Time for some tutorials – the first one is this man travel bag. The sewing tutorial is close to the boxy bag I made in the spring – it’a actually exactly the same process, just different measurements and I’ve added interfacing for structure. Over the next week I’ll share with you some sewing projects I made this year for my family. They are useful items and easy to complete in a few hours.
What You Need
- 4 pieces of slightly structured fabric cut 13 inches x 14 inches
- also, 4 pieces of interfacing cut 13 inches x 14 inches
- a piece of coordinating fabric cut 6 inches x 6 inches for the handle
- 1 14″ zipper that matches
- matching thread
Okay – first gather some coordinating fabric. This project is a gift for my brother who is a Steeler’s fan, hence the NFL fabric on the inside of the bag. Once you’ve got your 4 pieces cut (the top will be 14 inches, and the sides 13 – that way you can make sure your fabric is up right!) add the interfacing to the wrong side. The purpose of the interfacing is to give the bag structure, so it can stand up nicely.
Now, put the inside fabric right side up. Line up the zipper, right side up, along the top edge of the inside fabric. Now sandwich the zipper with the outside fabric, right side down. Use your zipper foot and stitch. Then, put the two pieces of fabric, wrong sides together and you’ll expose your zipper.
Repeat on the other side and your project will look like the photo below.
Now, time to add the handle. Fold the pice in half (so it measures 3 inches by 6 inches) and serge it – leave a small spot to turn it right side out. Press. Top stitch all around, closing up the hole you used to turn it right side out. Pin in place, right in the middle of one of the sides – this will ensure it ends up in the middle of the bag. Top stitch in place, just on the two short sides.
Okay – back to the structure of the bag.
With the right sides of the outside together (and thus, the right sides of the inside facing up and down) serge the bottom of the bag – you’ll be serging all 4 pieces (which have been interfaced) together. Once the bottom is done, top stitch along the sides. Be sure not to catch the edge of the zipper. I actually top stitched slowly along the end of the zipper to ensure a nice clean line. This is the trickiest part, yet if you go slowly and keep your seam straight, you’ll be good.
Now open your zipper and turn the bag right side out. You’ll have a flat square bag.
Notice how clean the ends are? You can see how each end of the zipper matches up to the seam well. Like I said, the trickiest part is getting this right. Use your sewing machine, not your serger, and don’t be afraid to take out the hand needle if you need to.
Now, time to get boxy! Open the bag up and turn it inside out. You’ll have 4 corners. It’s time to create a box corner. Lay the corner flat and pinch it – measure 5 inches. Serge along this line. I use my serge, because you’re working on the inside of the bag – you’ll want to keep the seams nice and neat as to not look homemade on the inside. Do this on all 4 corners.
Then, you’re done!
See how nicely it stands on it’s own? Now, fill it up and travel away!
Not only does it look good, it’s so functional and useful.
Make one for a guy in your life. Sew up and visit again soon.