You know you could buy notebook sleeves in every size and color. But how many selfmade notebook sleeves have you seen?
What do you need to make one?
- A wetsuit
- A sewing machine
I got my material from a shop that sells surf equipement. They were so kind to give me three old surf jackets for free. Some zippers were broken or a bit rusty but the neopren was fine.
I don’t own a sewing machine but my mom has one. :-)
How to make a MacBook sleeve
First choose a jacket that has a back big enough to cover your MacBook.
Cut the the complete back out of the jacket. It has to be big enough to form an envelop for your notebook. After that it is easier to adapt the neoprene to the needed size.
Use chalk and a ruler to mark the size on the neopren. Then use sharp scissors to cut it to the final size.
Now it is time to sew it together. I must admit, that I don’t have any pictures from the actual sewin, as my batteries were discharged. As already stated, I don’t know how to sew, but my mom is very skillful and did the most of the work.
But I have some tips for the sewing, that I remember:
- You sew the envelope inside out. The wetsuit has two sides, the slippery outside and the inside. So there is no problem that the fabric does not get transported while sewing.
- Try to sew round corners. Otherwise you will end up with a notebook sleeve that has kind of ears.
- You may need an additional special fabric to sew it together when you sew the velcro. This fabric is needed to guarantee the transportation of the fabric while sewing. Otherwise your neoprene will end up warped.
- The velcro on the upper side is not sewed but glued only. Until now that wasn’t a problem.
- Neoprene Laptop Bag at Instructables
- Laptop Bag at Instructables
- Laptop Sleeve from a FedEx Envelope at Instructables
- Surfcenter Lübeck, they donated the wetsuits, thanks for that.
More at Flickr.
You bloody tinker – the world needs guys like you. Great work – keep on rocking.
Nice idea. Did your mom use a special needle and thread? Also, what’s this “special fabric” she used to sew on the velcro?
No, she did not use anything special, standard needle and a thread she had around.
The “special fabric”, I don’t know its name in english. It is very thin, light and a bit translucent. Its only purpose is to enable a smooth sewing of slippery materials. After you sewed it, you tear it off.
Thanks for sharing this tutorial.
What do you mean by “transporting” the fabric?
Unless you’re extremely good at sewing, I think it would be easier to have square corners than round corners–the “ears” are on the inside.
The sewing machine moves the fabric a bit with every stich. If the material is too slippery, the machine is not able to move it and makes too many stiches on the same position. My mom told me, that a page of a news paper works as well.
We had square corners first, it didn’t look very nice. My mom sewed them again and we cut them very close to the join. It worked quite well.
nice. i notice you have a really clean seam down the center– both inside and out. how did your mom manage that?
That seam was part of the jacket already. It was the bottom part of the back of the jacket. So nothing to do here.
nice thing, yes do like it. I have got another macbook sleeve, called Bonosus Black (10Turio). It is like a diaper, which is wrapped around the macbook. May be you copy this one…
Great instructions. Doesn’t old wetsuit material stink?
No it doesn’t. At least mine doesn’t ;)
And I think, there is not much on a wetsuit that can suck up any fluids so it can’t smell.
It does in fact smell a bit like rubber but that’s fine for me.
You could also use the sleeves or the front panels of the jacket to add a pocket on the side of the case.
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