I schlep my laptop to and from the office everyday in a very practical (read: boring) bag and I’ve been wanting something new and pretty for a while now. I had been debating making one, but I was hung up on finding a pattern that would also provide some padding for my computer. However, after looking at the dimensions of the Senna Tote by LBG Studios for Willow & Co, I knew I could easily hack this pattern to make a pretty AND practical laptop bag.

So, as part of The Great Pattern Hack hosted by Michael Miller Fabrics and A Happy Stitch, I’m sharing an easy tutorial for how I hacked the Senna Tote to include a padded laptop pocket.

Sewbon_Senna_Tote_Michael_Miller_Fabrics_Great_Pattern_Hack-0Senna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.comSenna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.comSenna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.comSewbon_Senna_Tote_Michael_Miller_Fabrics_Great_Pattern_Hack-1Bloghop_TimelineImage-01

But first, before I get into the tutorial, I want to talk about the amazingness of this Michael Miller fabric. For my Senna Tote, I used Yoshio and Sashiko from the Indigo Collection and Midnight Blue Cotton Couture. I hadn’t sewn with Michael Miller fabric before this project and I’m seriously obsessed now. It’s dreamy. I’m actually so obsessed with this line that I am going to turn 24 yards of it into curtains for my bedroom. I’ll be straight stitching for daysssss on that one. 😉

Also for this project, I used a new-to-me product that I learned about at Quilt Market for the bag bottom called Kraft-Tex. It’s a paper that looks kinda like leather but acts like fabric. Crazy, right? It seems a lot like what those paper Levi tags are made out of on jeans. Anyways, I heard it was super durable so I figured it would be great for the bottom of a heavily used laptop bag. I did use canvas interlining with it too, so I’m hoping it should hold up well.

To get my Kraft-Tex to look more distressed, I boiled my cut pattern pieces, crumpled them up, then laid it flat to dry. Then I hit it pretty hard with the steam iron. Actually, I found the Kraft-Tex a lot easier to work with right after steaming – especially for turning the bag. Oh, and I learned the hard way that it’s important to sew the Kraft-Tex with a lengthened stitch length. 😉

Anyways, on to the quick tutorial!

Materials

  • Fusible Foam Stabilizer (I used Bosal In-R-Form Plus and it’s awesome)
  • Iron
  • Fabric
  • General Sewing Supplies

Instructions

One: Cut the fabric and foam to the following dimensions:

  • Fabric: Cut two 28 inches x 17 inches
  • Foam: Cut two 13 inches x 16 inches

Senna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.com

Two: Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together, so the short sides touch. Place the foam in the crease of the fabric. There will be extra fabric at the ends. Fuse the foam to the fabric with an iron.

Senna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.com

Three: Wrap the extra fabric from the bottom side around to the top side. Fuse with the iron.

Senna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.com

Four: Fold the end of the top fabric under so that the length will align with the end of the foam. Fuse with the iron.

Five: Repeat steps 2 to 4 for the other foam and fabric pieces.

Senna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.com

Six: Place the foam pieces on top of each other and stitch along the bottom edge.

Senna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.com

Seven: Baste stitch the pocket on top of the lining pattern piece, matching the side edges. The foam pocket should be narrower than the lining pattern piece so it fits in the bag better once assembled.

Now just sew the rest of the bag per the instructions!

Oh, and one other small thing I changed was to include fusible fleece in the straps so it’s has a little extra cushion on my shoulder since I’m planning on carrying my heavy work laptop.

Senna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.comSenna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.comSenna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.comSenna Tote with Padded Laptop Pocket Pattern Hack at Sewbon.com

Have you hacked any patterns lately? Make sure to check out the rest of the bloggers participating in The Great Pattern Hack for more hacking inspiration!

June 29 | The Sewing Rabbit
June 30 | Making It Fun
July 1 | Flash Giveaway Day!
July 2 | Buzzmills
July 3 | A Happy Stitch
July 6 | Imagine Gnats
July 7 | Kaya Joy Designs
July 8 | Indygo Junction
July 9 | Craftstorming
July 10| Skirt As Top
July 11 | Petit A Petit And Family
July 13 | Petit A Petit And Family
July 14 | Sanae Ishida
July 15 | Sewbon (that’s me!)
July 16 | Delia Creates

Disclaimer: The pattern and fabric in this post was provided to me free of charge for participating in The Great Pattern Hack Blog Tour but, as always, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own.