Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Super cool zipped cylinder toiletries bag

I'm not kidding when I say that this bag is one of the coolest things I have ever sewn.  It may look simple from the outside, but inside -- BAM! -- there's a nifty drawstring section that can hold even more stuff inside.  Holy cow.  I gotta make another one of these immediately (with my own spins on it of course).

The fabric is just some quilter's weight cotton that I found in the remnant bin at Jo-Ann's (shocking, I know), so I figured it would need some interfacing.  I used Craft Fuse on the bottom section of the cylinder, ran out of it, used some light weight interfacing on the top section, and used Pellon 701F (I think that's the number for the one-sided fusible super heavyweight interfacing) on the top and bottom circles.  The handle has Craft Fuse in it because I like a firmer handle on bags.  In retrospect, I probably should have just waited until I had more Craft Fuse and used that on the whole shebang.

If you unzip the bag, there is room in the bottom for some toiletries.  I wanted the whole thing to be lined with the gray chevron (another remnant bin find), but I underestimated how much I needed and was forced to use another remnant find (both are quilter's weight cotton, and I didn't interface them since the outer fabric was interfaced) for the drawstring part.

Open up the drawstring (which I cut slightly longer than the instructions specified, but because I was using thick parachute cord it ended up being a little too short after being knotted), and there is a nifty spot for keeping other small things.  I stuffed in a shocking number of cotton pads just to see how much it would hold.  I could see putting my medicine, cotton pads, and cotton swabs up there with tons of room to spare.

So cool.  I love a gadgety bag with surprise features.  This was a terrific tutorial that I had no problems following (even though my computer and printer can't seem to work together to print out patterns the right size, and I had to hand-draw -- *gasp!* -- the 4.5" diameter circle on my own after the pattern I printed came out much too small).

I wish I had used lightweight interfacing on the whole thing, but added a layer of felt for batting.  The instructions didn't specify seam allowances, so I kind of winged it (using 1/2" when I could) and it seemed to come out okay.  One note on the instructions -- in Step 5 it's not clear whether you should put the drawstring part inside the upper lining and which way the right sides of each should be facing.  It should specify that the wrong side of the lining should be facing out and the drawstring part should be put inside the lining with the right side of the drawstring part facing in.  It seems counter-intuitive, but the wrong side of the drawstring part needs to be touching the right side of the lining.  Clear as mud, right?  I guessed wrong the first time I made this bag and I had to rip it all apart later when it became apparent that I wasn't nearly as smart as I thought I was.

I also added a line of topstitching where the zipper meets the top and bottom sections to make the zipper sit nicer.  I can't stand it when the lining gets caught in the zipper!  The tutorial also shows a different size of the bag with a shallower top, and that might be fun to make for the kids to hold their toothbrushes, toothpaste, and vitamins in next time we travel.  I could probably figure out pretty easily how to modify the dimensions to get a shallower top and to make the main body taller to accommodate their electric toothbrushes.  I also love how the tutorial author used ripstop nylon on the inside -- I will have to do that with the kids' bag for sure.

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