Zippered Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

In case you missed it during the Holiday Bake, Craft, & Sew Along, here’s my tutorial for a zippered laptop sleeve. Since it’s measurement based, you could adapt it to fit an iPad or other electronic gadget, too.


Outer fabric
Lining fabric
Fusible fleece
Zipper (approximately 4” longer than your laptop)

Measure your laptop, wrapping your tape measure all the way around.

DSC_0148 DSC_0149

Mine measures 18.5” X 24.5”. (Yes, it’s tiny.)

Split both of those measurements in half. In my example, that would be 9.25” X 12.25”. Add 1.25” to both of those measurements. In my example that’s 10.5” X 13.5”. We’re finished with the math. Cut 2 pieces from your outer fabric this size. Cut 2 pieces from your lining fabric this size. Cut 2 pieces of fusible fleece this size. I then trimmed 1/2” off all around my fusible fleece because I didn’t want the bulk in my seams.


Embellish one of your exterior pieces as desired now. I’m including directions for exactly how I made mine, but feel free to change that up to personalize your laptop sleeve.

Cut a strip of fabric 3.5” wide and then press under 1/4” on the top and bottom edges.


Position on the front of your laptop sleeve and stitch in place along both edges.


Cut a strip of fabric 3” high by at least twice the width of your laptop case. Fold under 1/2” on both long edges and press.


Run a long gathering stitch (do not backstitch) about 1/4” in along both long edges. Pull your bobbin threads to gather evenly. Position in the middle of the larger strip and stitch in place.


(I made the decorative flower using these directions on WiseCraft. It’s attached to a pin and is removable so you won’t see it until the final pictures.)

Iron your fusible fleece to the wrong sides of both pieces of outer fabric, following the manufacturer’s instructions.


Take your zipper and place it face down and centered along the top edge of your front piece. You should have excess zipper on both ends.


Pin the zipper in place in the center. In order to get the zipper to go around the corners nicely, you’re going to make a few shallow snips along the part you need to bend.


Keep on pinning around both corners. I like to use A LOT of pins.


Baste the zipper in place. I used white thread so it would show up better for photographic purposes.


Position your lining fabric directly on top of your front piece, right sides facing.


Sew just inside of your basting line. Turn your pieces right side out. Press your exterior and lining fabrics away from the zipper.


Close the zipper. Position your other exterior piece on top, so the sides are even. Slide it up until it’s even with the zipper and pin. Unzip and repeat the zipper installation steps for the back half of the case.

Here’s what you’ve got now…nice neat zipper and ugly unfinished seams everywhere else.


Pull your exterior fabrics over so the right sides are facing, like this:


Keep turning until you’ve got both exterior pieces facing and both lining pieces facing.


Don’t be alarmed by the hot mess it appears to be right now. You’re *almost* there!

Reach up between the exterior layers and undo the zipper a few inches (big enough to fit your hand through and reach to undo the zipper the rest of the way later).

You’re going to sew ONLY on the exterior pieces. Fold, pull, and otherwise maneuver the lining pieces out of the way. You’ll be sewing from one end of the zipper to the other.


In the above picture, you’d sew from one pin, down around the bottom edge and then up to the other pin.

Repeat with the lining pieces, BUT leave a 4-5” hole in the bottom (again, big enough to fit your hand through).


Stick your hand way up in there and grab the bottom seam on the exterior fabrics.


And pull it out through the hole.



Close up the hole in the lining. I usually pull it all the way out and machine stitch close to the edge, but you could hand stitch if you prefer.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand you’re done!


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  1. Yay! I've been waiting for this one…I'll be linking!

  2. I think I need to buy a laptop…

  3. Kimberly says:

    This is adorable. Yellow and ruffly? Pretty much perfect. Now, if only I had a laptop!

  4. I think I need to learn to sew :(

  5. polka dot girl says:

    What a great project! Too bad my sewing machine is broken. Way to go, I'd love to carry that around any day.

  6. oh BOY…I just ordered a new laptop! Guess what it will get? A new cover! I think I will pull fabrics now…maybe scrappy! Thanks for the great tutorial…

  7. Busy Bee Handmade says:

    Good timing Char, I've just got a new laptop last week & it needs a bit of girlying up.

    Great tute, thanks so much!

