Call it a case? a sleeve? a cover? I don’t mind but I sure am finding it extremely useful as I travel around North America with my laptop!

The idea came from Pinterest. We were looking for professional and practical projects we could make with our new Janome Professional HD9 straight stitch sewing machine. HD stands for Heavy Duty so we thought something heavy duty would be just the thing to throw at our new machine! Leather? Vinyl? cork? Thick felt or wool? Pinterest yielded some cool ideas and inspiration.

Pic courtesy of Pinterest : Etsy Macbook air Wolf original by Feruto bags

And this is my variation on the theme:

I looked all over for relatively thick wool felt but all I could find was thin, wimpy stuff like crafter’s felt or rather expensive wool felt in larger quantities than I needed. Even if I had fused stabilizer onto those options to thicken the weight, it was not what I was looking for. So imagine my delight when I discovered thickish placemats – easily 1/4 inch thick – made from felted wool at a gift shop in Manitoba on one of my business trips.  I nabbed 2 right away (yes…I did pay for them!) as I knew exactly what they would end up as…….not on the dining room table but around my laptop. I had finally found what I was looking for.

I cut 2 inches off the one placemat and added it to the other one so that I would have  a longer piece to flap over and velcro closed to keep my laptop safe and snug.

How did I join the 2 pieces? I did not want a normal right sides together seam as the felt placemat was too thick for that. So I used that fusible tape we use to join sections of batting for quilting. It worked perfectly! This is on the inside as to can see in the pic below

Joining the sections inside the flap: use the tape we use to join pieces of batting

On the outside you don’t see the join at all as I cut a 2 inch wide piece of lovely grey cork fabric and sewed that down over the join as in the pic below. The cork was “free” (wink?) as it was an off cut from a cork and vinyl bag I had made previously.

I wanted to be able to secure the flap of my laptop (would not do to have it fly out at the airport, now would it?!) so I cut 2 little squares of velcro and stitched these in place on the upper front of the tote/sleeve and the inner side of the flap. Tip: check the velcro pieces are lined up correctly before sewing.

Next up was some embellishment. I wanted something crisp and elegant so that those businessmen in airports would not be looking down their noses at me when I take my laptop out of a folded quilt in my little roller case!? To be honest no-one has ever said anything, not even snickered at my quilting laptop protection. And the folded quilt was generally a sample I would be using at events or shows I was attending. However, it was time to step up my game!! Which I do think I have definitely done. They probably feel rather envious now….or so I like to think?!

So… embellishment decision was to cut 2 inch wide strips of brown vinyl (also off cuts from a previous project) and cut snappy little arrows on the flap end. These were then stitched down onto the felt placemats on my Janome HD9. The brown strips covered the stitching of the velcro so that was an added bonus. I used straight stitch using a slightly longer stitch length which was a dream……. The Janome HD9 just cruised along effortlessly sewing through the vinyl and thick placemats. NO skipped stitches, NO hassles, just perfect straight stitching. Bliss! I do so love it when a project works out exactly as you plan and there are no glitches along the way. Goodness me but our new Heavy Duty  Janome HD9 does deliver on its promises!


Lastly, I needed to sew the side seams of my laptop tote. Again, I did not want to do a seam  on the wrong side & then turn it out to the right side as my materials were just too thick. So I merely folded the tote sides wrong sides together and stitched a straight line about 1/8 of an inch in from the edge along 3 sides. I obviously left the top open for inserting my laptop.

Voila! one chique, professional looking laptop tote done & dusted. No prizes for guessing it has seen the inside of security bins at many airports since I made this!  Come visit us at upcoming sewing shows to see how this machine is a total dream to sew on. Or visit your local Janome dealer to ask about the Janome HD9.




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  1. Liz Moore says:

    I live in Manitoba. What gift shop had those felted wool mats?


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Liz,

      I was visiting Fabriculous in Gimli doing Ed events for their customers. I popped into a gift shop right next door to Fabriculous. Sorry, dont recall the name of it. Lovely store. Fabriculous is too! Spent lots of money while I was in Gimli?!



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