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Padded Laptop Case Project

How to make a padded case for your laptop

This padded laptop case pattern has a handy internal pocket to store your lead and will protect your laptop whilst you are on the go.   


1m denim – We used Modelo Fabrics black denim which was lovely and soft.

1m of lining fabric – We used Art Gallery Fabrics Astral Rain in Potion

Black Mesh – We used By Annie’s mesh. You could use some of the lining fabric instead of mesh.

40 inches of bag strapping in a colour to match your exterior fabric.

Vlieseline Style-vil – We used their new Style-vil Fix iron on bag foam, but you could use the regular Style-vil and stitch baste it around the edge. Alternatively you could use their fusible fleece H640 or wadding.

A zip 6-8 inches longer than the length of your laptop. We used a By Annie’s double slide zip for easy access to the bag.

You can find UK stockists for all the above products on the Hantex website.

Sewing with Modelo Denim

Seam Allowance – quarter an inch

Notes – Top stitching the zip on the padded laptop case is optional; it is quite tricky on the second side so if you are a bag making beginner you may want to skip that step. The internal pocket is also optional, I added it to store the lead for my laptop.

Cutting instructions

Exterior fabric

Cut 2 pieces 2.5 inches larger than your laptop.

My laptop is 15 x 10 inches so I cut my fabric 17.5 x 12.5 inches


Cut half an inch smaller than your exterior fabrics.

Lining Fabric

Cut 2 pieces the same size as your exterior panels

Cut 1 binding strip 2 inches wide and as long as your exterior panels.  So mine was 17.5 x 2 inches.

If you are not using mesh for your pocket cut 1 piece of lining fabric the width of your lining fabric, and 4 inches shorter than the height of it.

Mesh fabric

Cut 1 piece the width of your exterior panel and 4 inches shorter than the height. Mine was 17.5 x 8.5 inches

Bag strapping

Cut your 40 inch piece of bag strapping in half to give you two 20 inch handles.

How to round the corners on a bag

Preparation for sewing

Make pocket binding

Fold your 2 inch strip in half lengthways wrong sides together and press. Open it up and fold the outside edges into the centre and press again. Fold in half so raw edges are hidden in the middle and press one final time.

Curve corners

Using anything round you have to hand, I used a roll of masking tape, curve the corners on your fabric pieces and Style-vil as per the photo above. You can either cut around your object, or draw a line around it, remove it and then cut along the line.

Attach Style-vil

Iron or stitch baste the Style-vil to the exterior fabrics leaving a ¼ an inch gap around the edge. This will make your seams less bulky. If using fusible fleece or wadding you might want to quilt it.

How to make a bound mesh pocket

Step one – pocket

Clip your binding over the long edge of your mesh (or fabric pocket piece). Stitch along it with a coordinating thread.

Free padded laptop bag patt

Place it onto the lining panel, aligning the bottom and sides. Sew around the 3 outside edges within the quarter an inch seam allowance to fix it in place.

How do you make a laptop cover?

Step Two – handles

Take one of your straps, fold each edge under by 1 inch. Measure in 1.5 inches from the top of your exterior bag panel, and 3 inches in from the edge. Position your strap there and sew into place.

I sew a rectangle just over an inch long to make sure I encase the raw end. I triple stitch all bag handles for strength. I also do a diagonal line across the rectangle in each direction.

Repeat this with the other bag handle on the other exterior panel.

Free padded laptop case pattern with zip

Step Three – Zip (side 1)

Switch to a zipper foot or other narrow foot. As you can see from the photos I use a narrow walking foot throughout the whole project.

Place an exterior panel right sides up, and lay the zip across the top of it right sides down.

Sewing a zip around a corner

Clip or pin (I use wonder clips so will just say clip going forward) your zip into place leaving an equal length down each side of the bag. At the corners make a few little snips into the edge of the zip tape, just under quarter an inch. This will help you ease the zip around the curved corners. I had to put the zip on a piece of paper so I could show you the snips as it wouldn’t show against the black denim. 


Zip up laptop bag project

Start half an inch in from the end of the zip tape and sew around to half an inch before the opposite end. Go slowly around the corners to make sure the fabric and zip are well lined up.

Lay one of your lining fabric panels on top right sides down, so you sandwich the zip between the exterior and lining. When doing the piece with the pocket make sure your pocket is at the bottom and not at the top by the zip!

Sew along the zipper again leaving a half inch gap either end of the zipper tape unsewn.

How to top stitch a zip

Turn right sides out, press (or finger press) the lining away from the zipper tape. Make sure you don’t touch the zipper teeth with the iron because if they are plastic you could melt them.  If you are planning to top stitch then top stitch with the exterior fabric on top now. Leave the half inch gap either end. At the corners go slowly and push the fabric flat with your fingers as you stitch.

Quilted laptop sleeve project

Step 4 – Zip (side 2)

Place the unsewn exterior panel right side up. Put the stitched exterior panel on top of it, right sides together. Clip the corners on the other side of the zip, then wonder clip the zip and exterior panel together. Sew it like you did with the first side (leaving the half inch gap either end).

Now put it lining side up. Place the other lining fabric on top right sides together. This will be a little trickier to attach your fabric to the zip as you have the bulk of the bag foam to deal with too. I started by clipping the curved corners into place first, then the rest. Make sure you are attaching it to the far side of the zip, the side that doesn’t already have a lining sewn to it. Stitch in place.

TIP – If you don’t have an extension table you might find it easier to sew if you put a book or similar size object to the left of your sewing machine to support the weight of the bag so it doesn’t pull away from your needle.

Denim laptop case tutorial

Turn right sides out, press the lining into place and top stitch if you have top stitched the other side. It is trickier to top stich this time; you need to open the zip and splay the bag open as shown above so you can fit it under the needle.

How to sew a lined case for a laptop

Step 5 – Sewing the bottom (exterior)

Leave the zip open, but don’t have the zip pull at the very end of the zip. Make sure it’s about 3-4 inches higher.

Turn the bag inside out so the exterior fabrics are right sides together. Pull the lining fabrics up out of the way. Wonder clip the 2 exterior pieces of fabric together.

Bag making tutorials - sewing zips

When you get to the loose bottom ½ in of each zip pull the zipper tape through so the ends of it stick out as per the image above. You don’t want them tucked away between the layers or they will be visible on the outside of the case. So make sure you can see both sides of both ends of the zip.

Sew from the bottom middle around the edge up to the zip on one side. Sewing past the sticking out edges of the zip. Repeat for the other side, starting from the centre bottom again, this makes it easier to sew over the zip.  Just make sure you don’t hit the metal stopper on the end of your zip – I broke a needle when I accidentally did that. Feel with your fingers to check where it is so you don’t sew onto it.

Bag making projects - laptop bag

Step 6 – Sewing the bottom (lining)

Now place the 2 lining pieces together so the right sides are touching. Move the exterior fabric out of the way. Leave a 7 inch gap in the bottom for turning through, then sew from the bottom as you did with the exterior fabrics.

Modelo denim laptop case tutorial with Stylevil Fix

Pull the bag through the gap in the lining. Check your zip ends look good, that the end of the zip tape isn’t visible because it should be on the inside. Then stitch closed the gap in the lining.

Give your padded laptop case a good press and then you are ready to use it. Soft and padded to protect your laptop, and with a handy interior pocket for your adaptor cable. 

Inside of the padded laptop case
Denim padded laptop bag project

This project was written by Fiona Pullen from The Sewing Directory.