Skip to main content

Making A "Carry On Travel Bag"

A good friend has, once again, chided me for being such a laggard with posting. Time seems to move along at warp speed sometimes and I confess that I do forget. Most of the time it's more because I don't feel as though I have done anything that new or interesting...
Last Spring I cut out pattern pieces to make "The Carry On On Travel Bag". I had owns the pattern for some time and had looked forward to making it, but quilt projects and clothing endeavors took first place in my time commitments and the Carry On Bag languished in a corner. I finally decided that I wanted to put the "finished" stamp on this project before the end of the year and so I set to getting it done. I did buy the finishing kit for the makes it so much easier to have everything that you without having to hunt all over the web for long zippers, hardware and the nice acrylic bottom.

The first thing that had to be done was to quilt the fabrics. I chose to use two different colorways of FigTree "Aloha Girl" (with a third color way for accents). Embracing blue has been a new thing for me, but I am enjoying blue- al but true blue pastels at least! I am very fond of using Annie's Soft'n'Stable as my 'batting. It provides a cushy feel to the finished product and the machine sews through it like butter. Although I used a simple straight line quilting design the fabric pieces are large and it took some time, but I have have always liked using this simple design for bags and it was, I think, perfect for this one too.
The pattern calls for the outer straps to be fabric covered poly-web strapping. I preferred to use 1.5" all cotton webbing which I found on Etsy. It's excellent quality and I am very happy with the results - I just did not want the sheen of poly strapping/webbing and I couldn't really see the benefit of covering the straps.
The instructions for this pattern- as for all of Annie' patterns- were/are excellent. Some of the best written ones I have come across. If you follow step by step (and I do use the handy places to check off your completed steps) you can get the job done and done well. I will never fear buying a bag pattern from Annie'
I am blessed with a good, strong, sewing machine but there were times when I think that in the making of this bag I pushed my beloved Janome 8900 to it's limits. I used a size 120/20 needle which I am SO glad that I had on hand. In places I was sewing through 8 layers of fabric, 2 layers of Soft'n'Stable and the cotton webbing (mostly when I was binding the inside seams). Managing the bag at the machine also taxed my arthritic hands at times!
This bag is definitely large enough to use as a "weekend away" bag (unless you are a heavy packer and need many changes of clothes) and it is a great size for a carry-on bag. It is sized correctly for under-seat storage on aircraft.
I am going to look and see if I can find any little feet to add to the bottom...just to keep the bottom off as much of a possible dirty floor as I can. There are pockets galore both inside and it will be easy to have a place for everything. I love it when I learn new things when I make a bag and his one gave me some great (not difficult) new techniques that will be a boon to future projects.
I think that buying the acrylic bottom for the bag (they call it poly acrylic on the website- link earlier in this post). It fits perfectly into the bottom (there is a slip for it that you construct), it creates a very stable surface that will not bend or break as something like cardboard would inevitably do. I was happy with my decision to use cotton webbing rather than fabric covered poly and I now know how wonderfully strong and solid my machine really is.
This is bag that will be used a lot. I would make more I think but first I will see if perhaps I can rent some time and use an industrial machine. It isn't that my machine can't do it all...but rather that I think an industrial machine might be easier on my hands.
I have a few more bag projects from Annie' on my "to-do" and "want-to-do" lists and I am really looking forward to the net one! Someone making a bag feels very satisfying to me. I like making useful things and we can never really have too many bags can we?!
  • What was the last project you made that stretched your personal capabilities?
  • Have you ever felt that you were pushing your sewing machine to the motor's limits?
  • What's on your project list for the near future? I would love to know what everyone is up to!


  1. Love what you are doing. I got distracted with some sewing for the library for our Big Read event and now, November is National Novel Writing Month. December will be catch-up month


Post a Comment

Share your thoughts! Thank you for taking the time to stop by!

Popular posts from this blog

Circular Knitting Needle Comparison

When I use something a lot I have to admit that I try to find the brand that works best for me. I never thought that I would ever be a scissor snob until I found Dovo brand scissors and, of course I love my trusty Fiskars too. I became a scissor snob thank to Dovo. 
Now I seem to be searching for the perfect knitting needles - the perfect one for me at least. I have been enjoying the 'chase' and I think I am close to knowing exactly what my preference is, and want, in a knitting needles. 
I only use circular knitting needles. When I first taught myself to knit myself  that's what I used and my preference has not changed. I began knitting with Addi Turbo needles. That is the brand that my LYS sold and I have always loved how slick and fast they are. I have sets of Addi clicks interchangeables in both lace and regular.  Over time, I have discovered what I want in a knitting needle: metal, the pointiest tip possible, a fast knitting, slick, metal needle and a very flexible c…

Fabric Stiffeners and Hardeners For All Occasions Plus A Recipe For Home Made Starch Alternative

I have had to become better acquainted with various ways to harden, stiffen or prevent fraying in cloth lately. It has been an enlightening journey, and I thought that I would pass it along the lessons that I have learned about a variety of excellent products that suit any need to 'tame' fabric for a variety of reasons. 
Fray Check. Who among us has not used this ubiquitous little potion over the years? It works like a charm to 'glue' up those raw edges on some of the most beautiful fabrics I use; ensuring that I can sew the fabric without fear of endless unraveling. This product has remained a favorite since I first discovered it many years ago. The only change that I think Prym/Dritz has made to it over the years is a finer application tip.
I have re-discovered my admiration for this product as I was making a holiday gift from some beautiful cotton that was especially prone to fraying! I have also recently learned that Fray Check can be removed with rubbing alcohol.…

Aurifil's New 80wt Appliqué Thread

The changes that getting older bring can be amusing at times. When I was younger I eagerly awaited hearing about a new job or pay raises, what the weekend might bring, what art I hoped to make soon...those kind of life experience kind of things. Lately though, my 'awaiting moments' are far more simple. Thread! Yes, I have been eagerly waiting to try Aurifil's new appliqué smooth, strong, 80wt cotton. It seems that my 'making' life has been dominated by hand sewing and hand appliqué lately. Therefore, anything that tends to make my stitches look smaller and blend better is on my radar. Over the years I have used a lot of varieties of appliqué thread. Who doesn't love stitching with silk thread?! It's soft, lustrous and blends so well! My issue with sewing with most silk threads was that it tended to break a lot. I tried to love Superior Threads Bottom Line poly and Wonderfil's Invisifil poly. The problem? I really tend to be old school and …