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Re-imagine & Renovate: Laminated Toiletry Travel Bag

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You may have noticed we have a bit of a crush on laminates. This starry-eyed happiness encouraged us to scan back through some projects, looking for candidates to Re-imagine and Renovate in this fun substrate. Bingo! We landed on our Cosmetics & Toiletries Bag from last summer's Travel Accessories series. The original sample already featured laminate on the inside to make it resistant to damage from on-the-go spills, but we thought, "Wow... this would be awesome done entirely in laminate!"

This little bag project has been very popular on the site, bit it does fall into the 'intermediate' category, because it takes some futzing, twisting and turning to insert a zipper into a tube shape and to stitch the exterior and lining fabrics independently into boxed corners.

It finishes at approximately 12" x 6" x 6". 

Part of our decision to re-do this project was to be able to take some additional photos along the way to try to help you better visualize the three-dimensional steps. Even with this additional help, if you are new to sewing, we suggest making a prototype first out of scrap fabrics. We're not saying this to make you feel like you can't do it. We make prototypes ALL the time to figure out the best way to do things. It's a great way to work through a new project; and if you make a mistake, you haven't ruined your more expensive final fabric.

If you are new to working with laminates, make sure you review our technique article prior to starting today's project: Successful Sewing With Laminated Cottons (And Other Sticky Stuff). If you'd like to take a look at the original version of this project, done in lovely Anna Maria Horner Loulouthi fabrics, you can find it here.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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NOTE 1: Our two main exterior fabrics are from Moda and are detailed below. The interior laminate we purchased locally and there were no details on the bolt. If one of our super-sharp S4H visitors recognizes the orange butterfly print, please help us with an ID.

NOTE 2: ⅓ yard is exactly 12" and you need this full amount to make your cuts; if you are worried about errors in cutting or not having enough - get ½ yard.

  • ⅓ yard of 54" wide laminate for the main exterior of the bag: we used the Salt Air collection in Sea Garden Summer by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics
  • ¼ yard of 54" wide laminate for the exterior accent panels of the bag as well as the handle and tab: we used the Reunion collection in Ink by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics.
  • ⅓ yard of 54-55" wide laminate for the lining of the case: we used a mystery laminate in white with pretty orange butterflies
  • ⅓ yard of lightweight batting (regular batting not fusible)
  • One 14" plastic zipper in a coordinating accent color: we used light orange
  • Approximately 8" of ⅛" ribbon for the zipper pull: we used light green
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Seam gauge
  • Fabric marker, pen, or tailor's chalk for marking fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Wax or parchment paper (if you are not using a Teflon®-type presser foot)

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for main exterior (Salt Air in Sea Garden in our sample), cut ONE 13" x 12" rectangle.
  2. From the fabric for the exterior accent panels, handle and tab (Reunion in Ink in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 2½" x 12" rectangles
    ONE 3" x 8" strip
  3. From the fabric for the lining (white with orange butterflies in our sample), cut ONE 16" x 12" rectangle.
  4. From the lightweight batting, cut ONE 16" x 12" rectangle.

At Your Sewing Machine

  1. Pin one 2½" x 12" accent panel on either end of the 13" x 12" main exterior piece. To do this, align the 12" sides of each, right sides together. Pin in place.
    NOTE: Yes... pins do leave holes in laminate, but we're not worried about that fact for this project because all the pinning is being done within seam allowances so no holes will show on the finished bag.
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  2. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance.
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  3. Open up the finished piece wrong side up and finger press both seam allowances towards the main exterior piece (the Salt Air Sea Garden in our sample).
  4. If you have one, switch now to your Ultra Glide or Teflon®-type foot. If you don't have such a foot, place a piece of wax paper between the laminate and the presser foot.
  5. If you'd like it as an added accent, now is the also the time to switch to a contrasting thread in the top and bobbin for the topstitching. We used a pale orange.
  6. Topstitch approximately ¼" from the seam on the main fabric side. You are stitching through all the layers (fabric and seam allowance) and securing the seam allowances in place.
    NOTE: You can see in the photo below, we adjusted the needle position on our Janome machine to the right in order to allow us to use the edge of our Ultra Glide foot as a guide. If you do not have this ability on your machine, you might want to draw a line to follow, in a water-erasable marker, in order to keep a super straight line.
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  7. We also stitched on our Sew4Home label at this point.

