Sunday, 22 January 2012

A long-overdue crafty post! - Lap top stuff holders

Good afternoon ladies.  I flew back from Sousse on Friday - it involved a 2 hour drive to Tunis to the airport, a 2 and a half hour flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle which was pure hell due to turbulance the whole way, then a dash through CDG which is the size of a small country, onto a bus which took us to the plane.  Another hour and a half flight to Birmingham, then an hour and a half drive home.  By the time I got home, I was still sick to my stomach from that turbulance and I'm still feeling ill today, but I don't think it's the turbulance. 

Anyway,  Before I went to Tunisia, I realised I had nothing to hold my laptop and didn't like the idea of carrying it a thousand miles just in my handbag.  So I made myself a laptop case.  I used a pattern from One-Yard Wonders which was pretty good, though not perfect....

I chose my fabrics.  I've had this lovely green flowery linen for ages and I love it, but I only had half a metre so didn't know what to make with it.  I decided to try some other fabrics with it and to my astonishment, it goes with this Amy Butler Bali which I also had half a metre of.
 Don't they look cosy?  I still had a massive tangle in my suitcase though - Skype headphones, phone charger, camera charger, camera lead, hairdrier, hair straighteners...  I can see a lot more "cable cosies" coming on for my next trip!

The green of the linen is actually a little more green that it shows on the photo... but it's the same as the green on the Amy Butler.  Even though the patterns are world's apart, I decided to use them together as I like the combination, and that's what counts, isn't it?

First I had to quilt.  Typically, I had no cotton which matched any of the colours of the fabrics, except the bright pinky/purple in the flowery print.  So bright pinky/purple it was!

I thought I did a fairly decent job with the quilting.  There are a few puckers on the AB side, but as it is the inside, I'm not too bothered. 

Unfortunately, I should have realised that with my novice quilting "skills" there was no way the top layer, bottom layer and wadding would all stay perfectly aligned, so I had to trim them down afterwards, meaning the case was too short - mind you, I only took off less than an inch so I think it would have been too short anyway.  If you make this pattern, I'd advise you to add additional length to it, in case of quilting mishaps, but just anyway as the pattern doesn't take into account the depth of the laptop.

I solved the problem by adding a 4.5 inch wide strip of the lining fabric, with a piece of wadding sandwiched in between.

I had planned on binding the top edge with the lining fabric, but as I'd had to use it to extend the case, I bound it with the green flower linen instead.

I'm pretty chuffed with it, despite two small issues.  I forgot to trim the corners so they are very rounded, and the flap is a little bit wonky when fastened.

The inside edges are bound.  I used bought white bias tape for this.  I hate bought bias tape and can't see me using it often, I'd much prefer to make my own. 

Though to be honest, if I made this again, I don't think I'd bind the inner seams, I'd quilt the top layer with a piece of muslin, then make the case up as I usually would, inserting the lining inside to hide all raw edges.

Ta-dah!  Here's Mr Laptop all snuggled up inside.  I also had extras that get in the way.  My power cable and my mouse had tangled themselves up in my bag just on the trip home from work, so I thought I'd better make them each a little bag for the trip to Tunisia.  I mean, how annoying is it trying to find your purse in a bag full of cables doing their best impression of spaghetti?

And so two zipper bags were born from the leftover fabrics.  They're not quilted as I don't think cables are that delicate.  They are lined though.

One in the Bali print, but that was all I had.  The linen had been a wider cut than the Amy Butler, so I used it to line the second bag.

Don't they look cosy?  I still had a massive spaghetti-mess in my suitcase though - phone charger, camera charger, camera lead, Skype headphones, hair drier, hair straighteners.... I can feel more "cable cosies" coming on for my next trip!

The bag could have done with being just a few inches taller, but overall I was happy with it!

I don't think normal service will be resumed just yet on this blog.  I've got about 900 new blog posts and a billion emails to catch up on.  I also have made much, I did take a little crochet with me to Tunisia so I can show you that - oh, and I can show you some fabric that arrived chez moi whilst I was away, but I can't see me getting much crafting done this weekend as I feel really quite ill and it's back to work tomorrow.  Oh, and I'm behind on TAST now too!  How stressful!


Sandra :) said...

Welcome back - I hope you had time to get in some fun/sightseeing?

Your "cozies" are sweet, and I, too, learned the hard way to quilt THEN trim to size, LOL! I'll have to take a peek at One Yard Wonders - they should know that quilting fabrics shrinks it a bit - that should be built into the instructions!

Michelle May said...

It's beautiful! Still makes me laugh how ya'll call batting "wadding." I can clearly remember one of my best quilting students in her most beautiful Britsh accent saying "batting." Makes me smile and laugh to this day!

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

Fabulous idea! Cables are such a pain aren't they and now-a-days there's just so blooming many of 'em! This is a great solution though!

Just popping over from Cherry Heart to say thank you for joining me on the PCH project! I've added your link to my site, and I'm following you too, so good luck on your journey!

S x

Holly U said...

I made that same laptop cozy for my Dad one Father's Day, with juuuust enough home decor fabric. So like me to eke it out with barely enough materials! Yours looks lovely. Nicely done!

Claire Jain said...

Yeah, sewing machines and laptops are definitely buddies. I know mine tend to hang out with each other. This is a great project. Thanks for sharing!

Nancy Lee said...

Welcome back home! I like your laptop bag. I made one from Sew Darned Cute. That laptop died and the one we have now is four inches longer -- I could have sent it the Sew Darned cute bag to you! But then, you would have never discovered just what quilting can do to your plans...
Cheers and hugs, and I hope you are feeling better soon!

Dee said...

What a well traveled, beautiful ensemble! Loved reading about your adventures and how you're managing life with lovely accessories!

The Dotty One said...

Welcome back!

This is great - I might have a go at something like this for my laptop too :o)

Catrin said...

Oh I love it. It is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.
Greetings from Germany

Pam said...

We carry so many electrical devices with us now-a-days, don't we. I'd be lost without them!!! Your laptop bag and the accompanying cables bags all look great, Wendy.