I really needed one of these.
My toiletries-schelpping-when-traveling situation hasn’t been very pretty lately. Or very functional, to be honest. I was basically doing the throw-everything-into-plastic-bags…then the throw-all-those-plastic-bags-into-a-canvas-tote thing…which I then would add a few more things to before shoving it all into a suitcase. It always seemed ridiculous…and bulky…and not super organized or efficient, which when traveling are key goals to shoot for.
First, I need to say that Anna’s book is amazing. (But that’s no surprise if you are familiar with her work.) If you don’t have this book yet, you’ll need to get it. It’s a book that I was really really (really REALLY) looking forward to, and it didn’t let me down. It’s been a book that I’ve poured over and over many times, admiring the sheer beauty (well done Anna and Holly on the photography!), while also endlessly planning what to make next. There are so many projects (23 to be exact), and basically all of them are things you’ll actually want to take on and use/gift/admire/hoard.
It’s a good one.
So this isn’t my first project from the book–I’ll have to post about the first project that I made soon–but it’s one that I felt I could justify moving to the top of the sewing list, because I wanted to put it to use.
The finished project is really perfect in terms of size, shape and what I needed for the task at hand. It fits just about everything I need, and it looks super cute (if I do say so myself) to boot. I always love projects with opportunities to play with fabric, trims, hardware and general detailing, and this project doesn’t let you down at all.
To make a classy/structured/well-detailed bag such as this, does require a few extra steps, supplies and endurance, but the result is worth it. I pretty much made mine as written in Anna’s instructions, with only a few substitutions which were total personal preferences.
Instead of batting for the exterior panels, I used Soft and Stable, and then on the inside, rather than finishing the seams with a twill tape by machine, I elected to cover the seams with pre-made bias tape which I (patiently) hand stitched in place.
The inside pockets are super handy and help organize the space well, while also proving perfect for playing with fabric.
I couldn’t find cording in my stash (still not sure where I put that…) to make my own piping, but I really wanted to customize that aspect and make my own. Putting the brakes on the project to run to the store to purchase some wasn’t a desirable option, so I made do with some baker’s twine that I had on hand.
Luckily it worked out well! (Note: I probably wouldn’t recommend improv-ing your piping base if you are planning to wash your project. Since this was going in to a bag that isn’t likely to get washed, I figured it was a totally fine move to make.)
I always love the extra touches Anna adds to her projects, like the leather tabs on her zipper pulls, so I got creative with my own. On the outside zipper pulls, I used tabs sewn from the polka dot binding that I used on the inside–finished with a decorative stitch–and then for the inside zipper, I made a small tassel with a wad of embroidery floss.
Fabric: (I used many, which was part of the fun!)
+ Atelier Cats by Lecien (zippered lining pocket)
+ Daily News by Suzuko Koseki (gathered lining pocket)
+ Polka dot bias tape from Daiso
+ Purse zipper from ByAnnie (this was my first time using one of their zippers, and I loved it!)