I'm thankful that Dave grew up with an avid quilter for a mom because this makes him more prone to being enthusiastic about my crafty endeavors than perhaps the usual bear. A couple weeks ago he came to me with a request for a laptop cover just like mine for his new laptop. He hooked up his computer to the Apple TV and we browsed through online fabric shops on our TV! How awesome is that. To make sure he would really like the final product, I drew him a sketch of what I was thinking (which was an easy sell, it looks a lot like our TimBuk2 bags) and let him pick out fabrics.
I will admit, I was the one who picked out the orange bicycle flannel. It will line the pouch thus providing a soft place for his computer to live. Plus given Dave's enthusiasm for bicycles and alternative transportation, I feel it is appropriate. It's a bit cutesy, so it is ONLY going inside the pouch, we agreed.
Behind the pile of strips you can see my approach to making just about anything -- sketch it out and plan ahead. Especially when I'm modifying a pattern, I like to draw things out and add up measurements and seam allowances just to make sure that I won't end up too short in the end. That said, even the most perfect planning can sometimes go awry but at least this gives me the confidence to start and know I'm cutting close to correctly. For this I'm modifying a pattern I've made before from the One Yard Wonders book to include a pieced outside.
Here's the final cover piece all done in the lovely evening light of my sewing room. I assembled it quilt-as-you-go style on a piece of batting without the flannel on the back first. This let me do some dense straight line quilting in the middle panel and I was able to attach the blue and black strips without worrying about bunching up the back. To fix the flannel piece on, I top-stitched the folded edges of the blue and black strips with some bright orange thread.
To make the pouch this gets folded and sewn up on two sides then bound. Rather than using bias tape as the pattern calls for, I just used some leftover strips from the blue pearl bracelet print on the front to bind it, treating it like a quilt at the corner. You'll notice a couple of extra stitching lines there at the bottom of this picture. I think Dave was generous when he measured the circumference of the laptop, so it ended up being a bit loose when I slipped it in. It would have been a better idea to fit it before putting the binding on, but silly me. It's ok, this extra flap will just add to the padding.... right?
Here we get to the "even the most perfect planning" bit. It was just a smidge short. I trimmed the piece about 1/4" at the edges before sewing it closed because I cut it a 1/2" larger than the pattern called for, maybe I shouldn't have done that. Sigh. That's ok, I just cut my binding piece for the top wider than I was going to and went with it. It turned out just fine, I can't even really tell that the binding doesn't have batting in the layers because of the extra layers of fabric folded back on itself. Whew, dodged that problem.
The flap is faced with the blue fabric I used for the inner binding strips and flips nicely over the top so as to not hide any of the design. Dr. Dave is quite happy with it, and so am I! I used heavier fabric on mine, so this one isn't quite as "solid" but it will definitely keep the scratches away. And it's super hip, in (our) humble opinions. I actually wasn't quite convinced about the black and white fabric when he picked it out, but I'm a convert. It's pretty darn cool. And, ever the materials scientist, my darling husband thinks the yellow print looks like atoms in a 3D crystalline lattice. Whatever makes him happy! (Secretly, I might actually agree with him....)
Linking up to Finish it up Friday!