Toiletry Bag

Made on: 
Monday, 13 May, 2013

My first Scrapped Give away! I made it for the birthday of one of my best friends. Hope you like it A :)
This was the first time I mad a toiletry bag and I learned A LOT! It was a bit of improv and adjusting as I went along. The most important thing is to work with the fabric and reasses at every step before you move one. 

You will need some fabric (in this case a top) and some lining fabric. My colleague gave me this cute top. It had gotton too small for her, but we both loved the fabric. Now it is reborn as a toiletry bag :)

The top had a zipper and I decided to reuse it. The length of the zipper (30 cm)  will dictate the size of the bag.

This is the final pattern. I had to make some small modifications as I went along. You will need two panels of 15 x 20 cm (front and back) and 1 long strip of about 5 x 40 cm to go around the bottom of the bag (leave 5 cm extra for the finish) and 2 strips of 5 x 30 cm to put in the zipper. This is for both the outside fabric as well as the lining. 

I wanted rounded edges, so to make sure they would be even I made a paper pattern for the front and back panels. Fold it  into quarters and round off the edges. 

When doing bags with linings, I think it works best if you work inside out. So, start by cutting the front and back panels for the lining and round the edges according to your paper example. 

Cut the strips and start assembling.

Mark 5 cm from the top of the front and back panel; this is where the zipper will start.

First pin the long strip along the bottom of the front panel and then along the back panel. Hand stitch the corners.  

Machine sew the lining together.

When you reach the corners, fold them over to get it flat. Check each corner once you have sewn it, because the lining can easily slip and you will end up with holes at the bottom of your bag. 

Remove the thread that you hand stitched and finish using a zig zag stitch.

Now cut out the panels from the outside fabric. I had enough fabric from the shirt to make double walls on both sides. Since the fabric is quite soft, this will also give some extra support. 

The top had some nice details on it that I wanted to keep. I used the front detail (originally the decollete) and turned it into an extra pocket. 

Cut the long strip and fasten it around the bottom like before with the lining.

You should have the outside and the lining bag like this. 

Turn the outside bag right side out, but leave the lining wrong side out! And put the lining in the bag like this. On the inside you will see 'the good side' of the lining without any seams. 

Ok, here comes the tricky part; the zipper. Start by cutting two strips of fabric. Make sure you have enough extra on the sides and at the ends. Usually I would take 0.5 - 1 cm on each side and each end. For the sides this turned out to be fine, but take 2 - 3 cm extra on each end just in case. We will cut off the excess later. 

Now, the zipper will come in the middle between the two strips. Lay the zipper face up (the side that will show on the outside on the bag on top). 

Lay the good side of the fabric on top of the zipper and align and pin the edges together. Note that for both the zipper and the fabric the sides that will be on the outside of the bag are facing each other, like you would normally sew a garment. 

Here is how it looks from the other side.

Use a zig zag to stitch the ends of the zipper and fabric together. Don't pay any attention to the zipper part just yet. Repeat the process on the other side of the zipper. 

Now fold over the fabric and align it as close as possible with the zipper. A slight overlap is also ok. Hand stitch to keep it in place. The trick now is to get the lining in place on the other side of the zipper. Fold over the edge of the lning twice and pin and hand stitch it similar to the outside fabric (too much sweat on my forehead, so I forgot to take a picture of this, sorry!)
Initially I sewed the lining in the same way as the fabric (you can see this in the picture if you look carefully). Don't do this! I discovered half way that this will give you a really horrible finish on the inside of the bag and I had to redo it. 

Machine sew both lining and fabric in one go as close as possible to the zipper. This is tricky, but if you don't do it with a single stitch, the finish will be ugly. I get the best results when I use the zipper foot of my sewing machine and leave the zipper open while sewing. Repeat on both sides of the zipper. 

Tada! All parts of our bag are now finished. All that's left is to put it together.
Unfortunately, I was so excited by this time that I only took one or two pictures of the final process. I hope the description is adequate and there is a bag part 2 coming up with more details at the end!

To put it together, attach the zipper panel to one end of the bag first. Instead of attaching it straight through (like in the picture), attach the lining to the lining and the fabric to the fabric right underneath the zipper. Then go around and attach the front and back panels. But! You have to work inside out, so turn the bag inside out and invert everything, so the seams end up on the inside (between the lining and fabric). Close everything except the the other end of the zipper. Use this opening to carefully turn everything right side out again and hand stitch it. 

The fiinished product :)

As an added detail, I put on a little flower that I made from some left over fabric.

The gift, packed up and ready for the birthday party :)

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