I made what I am calling a toiletry bag but most others call a cosmetic bag. I combined two tutorials because I liked different things from each. The two I used were The Boxy Cosmetic Bag Tutorial from Skip to my Lou which was done by Jaime of Prudent Baby and the Cosmetic Bag Tutorial from Sew Like My Mom.
I decided that I liked the idea of having a zipper tab so I took that idea from Sew Like My Mom as well as using iron on vinyl. I used the dimensions from Skip to my Lou as well as the basic assembly of the bag. The difference between the two is that SLMM used one piece of fabric for the outside and one for the lining where STML used two for each.
Iron on vinyl
It was actually pretty easy to apply so don’t be intimidated! The reason I wanted to use it for this project is because I am using this bag as a toiletry bag (you didn’t figure that out already, did you?). If anything spills, the vinyl can be wiped down and it should help to keep any liquid inside the bag instead of on all of my clothes in the suitcase.
I decided that it was a smart idea to sew the outer fabric and lining fabric onto the zipper separately just like Sew Like My Mom did. This really helped to keep everything even, especially since the iron on vinyl makes it easier for the material to stick, hence pulling away from the zipper. Plus, if you use pins through the vinyl you will be able to see the holes later.
I also liked the look of the top stitching next to the zipper. It just gives it more of a finished looked. This is where you can easily struggle since the vinyl faces down on your machine. I didn’t have too much trouble but did need to help the fabric through every once in awhile.
This is my best zipper installation yet! Yay for improvement! I guess practice does make perfect (well, maybe not perfect but you get the idea). I do suggest to always iron the fabric flat after sewing it onto the zipper, it will help it to not get stuck in the zipper, and so will sewing the top stitch.
Sewing the sides together was probably the hardest part because the vinyl was on all sides. The fabric did shift a little but luckily this bag is forgiving. I just made sure to cut the edges evenly after I was finished sewing the sides. Sometimes the vinyl would stick to the machine and not pull through.
I followed the boxed corner method from Skip to my Lou. Which is explained in more detail on craftapple. I actually made my bag too tall because I misunderstood the directions. When it said that she did hers 5 inches I thought it meant 5 inches on each side of the seam, but actually it means a total of 5 inches. So the seam should actually be at 2.5 inches since that would be half of 5.
I really like this bag, but will make another one that is shorter so that it’s easier to get my stuff in and out. With it so tall it’s also a little awkward to unzip. Overall, I would say this project was a success. The bag is still very useable even though it’s a little tall.
Hello– I love your blog and just became a follower. I am also a beginning sewer (since December) and its so encouraging to find other beginners for tips and encouragement. I also started a blog– its vintage inspired since I love vintage patterns and fabric. If you have a second to check it out sometime its fiveminutesmoreplease.blogspot.com. 🙂
Thanks! I’m glad you like it. I love your blog name and know exactly what you mean about always needing just five more minutes. 🙂 I took a look at your blog and like that it really seems to show who you are and what you like…vintage! Good luck with learning to sew, we will have to give each other tips along the way.
Your blog looks great and is very inspiring. I really love the fabric choices you make for your sewing projects! Very keen to see what you come up with next!
PS Found you via Sew Daily forums.
Thanks so much! So far all of my fabric is from Hobby Lobby or Joann Fabrics. I have a few finished projects that I just need to get final pictures of so that I can post about them.