Travel Bag

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Today’s post is all about Michelle Patterns’ Mending Kit, which I’ve used before as a travel bag when I visited Peru, but now with more of my own custom personalizations. (It amazes me how much skill I’ve picked up accidentally over the years!) I love this pattern – it is a perfect size for a small bag to house my essentials needed in airports, train stations, bus rides and such – and small enough to stuff into my bigger bag when not needed. It’s also wonderful to keep my electronics and passport on me when wandering around town whilst staying in a slightly sketchy hostel. Let me walk you through this delightful bag!

I selected some supplies and it took a while to decide how to put them into practice. I purchased the floral fabric for this project, along with the hardware, ribbons, and strap. The striped coral/pink fabric was a win from Made By Rae forever ago (I also used it when I recovered an ironing board to make a small bulletin board). The pink and grey fabrics are upholstery samples I scored for 50 cents each when a local Joanns went out of business.

My original bag used a velcro closure per pattern instructions, but I found myself wishing it was more secure on my travels so I added a clip instead, with a little extra length in the ribbon. In Peru, I ran into situations where I over-stuffed the pouch and couldn’t secure it, so this was an important update. I have no idea what I will shove into this little bag on my next trip! Since there is no velcro closure, I didn’t need to add the little rectangle the pattern called for. So to dress up the flap a bit, I added a section of matching pompoms I found in my stash.

On the back, I added a pocket. Nothing fancy, but I do collect flyers or maps and things to some day scrapbook (yes, I still love scrapping, I just haven’t done it lately…). In the original pouch, I had no option but to put them inside, which meant the flap folded them down. No bueno! Now, they can stand as tall as needed until I can get back to place them in their temporary home in my backpack.

I also changed the strap. Originally I purchased a commercial purse strap with clips. Being detachable was cool – sometimes I was able to thread the strap through something to secure it whilst moving from point A to point B but otherwise I didn’t like it. It dug into my shoulder, and the way I attached the ends to the bag itself was in poor execution (it was an afterthought and I also didn’t know anything good about bag construction). This time, I opted for an adjustable belt strap that was also wider for better comfort; I am also excited about its adjustability! When long, it is the perfect cross-body length. If shortened all the way, it is the perfect under-my-arm purse length. No matter what vibe I get about walking through town, I know my bag will be comfortable and protected from thieves. I must thank Betz White for her simple and clear Adjustable Strap Tutorial!

The pattern calls for an open pocket in the pouch flap and in my original version, I added a thin strip of velcro to secure it. Again, it wasn’t really the best solution, so this time I found a zipper in my stash. Voila, where my cash money will collect! True, I didn’t think this part through in the bigger scheme of things because as a pouch, the flap opens all the way so the zipper is on top, thus having change inside the pocket makes sense. Add the straps though, and well, the flap doesnt flop all the way over. I tested it, however, and while a bit more clunky than imagined, it is still good enough for me!

The big back pouch is for my kindle, a necessity in long transport routes! Here I also have a small pocket just for my ID and credit cards. In the original, I had it on the forward part of the pocket, and here I’ve moved it to the backside. I’m not sure which one will be better, if indeed, there is a notable difference at all. I did make it shorter, so that part of the card sticks out for easier grip; the original pocket made it difficult to get the card out sometimes.

In the front expanding pocket, there are three sewn in pockets. One fits my phone when it is not in a case (which would be for normal day-to-day use around home) or a mini notebook and mini pencil I have for when I travel. I take notes about itinerary changes, or to journal about later, and always new words I learn as I am submerged into foreign languages. My obsession with lip balm holds a place in one of the pockets, as does a place for bandaids and pepto-bismol tablets (a trick I mentioned in my Peru post – one before and after every meal has done me right as far as never getting sick!). The expandable pocket can be for anything, but most likely my passport and a pack of pocket tissues. A small bottle of sunscreen, hand-sanitizer, and bugspray wipes rounds out what can fit in here.

I am in no way whatsoever a purse girl. I go about my day with a case-less phone in my pocket and a little zipper pouch that functions as a wallet/keys holder/lip balm maintainer in my other pocket. However, since I now own a kindle (rather than only borrowing one for a trip), I might be taking it with me more often than not, so it occurred to me that I might use this bag regularly, not just when I go on my upcoming Africa trip (70 days and counting! Ack!). If this is true, I had a place for everything but my keys. Solution? A little clippy – and look at how cool this matching little leather tassel is!

Big thanks, again, to Michelle, for drafting up this pattern! 😀

 

 

See more posts related to:

3 Comments

  1. Michelle

    Bravo! This looks amazing in these fabrics and the pompom trim is a sweet touch. You did a good job getting it on too. I’ve tried using those little pompoms before and made a mess of my project. Oops…

    Great job on all your well thought out mods. You knew what you needed and made it happen. Fine job!

    Reply
  2. Denise

    Love this! Just made one and wish I had seen this first!

    Reply
    • CaLynn

      Thanks, Denise! When it is time to make a new one, try her pattern out 😀

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for more cases of the Crafties?
Collaged Slow Stitch

Collaged Slow Stitch

I made a quirky and weird slow-stitched collage to try to push through a creative slump. It was much more about doing than the outcome.

read more
Stitch Camp 2023

Stitch Camp 2023

I stitched this mixed media piece following Gwen Hedley’s instruction through TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Camp.

read more
Tea Cup study

Tea Cup study

I was inspired to stitch up a stack of tea cups which lead to starting a second project that I’m still thinking about.

read more
Stitch Club: Clover

Stitch Club: Clover

Jette Clover lead a TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Club using scraps and a stamp. I used a country farm stamp with a big red barn as inspiration.

read more
Stitch Club: Tume

Stitch Club: Tume

Kate Time lead a TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Club on narrative bead texture, and I was inspired to have a play!

read more
Open Press Project

Open Press Project

I ordered a small print press from the Open Press Project and have begun experimenting with pressing leaves.

read more
Stitch Club: Notman

Stitch Club: Notman

Emily Notman lead a TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Club where we would learn to make a jar wrap, and I was inspired to create a scene along a lakefront at sunset with cattails blowing in the wind.

read more
Stitch Club: Bliss

Stitch Club: Bliss

Oliver Bliss lead a TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Club recently centered on color blocking, and I was inspired to stitch up a skull with flowers.

read more
Nina Stajner + Lake = Swan

Nina Stajner + Lake = Swan

I worked up Nina Stajner’s swan coloring page from the Lake app in a (mostly) single solitary stitch: the stem stitch.

read more
Stitch Club: Norbury

Stitch Club: Norbury

As part of TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Club, Ruth Norbury tasked us with making a textural mixed media peice and I chose Hubert Robert’s La Fontaine painting as my subject.

read more
Stitch Club: Steel-Jessop

Stitch Club: Steel-Jessop

As part of TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Club, I made a map of Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sarantium (by Martin Springett) following Bridget Steel-Jessop’s workshop.

read more
Kintsugi stones

Kintsugi stones

I used a kintsugi kit by Jack Richardson to meld two broken stones back together.

read more
Painting Miniatures

Painting Miniatures

I tested my painting skills in a challenge with Boy: who could paint the best D&D miniature?

read more
Hexie Dreams 16

Hexie Dreams 16

I have a total of 107 flowers ready for my fussy-cut EPP Hexie Dreams quilt and am moving on to planning how to arrange them.

read more
Eternal napping in the sun

Eternal napping in the sun

You can stop here if you don’t wish to read anything sad today. It’s already bad enough with Roe v. Wade, war, and such, I know.

read more