  8. So cute! Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I LOVE this tutorial. I'm making it for my sister's birthday next week – I'll see you a picture!

  10. Jen @ says:

    That is just the cutest laptop sleeve ever Char! You are so talented!!


  11. cute!

  12. michelle@somedaycrafts says:

    That material is so darling! Love the style. I'm featuring this in the morning. Congrads on reaching 1,000,000

  13. It really turned out fantastic–nice work!!

  14. Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking says:

    Saving this tutorial… when I drag out the machine I want to make this!

  15. Gorgeous :)

  16. Mary Ellen says:

    We have the same(TIny LOL) computer!! love this idea and will have to make one for mine!

  17. olliebelle20 says:

    very cute! i will be featuring on Crafty Tuesday over at Random Crafty Georgia Girl!

    Cate from RCGG

  18. PinkGranny says:

    Fabulous! This is just what I have been looking for. Thank you!

  19. I was wondering where you got the material? These are the exact colors of my bedroom and I would love to get some for a sewing machine cover. Thanks!

  20. Char @ Crap I've Made says:


    It's this line from Riley Blake:

    I bought it at my favorite local quilt shop. Good luck!

  21. As a newbie to sewing, I've managed to follow this until the installation of the lining. Are you sewing the right side of the exterior to the right side of the interior? Or have I read wrong?

    Thanks. c:

  22. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    You're sewing the right sides of the exterior pieces together and then the right sides of the lining pieces together.

  23. Annie of Blue Gables says:

    that's so much nicer than the crappy ones you get at any store. I might add some handles on mine. Sweet!

  24. That's so cute! I would've loved to have one – but to make it on my own? Naa, I bet I would do something wrong :D Why don't you start a web shop – with abroad shipping ;-)

  25. Char, I just made one!!! It is for my sister's birthday, so I'll put a pic in the flickr group when she gets it…
    Thanks for the tut. It was a hot mess for a while, but I got out of it :)

  26. I just made this! It's not as polished as yours but I'm "zipper challenged" so I'm pretty proud of how well it came out! thanks for the great tute!

  27. Its So Very Cheri says:

    This is adorable. You could sell these. I love the fabric you picked as well.

    It was great getting to know you through crafting with the stars.

    I would love to share (a version) of your tutorial on my site. Let me know.


  28. Thanks so much for this! I just made one and it turned out great. Excellent tutorial!

  29. I'm going to have a go at this later – wish me luck!

  30. The Sewist says:

    OMG i love, love, LOVE this tutorial so much so that i included it in my 5 favorite laptop covers

    Please feel free to grab the i've been featured button from here

    Thanks for sharing xoxo

    Mayya @ Sew Chic & Unique

  31. Roxanne Schwandt says:

    Hi! I found your awesome tutorial as I was googling for a zippered laptop sleeve to make for my macbook pro. So I made it today and I found it very easy to follow, except I wasn't sure on the seam allowances. I posted pics of my laptop sleeve on my Facebook and on my blogs (with link to your tutorial here) and

    THANK YOU!!!!!

  32. MamaDaniel says:

    awesome! love this tutorial.. thanks for sharing.. :D

  33. Thanks for the tutorial! I made one last night. It's not quite as cute as yours, but I used material I had on hand and really like it. Posted on my blog and linked back to you.

    I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good crafty work!

  34. I LIKE IT !!!!!

  35. Sparkling says:

    Very pretty. Love the simple gathering that gives it a little something. Never thought of snipping the zipper to make it cooperate around a corner. Wow, you really know what you're doing!

  36. I am planning on making one of these and was just wondering what you did with the battery charger? I was thinking of just adding more material to make room for it on top of the computer. Any suggestions? Or did it just fit inside without any special things? Love the idea!!

  37. This is too cute!! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the detailed how to…I’ve been sewing for years but have never taken a class so this is exactly what I needed! Just out of curiosity, any suggestions on how best to attach a shoulder strap?

    Thanks again!!

  38. Charlotte says:

    This looks amazing!! I really want to try it but I was just wondering what material you used for your lining??
    Great tutorial and yours looks fantastic!!

