short end of your laptop, B.  Take Bmultiple by 2, add 1", and add the thickness of the thickest part of your laptop.  This will be the width of your lining fabric.  Cut the lining.  Mine ended up being 13x16" for my 10" air.  Place your lining over your leather as a guide.  Cut your leather to the same length but add 5" to the width for the flap.  Draw a line on the leather where the inner lining ends.  Let's call this your flap line.
Place the right side of the leather faced down.  Take measurement B and add 6.  Cut two pieces of elastic this length.  Now it's time to make the incisions for the elastic.  Mark a line the same width of your elastic starting 2" below your flap line and 2" from the left.  Then, do the same with the right side.  Take B and add .5.  Mark a line across the width of the leather equal to this distance below the flap line.  Mark another elastic line 2" above this new line and 2" from the left.  Then, do the same with the right.  Carefully cut along the elastic markings with an Xacto knife.  Pull about 1" of elastic through the top slit, then the other end through the bottom.  Be sure that it lays flat.  Do the same with the other elastic on the other side.  Pin, lay the liner over the leather piece, place your laptop in the center and test the tension of the elastic by wrapper these layers around your laptop.  Adjust the elastic positioning as need.  Then, sew the elastic on (be sure to sew so that the elastic won't be pulling in the wrong direction when the bag is closed).  At this point you can leave this part as is or cut out a decorative square piece to cover the seams or attach a back pocket to hide them.  I didn't do either, but may try next time.
Now, place the liner right side up over the leather piece.  Be sure to align the liner with the bottom of the leather piece (opposite the flap).  Sew along this side.  Turn the ensemble over, fold the sewn end up towards the flap.  You should fold about 1/2" just below where your liner is on the other side.  Pin, then sew up the sides.
Turn the bag inside out and push out the corners.  Fold the left and right sides of the flap in 1/2" and sew down.
Then fold the flap down towards the pocket, making sure to cover the liner and leaving 1/4" space from the top of pocket.  Sew all around.
*This is the step that I took the easy route on.  I originally planned to leave a wider flap (the full 5").  I was going to sew a piece of leather about 1/2" smaller than the flap onto the flap, fold in the edges of the outer flap over the inner flap, and sew around.  This would have made the flap sit much better.
I ended up tucking my flap in and then pulling the elastic over it.  I didn't leave the 1/4" gap from the previous step so the flap has a little pull that keeps it from laying completely flat.  This would also have been avoided with a thicker elastic and having a bigger flap.
Please let me know how yours turned out!

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