MacBook Air Sleeve

I’ve got a new work computer!  After years of dragging a heavy Dell across the ocean and back, I’ve now got a lighter than air 11″ MacBook Air to tote around!  I love its size, I just needed the perfect case to throw into my purse so it doesn’t get all dinged up.

Enter my inspiration…..a few weeks ago, I was shopping downtown on 2nd street and saw these amazing cases.  But honestly, the phone case was $28!  It looked so straightforward – surely I could knock this off!?!

So I set about gathering my supplies:

3/4 yard natural colored duck cloth

Coordinating thread

14″ zipper



Cutting board


Marking pencils

Inspiration image


Paint brush

I set to work cutting six side panels and two pieces of batting to 12″x15″.  I sandwiched the first piece of batting between two side panels of fabric.

I pinned the sandwich together

Then measured out 1 1/2″ intervals on each side of the fabric

I connected the dots to make quilting lines – this was all going to be on the inside of my finished piece so it didn’t matter what kind of marking pen I used.

Then I quilted along the lines creating this wonderfully puffy grid of 1″ squares (well some of them are more square than others….).  I then repeated on a second quilted panel (two pieces of fabric with batting between, pin, mark, quilt).

Next, I grabbed my inspiration image and put it up to a window.  I carefully traced the outline of the image on the back side of the paper.

Once I was finished, you could see the outline on the reverse.

I pinned it to one of my plain side panels

And got my scribble on

When you lift the paper, you’ll see a faint transfer of the image.

From there it’s just paint by number and patience.

I pinned the plain side panels to the quilted side panels ensuring the markings on the quilted panels were hidden and installed the zipper.

Just before I sewed in the zipper I thought to myself, this is too big!  I’ll just cut and inch off of the top and side…..stupid.  You can just mark this down as the stupid point in this project.  I sewed the sides together thinking it was perfect!

I turned the case right side out and measured the computer against it… seemed a bit small, but just the right size, right? #Fail.

Only if you had the will of a thousand horses could you get that dang computer in and out of that sleeve.  So I had to bust out my friend seam ripper.  This is the low point in the project.  The point where I thought about breaking up with this project.  The point where, as my Mother said: “A less motivated person might have had a burning ceremony in the backyard”.  It’s a good thing I didn’t hear that suggestion until the next morning because I thought it was a REALLY good suggestion.  In fact, I STILL think it’s a really good suggestion.

Since I couldn’t make the panels bigger, I decided to add an edge (with no quilting) and a longer zipper.  Here I pinned in the edge to one of the panels.

And here I am sewing it into the case.  Note the longer zipper and the incredible amount of fraying fabric.

Ahhh here he is again.  At this point I was still VERY SERIOUSLY contemplating a break up.  The computer fits fine, I just have unresolved anger issues.

The inside was very ratty from the fabric fraying from all the handling.  The inclusion of three yards of extra wide bias tape in oyster really helped spiff it up.

So for those of you scoring at home, where did I end up with this project?

One plain side panel, one plain side panel with design, two quilted side panels all measuring 11″ x 14″ (tragic, if only I’d kept that extra inch….)

One edge piece, finished dimension of 1″

18″ zipper

3 yards of extra wide bias tape

It’s still probably a bit too tall – you could probably get away with 10″ x 14″ on the side panels (if you’re installing the edge)

We might still breakup……we’ll see.  Does anyone need a new laptop case?  Almost new condition.  Somewhat cursed, but free to you!

— Martta


6 thoughts on “MacBook Air Sleeve

  1. Break through idea to have a longer zipper. All my future Kindle wraps will have that best practices feature. I’m glad the case wasn’t destroyed at the first failure node. I like the end result!

  2. Congrats on the new Mac! So jealous. Way to persevere on that fancy cover. It turned out super cute! I would have burned that sucker at the first sign of trouble. Patience isn’t my strong suit. 🙂

  3. Pingback: An iPad Sleeve for KK | HMH Designs

  4. Pingback: A New Macbook Air Sleeve | HMH Designs

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