  39. Thanks for this tutorial! I made one for my mac. Turned out great!

  40. Umm I seem to have gotten lost right about where you have the zipper picture and then the picture of just the lining. Ive had to rip out my stitches twice. I wish i could see everything a little closer up. Attaching the lining after the zipper was very confusing, since im a beginner. Yours looks awesome though

  41. came from TT&J – I’m pinning as a pillow case idea :)

  42. Here’s one I made using your tutorial – have linked to it on my blog as well. Thanks!

  43. I am about to follow this tutorial–thank you!–but I, too, am wondering about seam allowance. Can you tell me what your seam allowance was?

  44. Stumbled on this via Pinterest…. LOVE IT! Gonna shop for the supplies tomorrow and teach myself how to sew just so I can make this for my new laptop! Woohoo! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to stalking your site for more cool Crap I’ve Made idea!! xoxoxo

  45. Hi! I know this not a selling site but I was wondering if you would be willing to sell me a case just like this. I have been looking forever and I love this one!!! I am not a great sewer, I stick to photography and I would not dare to take on this project. Just let me know. Thanks.

  46. Pamela Graham says:

    I have made this and ripped it out several times. The tails on my zipper ends always end up on the outside when I sew up the main fabric seam. What am I doing wrong? Thanks, Pamie

  47. Hi Char,

    I’ve loved this tutorial for ages, I originally saw it over at skip to my lou and the fabric is so pretty – I tried to Etsy-it but I can’t find it anywhere. One day I will get onto making my own laptop cover instead of using my store bought one, one day…… I have linked your project over on my blog here (


  48. I made this for a friend’s 10.1 Galaxy Tablet and it came out beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial, easy to follow! I used Texas Bluebonnet fabrics and monogrammed one side and did the ruching on the other side! Thanks! Happy Sewing, Pamie G.

  49. Laurie G. says:

    This is a most excellent tutorial: succinct. Very fine job. Thanks for sharing ~

  50. Chandler says:

    Hi! I love this idea and I have recently started making it. The only thing that I am wondering about is if it is easier to use the fusible fleece or if it would be okay to just use regular batting?
    Thanks so much for the tutorial and the cute idea :)

  51. I’ve just started making this, and I have one tip for anyone following this tutorial. Make sure you check which way round your zip is. I’d done a wonderful seam round the corner (possibly my best ever) only to find out that I’d sewn the zip in the wrong way round! Other than that, great tutorial!

  52. As someone who “can’t sew” I was so proud of myself that I completed this project with a little cursing and only 1 major mistake. One of my lining pieces is backwards! Oh well. Thanks for a great tutorial. Easy to follow and fantastic for the iPad.

  53. My total measurements including the added 1.25 come out to be 9.5 x 12.562..(itty bitty netbook..i miss my big laptop..haha)..Issue is I only have a 20″ zipper…I can cut it down and make it work right?…

  54. Hi!
    I’m struggling too at the step where you sew in the lining. Could those of u who weren’t thrown by this pls explain? I can’t tell when to sew the second interior to the second exterior piece. Does that come before or after sewing it to the second zipper side?

  55. Thanks so much for the laptop sleeve tutorial. The directions were great and it was actually very easy to make. I’ve just finished one for my laptop and will be making more as birthday gifts. Thanks again!!!

  56. I was also having trouble visualizing the zipper parts. I found this tutorial ( super helpful for understanding where the interior fabric goes and which direction the zipper should be.

  57. Nicole St. John says:

    I just finished 2 of these tonight – one for my laptop, and a smaller one ffor my ipad. I just could not wrap my head around sewing the zipper facedown, then the lining, etc. I ended up with wrong side of the zipper out. So, I just stitched the front to the lining in the same place where your instructions say to baste the zipper, then flipped it right side out, and attached the zipper at that point. Otherwise, these cases are easy peasy and just sooo adorable! Thanks so much for posting this! I’m in grad school, so I’m a tech junkie – so glad I can tote my devices in style!
    Can’t figure out how to share a picture, or I would! lol

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  64. I wish you would have given some more to the point instructions (i.e less waffling, more useful and sharper pictures (for instance, “sew inside basting line”, uh, which side up?? do I baste the lining also?? do i take the pins out or leave them in place?? and where’s the pressing iron?? or the sewing machine???? Thanks.

  65. Just made this Laptop Sleeve. Awesome design!!!! I made a patchwork piece of fabric and made it into the outer covering. I really love it!!

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