Tutorial: Embroidery-to-Go Bag

 

Today, I am very excited to be guest posting for Clover and Violet’s Summertime Adventures Series! This week is about travel sewing kits, and I’ve teamed up with Rachael from Imagine Gnats to bring you this great travel embroidery case. This case will also be available on Pellon Projects.

 

This square embroidery travel case features a zipper that goes almost all the way around the side panel and a top handle for easy portability. The back of the case has a large pocket that will hold your 6″ or 8″ embroidery hoops. Inside is a sturdy 5-section divider that will hold all of your carded embroidery floss, plus extra room for scissors and other notions. You can find this and other fun sewing projects at Pellon Projects!
The embroidery design for the front of the case is from Rachael of Imagine Gnats. The pattern, also included in this project, has full instructions, templates, and stitch/floss color guide. This was only my third try at embroidery; I don’t think I messed up too badly. ;-) Even if you are new to embroidery, you will have lots of fun with this beautiful design!

I was also able to use Cosmo embroidery floss for the first time. The threads look so much more smooth than either DMC or Iris flosses, and they are also glossier. Pink Castle Fabrics carries some nice Cosmo floss starter kits, if you are interested in taking a peek!



Embroidery Pattern and Printable Instructions


ALL SEAM ALLOWANCES ARE 1/2″ UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING.

Finished size: 9.5″ long x 7″ high x 1.75 deep


SUPPLIES


- 1/2 yard exterior fabric
- 1/2 yard interior fabric
- 9″ x 7″ piece of fabric for the embroidery (we used Kona white)
- 1/3 yard Pellon Thermolam fusible interfacing
- 1 yard Pellon SF-101 fusible woven interfacing
- 1/3 yard Pellon Decor Bond fusible interfacing
- 28″ zipper (trim to 28″ including the tape)
- fabric marker or chalk
- ruler
- hand sewing needle
- zipper foot
- seam ripper
- turning tool

STEP 1 ~ CUT YOUR FABRICS


From the Exterior Fabric


1a. Cut 1 piece measuring 10.5″ long x 8″ high, for 1 of the Exterior Main Panels (the other Exterior Main Panel will be assembled using your embroidery).

1b. Cut 1 piece measuring 3.75″ x 30″ for your Exterior Zipper Panel.

1c. Cut 1 piece measuring 2.5″ x 5.5″ for the Exterior Top Panel.

1d. Cut 2 pieces, each measuring 10.5″ x 7″ for the Pocket.

1e. Cut 2 pieces, each measuring 2″ x 6.5″, for the Handles.

1f. Cut 2 strips, each measuring 1″ x 7″.

1g. Cut 2 strips, each measuring 7/8″ x 11.5″

From the Interior Fabric


1h. Repeat Steps 2a. through 2c. for the Interior pieces.

1i. Cut 5 pieces, each measuring 4″ x 18-1/2″ for the Dividers.

From the Pellon Thermolam


1j. Cut 4 pieces, each measuring 8″ x 10.5″

1k. Cut 2 pieces, each measuring 3.75″ x 30″.

1l. Cut 2 pieces, each measuring 2.5″ x 5.5″.

1m. Cut 1 piece measuring 1″ x 5.25″ for the Handle Insert.

From the Pellon SF-101


1n. Cut 2 pieces, each measuring 2″ x 6.5″.

1o. Cut 5 pieces, each measuring 4″ x 18-1/2″ (dividers)

1p. Cut 2 pieces, each measuring 10.5″ x 7″.

From the Pellon Decor Bond


1q. Cut 10 pieces, each measuring 1-1/4″ x 17″ (dividers)

STEP 2 ~ EMBROIDER THE DESIGN


2a. Using your 9″ x 7″ piece of fabric, embroider the design using the attached template and instructions.

2b. Take one of your 1″ x 7″ strips cut from the exterior fabric. The long edge of the strip should be even with the right-hand edge of your embroidered piece. Sew, right sides together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat with the remaining 1″ x 7″ strip and the left-hand edge of the embroidery. Press seams open.

2c. Take one of your 7/8″ x 11.5″ strips cut from the exterior fabric. The long edge of the strip should be even with the top edge of your embroidered piece. Sew, right sides together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat with the remaining 7/8″ x 11.5″ strip and the bottom edge of the embroidery. Press seams open. This assembled embroidered piece will now serve as one of your Exterior Main Panels.

