Handle with care! When you’re on-the-go and need your trusty laptop or tablet by your side, it’s important to keep it protected. The panels and pockets of our device case are layered with foam to create a soft yet sturdy carrier. This folio is part of our Monogrammed Travel Trio (links are included below for all). Make one or make them all. It’s a great way to travel smart and stylish.
The case is sized to fit a standard laptop within the main section with smaller eReaders or phones tucked into the layered pocket. All dimensions are shown below so it’s easy to adjust the case smaller or larger to customize for your devices.
It’s also perfectly acceptable to go non-electronic, filling the case with notepads, file folders, magazines, and more.
The flap is secured with two Velcro® tabs and positioning is shown below. The nice thing about this type of closure is that it’s adjustable. Use our measurements as a good starting point, but know you can also move the position of the final halves up or down to best fit what you want to carry.
Our trio of travel necessities can be made as a matched set or you can create each one individually. We combined the Janome Skyline S7 for sewing with the embroidery-only Janome Memory Craft 500E to add a stylish initial to each piece. You could also use a combination sewing/embroidery model, like the Janome Skyline S9.
Why rely on designer logos when you can be your own brand? A subtle bit of gorgeous embroidery is the finishing touch that really makes a project your own.
We used two lightweight canvas options from the Sevenberry of Japan collection from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. When selecting fabric for this type of travel set, you want something that’s tough enough to stand-up to heavy use and easy to spot clean, but is still soft to handle and with a bold motif that takes advantage of the larger panels. The fabrics we chose are a canvas and flax blend, which has the perfect feel. And the Sevenberry designs are always clean and modern.
If you’ve not yet added embroidery to your sewing room, the MC500E embroidery-only model is a great place to start. Just as the name implies, it does just one thing: embroidery. But it does it very, very well! The stitch precision is gorgeous. It’s also nice to have one machine doing embroidery while you’re still sewing with another model. Multi-tasking at its best!
We love the subtle oatmeal and rose tones of our Trio, but that’s just one lovely option Check out the other palettes to welcome spring with little hint of bright color, such as melon, aqua, and lime.
When closed, our Case finishes at approximately 10½” high x 14½” wide. When open, the pocket is 10” deep and the flap extends 7” above the pocket. The other elements of the trio are the Tote and the Zippered Pouch.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Embroidery Machine; optional for the monogram – we used the Janome Memory Craft 500E
- Edge Guide foot or similar; optional for edgestitching precision
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ⅝ yard of 44″+ wide lightweight canvas or similar for the outside of the case; we used 59” wide 6.25 oz cotton/flax canvas from Sevenberry of Japan for Robert Kaufman Fabrics in Brown Flower Prints
- ⅝ yard of 44″+ wide lightweight canvas or similar for the inside of the case and the pockets; we used 44” wide 6.55 oz cotton/flax canvas from Sevenberry of Japan for Robert Kaufman Fabrics in Rose Canvas Natural Dots
- ½ yard of 44″+ wide standard weight cotton for the pocket lining; we used 44” Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman Fabrics in Peach
- ⅛ yard or scrap (you need just a couple inches) of 1½” wide sew-in Velcro®; we used tan
- 1 yard of 20”+ wide fusible foam; we used Pellon Flex Foam
- ¼ yard of 20″+ wide mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- Stabilizer for the optional embroidery as recommended for your embroidery machine; we used Pellon Stitch ’n’ Tear
- All-purpose thread to match fabric and for topstitching; we used a natural thread color for both construction as well as all the topstitching accents
- Embroidery thread for monogram; we used Aurifil 50wt #2230 Red Peony
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- From the fabric for the outside of the case (the Brown Flowers in our sample), cut ONE 15½” wide x 18″ high rectangle.
NOTE: If embroidering a letter, you may want to cut the panel larger than needed to best fit your hoop. Allowing for this larger cut is why we recommend a ⅝ yard cut above.
- From the fabric for the inside of the case and the pockets (the Rose Dot in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 15½” wide x 18″ high rectangle for the inside panel
ONE 15½” wide x 11″ high rectangle for Pocket 1
ONE 13½” wide x 8¾” high rectangle for Pocket 2
- From the fabric for the pocket lining (the Peach Cotton in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 15½” wide x 11” high rectangle for Pocket 1
ONE 13½” wide x 8¾” high rectangle for the Pocket 2
- From the fusible foam, cut the following:
ONE 14½” x 17” rectangle for the main panel
ONE 14½” x 10” rectangle for Pocket 1
- From the interfacing, cut ONE 12½” wide x 7¾” high rectangle for Pocket 2.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Select the embroidery of your choice, adjusting it as needed to best fit the front of the Case. We suggest a letter approximately 2¼ – 2½” in height. Our “A” was approximately 2¼”.
- The options for embroidery designs are endless; you can use a machine’s built-in designs or bring in a design from an outside source. Thanks to the easy-to-use USB port on our Janome Memory Craft 500E, we actually brought-in a letter from another Janome model. The Hana Alphabet is one of the built-in designs on the Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery model.
- Find the outside panel (cut as directed or cut larger to best fit your hoop). When cut larger, this is known as “hooping wild,” meaning you hoop plenty of fabric to embroider so you can cut the piece down to size when done.
- Layer with stabilizer as directed by your machine’s instructions.
