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Simple Essentials Travel Tote is sew easy to make for gifting

 

Yesterday I shared the mini stockings for the holiday countdown, but there are other items that can be made ahead of time for at least a couple of people on your list.

Everyone needs a travel tote! This tote is not only easy to make, it can be personalized with a monogram and can tote any range of items from arts and craft/sewing supplies to make up brushes, small toys and toiletries. It’s very versatile for all ages. It has 4 simply constructed pockets and for this reason, it’s called the Simple Essentials Travel Tote. Featured in this project are HeatnBond Feather Lite Iron-On Adhesive, Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Color2 Closed End Zippers, UNIQUE Wash Out Blue Marker and Fairfield 80/20 Batting.

Simple Essentials Travel Tote

This is a unique gift and an original pattern, follow along and make this tote for all ages on your Christmas list.

 

The simple essentials travel tote with a monogrammed 'M' featuring fabric from Northcott Fabric, Black and White and A Dash of Color
The simple essentials travel tote with a monogrammed ‘M’ featuring fabric from Northcott Fabric, Black and White and A Dash of Color

 

materials

fabricNorthcott Black and White With a Dash of Colour

  • ½ yd of main fabric cut one 13½″ x 21½″ (outside of tote), cut one 11½″ x 13½″ for outside of one zippered pouch, cut two 5″ x 14″ – handles, cut one 3″ x 12” for center inside band
  • ½ yd of inside fabric cut one 13½″ x 21½″ (inside of tote), cut one 11½″ x 13½″ for outside of second zippered pouch
  • ½ yd of lining fabric for zippered pockets, cut two 13½″ x 11½″ (lining for zippered pockets)
  • ½ yd of trim fabric – (optional) cut four ¾″ x 11” accent strips on zippered pouches, cut two 2½″ x width of fabric for binding, cut one 10″ x 14”, small inside divided pocket and cut one 10″ x 16” large inside pocket, cut one 4″ x 4” for monogram
  • batting, Fairfield 80/20 cut one 13½″ x 21½″ outside of tote, cut one 1½″ x 11” for center band, cut two 12½″ x 2½″ for handles
other

sewing instructions

Note: This seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really very easy and once you have made one, I’m sure you will want to make more.

  • Quilt the tote outside together by layering the main fabric (black print) right side up on top of the batting and then the inside fabric (dot print) facing towards the outside of the sandwich, quilt as desired using a walking or free motion foot, square this piece to 12½″ x 20½″.

 

Outside of tote now quilted and featuring Northcott Fabric Black and White With a Dash of Color, Fairfield 80/20 batting
Outside of tote now quilted and featuring Northcott Fabric Black and White With a Dash of Color, Fairfield 80/20 batting

 

  • Bind the outside of tote piece just completed as you would a quilt with a 2½″ x width of fabric trim pieces (blue as shown). Set aside.
  • Prepare handles by pressing each short end of handles to the wrong side under ¼″.
  • Press in ½″ along the length in the center, press both raw edges of long sides towards the center wrong sides together and insert the batting, press fabric in half along the length again, pin to hold batting and fabric and top stitch  2 handles.
  • Set aside, refer to photos.

 

Fabric pressed in half along the length in the center, Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color
Fabric pressed in half along the length in the center, Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color

 

 

Raw edges of handles pressed towards the center, Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color
Raw edges of handles pressed towards the center, Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color

 

 

Batting inserted in handles, Fairfield 80/20, Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Color
Batting inserted in handles, Fairfield 80/20, Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Color

 

 

Handles folded, pressed once more and top stitched, Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color, Fairfield 80/20 Batting
Handles folded, pressed once more and top stitched, Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color, Fairfield 80/20 Batting

 

  • Prepare the center band by pressing under ¼″ at the short ends as you did the handles.
  • Press in the center along the length and press raw edges towards the center crease wrong sides together.
  • Insert the batting, zigzag where the raw edges meet in the center through all layers of fabric and batting.
  • Top stitch as shown in the photo. Set aside.

