Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7



Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Travel Bag Tutorial

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Getting ready for vacation, I realized how ill-prepared I am for travel. That's what happens when you don't. I don't mind not having a matched luggage set -- I'm perfectly happy with a variety of mismatched duffle bags that my husband has brought home from various golf outings over the years. They're not pretty, but they work. And since the bags for vacation just get thrown in the back of a van, the easier they are to cram in, the better.

But I didn't even have a place to store my toothbrush, not to mention cosmetics, shampoo, stuff like that. I scrounged my fabric stash to find enough to make some little bags to tote our toiletries. I also made a little cosmetic bag for my big tote bag of a purse. It didn't cost me a penny, but makes me feel a little more organized -- making up for my mismatched duffle bags.

I made my pattern to fit my cloth -- the bags were as big or small as the fabric was to accommodate. I made a matching set, one big for large toiletries and one small for makeup. I also made a small bag to put in my purse. These would be really nice handmade Christmas gifts, if you have a traveler on your list, or maybe a college student.

I used flannel, because I have lots of flannel scraps from making pajamas. Just use what you have, even if you have to mix prints. I happened to have enough to use the same fabric for lining, but just make use of what you have. You could even piece squares together and cut your pattern from the result.



Large toiletry travel bag

supplies:
two large rectangular pieces coordinating fabric
a ribbon, twill tape, or heavy cotton string double the width of the bag plus about 8 inches
thread



Cut two equal size rectangles from your fabric. Mine were about 33 inches by 13 inches for a finished bag of 15 by 12 inches, but if you're using scraps, cut your rectangle to fit your scraps -- it's all the same technique.



To prevent unraveling, use pinking shears to cut your fabric, or zigzag the edges of the fabric after your seams are sewn.

With wrong sides together, fold both rectangles in half crosswise so you have a rectangle about the size of your finished bag.


Sew up the sides, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, and then sewing again 1/8 inch in from first seam.



If you want to make a "bottom" for your bag, decide how wide you want the bottom to be.



Sew across the bottom and side to create a triangle sticking out. I marked about 1-1/2 inches in from the tip, but it's hard to see my dot because of the black dots on the fabric. Just make sure both sides are the same.






You can trim the triangles off with the pinking shears.


Iron a 1/2 inch hem down along the top/open edge, folding seam allowances all in the same direction, making it easier to run your tie material. Before you sew your casing closed, on one side of bag, holding bag right side up, just below the fold line, on either side of the seam, sew two button holes through both layers of fabric.


Cut through both layers, creating holes.


Fold hem down and sew casing all the way around at the very edge of the fabric, below button holes.





Thread tie material (I used black twill tape) through casing, using buttonholes for entrance and exit; knot together at the end.



You can still stash your stuff in plastic zipper bags, like bottles that might leak, but you can put all your little bags in your cloth bag, keeping your luggage tidy.



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The cosmetic bags (the one in my purse -- picture below-- and the one in the set) are made identically.

two medium rectangular pieces coordinating fabric
one large button
sewing thread
embroidery floss or cotton yarn



Cut two equal size rectangles from your fabric.


Mine were 16 inches by 8 inches (for a finished bag about 8 inches by 8 inches) but if you're using scraps, cut your rectangle to fit your scraps. You can use them same technique on a larger bag, cutting your fabric to fit your project. To prevent unraveling, use pinking shears to cut your fabric, or zigzag the edges of the fabric after your seams are sewn.

With right sides together sew pieces together at the tops (the short sides).


Turn right side out and iron edges.

With lining sides facing (my lining and exterior fabric were the same) fold both rectangles in half crosswise so you have a rectangle about the size of your finished bag.


Sew up sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, and then sewing again 1/8 inch in from first seam.



If you want to make a "bottom" for your bag, decide how wide you want the bottom to be.




Sew across the bottom and side to create a triangle sticking out. I marked about 1-1/2 inches in from the tip, but it's hard to see my dot because of the black dots on the fabric. Just make sure they are both the same.



You can trim the triangles off with the pinking shears. Turn bag exterior side out.



Fold top down twice and mark the center just below the edge on the outside of the bag. That's where your button goes.



Pick a nice big button so your loop won't accidentally come off. I went to my vintage button stash. Aren't they beautiful? A gift from my mother-in-law -- I love fingering them, knowing that others who went before me have also touched them.



I used that big pink one at the edge of the photo.

Sew it on going through both exterior and lining layers.



Mark the spot on the bag fold where you'll add your loop. Either crochet a loop using cotton floss or make a "wrapped thread loop" (like this -- I used cotton floss to make a wrapped thread).



This is the one I made for by big tote bage purse. No more losing my make-up/first-aid bag.





You could essentially use this same pattern (taller) for a lunch bag, too. Maybe use oilcloth to make it wipeable.


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12 comments:

  1. How sweet! That even looks like fun just choosing the fabric, trim, and buttons. I think I will try the lunchbag idea too. Thank you.

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  2. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors pretty vintage button stash!

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  3. Very nice tutorial and cute bags, too!

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  4. Cute bags! How neat that you were able to do that with things you had on-hand.

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  5. Super cute travel bags, Barbara! Thanks for the tutorial, too. One day ...

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  6. Oh dear... I usually stash my stuff in gallon zip lock bags. And since I am packing today for our trek to Colorado tomorrow, I am seriously loving your bags!
    :)
    They are beautiful... well done!

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  7. these are darling bags! and thanks for the tutorial!
    hope you have a safe vacation, barb. enjoy yourself-as much as you can whilst vacationing with a teenager in tow. is is quite like taking a toddler. only they aren't as cute! and they eat ALOT.

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  8. You're welcome, Ellen. The possibilities are almost as endless as my fabric stash!

    Oh, I share, my friend, Charlotte. But you have to come and finger them yourself!

    Thanks, Regina. I know your girlies would like them. I made one for Peach too, out of pink princess fabric.

    Thanks, Sara. Maybe college girl would like a set.

    Thanks Sheila -- I save almost nothing so it's amazing that I save scraps. I try to use every little bit, though.

    Thanks, Sarah.

    And, you, Sarah, this was a quick project. You could do it after the kids go to bed -- 30 minutes, tops!

    Nutmeg -- zipper bags can go inside to keep the fabric clean. But at least everything is all together and cute!

    No kidding, Regan. We're taking my mom and she breaks up the bickering pretty well. Actually they don't bicker as much with her along.

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  9. Hellow!

    I love your site, It is a pleasure to visit.

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    Please link my site to your site.

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  10. very simple to make...thank you for the WONDERFUL tutorial!!

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Thanks for talking back. ;-)