Insert the zipper and create a 'fabric tube'

  1. Place your batting flat on your work surface. Place your completed exterior piece right side up on top of the batting, matching all edges.
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  2. Lay your zipper upside down on top of the exterior (the teeth facing down onto the right side of the fabric) along one 12" edge. The edge of the zipper tape should be even with the raw edges of the fabric and batting.
  3. Along the top strip, measure ½" in from each side and make a mark. This is the actual opening. Adjust your zipper so the top pull is at this mark, which means the raw ends zipper tape will extend beyond the edges of your fabric. The bottom of the zipper will extend well beyond the opposite end.
    NOTE: We will cut away the excess zipper to create our own custom "stop" later in the steps. It's easier to work with a zipper that is larger than the opening because you can then fully open the zipper as you work with it.
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  4. Make identical ½"-in marks along the top of the 16" x 12" lining piece on the the BACK of the lining.
  5. Place the lining, right side down, on top of the exterior, sandwiching the zipper in between the layers. As above, align the top raw edge with the edge of the zipper tape. Pin through all the layers, being careful to pin through just the top of the zipper tape. You need to be able to open and close the zipper, which you can't do if you've pinned too low or through the teeth.
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  6. Fold back the lining to reveal the zipper, and zip it open about half way.
  7. Fold the lining back down into position, and take the assembled layers to your machine.
  8. Attach your zipper foot.
  9. Align your needle so it is in the left-most position.
  10. Starting ½" in from the edge at your mark, stitch through all the layers. Your seam will be approximately ¼"; you want to run your zipper foot as close to the zipper teeth as possible while still keeping all your layers nice and flat.
  11. Go slowly and gently hold the laminate taut. When you get to the middle, where you can start to feel you're approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Twist your fabric around slightly and open up the layers so you can access the zipper. Be gentle! Carefully close the zipper. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing. Stop at the ½"-in mark at the opposite side.
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  12. Wrap the exterior (and batting) around from the bottom and pin it in place along the other size of the zipper (the remaining unsewn side).
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  13. Wrap the lining around from the top (that is what forms the tube) with the zipper in between. At this point you have TWO tubes laying one on top of the other.
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  14. Return to your machine, and with your zipper foot still in place, stitch this side of zipper in the same manner as above.
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  15. Remember to stop at your ½"-in marks.
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  16. The ends of both tubes are open. Turn the tubes right side out through one another to create ONE final tube with wrong sides together.
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  17. To do the final top stitch along either side of the zipper, it's really best if you have a free arm so you can slip the tube over that and then turn it 90˚ to slide it under the needle. There's still a little bunching and careful guiding involved, but you can do a top stitch. If that's not possible, open up the zipper all the way and fold the tube as flat as possible,
  18. Switch to an Ultra Glide or Teflon®-style foot or place wax or parchment paper between the foot and the laminate.
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  19. Switch to a contrasting thread in the top and bobbin if you prefer.
  20. Topstitch along both sides of the zipper through all the layers, approximately ¼" from the zipper teeth. Remember to stop and start at your ½"-in marks.
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Make the handle and tab

  1. Find the 3" x 8" strip.
  2. On the back of the strip, use a ruler and marker to draw a line down the center of the entire strip (1½" from each side). Fold the strip in half lengthwise along this drawn line and finger press a center crease.
  3. Unfold so the crease/drawn line is visible.
  4. Fold in each long raw edge to the center to meet at the drawn line. It looks like a piece of double-fold bias binding.
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  5. Fold in half again along the crease/drawn line so the two long folded edges are flush and the raw edges are enclosed. Finger press and clip in place.
  6. Stitch together, staying close to the folded edges and starting and stopping as close to each end as possible.
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    NOTE: As above, any time you at stitching on the right side of the laminate, it is best to switch to an Ultra Glide or Teflon®-style foot or to use a piece of wax or parchment paper between the presser foot and the surface of the laminate.
  7. Cut 2" off one end. This smaller 2" piece will be the tab; the larger 6" piece is the handle.
  8. Fold the tab in half and position it at the end of the zipper on the right side of the fabric/zipper. The raw edges should be aligned and the folded part of the tab should be facing in towards the middle. Clip the tab in place.
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  9. On the back, make sure the lining is folded back, as if following the lines of the seam allowance. This will help keep all the layers flat (take a look at the second photo below).
  10. Machine baste the tab in place close to the raw edge.
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Side seams, handle and cutting out the corners