 

Center band completed with Northcott Black and White and A Dash of Color, Fairfield 80/20 batting
Center band completed with Northcott Black and White and A Dash of Color, Fairfield 80/20 batting

 

  • Prepare zippered pouches by fusing lightweight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the outside of pouch fabrics (x2).

 

Fusing interfacing to zipper pouches x2
Fusing interfacing to zipper pouches x2

 

  • Make your accent strips (x4) with the trim fabric and the UNIQUE bias tape maker (follow instructions on package) and top stitch these accent strips 2” down from the top of the fabric on both ends. See photos below.

 

UNIQUE Bias Tape Maker 12mm used for the trim
UNIQUE Bias Tape Maker 12mm used for the trim

 

 

Accent strips (blue) top stitched to the zipper pouches, Northcott Black and White with a Dash of Color and used the UNIQUE Bias Tape, Maker
Accent strips (blue) top stitched to the zipper pouches, Northcott Black and White with a Dash of Color and used the UNIQUE Bias Tape, Maker

 

  • Lay lining fabric wrong side against interfacing and match all sides of outside pouch fabric, baste stitch the short end together at one end ⅛″ down from the top for both pouches.

 

Lining fabric wrong side against interfacing and basted at the one end (do this to both zipper pouches), Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color
Lining fabric wrong side against interfacing and basted at the one end (do this to both zipper pouches), Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color

 

  • Install zipper on the outside top of the pouch as shown in photo with a zipper foot, right side of zipper against right side of fabric, do this for both pouches.

 

Zipper applied to one of the zipper pouches, Closed End Zipper
Zipper applied to one of the zipper pouches, Closed End Zipper

 

  • Iron fabric away from zippers and top stitch. See photo below.

 

Fabric ironed away from zipper and top stitched, closed end zipper, Northcott Fabric Black and White With A Dash of Color
Fabric ironed away from zipper and top stitched, closed end zipper, Northcott Fabric Black and White With A Dash of Color

 

  • Open zippers, fold pouches in half right side of fabric together and place other right side end of fabric against the other right side of zipper and sew zipper (make sure sides match). See photos below.

 

Folding fabric towards other side of zipper, closed end zipper, Northcott Fabric, Black And White With A Dash of Color
Folding fabric towards other side of zipper, closed end zipper, Northcott Fabric, Black And White With A Dash of Color

 

 

Fabric now sewn to other side of zipper, Closed End Zipper
Fabric now sewn to other side of zipper, Closed End Zipper

 

  • Sew side seams and cut away excess zipper, zigzag the seams.

 

Side seams sewn and excess zipper cut away, side seams zigzag'd, Closed End Zipper
Side seams sewn and excess zipper cut away, side seams zigzag’d, Closed End Zipper

 

  • Make the monogram from a hand drawn letter or lettering you find from another source, add  Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron-on Adhesive (follow excellent package directions) to the wrong side and fuse it to the center front of your bag.

 

Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron on Adhesive (fusible side on wrong side of monogram fabric)
Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron on Adhesive (fusible side on wrong side of monogram fabric)

 

 

Monogram fusible side ironed to outside centre of bag (front), Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron on Adhesive, Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Color
Monogram fusible side ironed to outside centre of bag (front), Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron on Adhesive, Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Color

 

  • Prepare 2 trim fabric pockets but folding them in half length wise right sides together, leaving a 2” gap.
  • Sew around the sides and bottom with a ¼″ seam allowance, turn to right side, sew gap closed and press.

 

Trim (blue fabric) pocket pieces folded in half and sewn around sides and bottom, Northcott Black and White with a dash of color.
Trim (blue fabric) pocket pieces folded in half and sewn around sides and bottom, Northcott Black and White with a dash of color.

 

  • Sew the largest of the 2 trim pockets to the inside of the monogrammed side of bag with folded side facing towards the top of the bag.
  • Topstitch 3 sides leaving the folded side open.

 

The large pocket sewn to the opposite side of the monogrammed front and top stitched, Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Color
The large pocket sewn to the opposite side of the monogrammed front and top stitched, Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Color

 

  • Sew the smallest trim pocket to the opposite side and mark at 2” intervals to divide, top stitch these lines to make dividers for small objects. See photo.

