Stitch a stylish satchel for your laptop using durable tweed
■ Tweed remnants
■ Parchment paper
■ Sewing machine
■ Tailor’s chalk
■ Firm, iron-on interfacing
■ Cotton fabric, for lining
■ Two identical belts with a buckle fastening
■ Large snap fastener (optional)
Are you as concerned about fashion as you are the safety of your gadgetry? Make your own custom laptop bag with remnants of durable tweed. It’s up to you how big you make it – Kindle, iPad, or laptop-size, it can be a snug fit or roomy enough to hold all your accessories, too. Our laptop is small at 11½ x 8½", so make sure you adapt our measurements.
01 Cut out some parchment paper templates to these measurements:
Front panel: 11 x 14½" Back panel (including flap): 20 x 10" Side band: 4 x 36½" Inside flap backing: 10 x 6"
Pin your paper patterns to the
02 tweed, and cut them out.
03 Reinforce the base of the front tweed panel by machine-stitching along the seam allowance ½" from the edge of the bottom and around the corners, extending the stitching to 2" above each corner. Mark the position of the side band on the back panel with tailor’s chalk – this should be 6½" below the top of the back flap. Pin the side band from this point all around, then stitch.
04 Pin the front panel to the side band. Clip the corners to ease the front into the band, then stitch together.
05 Check the width required for the front strap. Double it, and add 1" for turning each side. Cut it out in tweed. Fold each turning, press, and fold in half. Stitch through all the thicknesses.
Pin the front strap to the inside 06 of the flap at its center point. With right sides together, pin the flap backing to the flap, matching
the top and sides. Stitch, and then turn your fabric the right way out.
07 Cut out two pieces of firm, iron-on interfacing measuring 2 x 1½". Apply the strips to each side panel at the top. This will help reinforce where the shoulder strap will go.
Pockets and lining
08 To make the lining, cut out one piece of cotton fabric to the same size as the pattern for the front tweed panel, one piece to the same size as the back panel (minus the flap), and one piece to the same size as the side band.
09 To make the pockets, cut out in tweed one piece measuring 7 x 4" and a second measuring 5 x 6". Turn under a ½" seam allowance all around and press. Stitch the top edge to finish the hem.
Pin the pockets to the back
10 lining of the bag with the wrong side facing the right side of the fabric. Stitch along three sides of the pocket, leaving the top open.
11 Pin and stitch the side band of the lining to the front and back (as before, for the tweed) to complete the lining. Fold under and press a ½" seam allowance at the top edge, along the top of the lining bag. Press.
With wrong sides together,
12 pin the lining inside the bag with the turned-under hem along the inner edge. Stitch around the front and side panels. Do not stitch the back. Fold the backing of the flap over the lining and handstitch in place.
To make the shoulder strap, join
13 the two belts together through one of their buckles. Measure the length required for the belt to
cross the body. Mark with tailor’s chalk and cut off the excess, which will include the buckle of one belt. 14 Pin each end of the shoulder strap to the sides of the bag over the reinforced area. Stitch together using the leather needle on your sewing machine. If the strap is too thick for your machine, you can take it to a shoe repairer, and they’ll do the job for you. 15 Hand-stitch the buckle to the front of the bag so that the front strap can be threaded through it. Secure with a snap fastener, if required.
Country threads that color-pop to patchwork effect.