  1. Turn the bag wrong side out. You are reversing the process from up above so you once again have TWO tubes.
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  2. Flatten the tubes out, one on top of the other, with the zipper running down the center.
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  3. You now have four sides seams to stitch, using a ½" seam allowance. Remember earlier when you were being very careful about starting and stopping ½"-in from each edge, this is why. Now you have ½" free for a seam allowance.
  4. The only tricky parts are sewing across the top and bottom of the zipper. You will need to gently pull back one layer to reveal the full seam allowance and slowly stitch across.
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  5. Remember, you sew each pair of sides together independently.
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  6. At the top, where the tab is basted into place, clip away the raw edges of the tab or there will be too many bulky layers to easily move through the machine.
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  7. Trim away the excess zipper after all your side seams are complete.
  8. Draw 1½" squares on each corner and cut out.
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    NOTE: If you have a good see-through ruler with markings, you can use this to draw your squares. If not, make a little 1½" square paper pattern and trace around it at each corner.
  9. Remember, you have eight corners - four for the exterior and four for the lining. Draw your 1½" squares on both sides of all eight corners. And, yes, you will be cutting through the seam you just sewed. That's okay, the corner box seams will re-secure the cut seams.
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  10. Trim away your eight corners along the drawn lines.
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  11. Find the remaining 6" piece of the sewn strip, which is your handle.
  12. Slip the handle in between the layers of the exterior tube at the bottom end of the zipper. It will extend beyond the tube, but right now, we are just showing you the placement. In the next steps, the raw ends will slide flush with the tube, which in turn, will create the arc of the handle.
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Seaming the eight corners

  1. You will now flatten each corner, starting with those two corners that contain the handle ends.
  2. Pull the outside edges of your square down to flatten/straighten the seam. As we mentioned above, make sure the raw end of the handle is centered and flush with the edges of the corner. Pin in place.
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  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch this first corner seam.
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  4. Continue pinning and stitching in this manner. Here is our first two corners with the handle now stitched in place.
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  5. Pin and stitch SEVEN of the eight corners together.
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  6. Leave one of the lining corners open for turning. Gently turn your bag right side out through this opening.
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  7. To finish the edge of this last unsewn corner, turn both raw edges under ½". Match up these now folded edges.
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  8. Stitch closed from the right side.
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  9. Push the lining down inside the bag and adjust it into the corners. It will be a loose fit, which is fine. It makes it easier to load up all your cosmetics.
  10. Tie the ribbon into a loop through the zipper pull and knot off.

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    Hints and Tips

    We've used a similar (but not identical) zipper technique in several other Sew4Home projects, and these earlier tutorials have additional step-by-step photos, which may be useful if you are just starting out. Check out our: Coupon Holder.

    Contributors

    Project Design: Alicia Thommas and Liz Johnson      
    Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

    Section: 

    Comments (65)

    Mrs G said:
    Mrs G's picture

    Hi, I have a question. In the tutorial, you use the term laminated cotton for two very different fabric: one is cotton with one waterproof side and you can still see the pattern on the back, the other is a very thick fabric, with a white non woven back. Here they have different names: the former is called plastified/laminated cotton, the latter 100% PVC (and it's usually meant for tablecloth). They are also very different to work with. To be honest, I'm a bit confused. Also in the specific article about laminated coton and oilcloth, you don't provide the difference between them and in the pictures I can see both. Which fabric should I use?

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Mrs G - This is an older tutorial and at the time it was written, laminates were a popular substrate that many of the fabric companies were including in their designer collections. They were produced using several different methods, which is why you see the variation above. Now, the laminates are a bit harder to find - although oilcloth has seen some resurgence in popularity. The laminates we used for this project were all quite thin - none would be considered oilcloth or even the thicker tablecloth vinyl you describe. In general, the thinner laminated cotton would be the easiest to work for this project. 