 

Smallest pocket sewn to opposite side, divided and top stitched. Northcott Fabric Black and White With a Dash of Color
Smallest pocket sewn to opposite side, divided and top stitched. Northcott Fabric Black and White With a Dash of Color

 

  • Sew handles to both sides of tote by finding the center top of tote on the inside and spacing each handle 2” from center and top stitch.

 

Add the handles by sewing, centered at the top inside of the tote as shown, Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color
Add the handles by sewing, centered at the top inside of the tote as shown, Northcott Black and White With A Dash of Color

 

 

Photos of potential items that can be inserted into divided pocket making it very versatile. Fabric by Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Colour
Photos of potential items that can be inserted into divided pocket making it very versatile. Fabric by Northcott Black and White With a Dash of Colour

 

  • To add the zippered pouches, lay your center band in the center of your tote on the inside (mark with a marker first), sew a line down the center to secure this.
  • Tuck the bottom end of the zippered pouches just under the center band on each side in about ½″ and top stitch the band through all layers, center band, pouches and outside of quilted tote to secure.

 

Center band is top stitched on top of the zipper pouches and zipper pouches are tucked just under the band. Northcott Fabric, Closed End Zippers, Fairfield 80/20 Batting
Center band is top stitched on top of the zipper pouches and zipper pouches are tucked just under the band. Northcott Fabric, Closed End Zippers, Fairfield 80/20 Batting

 

  • Add a snap or Velcro closure at the top center of bag and admire your efforts!

 

The Simple Essentials Travel Tote with 2 zippered pockets, a divided pocked, a large pocket, handles and a snap closure. The pockets help you to organize your travel essentials. Northcott Fabric, Fairfield 80/20 Batting, General Purpose Closed End Zippers, UNIQUE Bias Tape Maker, Heirloom Wash-out Blue Marker, Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron on Adhesive
The Simple Essentials Travel Tote with 2 zippered pockets, a divided pocked, a large pocket, handles and a snap closure. The pockets help you to organize your travel essentials. Northcott Fabric, Fairfield 80/20 Batting, General Purpose Closed End Zippers, UNIQUE Bias Tape Maker, Heirloom Wash-out Blue Marker, Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron on Adhesive

 

 

The Simple Essentials Travel Tote with 2 zippered pockets, a divided pocked, a large pocket, handles and a snap closure. The pockets help you to organize your travel essentials. Northcott Fabric, Fairfield 80/20 Batting, General Purpose Closed End Zippers, UNIQUE Bias Tape Maker, Heirloom Wash-out Blue Marker, Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron on Adhesive.
The Simple Essentials Travel Tote with 2 zippered pockets, a divided pocked, a large pocket, handles and a snap closure. The pockets help you to organize your travel essentials. Northcott Fabric, Fairfield 80/20 Batting, General Purpose Closed End Zippers, UNIQUE Bias Tape Maker, Heirloom Wash-out Blue Marker, Heatnbond Feather Lite Iron on Adhesive.

 

Share your comments and completed Simple Essentials Travel Tote below. I’d love to see your tote!

Join me tomorrow when I show you how to construct a cover for a very popular appliance in your kitchen or for the bakers on your Christmas list.

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Mini Holiday Countdown Stockings are sew easy to make

Robin Bogaert is a long arm quilter, creator and blogger at quiltingintheloft.com and has many years of quilting experience. Robin was the past owner of a quilt shop in Windsor, Ontario and now resides in Waterloo. Robin's roots in quilting are traditional, however she appreciates modern quilt design as well and considers the focus of work to be designing, teaching, trunk shows, free motion quilting, ruler work and thread painting. In addition to her passion for sharing all things quilting, Robin is busy with pattern design and sells her patterns on her website and with Craftsy.com. Robin was featured in the Summer 2016 and 2017 (Canada 150th) edition of Quilters’ Connection Magazine and is a new guest contributor at QUILTsocial.com.

4 Comments

  1. Cassandra D

    Very nice.

  2. Paula Coleman

    Cute bag and the instructions are very clear.

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