The Art of Darkness

Tutorial: Monster Laptop Sleeve


Here’s a fun way to personalize your laptop.

Materials:

  • Fluffy material for the exterior. I used fleece. You can use fake fur, but I think the long fuzzy strands would pick up lint and other undesirable flecks after a while. The base dimensions should be 3 times the length of the laptop and the same width plus about 4″. Then add an additional 2″ all around for seams and padding. (So, for instance, if your laptop is 9″ long by 12″ wide, you’ll want a piece of fabric that is 31″x20″)
  • Lining for the interior; I used a tight-weave cotton. This should be the same length as the exterior piece and double the width plus 1″. (So, 31″x41″)
  • Low-loft quilt batting for padding. This should be the same length and width as the exterior, minus about 1/2″ all around. (Which would be 30″x19″)
  • Felt scraps for eyes, fangs, mouth, and tongue. I got a single 8″x11″ sheet each of black, white, and pink, and that was more than enough.
  • Two 1″ strips of Velcro.
  • Matching thread.

All seams are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.


Click the thumbnails for larger images.

 
Measure

 
Measure your laptop and cut fabric and batting as described above. If the laptop is particularly thick, add an inch or two to all measurements. Otherwise you risk having the sleeve fit too snugly.

 
Fabric

 
Here’s a shot of the fabric and batting I used.

 
Felt

 
Cut two rounds of white felt for the eyes, and two smaller rounds for pupils. Cut two triangles for fangs, taking care not to make them too thin lest they tear. Cut a large black circle (which you’ll cut in half later) for the throat, and a pink, um, tongue-shaped piece for the tongue.

 
Stitched Felt

 
Run a straight stitch down the center of the tongue using dark pink or red thread. Cut the large black circle in half and stitch the tongue to one half. Stitch the small black circles to the larger white circles. You can vary their placement as you like; I wanted to do a goofy googly-eyed face, so I stitched them off-center.

 
Eyes

 
Fold the outer fabric in thirds widthwise. Position the eyes on the upper third (which will be the flap of your laptop sleeve), then unfold the fabric and stitch the eyes in place.

 
Tongue

 
Position the half of the throat with the tongue on it at the other end of the outer fabric, having the flat edge flush with the edge of the fabric. Stitch in place.

 
Batting Sandwich

 
Place the batting on one half of the lining fabric, fold the lining in half (wrong sides together), and stitch up the long edge.

 
Fangs

 
Position the fangs along one short edge, making sure that they’re far enough away from the side seam lines that they won’t get caught, and baste in place.

 
Seam

 
Place the short edge of the interior fabric without the fangs on the short edge of the outer fabric with the tongue, right sides together, and stitch.

 
Throat

 
Fold carefully along the seam so that the wrong sides of the fabrics are together. Then fold the lower third of the fabric back up and position the other half of the throat on the interior fabric. Unfold, move the outer fabric out of the way, and stitch the throat half to the interior fabric. (Sewing all the felt bits down before sewing the fabric layers together means all of the seams are hidden inside.)

 
Velcro

 
Fold the fangs up out of the way temporarily and sew the hooked side of the Velcro strips to the interior fabric, a couple of inches below their position. (Note that you can’t see the fangs in this photo because I accidentally sewed them to the wrong side the first time around and didn’t notice until after I took the picture. Duh.)

 
Stitch

 
You’re in the home stretch. Make sure that the fangs are tucked back inside (so that they’ll point out when you turn the fabric). Place the inner and outer fabric pieces right sides together and stitch, leaving a place along one edge to turn. It’s a good idea to pin the heck out of the edges before stitching, because fleece has more give than cotton; if you try to just freehand it you’ll wind up with ugly wrinkles. Turn right-side-out through the hole and press. Turn the remaining raw edges in along the seam line, then topstitch around the entire perimeter of the fabric.

 
Velcro

 
Fold the sleeve back into thirds and mark the spot where the Velcro on the upper flap touches the lower part of the pouch. This is where the other two pieces of Velcro go. Unfold and stitch the Velcro in place. (Attaching these pieces after the fabric is turned right-side-out lets you anchor them more securely to the inner lining; the fleece isn’t as sturdy and may tear after a while. The seams will be hidden down inside the finished pouch anyway.)

 
Pouch

 
Fold the bottom third of the sleeve up, making sure that the two halves of the throat align properly, and stitch the sides of the sleeve together. Backstitch a couple of times at the top edge to reinforce.

 
Done

 
Fold the top third down. The Velcro pieces should line up, holding the flap in place. And you’re done! Slip your laptop inside and give it a big hug.

 

Note that this version is rather cutesy. You could make it darker and gothier by using black fur and giving it a forked tongue and red eyes. You could also use a bit of red puff paint to put “blood” on the fangs, and use additional pieces of felt to add scars or tattoos.

Note: I created this sleeve following a photo that a friend sent me, which apparently came from Barry’s Farm (oops). Although making a sleeve from scratch isn’t horribly complicated, if you aren’t confident in your sewing skills (or if you’d just like a sturdier and more professional-looking product), check out their sleeves here. Given the time and effort involved, they’re a pretty good deal.