Hello! Chances are that you've got your hands on a copy of the May issue of Canadian Living by now. (It's the one with the fabulous cupcakes on the cover – and yes, they taste just as good as they look!) This issue was exciting for me because it marked the first time I'd ever had a craft published. Like the best crafts, that travel bag was invented out of necessity and refined over time. Since I moved to Toronto I've been lucky enough to be able to travel to see my family in Niagara fairly frequently. I keep my overnight bag ready, so that when the urge strikes to go for a visit, I can just take the bag with me on Friday morning, then head straight to the train station after work. The one problem? Remembering to pack my toothbrush! That's where this travel bag comes in. It's the perfect size to hold a weekend's worth of toiletries (and a spare toothbrush). I think I made – and unmade – about five versions of these bags before I came up with something I liked enough to bring to work for show-and-tell. It took a few more tweaks, such as adding the ribbon tabs near the zippers and experimenting with different kinds of interfacing, before I came up with the published version. (Don't tell anyone, but several of those test cases became Christmas presents!) These bags are fairly straightforward and easy enough for a novice sewer; it's all straight seams. The one thing that I found difficult to explain was the process of creating the boxed corners. One thing that helped me was to mark the seam line before I refolded the corner, as seen below: Doing this makes it easier to place and mark the seam line once you've refolded the corner. (The process sounds complicated, but it's like a game of cards: much easier when you're actually "playing a hand.") I found it easiest to fold, mark and pin all four corners at once; it was faster, and I could make sure the seam lengths were even without having to employ my trusty seam ripper. Once all the corners were marked and pinned, it was quick work to sew and trim the corners before turning the bag inside out and starting to work on the lining. I've made several of these bags as gifts now, and they're always a hit. Why not give one to your daughter as she heads away for her first sleepover, or make one for your husband's bowling shoes? A bag made up in a pretty fabric then fill it with fancy toiletries would be a nice Mother's Day gift. And while you're at it, you could sew one for yourself to hold your yarn and knitting needles, so that your commuter knitting doesn't get all tangled up in your purse! Have you tried this pattern? How did it turn out? Did you have any questions? I'd love to know - leave questions, comments and links in the comments section, or email me with your photos for the Great Results Roundup Two quick notes:
- Don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post to qualify for a chance to win a copy of Mother-Daughter Knits by Sally Melville and her daughter Caddy Melville Ledbetter, just in time for Mother's Day. One entry per person, please.
- Can't get enough of Make+Do? Sign up for "Get Crafty," my e-newsletter, set to launch May 11. The first newsletter is full of suggestions for things to make and do as we head into summer. Don't miss it!