Sunday, February 03, 2008

Not So Minimalist Laptop Case

Now that I work in a computer science research group, my new boss ordered a fancy laptop for me. The standard issue laptop case at my company weighs more than the laptop. I declined one and decided to make my own.

The minimalism of the camera case bothered me somewhat. With all those wonderful colors to play with, why did I make it out of one monochromatic piece? I vowed to lavish a little bit more time on the laptop case.

It is still monochromatic, but much less boring. I call this the front because the first side didn't look right. I forgot how to sew a stem stitch; after consulting with by Judith Baker Montano's Elegant Stitches, it came back.

I cut apart two thrift store sweaters that had been run through the washer and dryer a couple of times. I laid the laptop on one sweater and drew lines around it (allowing for the thickness of the laptop and the seam allowance) with a purple air-erasable pen. The laptop will sit in my backpack or rolling briefcase the tall way. I sewed the bottom seam first.

Then I cut a thick jacquard piece from a second sweater to pad the bottom. I serged the long sides of the rectangle and topstitched it to the bottom of the case.

There were leftover pieces on the side which I cut freehand with the rotary cutter into leaves. I serged the edges of one leaf and decided I preferred them raw-edged. I embroidered stems with stem stitch and sewed the leaves down the middle with a running stitch. I added some leaf veins. You can see better from the back.

Finally, I sewed the side seams. Don't forget to fold over the top flap on the INSIDE when you sew the side seams!

Not so minimalist now. I have to fly to the east coast two weeks in a row for NASA meetings this month. I feel really guilty about my carbon footprint, but I can't wait to show off my new case.

In keeping with the slow life, all materials were salvaged. The sweaters had holes in them and were bought for $1-$2 a piece in the summer, when no one else wanted them. The charcoal yarn probably came from my sister in one of her care packages of leftover bits and pieces. It feels like merino/silk. I wish she had sent more. ;-)


  1. Lovely! You are so motivated and creative.

  2. Merino/Silk? Really? What was the weight? Can you give me a photo of a scrap of it so I can remember what project it was from and whether I have anymore of it?

    These days, I'm keeping little balls of scrap yarn in a large glass vase as hearth decoration (and also if I decide to do any darning). It's overflowing now, so it's time to get another vase.

  3. It is a silky wool worsted weight plied yarn. I have about 30 g of it and on a home-wound cake-type ball. Who knows where I got it? It was there last night when I needed it.


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