Accessories Sewing · Bag Making · Modern Sewing · Patterns from Sewing Books · Stashbust 2019 · Stashbusting · Travel

Completed: Spoonflower Travel Bag

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I haven’t done much air travel since 2014, but we do a lot of car travel. I am enamored with the idea of matching travel luggage – it seems very sophisticated and evocative of the golden eras of travel (i.e. you’ve got money enough to travel and to purchase the fancy luggage, plus the fancy clothes to fill the fancy luggage). Why is luggage so boring and thoughtless nowadays? That model below for hanging in the car, or the “sports-pak” with the shoe compartment underneath is brilliant!

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I was really happy I was mostly able to stashbust for this one (the only “new” thing is a vintage zipper I bought for $1). The red cotton sateen had been stumping me since I don’t wear red, really, so it had been kind of a stupid purchase. I love red, but it isn’t a good color on me, so turning it into a bag is the perfect solution! Plus the color combination has a really fun retro feel.

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I’ve wanted to make some travel accessories for myself ever since I made the Grainline duffle set for my sister. I have enough of the red sateen to make a matching jewelry roll, but I also want to make a garment bag (I’m always scrambling for a garbage bag when we have to travel for things like weddings), a duffle, a few shoe bags and a lingerie bag to protect things like silk slips and lace bras. And because I’m me, I want them all to match (this is not the healthiest mindset…).

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Time Frame: A weekend.
Pattern:
The Spoonflower Quick-Sew Project Book: Dopp Kit.
Fabric:
100% red cotton sateen originally from JoAnn’s, tri-color cotton seersucker from freecycle, foam batting from previous Dopp kit project (all from stash).
Notions:
Bias tape from stash that I made from fabric from one of my first projects, thread from stash, 14″ zipper from Upstitch (fiber craft upcycle thrift store).
Needle/Stitch Length: 14 universal, usually a 3.5-4 stitch length because of the thickness and I used a 3 zigzag to apply the bias tape.

Alterations:

  • I opted to quilt the fabric for my bag, because it helps protect your toiletries from getting banged up.
  • Pattern recommends a 15″ zipper but I could only find a 14″ so my bag is slightly shorter. I also sewed closer to the zipper ends because I didn’t like the big holes left between the zipper tape in their version where they didn’t sew right up to the end.
  • After initially attaching the zipper, I should have topstitched the zipper tape in the seam allowances down so they would lay flat (otherwise it bubbles out and is really hard to zip due to the quilting) and also prevent raveling of the fabric edge. I figured it out towards the end, so unfortunately the ends on one side are stitched twisted and don’t lay quite flat.

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Notes:

  • I learned how to use my walking foot for this project. It really made a difference with the quilting!
  • There are no seam allowances given. You can kind of puzzle it out, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t just include this information. I’ve noticed a lot of little bits of missing information like that in this book, which tells me it wasn’t edited by having anyone test the patterns except the individual pattern writers.
  • I like the idea of bias binding, but for things like this where you are stitching it down in one go on bulky fabrics it always looks messy. This is why I used a zig zag stitch instead of a straight stitch, so I knew I would catch the edges. I think it would have been nicer if it had had a lining with an inner pocket.
  • I intend to add an inner pocket later after I get a feel for what I would want to put in the pocket. I will probably also make smaller zip bags to go inside it to keep things organized.
  • Handle needs to be sewn closer to the center – mine really got caught up in the corner stitching.

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Have you made travel bags? What type of bags do you prefer? Do you like yours to all match, like I do?

2 thoughts on “Completed: Spoonflower Travel Bag

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