STEP 3 ~ FUSE YOUR FABRICS


3a. Take 1 Exterior Main Panel and one of the corresponding pieces of Pellon Thermolam. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the Exterior Main Panel according to manufacturer instructions. Repeat for the remaining Exterior Main Panel, the Exterior Zipper Panel, Exterior Top Panel, both Interior Main Panels, Interior Zipper Panel, and the Interior Top Panel.

3b. Take 1 Pocket piece and one of the corresponding pieces of Pellon SF-101. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the Pocket according to manufacturer instructions. Repeat for the remaining Pocket and both of the Handle pieces.

STEP 4 ~ ATTACH THE ZIPPER


4a. Take your Exterior Zipper Panel and cut it in half, lengthwise.

4b. Place the resulting 2 pieces right sides together. With your fabric marker, measure and make a mark that is 1″ in from that left-hand edge. Do the same for the right-hand edge. Sew from the mark to the corresponding edge (each line of stitching will be only 1″ long), using a 5/8″ seam allowance.

 
4c. Set your machine to a basting stitch. Baste, using a 5/8″ seam allowance, in between the 2 lines of stitching from Step 6b. Press the seam open.
 
4d. The wrong side of your Exterior Zipper Panel should be facing you. Take your zipper and place it face down on top of the Zipper Panel. The zipper teeth should be approximately on top of the basting stitches. Pin in place.

4e. Put the zipper foot on your sewing machine, and sew along 1 long edge, pivot, sew the short edge, pivot, sew the remaining long edge, pivot, and finally sew the remaining short edge. You should sew approximately 1/4″ away from the zipper teeth.

4f. With the right side of the Exterior Zipper Panel facing you, remove the basting stitches with your seam ripper.




STEP 5 ~ MAKE THE HANDLE


5a. Take both of your Handle pieces, and place them right sides together. Sew along both of the long edges.


5b. Turn your Handle right side out through one of the openings. Press. Pass the Thermolam Handle Insert into the tube. Fuse according to manufacturer instructions.


Helpful Hint: Use a safety pin attached to one end of the Handle Insert to pass it through the tube more easily.

5c. Turn both of the unfinished edges in by approximately 1/2″. Topstitch 1/4″ from both of the finished edges.

5d. Take your Exterior Top Panel. Make a mark that is in 1″ from both of the short edges.

5e. Place 1 short edge of the Handle to the inside of one of the marks that you just made, and centered. Pin in place. Do the same thing for the remaining short edge of the Handle. Sew on top of the Handle, 1/8″ from both short edges. Then sew another line of stitches that is 1/8″ from the previous stitching.




STEP 6 ~ ASSEMBLE THE BAG


6a. Place both Pocket pieces right sides together. Sew along 1 long edge. Press the seam open.

6b. Turn the fabrics so that they are wrong sides together, press again, and topstitch the straight edge, 1/8″ from the edge.

6c. Take the Exterior Main Panel without the embroidery, and place the Pocket that you just sewed, with the bottom raw edges of both even. Baste the Pocket to the Exterior Main Panel using a 1/4″ seam allowance.


6d. Take the Exterior Zipper Panel and the Exterior Top Panel and place them, right sides together, along one short edge. Sew. Press seam open.

6e. Place the remaining short edges of the Exterior Zipper Panel and the Exterior Top Panel right sides together and sew (it will form a ‘ring’). Make sure that they are not twisted. Press seam open. Unzip the zipper, so that you will be able to turn the bag right sides out later.
6f. Take the assembled Exterior Zipper Panel and the Exterior Main Panel with the embroidery. Place the long edge of the Exterior Zipper Panel against the raw edge of the Exterior Main Panel and pin in place. The edge of the seam with the handle should be in 2-1/2″ from the right-hand corner of the Exterior Main Panel. When you get to the corners, ease a slight curve. Continue easing and pinning the Exterior Zipper Panel along the raw edge of the Exterior Main Panel until you have worked your way all around. Sew along the pinned edge. Press the seam toward the Main Panel.
6g. Repeat the previous step to attach the remaining Exterior Main Panel to the Exterior Zipper Panel. You will want the opening of the Pocket to be facing the end with the Handle. Again, the edge of the seam with the handle should be in 2-1/2″ from the right-hand corner of the Exterior Main Panel. Make sure the Handle is safely tucked inside.