    Mrs G said:
    Mrs G's picture

    Thank you for your reply. I don't live in the US so I thought that I was a bit "lost in translation"... It's true that also here they are not easy to find, at the local fabric shop there is a wide choice of oilcloth and a much smaller one in laminates (especially those that are thin but with still some structure). Perhaps I'll buy some iron-on vinyl and I'll laminated it myself.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @Mrs G - Please let us know how it turns out if you decide to make your own laminate! 

    craftysarahsews said:
    craftysarahsews's picture

    I'm rubush at following instructions usually and as I read through thes i thought, but that can't be right, at pretty much every step but rather than questioning before i'd given it a go I followed these instructions exactly and the bag came out brilliantly! I'm now sizing up the pattern and making a bigger version. love it- thanks! 

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @craftysarahsews - Hooray! We're so glad you hung in there with the instructions and everything turned out so well. 3-D projects can be brain teasers, but not for you!!

    janet daly said:
    janet daly's picture

    I have made a number of these and sometimes have changed the sizes a bit.  and also converted for a men's toiletry bag w/ waxed cotton canvas lined w/ the laminate.  thank you so much for your tutorials -- it makes doing this so much easier!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Janet - we're glad to hear you're getting such great use from our pattern!

    Bri said:
    Bri's picture

    My comment was too long, so...  Point 2: when you cut 1.5" from the corners and have a .5" seam on one side, you end up with a rectangle with two 1" sides and two 1.5" sides.  When you open up and try to match these, you have 2" on one edge and 3" on the other.  This makes it impossible to line up the raw edges to make the corners.  An offset of the long side is required to make the corner.  There's enough seam allowance to do it, but it's sloppy construction. 

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Bri - Yes, when you have a seam on one side, it always makes the seam allowance 1/4" or so short on the top allowance portion. But it will match up; and once it's sewn, it doesn't show or affect the outcome. As I mentioned below, 3D is always a challenge, and we have considered recommening cutting out a rectangle instead of a box, but ultimately felt that would be more confusing. Our samples have always turned out great, so we've never really considered it a sloppy option. But again, we always appreciate the feedback as others work with our instructions. 

    Bri said:
    Bri's picture

    I just finished making this bag.  Love the finished product, but I had to comment about the instructions.  This set of instructions is much more constructive than the last.  Adding pictures of turning the tubes inside out after the zipper installation is complete is very helpful.  The words "turn inside out" in the previous instructions don't clearly state that you have to turn them inside out SEPARATELY.  I spent a solid 10 minutes trying to figure out how I was going to sew the liner together at the ends without having the raw edges showing.  Went back, read some comments and came to this tutorial to find a picture of the exact point where I went wrong.  Then I was able to finish the project with no real issues.  

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Bri - so glad you found the updated instructions helpful. Working in 3-D is always a challenge, but glad to hear you were able to finish with no real issues.

    Stacy said:
    Stacy's picture

    This is adorable!!  My 7 year old daughter and I are going to make this for her asthma inhaler - to take to & from sports.  I am trying to determine how to make it a little smaller...6" length, 3 1/2" height, 3 1/2" depth.  Any suggestions?  Just worried my math will be off.  Thanks!!  

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Stacy - our bag finishes at approximately 12" x 6" x 6" - so your planned size would be nearly half that size. I can't do all the math for you; I'd recommend doing what we often do: make a prototype type out of an inexpensive fabric to test your plan. One caution: with such a large reduction, you might have problems with the corners. They are a bit tricky because you are working with an exterior and lining. It was a challenge to work in the close confines at the size we made – at a smaller size, it might be rather difficult. Again, a prototype test would be a good way to find out.

    Jeanne James said:
    Jeanne James's picture

    Thanks for the great directions... I have been looking for directions on how to do the corners to make the bag "boxy" I struggle so with all the other patterns that say, to make a triangle... Which is so hard to get even.This is so much easier!  

    Stacy said:
    Stacy's picture

    This is adorable!!  My 7 year old daughter and I are going to make this for her asthma inhaler - to take to & from sports.  I am trying to determine how to make it a little smaller...6" length, 3 1/2" height, 3 1/2" depth.  Any suggestions?  Just worried my math will be off.  Thanks!!  

