Sunday, August 5, 2012

Traveling Bag

I've been searching for the perfect vintage suitcase for a while and earlier this summer I found one in a vintage store for a great price and I'm about to put it to it's first use this Thursday!

It's a perfect size for a weekend trip and there's a pocket along the top. Since it is kind of hard to clean the inside of a suitcase and I don't want to just stick things in that pocket, I'm making a simple fold over travel bag to put smaller items into like underwear and whatnot. 

So here's how I did it!

Fold Over Traveling Bag

1. First if there's a specific place you want to put it such as this pocket measure the length and width. Or you could simply make a large square.  Mine is about 25 " width and 6 1/2 " length.

2. Next I made a pattern piece, just a rectangle of 25" width and you will double the length since this is going to fold over the pocket so my width was 13" and then I added 1/2" seam allowance to all sides. You will need a second rectangle for the pocket and that will be your basic measurement 25" and 6 1/2" and add your 1/2" seam allowance except for the top length of this rectangle add 1" seam allowance so that you can fold it over twice and make a nice edge (I hope that makes sense!). Im sorry for the picture on this step, I have a ton of newspaper and wanted to use some of that up but it makes it harder to see the pattern and on top of that I made the bottom piece and pocket on the same pattern piece which adds a little more confusion but hopefully it's still easy to get?
3. Now you'll want to cut your pattern pieces. You should have two back pieces and one pocket piece. To cut the pocket piece I just folded the newspaper down to the top of the pocket line. 

4. Take your pocket piece and turn the top edge hem over. I ironed it first and then sewed it. At this point if you wanted to embroider something on this piece you would. 
Then you sew it to one of the back pieces. If you want to add pockets within the pocket you would do it now too. Just a straight line up wherever you want the dividing line to be. Sewing the pocket on you will want to sew less than the 1/2" allowance so that you wont see this later. 

5. I didn't have any interfacing that was stiff enough but if you want to put some in you would iron it or sew it to the bottom half of this back piece with the pocket on it now. 

6. Next I'm adding a design that will show up on the front. This could be skipped if you want it plain though. 

7. Now with the inside pockets facing the pretty side of outside back piece sew all the way around 1/2" seam leaving open a small space at the very top to pull the piece through. 

8. Close the opening hole and place a pretty bow on it to hide the stitches! Or put a decorative stitch all around or a ribbon border!

This has so many options to customize and could be made into so many different shapes and sizes. I used this pink cotton I needed to use up, but it would be so pretty in a satin with lace on the front or embroidery! Adding ribbon ties on one would be pretty too or a button to keep it close. With this long shape I can leave it how it is or fold it up along the pocket lines. 

After completing this I really do recommend using some kind of interfacing on the inside to give it more stiffness especially if you do a long shape like this one. 

I'm really happy with this fold over bag and I'll have to find more reasons to use it than just when I'm traveling! 

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