Laptop bag {So You Think You’re Crafty entry brought home}

Hey everyone! Last week’s voting was a total nail biter, I cannot believe how close it all was! I want to thank everyone for all the votes for my laptop bag!

To begin with, I measured my laptop bag and came up with all my needed measurements, I’m showing a graph of the pieces here without measurements, because every laptop will differ a little bit (and my canvas helped dictate the size too.) I hope that this makes sense….

I began with my fabric and trim selection, I like to pile everything up together to see how everything looks together.

Then I cut the snake print velvet into the back pieces, #s 2, 3, and 9, I sewed #9 onto the ends of the zip, (with the lining on bottom, and the fabric on top, sandwiching the zip in between.)

 Then I sewed the top and bottom to the zip, (#2, and #3) also making a top, zipper, lining, sandwich.

here’s what it looked like from the back… I sewed all around the edges, so that the back could all be treated as one piece now. (I also added one of the #1 lining pieces to the back and sewed around the edges, this created the whole back pocket.)

I sewed gold braid to the seam allowance of the canvas, and then the gold lace, raspberry ribbon, and white lace to the back. 

Next I sewed piece #4 to either side of the top zip, I sandwiched the lining and zip the same way as before.

Here’s the underside.

for the inside divider pocket, I used piece #7 and #8, I folded over #7 and put the fold at the top. then I sewed the #8 strips down the side, around the bottom, and up the other side, with #7 sandwiched in the middle of the seam. when sewn together, the 2 pieces of #8 should be the same width as #5. Then I sewed 
Next I sewed the top zip piece to #5, and then attached the sides onto the canvas and the back, creating the whole bag outside, and I attached the lining in the same seams, while leaving the tops of the lining open to turn through. (If you look closely, you can see the canvas has lost some color where I have been beating it up by turning things inside and right side out. I will be fixing this problem later.)

 As you can see, the canvas looks super wrinkly too, which I didn’t love, so I brainstormed a bit, and then decided that I needed something stiff (preferably plastic) inside of the bag to hold it tight. I couldn’t figure out what wouldn’t get ruined with flexing, but also was strong enough. My husband hit upon using a cutting mat for the stiffener,and we pulled out a mat that I had that I hated, because it was pretty garbage, and shredded bits of plastic as I would rotary cut on it. (you can see how shredded it is) and we cut it to size using tin snips (designed to cut metal.)

In order to make sure the edges didn’t tear through the canvas and the fabric, I used a Dremel sanding drum to go around the edges, and then covered the edge with a satin self-adhesive book binder’s tape.

I slid the mat into the opening at the top between the lining and the canvas, and spread some fabric glue  on the mat, and smoothed the canvas on top to stick the two layers together. As you can see on the finished bag, it’s much stiffer, and holds its shape well; it still has some movement in the canvas surface, but I think that just shows that it’s a textile. I hand sewed the opening in the lining tops shut.  The canvas is also now missing the worn off bits, because I used some brown paint and scrubbed it into the cracks, and then wiped it off with a damp rag, then I used a mixture of mod podge and textile medium to seal the top so that it doesn’t crack again, and so that it is sealed against dirt.

For the strap, I sewed the seam allowances over on piece #6 and then I top stitched the teal trim on top, I folded the raspberry and gold trim over the edge, and top stitched it down, and I added the lace to the other side; I used an old belt to steal the metal findings for either side of the strap, and then sewed a piece of brown velvet ribbon over the seam where the belt folded round the metal piece. Piece #10 gets it’s seam allowance folded in, and then sewn around the edges. After folding #10 in half, I then slid the other side of the metal belt finding into the fold, and then sewed and riveted it down (there are small scraps of leather on the inside so that the rivet doesn’t tear through) The key is just hand stitched on.

So there you have it, I hope that this was clear enough about the process to explain the steps needed to make your own bag! here’s what the back zip looks like open,

and then the inside (there are no raw edges because it is all encased in the lining) 

 My daughter has already asked if she can take this bag to college with her, (she’s 10) so I guess she’s trying to call dibs early so I don’t get too comfortable with it! I would love it if you would come and visit me over at cathgrace, and thanks again for all the votes!

  3 comments for “Laptop bag {So You Think You’re Crafty entry brought home}

  1. Lena
    February 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Hello! I was wondering how you got your print onto your canvas. This looks amazing, I want to try making one of my own.

    • cathgrace
      February 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Hey Lena, the canvas is actually an unstretched painting I picked up in a flea-market in Peru, so I bought it already painted!
      cathgrace recently posted…Knockoff Anthropologie Firenze Velvet Tassel PillowMy Profile

      • Lena
        February 28, 2014 at 3:11 am

        Oh, okay. Well, thanks for the awesome tutorial! I can’t wait to test this out! You rock!

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