    Shanna said:
    Shanna's picture

    I'm excited to make a bag, I have read through the directions twice and they seem clear. However, I can't get my head around why the measurements for the exterior are 14.5 x 12 inches (that is after you sew the 2 pieces together with .5 inch seam allowance, [13 + 2.5 -1]) and the interior/lining piece is 16 x 12 inches. Should they not be the same size? Thanks!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Shanna - there is a 2.5" strip to either side of the main panel. So 13 + 2.5 + 2.5 (=18)and you use 1" for each seam (.5 from each piece), so take away 2 (=16).

    Tasha said:
    Tasha's picture

    Thank you for this tutorial.  I've made two pouches before but put the tab inside the two layers of exterior when it's in the TUBE formation.  However, your Step 10 wants us to put the tab directly on TOP of the exterior and zipper...right? 

    Also, for Steps 2 thru 6, are you sewing the zipper to both the exterior and interior when closing all 4 sides?  Based on the pictures, it looks like the zipper is only sewn to the exterior.  Thank you!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Tasha - Yes, the tab goes on top of the zipper and is stitched through the zipper and the exterior. When sewn and turned it will then be between the exterior and the lining. On the zipper -- maybe read through the steps and look at the pictures again. The zipper is sewn between the exterior and the lining. In the photo below step 3, that's the zipper pinned to the exterior/batting. In the photo below step 5, that's the lining being layered into place. 

    Tasha said:
    Tasha's picture

    Thank you Liz for responding.  On the zipper - I read through again as suggested.  I understand the photo below step 3 (zipper pinned and sewn to the exterior and batting),

    I also understand the zipper is sandwiched between the exterior and the lining.  However, on step 5, the zipper is pulled back by the hand which makes me think the zipper is not actually sewn to the lining.  But, once I look at the photo for step 6, it *looks* like this is where the zipper willl be actually sewn to the lining?  Is this correct? 

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Tasha - the zipper is sewn through all the layers: the exterior/batting and the lining. The zipper tape is aligned with the raw edges - you are only sewing through one half of the zipper at a time, which is why you can reach under to zip and unzip. When you are finished stitching this first half of the zipper, you can fold back the exterior to one side and the lining to the other side -- the zipper will be in between, stitched on one side, with the opposite side sticking up. This opposite side is then what you encase with the remaining raw edges of the lining and the exterior. That is what you see in steps 12 and 13. I'm not sure how else to describe long distance. Three-dimensional projects can be challenging. If you are struggling, we often suggest (as we did with this project because it is more advanced) you make a prototype first to work through how all the pieces come together. This is actually how we test and develop projects ourselves. 

    Tasha said:
    Tasha's picture

     Oh wow, I see.  We are trying to describe two different areas of the tutorial.  It seems that you are describing "Insert the zipper and create a 'fabric tube'".  Versus, I am asking about the zipper in the "Side seams, handle and cutting out the corners".  

    I totally get the insertion of the zipper between the exterior/lining/interior.  My question is in regards to step 5 in the Side seams, handle and cutting out the corners".

    See how the hand is holding the zipper back with the exterior?  Does she keep the zipper held back while she sews the lining closed?  Or, will she lay the zipper back down on TOP of the lining to sew across it when she closes the lining?  

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Tasha - I think the key instruction is this one: The only tricky parts are sewing across the top and bottom of the zipper. You will need to gently pull back one layer to reveal the full seam allowance and slowly stitch across. So yes, you sew each of the four side seams independently, as it outlines in the steps. We have two shots there - one showing pulling the exterior back to stitch, the other showing pulling the lining back to stitch. 

    Tasha said:
    Tasha's picture

    {{{HUGS}}} let me say THANK YOU for taking the time to respond to every question.  I so appreciate that.  Now, I will try my hand at this tutorial.  

    bluejeanmamma said:
    bluejeanmamma's picture

    Just finished my first bag. It turned out cute, but I wish it was larger. Would like to make another one, but enlarge it and also drop the batting. I've been sewing for over 45 years and consider myself a good seamstress. I thought the directions were a little tricky. I had to stop and think about the instructions and examine the photos several times. I didn't notice if others had this problem, but my corners were not even when I went to sew them. I cut out a 1 ½ by 1 ½ inch square and drew them in, then cut. When I went to sew them together, one side was cut longer than the other. It could have been my seam allowance. Pinned them evenly, sewed them shut and then trimmed off the uneven areas so it all worked out.

