Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tutorial for my weekend cosmetic bag (made from laminated fabric)

This Cosmetic Bag has been very helpful when I was traveling in the past two years - I use it for all my cosmetic as well as cleaning utensils (my shampoo, tooth brush, mascara, etc.). It is big enough to carry all the necessary items and therefore perfect for my weekend travels.
The best thing is that if I spill anything while traveling, I can clean this bag quickly: Ijust hold it under running water and clean it with a little bit of soap. 

What you will need:

·         Laminated cotton (width is 44”) for outer side: 12” for non directional prints, 18” for prints that need to be cut according to their pattern (e.g. when stripes need to run down and not across the bag)

·         Laminated cotton (width is 44") for inner side: 12” for non directional prints, 18” for directional prints

·         Zipper: at least 13" / 33cm (or longer)

·         Sewing Machine, rotary cutter or scissors, thread, about 2 hours

·         Read through the whole tutorial and make sure to understand all the steps before starting to cut and sew.

What you will need to cut from your outer fabric:

·         1 piece: 11 ½”  x 17 ½” / 29cm x 44cm (width x length for directional prints)

·         2 pieces: 4” x 7” / 10cm x 18cm (width x length for directional prints)

·         1 piece:   2 ½” x 4”  / 6cm x 10cm (only if your zipper is longer than 13”/33cm and needs to be cut to the correct length and then covered at the end)

What you will need to cut from your inner fabric:

·         1 piece: 11 ½” x 17 ½” / 29cm x 44cm

·         2 pieces: 7” x 4” / 18cm x 10cm

·         1 piece: 11” x 11 ½” / 28cm x 29cm

Seam allowances are ¼” or ½ cm.

1.        Take your inner piece (11” x 11 ½” / 28cm x 29cm) and sew the longer sides together using a ¼ “ or ½ cm seam allowance thus creating a tube that is 11 ½” / 29cm long. Press the seam open with your finger and turn inside out. 

2.        Position the seam you just created so it is in the middle of the rube and finger press the edges. Lay the part with the seam facing down on the middle of your bigger inner fabric rectangle (11 ½” x 17 ½” / 29cm x 44cm). Make sure the edges of the 11 ½” / 29cm long sides align.

3.        Pin in place. I used paper clips for that because needles will leave permanent marks and are also difficult to use on laminated fabric. Others have had success with gluing seam allowances in place or using hair pins.

4.        Now turn this piece around and draw two lines on the back of the rectangle. Both are supposed to be 2 ½” / 6 ½ cm from the middle line. Sew along these lines. Also make sure to secure the layers by sewing down on the seam allowances where the fabric pieces meet.

5.        Take a look from the right side.

6.        Now draw two lines down from one of the sewn lines to the edge. The spacing from the edges should be 3 ½” / 9 cm. This will create 3 pockets where you can store smaller objects later. If you prefer to keep one larger pocket then you are done with this step. If you prefer to have another three small pockets instead of one large pocket, repeat this step on the other side.

7.        Take a look from the right side.

8.        Take all your smaller rectangles and a round water glass or circle the width of these rectangles. Position the water glass on one side of a rectangle and align the edges. Now draw half way around the water glass and cut along this line so that all four rectangles now have a round edge on one side.

9.        Mark the middle of this rounded edge.

10.    Lay the middle of the round edge on the top of the middle of your finished larger rectangle (the one with the pockets). Start sewing them together slowly. You can use pins/ clips to put your fabric in place but it will be easier without.

11.    Just sew a few stitches, keep the needle down, align the layers in front of your sewing foot and sew a few stitches again. Don’t stretch your fabric.

12.    Don’t sew all the way to the edge of the smaller rectangle but instead stop 1” / 3cm before, leave your needle down, fold over the edge of the smaller rectangle to the left side about ¼” / ½ cm and the sew to the edge.

13.    Start from the middle again for the other side of this end of the cosmetic bag.

14.    Repeat step 10 to 13 for the other side.

15.    Repeat Step 10 to 14 for the outer fabric.

16.    You can chose to finger press your edges in direction to the bigger rectangle and then topstitch (from the left side) to make your seams stay in place better. But it really isn’t necessary.

17.    Now pin your zipper to the edge of your inner piece. Make sure to fold over ¼ “ / ½ cm to the left side just before the start and end of your zipper.

18.    Now sew in your zipper. Backstitch at the beginning and end.

19.    Take your outer piece and pin on top of inner piece aligning the edges along the zipper.

20.    After sewing turn the bag inside out.

21.    Topstitch along your edges, joining the loose pieces from your inner and outer fabric.

22.    If your zipper is too long for your cosmetic bag, then cut it to 13” / 33 cm now. If it is just long enough skip this step. If you don’t like the finish as seen on the first picture, skip the following steps, you have a finished bag.

23.    Take the small piece of fabric left and sew it to the cut end of the zipper, right side facing the left side (facing downwards) of the zipper. Align the end of the zipper with the 2 ½” / 6cm side of the fabric.

24.    Sew with ½” along this edge. 

25.    Now fold the fabric over this seam and the edge of the zipper. Fold the side edges inwards so that zipper is covered. Finger press the seams.

26.    Now take this small tube you created and fold it over twice. Stitch on top of it to secure your zipper end.

27.    Congratulations, you have a new cosmetic bag.

If you make a bag with this tutorial or have any questions, suggestions or improvements, please leave a comment.
You can find the printable version by clicking here. Make sure to set your settings to "fit to page" if you are not using a Din A4 paper format.

Thank you and have a wonderful start into the new week!


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