Documentation for “Zerocat Sleeve”
Generated on: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 13:23:37 +0200
Repository: git://
Version: v0.0.0-1-9dd9692
Branch: master

Zerocat Sleeve
– Create a nice sleeve for your laptop.

Copyright (C) 2022 Kai Mertens

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Section #../doc/


Version Tags

Within this project’s git repository, versions are tagged according to the following pattern:




Section #../doc/


Project Goal

The goal of Zerocat Sleeve is to provide how-tos for the creation of nice laptop sleeves. A first how-to is provided with: #../doc/


All paths within this document are relative to the location of this source file, which is located in this project’s doc/ folder.


It is assumed that you are running a GNU/Linux-libre operating system.

Use git to clone the project’s sources:

    git clone git://

Change into the project’s documentation folder:

    cd zerocat-sleeve/doc/

Study this to get started:

    cat ../doc/

GNU Guix System

If you are on GNU Guix System, use make to create a dedicated profile, once. This allows you to match your environment to the one used by Zerocat, thus producing bit-identical results:

    make -C ../guix pull

Create an empty environment with dedicated guix channel:

    make -C ../guix environment

Create a shell with all prerequisites set up:

    make -C ../guix shell

To leave the shell and the environment, later on, when you are done with this project, type:


To remove this project’s handy guix profile, type:

    make -C ../guix clean

This will remove symlinks only. If you want to remove the profile from your system, run the GNU Guix Garbage Collector.

To list all available targets, type:

    make -C ../guix help

Other Distro

If you are on another distro, check file ../guix/manifest.scm and install the listed packages with your package manager, manually. Adapt package names as required.

Make Documentation

To build the documentation, type:

    make -C ../doc

To get a full list of available targets, type:

    make -C ../doc help

To clean-up, type:

    make -C ../doc clean
Section #../doc/


Zerocat Sleeve ships copyrighted work.

Zerocat Sleeve is free software. It makes use of free software approved licenses only and should be freely distributable:

Authorship, copyright and license information may be provided in more detail on a per-folder and/or per-file basis. Check the sources.

Please report a bug if you find the distribution hindered.
See Zerocat Website for contact information.

Section #../doc/


Documentation Files

Documentation source files are written in markdown syntax. They should carry their individual copyright and license notices right below the title giving headline, e.g.:


    Copyright (C) <Year>  <Name-of-Author> <Email-Address>  

    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
    under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3
    or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
    with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
    Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled
    "GNU Free Documentation License".



The generated documentation carries a license notice right at top on its title page, with copyright statements generated from git log output.

Sections of the generated documentation are build from selected markdown source files, with their individual copyright and license notice stripped.

In order to enrich the generated documentation ...

... and adapt ../doc/Makefile to produce nice output.

In case more tools are needed, don't forget to update ../guix/manifest.scm.


To make your image look nice within the documentation, select a landscape layout of 16:9 aspect ratio.

Use ImageMagick to prepare your image, e.g.:

If your image is big, reduce it to a maximal width of 2000 pixel:

    mogrify -resize 2000x <image>

Please clean image files from metadata, before committing, i.e.:

    mogrify -strip <image>

If you embed your image into a markdown documentation file, use this syntax:


   [<path/to/image>]:     <path/to/image>     "title message"

or alternatly:


   [my-image-shortcut]:   <path/to/image>     "title message"

These patterns will guarantee that <img> tags will have their src, alt and title attributes properly set within the html output.

Code Files

Please use this license header for code source files:

    Zerocat Sleeve --- Create a nice sleeve for your laptop.

    Copyright (C) <Year>  <Name-of-Author> <Email-Address>

    This file is part of Zerocat Sleeve.

    Zerocat Sleeve is free software: you can redistribute it
    and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public
    License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either
    version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later

    Zerocat Sleeve is distributed in the hope that it will be
    useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied
    PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with Zerocat Sleeve.
    If not, see <>.