    Hollisann said:
    Hollisann's picture

    Hey there, bluejeanmamma, 

    I'm thinking that you cut a 1.5" square from the edges, rather than the from fold and your side seam. If you meanure from edge to edge, you will have a matching issue because of that seam allowance. Hope that helps!

    Okeating said:
    Okeating's picture

    I am an experienced sewer, and I've made two of these cases, but I believe that the directions become very confusing when it comes to sewing the main fabric, batting, lining to the second side of the zipper.  Then the explanation about eight corners is equally confusing.  The bag is extremely difficult to turn right side out.  I  ended up with seams showing in the lining in my first attempt, and the second, I had to do some reinforcement on the outside zipper seams after the case was completed.  The completed bags look lovely and very unique, but I know they aren't my best work.

    Erica said:
    Erica's picture

    I have had the same problems with everyone else . . . Everything went ok until sewing the box corners and turning the bag right side out . . Major frustration!!

    I also think the lining ends up way too big on the inside.

    the finished bag in the tutorial looks great though.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Erica - as you can see in intro above - we re-did this project, addiing more photos and notes. With anything 3-D it is tough to show every step from every angle. The lining, like most linings, is not meant to be a super tight fit - it will move and might feel a bit loose, but that is as intended. All the measurements are exactly as we cut them for the sample shown. 

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Okeating - glad you had success. Three-dimensional projects are always an instructional challenge. This particular project is, as we mention above, one we re-did with special attention to adding more photos and steps. It's one of our most popular, but does take a bit to wrap your head around. 

    Nora said:
    Nora's picture

    Dear Liz, I finished this bag just a few days ago and I am very pleased with the result even though it took me a long time. But hey, I'm not a pro and ususally I only sew the easy projects. Thank you so much for this great tutorial!

    Now I want to try sewing a bigger one. The finished size should be about 12" long x 6" wide and 6" tall. Because I usually don't work with inches but centimeters (I am from Germany) it would be very kind of you if you could provide me with information of how to extend the pattern correctly to the desired size.

    Thanx so much in advance, I know you're always very busy. <3

    Nora said:
    Nora's picture

    Thank you for your quick answer! I just added the hint on working with centimeters because I find it hard to THINK in inches as I am used to centimeters. I have a cutting mat in inches. But I will try with the suggested prototype. Thanks again!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Nora - We're sorry, but we are unable to create revisions to our patterns or projects for size or usage variations. It's a challenge to change dimensions long-distance. We would feel awful if we gave you inaccurate advice that caused your finished project to turn out less than successful. Our standard recommendation is to measure your item and/or person (in this case, the items you wish to carry) and compare those measurements to our original dimensions. Do the math to make adjustments and scale the original dimensions up or down. Then use these new measurements to make a prototype out of a muslin or another inexpensive fabric you have on hand. It is not only a good way to re-engineer a project, making a prototype is also a great practice run through the steps of construction. There are also many free inch convertors online so you can change to metric. 

    Dagmar said:
    Dagmar's picture

    I love that bag and have made several different ones. However, I find it extremely difficult, to turn the bag through the tiny corner. especially since the oilcloth tends to rip easily and is not really flexible. Can't the bag be turned somehow differently?

    And I think, there is one little mistake in the tutorial. you measure 1½" squares on all corners, after you have sewn the sides together. because of the seam allowance on only one side of the corner, you end up, having not a square but a rectangle, which makes it difficult, to form a neat corner. I think the 1½" squares should be measured from the seams.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Dagmar - so glad you are enjoying this tutorial. Because of how the bag is lined, we don't have another suggestion for turning. Regarding the corners, you can see from the pictures we did indeed cut the squares from side to side. This is a traditional box corner method and if you flatten the corner so the seam is centered, you should get a neat corner. Again, with the multiple layers in this project, it can be difficult to see. We have a tutorial just on box corners, which might be a clearer picture: http://www.sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/romantic-retre...

