Friday 1 January 2016

If in need, sew it!

Hello everyone,

My post today concerns one of my greatest passions: sewing.

Three weeks ago I treated myself with a new macbook. It was a difficult decision between the air and the macbook, but ultimately the latter won out, and I have to say, I am quite happy with it. There is just one small detail that annoyed me at first. For my old macbook I had a neoprene case, and I wanted something similar for my new one. I looked for one in the store when I bought the laptop, but their selection wasn't that great. I decided to go online and see what the world wide web had to offer. Even the www didn't have anything to suit my taste, and as I was going to travel during the christmas period I was quite desperate to find a cosy sleeve or case for my new typing machine.

I looked at my dusty sewing machine and knew what I had to do. Yes, she (or is she a he?!) was quite dusty, as I hadn't had much time to sew in the last few months (I think that's because of my traveling disease). Now that I'm writing about her (ok she is a she :) ) I realize that I haven't cleaned her for a long time. So next time I'm procrastinating I'll give her a good clean.

Going back to the actual topic: I couldn't find an appropriate case or sleeve, because the 12" is a new size for computers and so there isn't yet much choice for cases. This was the problem, my solution: if there isn't anything suitable around to buy, I'll make my own!

When I have a new project in mind one of the first things I think about is the material. This sleeve had to be quite padded so that it would protect well my macbook. I looked a little bit in my material collection and found some thick felt, sadly it wasn't enough to cover the whole thing (and also not really the color I had in mind). But at least now I knew what I had to look for in the store.

Important: if you go buy fabric for a project, never forget to write down the measurements!

After work I went into the city to one of the fabric stores where I once bought thick felt to make some crowns for the kindergarten. They had a wide selection of colors. I was a little bit annoyed about the fact that the material I was looking at wasn't wool felt but polysomething (I don't remember if polyacryl or polyamide) felt. But back to the colors, their selection was quite good. I was planning to get something neutral, but the dark grey I had in mind wasn't in the store, so I decided to look for something more colorful. I ended up buying two colors because I couldn't decide between them; a green one (that is quite similar to my old neoprene case) and a blue one.

I also bought thread in the same color (there's nothing more annoying than being ready to sew and realize that you don't have the right thread) and some denim needles for my machine, as it's a thick material to sew.

By the time I got home, I knew that I wanted to do something with lace. So I decided to start my project with the blue felt. For the measurements I placed my macbook on top and left some extra centimeters at the sides for the seams. I made 2 pieces that were both 23x30 cm. On Etsy I saw that a lot of people rounded up the corners, so I decided to do that as well since my macbook also has round corners (question: are they still corners if they are round? - editor's note, yes). I didn't cut them at that point, but I used a white pencil to draw an outline on the felt so that it would be easy to cut later with the sewing machine. Before I put the two pieces together I wanted to make sure my computer would actually fit at the end. To do so I used my wonder clips (if you sew and don't have any of those, get some! I can't live/sew anymore without them!) and put them all around the future case, where the seams would be.

I was lucky, it fit perfectly! So now it was about time to choose which lace to use. I have at least five different types of lace in my collection. I tried them all on and the picked one that looked best. The good thing about working with thick felt is that you don't need any lining. The "bad" thing about this is that you have to sew the lace double at the beginning and at the end if you don't want that it "opens" too quick. I don't know which is the right word for it, but basically you fold the beginning and the end back, so that they are not "open".

To sew the lace on the top of the felt well you need some wonder clips, this will help to hold the lace on the right place. The seam that I used is a simple straight seam.

Important: always remember to "secure" your seams at the beginning and at the end!

After both pieces were enlaced, it was time to put the whole thing together. I decided to leave a gap of 0.7cm between the edge of the felt and the seam.

Here you have the final sleeve for my macbook:

Even if this blog post turned out quite long, it was surprisingly quick to sew and I was impressed how well my macbook fits in this sleeve. There are some points for improvement, but for a first computer sleeve I have to say I'm quite happy with it.

Now I just have to decide what I want to do with the green felt...

Have a good one

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