Shell Scripts

If you intend to write shell scripts, use this skeleton to make them work for GNU Guix:


    # Re-exec if we are not using Bash or are using Bash in POSIX mode.
    if [ -z "$BASH" ] || [ "$BASH" = "/bin/sh" ]; then
      bash=`command -v bash`
      if [ -z "$bash" ]; then
        echo "Couldn't find Bash, sorry!"
        exit 1
        exec "$bash" "$0" "$@"

    # We're using Bash now.
    set -o errexit
    set -o nounset
    set -o pipefail

    # Your code goes here ...


Update ../doc/ and list your contributions.

You can use git shortlog to get a starting point for your edit.

Section #../doc/


How to make a sleeve for your Zerocat Laptop?


Selfmade Sleeves with Cat Logo and Wrist Loop

Selfmade Sleeves with Cat Logo and Wrist Loop

Detail: Hook-And-Loop Tape

Detail: Hook-And-Loop Tape

Detail: The inner bottom Line

Detail: The inner bottom Line

Detail: The applied Cat Logo

Detail: The applied Cat Logo



Be careful with material made of polyester (i.e. hook-and-loop tape, wrist belt) when ironing!

Cardboard Templates

Take the cardboard and cut out your rectangular template:


  1. Wash the canvas by hand, separate strong colors. Let it dry over night.

  2. Clean the table, cover it with damping cloth or towel.

  3. Iron the canvas, identify face and back side.

  4. Put the canvas with its face onto the table.

  5. Cut out four rectangular pieces of canvas, two of each color.

    Use the cardboard template,
    align the wood along to the edges,
    draw with the chalk along the wood in order to add 1cm space.
    Use the tailor’s scissors to perform the cutout.

  6. Take the two pieces of dark colored canvas and apply adhesive cotton wool on its back.

  7. Combine two pieces of differently colored canvas and sew the top edge of the sleeve.

    Place the differently colored pieces of canvas onto each-other, face to face, and turn the cotton wool upside. Maybe, turning downside is better? Sew along one edge while keeping a distance of 1cm. That will be one of your sleeve’s top edges, so please locate the edge correctly. On your sewing machine, use step size ‘2’. Push the backwards button at the beginning and end of the line to fix the thread.

    Repeat this step once.

  8. Now turn the flaps of each newly created piece such that you can see the top edge as how it will be visible later. Iron it carefully to form a clean, sharp edge.

  9. Take the hook-and-loop tapes and cut a pieces of 3cm length, each. Place one snippet onto the lighter canvas, align it with the joint in parallel with a distance of 8 millimeters. Take care that you match the center of the canvas, otherwise the two snippets will fail to match on each-other when it comes to close the sleeve later on.

  10. Select zig-zag style, reduce step width to less than ‘1’, sew along the snippet edges. When approaching the corners, make sure the needle hits the outer corner of the zig-zag, release the foot, turn 90 degrees, press the foot down again and continue. Drive the machine manually to achieve exact results. Double check the parallel alignment of the snippet, as it tends to move while being sewed. Don't forget to fix the threads by pushing the machine’s revert button. Cut the threads when done. Reapply straight sewing pattern, reset step width back to ‘2’.

  11. Now place the two two-colored pieces of canvas onto each other, face to face. Carefully adjust their positions to match, especially the joint lines and the hook-and-loop snippets. Color #1 should now face color #1, and color #2 should face color #2.

  12. Be aware that your are going to sew around, along the edges, keeping 1cm distance. But first fix the canvas fabrics with a bunch of pins along the sewing route, now. Place the pins rectangular to the route, so that they won’t interfere the sewing procedure later on.

  13. Turn the work and place the lighter colored part in front of you. The edge that you are facing now will form the inner bottom of your sleeve. Be aware: This edge must be sewed and closed as a last step, as we need a hole to turn the sleeve inside-out.

  14. Place the wrist loop and mind the position.

    From your belt material, cut a piece of about 30cm length. Put one end onto the other to form a loop. Press the loop flat and slip it carefully between the strong colored parts of the combined sheets of canvas, at one of the side edges. To get some practice now, select an angular position, such that the loop – hidden between the canvas – crosses the line of the top edges. A small part of the belt should be visible outside, shaped triangular due to the inclined position, its shortest edge should be not less than 5mm. The distance between belt and the joint of different colored canvases should be about not less than 1.0cm. Mind this position and remove the loop. We will re-place it carefully later on, while approaching with the sewing machine.