6h. Notch small v’s into the seam allowance of the corners of both Exterior Main Panels, being careful not to cut into the seam allowance.

6i. Repeat Steps 4a. and 4b. for the Interior Zipper Panel. Press the center of the panel in by 5/8″ on each side.

6j. USING A 5/8″ SEAM ALLOWANCE (this will help the interior sit snuggly in the exterior), repeat Steps 6d. through 6h. to assemble the Interior.

6k. Turn your exterior right side out and your interior wrong side out. Place the interior inside of the exterior (so that wrong sides will be touching). Pin in place along the pressed edges of the Interior Zipper Panel against the wrong side of your zipper.

6l. With your hand sewing needle and coordinating thread, slipstitch the pressed edge of the Interior Zipper Panel, to the wrong side of your zipper.

6m. Please give your bag a good pressing for a nice, professional look.

STEP 7 ~ ASSEMBLE THE DIVIDERS


7a. Take 1 of your Divider pieces and fold it in half, right sides together, along the long edge. Sew along that long edge.

7b. Turn your Divider right side out using the turning tool. Press. Turn 1 raw edge in by approximately 1/2″. Press.

7c. Slip 2 pieces of your Decor Bond inside of the assembled Divider. Again, using a safety pin to guide the Decor Bond through the tube will be helpful. Fuse according to manufacturer instructions.

7d. Measuring in from the raw edge of the Divider, make the following marks:
- 1/2″
- 2-1/4″
- 9-1/4″
- 11″

7e. Stitch on top of the marks that you just drew.

7f. Slide the raw edge of the Divider into the pressed edge on the opposite end, by 1/4″. Topstitch 1/4″ from the pressed edge (this will create a ‘ring’ with the fabric).

7g. Press along the 4 stitched lines. This will create a rectangle.

7h. Repeat Steps 7a. through 7g. to assemble all 5 Dividers.

7i. Place one Divider on top of another, along the long edges. Topstitch along both long edges, approximately 1/8″ from the edge. Continue adding another Divider until all 5 are connected.

7j. Place the assembled Divider inside of your bag.

Optional: You may wish to adhere the Divider to the  bottom half of your interior with fabric glue.

Congratulations, you’ve finished!!

If you have any questions about this pattern, feel free to e-mail me directly at sara@sewsweetness.com, or check out my Flickr Group! I would love to see your completed project posted there!

 

27 thoughts on “Tutorial: Embroidery-to-Go Bag

  1. OHH I think I have the perfect ME fabric for this too! I have to work today but maybe I can do this tomorrow. This is so cute Sara and once again Inspiring.

  2. Sara – how did you read my MIND? I sooooooooo need this bag. How generous of you to give us the pattern & tutorial, thank you so much! You’re my sewing hero. :)

  3. So cute, and such a fab idea. Wonder if I can make one in time for SS. I’m still working out if I can get my snips on the plane – if so, all is good with the world, if not I may be muttering a few sweary words ;o)

  4. I’m really in love with this, Sara! I travel quite a bit and badly need something for my threads and other stitching goodies. Perfect :-)

  5. Oh my goodness my sewing skills are just not that good! If you ever sell these please let me know as I will be first in line! I am an actual traveling embroiderer so I would use a case like this every day:)

  6. Sara ~ This is another awesome bag from you. Wow. I LOVE THIS!!!!! My “almost” DIL would love this for all her cross stitching supplies. Thank you. The only problem I’ve got is that it’s been YEARS since I did hand embroidery so I don’t know if mine will be anywhere near as cute as the one in your pictures. (I guess I’ve got to practice a little while to see how bad I’ve gotten)

  7. It’s so nice!!! A lovely totuorial! I’m going to ask this for mums-day!! Fabric and time to make this!!!
    Hugs, Hennie
    ( I love your blog, so nice and so many idéés, only my englisch writing is so bad, sorry).

  8. I said this a yr ago, this is the cutest darn thing I have ever seen, you yourself could make, by hear I am a cross-stitcher turned quilter this yr, this approaching yr gonna dabble more in mix media but not before I make this for myself. I have since won from and purchased from Imagine Gnats, But I want this and I own alot of floss..

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