February 19, 2013

Laptop Love

While digging around in my scrap box, I turned up a small collection of 60-degree diamonds in assorted batiks, mostly green and pinky-peach, with a little yellow. They might be left over from a shoulder bag I made for myself years ago (which I don't have pictures of, apparently). I had to add to them, mostly purples, and here's the end result:
laptop sleeve
A laptop sleeve. This one is sized for an 11-inch Apple MacBook, conveniently just the size of my sister's computer.
laptop sleeve
I probably could have made the flap on this side just a smidge longer. But I'm going to focus on the little diamond points at the bottom, where the batiks jut into the solid fabric. This effect just makes me smile.

The solid is also stashbusting, since I saved the 16 or so inches of fabric I trimmed off the bottom of the living room curtains 6 years ago. It's a dark blue velvet, which is fun to feel, but, wow, is it ever a pain to work with! It frays, it's not terribly straight-grained, it stretches slightly, it's slippery. Every time I sewed a batik diamond to a velvet diamond, I did it at least twice. Once the diamonds were done, even the sewing the rectangles to finish the exterior was challenging. Is velvet always this difficult to work with or is it just this particular one???
laptop sleeve
This is the third of these laptop sleeves I've made, and I'm starting to feel like I've got most of the production hiccups worked out, although I'd still like to come up with a better solution for binding where the flap meets the body of the sleeve. Maybe bind the top of the sleeve as well as the flap? Maybe if I attach the interior and exterior before doing the side seams, which I think would make the side seams exposed inside the sleeve (something else to bind)? Maybe if the interior were two pieces, which could keep the side seams unexposed in exchange for an exposed interior bottom seam?

I've got some recycled denim squares which could be pieced together into a sleeve exterior. A postage stamp design might be fun. Woven effects? Log cabins?

Clearly, I'm going to need to make some more.

5 comments:

  1. Do I feel an Etsy site coming on? I hear you about the velvet, it's not just you, velvet is notoriously difficult to sew. Velveteen is much more forgiving to sew, but there's nothing like the feel of real velvet.

    Do you have a formula for those miters that are not at 90 degree angles? I've made a few tablerunners that had angles greater than 90 degrees and I have not spent enough time doing the math or making samples to get a miter that will lay flat. I use the doghouse miter, which for 90 degrees, can't be beat IMHO.

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    1. Maybe? It's crossed my mind, but I'm hesitant. If I did, would you buy one? Or know someone who would?

      As for the miters, no, I don't. I tend to add three inches to the binding length for every corner and then when sewing on the binding, stop stitching about 1/4 inch from the edge. This usually gives me enough wiggle room to get the binding around the corner.

      Not familiar with the term "doghouse miter"... Do share!

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  2. Cute! And no it's not just you, velvet is a nightmare to sew. I made a little velvet jacket with a peplum many many years ago and I still remember how it made me want to cry. I'd say it was right up there with minky (probably for the same reason, the nap) and chiffon.

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  3. I think people would buy these. I really like the diamonds just peeking around the edge. I also think they could sell as clutch purses in different sizes, same basic design.

    Oh, the doghouse miter. I learned it 25 years ago or so. It's for the non-continuous binding double french cross-grain binding I use. Most people who miter use a folded miter, which is quicker and seems to be all I can find on YouTube. Perhaps it has taken over because it is faster, easier and more reliable. The doghouse miter is a drawn and sewn miter rather than folded. I will scan and send you instructions from an old book that has the technique illustrated and if it doesn't make sense, I will make and send you a sample.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vci9-li3aYU

    I think the link above gives the best explanation of the folded miter for odd angles and I will probably try this next time I have a tablerunner that requires it. I like the way this quilter hand stitches the miter edges down the center rather than leaving the fold to flop open. It makes me think I might try the folded style of miter.

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