    Hollisann 1 said:
    Hollisann 1's picture

    Hi, Liz!
    I love the tutorial, especially that you enclose all those seams unlike most box bags! And you're so right about it being hard to wrap your head around it.
    BUT, Dagmar is right. Your linked box corner tutorial is wonderful, but it deals with two seamed edges. This bag deals with a fold and a seamed edge. You will NOT get a neat corner with matching edges when you flatten the square cut out according to the intructions above. You have to measure from the fold and from the seam on the side in order to get an even fold.
    That said, I really do love the tutorial and appreciate all the time and effort (and wonderful pics) that have gone into it! I wouldn't comment at all if not to help those asking about their corners not matching. I don't mean to bash your tutorial at ALL! I really do appreciate the tutorial!

    Kayte Doggett said:
    Kayte Doggett's picture

    Finally!!!! I understand! I am unfortunately going to have to chunk my first attempt at this bag. I was following the other version of this tutorial and felt the directions were fairly vague. I saw in the comments section of the other bag that someone mentioned (not so nicely, I might add) that they had some trouble as well.  You had very diplomatically directed them towards this bag and BOOM the light went on for me. I want this bag to work out for me because this is going to be a big part of my Christmas present idea this year. Yay, yay, yay!

    LucyRed said:
    LucyRed's picture

    I made several of these for guy gifts last Christmas using blue denim that I added some machine embroidery to on one side (fishing theme, wine theme, fire trucks) and then found a new coated fabric shower curtain with simple all over small blue and white pattern at my local Goodwill store that I used for the lining.  Turned out really great and they all loved them!

    Savvy Sewer said:
    Savvy Sewer's picture

    Great Tutorial!!

    I have seen a zippered laminated fabric garment bag used for travel and thought I would like to try to make one.  Maybe you would think about instructions for one??

    Jenny Sullivan said:
    Jenny Sullivan's picture

    Got those pictures now!  (I guess it was my computer.)  Away I go to do some back to school sewing.  Thank you so much Sew 4 Home!

    Jenny Sullivan said:
    Jenny Sullivan's picture

    I am thrilled to discover your website: so many cute projects with excellent tutorials.  I want to make everything!  Today my favorite is the Laminated Toiletry Travel Bag.  For some reason (perhaps it is my computer) I cannot print the first few photos in the tutorial when I use the print icon on your page.  Can you help?  Thank you.

    Katie Lewis said:
    Katie Lewis's picture

    I am making one now!! Love the tut!!! My craft stores didn't have laminated cotton so I bought heat 'n bond iron on vinyl. Super easy to do. Irons on just like regular interfacing.  Also saw somewhere online a tip for sewing with laminates and putting a piece of scotch tape on your sewing machine foot so it will not stick to laminate. This really does work like a charm!!

    Shanny56 said:
    Shanny56's picture

    Thank you for redoing this tutorial, this is my favorite toiletry bag yet, I've made several for gifts and now I'll try the outside in laminate too!!by the way, yours is gorgeous!

    Stacey Brown said:
    Stacey Brown's picture

    I made two of these; one with duck cloth on the exterior and laminated cotton on the interior, and another one all oilcloth. The all oilcloth bag was the most difficult bag to turn inside out (the last turn) that I've ever made! The oilcloth sticks to itself. I futzed with it for 1/2 hour to get it turned! But it's sooo cute!

    Tkessler19 said:
    Tkessler19's picture

    Loved the choice of laminate--wanted to get some for myself.  Unfortunately, MODA is a wholesale only site.  Do you have any suggestions for retail sites with a good selection other than Fabric.com--I've already bought everything I like from that site.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Tkessler19 - We have other vendors in our Marketplace - many of whom carry Moda. as mentioned in the articlem we bought our laminated cotton locally from Fabric Depot. They do sell online, but not all their in-store fabrics are always offered on line. Your best bet is probably exactly what I would do: search via Google by the brand name and collection name and the term: laminates and/or laminated cottons. Often you'll find specific cuts via Etsy sellers. 

    Our Marketplace: http://sew4home.com/marketplace

    Fabric Depot: http://www.fabricdepot.com/index.php?page=CatalogPage&pageid=185653

    Bubbles said:
    Bubbles's picture
    Laminate fabric is great for the outdoor patio. You can even create your own with iron on vinyl that can be adhered to any of your favorite fabrics

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