I recently went on a trip and realized that I've got a lot of little things to take with me: toothbrush, razor, face wash, makeup, q tips, nail clippers, etc. With so many of these small items in too-large of a space, they became jumbled in my cosmetic bag and things became a mess. Have you ever cleaned toothpaste off a stick of uncapped deodorant? I still don't understand how the cap came off and toothpaste went in....
That's when I decided that it would be really handy to have a few differently-sized bags that could hold a group of smaller items and minimize the risk of toothpaste-scented deodorant.
- ¼ yard of fabric 1 (main fabric)
- ¼ yard of fabric 2 (lining fabric)
- 3.5” x 5” scrap fabric for tab
- ¼ yard of fusible fleece
- ¼ yard of lightweight fusible interfacing
- 9” zipper
- Sewing Pins
- All-purpose sewing thread (Sew Complete is what I used)
- Sewing Machine
- Zipper foot (it's helpful, but not required)
- Measuring Tape or Ruler
Let's start creating! I've made two differently-sized bags to accommodate a range of items. Let's start by cutting the fabric, fusible fleece, and fusible interfacing. For the standard bag, cut each of the following to 5.5” x 9.5”. For the large bag, cut each of the following to 7.5" x 11.5". The fabric piece we use for the tab should be cut from scrap fabric and be 3.5" x 5".
- Cut 2x main fabric
- Cut 2x lining fabric
- Cut 2x fusible interfacing
- Cut 2x fusible fleece
- Cut 1x scrap fabric for tab
I sewed both bags using a 1/4" seam allowance and recommend that you do the same. Plug your iron in and turn the setting to Polyester (or just below the Cotton heat setting). Take your main fabric pieces, lay the fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric, and iron together (follow the instructions on your fusible interfacing re: how long your iron should be on the material). Repeat the same process with your lining fabric and fusible fleece.
Next up, the tab. Take the tab fabric and fold in half (wrong sides together) and iron. Open and fold the long edges in towards the center fold and iron. Fold in half again and iron flat.
Once you have folded and ironed the tab to it's final step, stitch along both sides of the tab piece and set aside.
Sewing the Zipper sounds a little confusing, which is why I took extra photos for this step:
With one piece of lining fabric right side up, place the zipper along the left edge, facing right side up. Place one piece of main fabric right side down on top of the zipper and lining piece. The zipper should now be sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric.
Stitch along the left edge of the zipper using a zipper foot on your sewing machine.
Fold the main fabric and lining piece back so now wrong sides are touching and the right edge of zipper is exposed. The zipper should still be facing right side up. Place the remaining lining piece under the zipper right side facing up. Both pieces of lining fabric should now be facing each other.
Place the last main fabric piece on top of the zipper right side down. Stitch the top main fabric and the bottom lining fabric to the right edge of the zipper. Lay flat so that the main pieces are right sides together and the lining pieces are right sides together.
Stitch together the long edges of the main fabric pieces. Do the same to the lining side, but leave a 3” opening in the middle for turning right side out. (See the red, dotted lines in the image below for reference.)
It helps if you unzip the zipper halfway. Fold the bag so the seam which was just sewn on each side meets with the zipper in the middle. Pin in place as pictured below. Do this to all 4 open edges.
Fold the tab piece in half and place in between the main fabric and zipper. Pin in place.
From each folded corner, stitch toward the center seam one layer at a time. Please be sure to not sew an entire side (multiple layers) at a time. If you do, you and your seam ripper are going to become best friends for a little while. You may need to help pull fabric through from behind in order to sew through the bulky spot at the center. I recommend backstitching at the center to help keep the seam strong. Repeat with all sections. Make sure there are no gaps between stitches in the center like what is shown in the picture below. If there are any visible gaps where the stitches do not meet, sew until the stitches meet (see image below).
Cut off the portion of the zipper which is hanging over the edges. Once cut, fold each corner into a triangle.
With the triangle piece pointing upwards, measure 2 ½” from edge-to-edge (If making the large makeup bag, measure 3 ½”) and mark a horizontal line with pencil. Sew over the traced line and backstitch when you start and stop. When you have finished sewing, cut off all fabric ¼” after the sewn line (away from the line you just stitched). Repeat with all corners.
Turn right side out by pulling the main fabric through the hole in the bottom of the lining. Pull the lining together and pin the opening closed. To close the opening, hand stitch in place.