  15. Now sew all around.

    Locate the needle of your sewing machine onto the bottom line in front of you, facing the left corner with a distance of 4cm. Start sewing towards that corner while keeping the usual distance of 1cm along the edge of the canvas. As usual, press the backwards button shortly to fix the thread at the start.

    When approaching the corner, stop sewing by pedal. Approach some last steps by driving the machine manually until the needle hits the corner exactly.

    Now release the foot of the needle, turn the canvas carefully by 90 degrees, press the foot down again, and continue with sewing by pedal. Again maintain the 1.0cm distance along the edge of the canvas.

    You are now heading towards the joint of the differently colored parts of the canvases while being on the lighter colored part.

    Stop sewing at a distance of some centimeters towards the joint.

    Now remind the previous placement of the wrist loop and relocate it thoroughly.

    Continue with sewing, carefully cross the joint, and carefully cross the belt.

    Keep on going towards the next edge, turn around by 90 degrees again as you did before, sew the bottom line of the outer sleeve, turn again at the edge, and keep on going towards the joint again.

    Now cross the joint a second time but pay attention to the correct placement of the extra canvas underneath! If the canvas or the cotton whool flips up the wrong way, release the foot, place the cloth correctly and continue sewing.

    You are now heading towards the last corner. At the corner, turn 90 degrees again, continue but stop after 4cm and press the backwards button to fix the thread at the end of the line, cut the threads.

    The bottom line should now be incomplete, leaving an aperture big enough to let your hand pass through.

    Locate the line part that is crossing the belt under the machine’s foot again. Turn the sewing pattern from straight into zig-zag, reduce the step width to ‘1’. Sew the across the belt now, but take care to not sew beyond the existing, straight line. Please use the backwards button again to fix the thread at the start and at the end of this short line. Cut the threads. Take the tiny triangular flaps and fip the backwards over the just created zig-zag line. Apply another zig-zag, but take again care not to cross the existing, straight line. Cut the threads. Done.

  16. Turn the sleeve inside-out.

    Take the tailor’s scissors and clean your work. Cut strayed threads and plies, cut the corners carefully by 45 degrees, but not too close at the edge point of the lines.

    Slip your hand into the sleeve using the bottom line aperture and turn the sleeve inside-out. Invest some careful efforts to turn the dark colored corners, but don't pay too much attention to the light colored ones.

    Iron the bottom aperture to form a clean edge. Measure the lenght of the aperture and cut a stripe of adhesive cotton whool accordingly, its width should be around 10cm. Fold that stripe along its length in the center, keep the adhesive part outside. Slip the stripe into the aperture and iron it carefully when it is placed correctly. The folded wool should not be visible outside of the aperture – in contrary, it should be hidden like 3mm along the edge. This stripe will provide some damping of the sleeve bottom thus protecting the laptop when it is slipped in.

    Finally, close the aperture by sewing along the bottom edge, keeping a distance of only 3mm.

    Now sink the lighter part of the sleeve into the darker, outer part. Move, pull and twist the canvas until it fits into place and forms a rectangular sleeve. Put some damping cloth onto it and apply some ironing.

  17. Apply the Zerocat branding.

    Take an adhesive repair botch and cut out the cat logo by means of the tailor’s scissors. A mirrored paper template of the logo will help you to find the correct shape. Place the cat onto the sleeve in a nice way, not too close to the edges. Cover the sleeve with some damping cloth, and apply some ironing for about 20 seconds. Keep moving the iron slightly, otherwise it will leave a footprint which will be hard to erase from the canvas later on.

  18. Let the sleeve – and the cat – cool down.

Done, your sleeve is ready!


As the canvas has been washed already, you should be safe to wash the sleeve by hand without experiencing discoloration. The long-term reliability of the applied logo has not yet been tested, though. It might get loose.

Section #../doc/

GNU Free Documentation License

Version 1.3, 3 November 2008

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