Hi, it's bag time again! This is a version of the little Travel Bag I first made for my CousinM. I liked it so much I made one each for MrA and myself to go on holiday with. I don't normally carry a bag every day, I just rely on my pockets. But lately I've been finding my pockets so stuffed full of bits and bobs, deemed essential, that I've felt the need for an everyday man-bag!

Luckily I made a pattern when I made the first one; it is essentially two bags sewn back to back. For this one I decided to only use the back (larger bag) pattern pieces. This would give it a slimmer profile and avoid the inevitable over-filling of a bigger bag.

I had some sturdy black upholstery fabric to make it out of, and decided to use a black metal zip on top and colourful zips from my stash on both the front pockets (this also helps me know the 'front' from the 'back' – which in turn, helps me find things much more easily!). As the fabric doesn't fray I also left out the lining, keeping it slimmer and lighter, and just used my pinking shears to tidy up the inside seams. This really was a quick and easy version!

Pattern pieces:

2 pieces for the main front and back.
2 for the front and back pockets.
2 pieces to go either side of the zip.
2 pen holders.
1 piece for the sides and bottom.
6 tabs.

Construction order:
( See THIS POST for more in depth version!)

  • Sew on the inside patch pockets and the inside tabs to the main pieces.
  • Sew the front & back zip pockets in place.
  • Construct the pen holders onto the sides of the outer strip.
  • Attach the main zip to the thin top pieces then to the base/sides (to make a loop) remembering to insert tabs for the straps.
  • Line up and pin the front and back into the 'loop' and sew all 4 (x2) sides. Leave the main zip open for turning!

I used 2.5mm bag clips from my stash, and I already had a length of black webbing which I cut to size and fitted with an adjuster.

As you can see, it's pretty stuffed already…!

Yes, sunglasses and umbrella! … this is London!

It's proved really useful. I've used it almost every day! The colour is discreet but the zips give it a bit of personality, don't you think?

I'm so glad I'm now in the habit of making patterns for bags rather than just winging it! That's four variations of this bag now, and I can imagine making a few more!

Happy sewing!

Notes to self:

  • Keep self drafted patterns tidy.
  • Make notes on variations.
  • … gift options…?!
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