Sunday, 22 April 2012

Tutorial - Laptop or Camera case

This weekend I have been on a "make-fest" - enjoying the opportunity to make some useful bits and pieces! Paul wanted something to put his camera in, and my netbook was looking a little dull! So I got the sewing machine out and came up with these goodies and we are both delighted.

So being a helpful little Bee I thought I would share them with you!

This pattern can be used to make a case for a camera, a netbook or a laptop. This is not strictly a sleeve, because they tend to be much larger than they need to be in order to accommodate the depth of your tech!

It is also reversible if you don't add a fastening!


A piece of wadding,
one piece of fabric for the inside
one piece of fabric for the outside of your bag (measurements dependant on what you are 'bagging')
co-ordinating thread

sewing machine
iron and ironing board
sewing kit

Step 1 - measuring your fabric

Whatever you are planning to 'bag up', you will need to measure the contents to work out how much fabric you need. Measure all three dimensions - height (H), width (W) and depth (D). Make sure that you measure to the widest part, for example you would measure the depth to the end of the lens on a camera.

This next bit sounds complicated, but it ensures that your fabric goes around your item completely plus a bit for the flap!


My camera  measured 4inches wide (W), 3inches high (H) and 2inches deep (D), You will need to cut the width of your fabric to W + 1 inch wide (so mine was 5inches wide).

The length of the fabric should go all your tech and overlap at the front. The length of the fabric needs to be 2.5 x H plus 2 x D plus 1inch seams allowance. So mine was 2.5 x 3 + 2 x 2 + 1 (12.5 inches).

So my piece was 5x12.5 inches.

Step 2 - preparing the outside of the bag

You will need to cut 1 piece of wadding to the exact measurements calculated in step 1. The finished piece looks better if the flap has a nice curve, so fold your wadding in half lengthwise and use something round to draw around and cut out your curve - I use my favourite Dr Who coffee mug!

Cut your two pieces of fabric so that they are slightly larger than the wadding. Place your two pieces of fabric right side together and place the wadding on top as shown below:

Sew all the way around the wadding using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a gap in the stitching along one side so that you can turn the whole thing inside out later.

Trim the fabric to the same size as the wadding. Snip the fabric around the curve ensuring you don't cut through the stitching. This will make the fabric lie flat once it is turned inside out.

Pull the fabric through the gap you left open.

 Turn the opening in and press flat.
Over sew all the way around as close to the edge as you dare using a coordinating thread. This will close the opening and gives a neat and professional finish.
Now that's the outside of your bag completed.

Now your tech is not flat, so we need to add sides to our bag.

Step 3 - create edges

Return to your earlier measurements and cut 2 pieces from each fabric that measure H plus 1/2 inch by D plus 1/2 inch. So mine was 3.5inches by 2.5 inches. Curve the bottoms of each piece.

Place one of each fabric right sides together and sew almost all of the way around, leaving a gap to pull it the right side out after snipping the curve and trimming the corners. Once it is turned the right way out, press flat and repeat until you have 2 sides.

Step 4 - sew it all together

You have a choice here - you can pin the sides in place and slip stitch it to the sides:
or you can be a little more adventurous and sew it with your machine.

The sewing machine method works better without pins! Sew from the top of the bag and follow the line of your previous top stitch. Slowly feed the two pieces through the sewing machine turning it carefully as you go.

Repeat for both sides and then press.

The netbook case did not need a fastener, but a smaller bag like the camera case would probably benefit from the addition of a popper or a simple Velcro fastener!

Step 5 - show off!

Now admire your new tech bag and make sure everyone else gets the chance to admire it!

Best wishes