- The letter should be centered side to side within the cut panel, and the center crosshairs of the letter should sit approximately 4” down from the top raw edge of the panel. Adjust the hoop accordingly.
- Remember that your letter is upside down along the top of outside exterior panel. This way, when the flap folds down into the closed position, the letter will then be right side up. Keep this is mind when hooping – especially if your fabric has a directional print.
- Thread the machine with Aurifil 50wt in the top and bobbin; we used Red Peony #2230.
- Attach the hoop to the machine.
- Set-up the machine for embroidery and embroider the one letter.
- When the embroidery is complete, if necessary, cut your panel down to 15½” wide x 18” high with the embroidered letter appropriately positioned (centered side to side with the finished top point of the letter 5” down from the top raw edge). Remember, the letter is upside down along the top of the panel.
Create the main panel
- With the embroidery complete, collect all the elements for each section.
- Place the foam panel on the wrong side of the inside panel (the Dots in our sample). The foam should be positioned so there is ½” of fabric extending beyond the foam on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Measure 7” down from the top raw edge of the fabric panel (6½” down from the the top of the foam) and draw a horizontal line parallel to the top edge.
- Stitch along this drawn line through both layers. This “breaks” the foam a bit, creating a hinge that will allow the flap to more easily and smoothly fold into place when finished.
NOTE: You could also use your scissors, a rotary cutter or an X-Acto knife to simply score the foam along the guide line. Or, you could cut all the way through the foam and fuse the two sections as separate pieces. The choice is yours, but do choose one alternative in order to give your finished case the best look when folded.
- Find the Velcro® and cut it into two 1” lengths. Peel apart the Velco®. The hook side (the scratchy side) of the two pieces will be placed at the top of the inside panel. The loop side (the soft side) will be placed on pocket 2.
- Place the two hook pieces of the Velcro®. Each piece is positioned 1½” down from the raw top edge on the right side of the fabric panel and 2½” in from raw side edge. Our pieces are positioned so they are 1½” wide x 1″ high.
- Stitch each Velcro® piece in place along all four sides. You are stitching through both the fabric and the foam.
- Place the outside exterior and inside exterior panels right sides together. Remember to keep track of which end is up. The top of the inside has the Velcro® stitched in place; align it with the top of the outside, which has the upside down letter stitched in place.
- Pin in place around all four sides, leaving a 3-4” opening along the bottom for turning.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along all four sides, pivoting at all the corners and locking the seam at either side of the 3-4” opening.
NOTE: You can use a regular presser foot and move your needle position to the left or you could try a Zipper foot to get in closer to the edge of the foam.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
- Turn right side out through the bottom opening. Using a long, blunt tool, gently push out all the corners so they are sharp. A chopstick, knitting needle or point turner works well for this.
- Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Set aside the main panel.
Create the pockets
- Collect the elements for both pockets. Each pocket has a front panel (the Dots in our sample) and a lining panel (the Peach cotton in our sample). The large pocket uses foam for stabilization. The smaller pocket uses standard interfacing.
- Center the interfacing on the wrong side of the smaller Pocket 2 panel. The interfacing should be centered so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Place the fused pocket front and lining right sides together. Pin the layers in place, leaving a 3-4” opening along the bottom for turning.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around all four sides. Remember to pivot at each corner and to lock your seam at either side of the 3-4” opening.
- As you did above with the main panel, clip the corners and press open the seam allowance. Then turn right side out through the opening and gently push out the corners.
- Press flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Lengthen the stitch and edgestitch across just the top of the pocket. We used a natural color thread for all our construction and topstitching. You can do this as well to get our “contrasting” look or choose a matching thread for your topstitching.
- The larger pocket is made in the same manner, but instead of using interfacing, center and fuse the foam to the wrong side of the main fabric panel.
- Position the remaining Velcro® halves along the top of Pocket 2. Each piece should sit 1” in from the finished side edge of the pocket and 2¾” down from the finished top edge of the pocket.
- You can place the pocket stack into position and double-check this position by folding down the flap to match the halves.
- Re-set the stitch length to normal.
- Stitch each Velcro® piece in position around all four sides through all the layers of just Pocket 2. Remember, we positioned our Velcro® pieces so they are 1½” wide x 1″ high.
Layer the pockets to finish
- Place the smaller Pocket 2 (with the Velcro® in position) on top of the larger Pocket 1. Both pockets are facing right side up. Pocket 2 should be centered on Pocket 1 so it sits 1” in from each side and 1” up from the bottom.
- Lightly pin in place.
- Lengthen the stitch. If necessary, re-thread with the correct thread you are using for all topstitching/edgestitching.
- Edgestitch Pocket 2 onto Pocket 1, going along both sides and across the bottom through all the layers. Remember to pivot at the corners. This stitching closes the opening used for turning at the bottom of Pocket 2.
- Find the main panel. Place it inside facing up and flat on your work surface.
- Place the pocket stack, also right side up, in position on the main panel. Pocket 1 should be flush with the main panel along both sides and across the bottom. Pin the pocket stack in place.
- With the appropriate thread and with the stitch still lengthened, stitch around the entire perimeter of the main panel through all the layers. This secures the pocket stack in place and closes the openings used for turning in both the main panel and in Pocket 1.
- The drawings below show you the finished dimensions and positioning of all the elements.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever