Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Pfaff-ing About Again!

Passport & Travel Document Bag with Vintage Tie for Strap
After a year-plus hiatus from sewing/blogging, here is my first offering of several upcoming projects: Passport & Travel Document Bag

The Store Director where I work just recently left the company to spend a few months to travel around Australasia.  It was also her birthday, so she had a big bash before she took off on her exciting travel odyssey.  As a bon voyage/birthday gift, I decided to make her something handy.

As she will be backpacking and hostelling her way around exotic locations in the southern hemisphere, the material needs to be durable, not show dirt easily nor quickly, be comfortable.,,, and washable!

For the main body of the bag, I chose a remnant selection of upholstery material: one side a pretty brocade in shades of green, golden sand, and ivory; the other a plush, coordinating, plain, fern green.  The interior pockets are made with lilac and white cotton seersucker material I recently purchased, on special offer, from my favourite Tuesday market stall.

The bag was simple enough to make.  I used:
Showing Layered-Look Of Finished Bag
  • Two 9-inch (W) X 18-inch (H) heavy duty fabric pieces (Main body) - It can be shorter if you don't want a front flap
  • One 18-inch (W) X 5-inch (H) piece cotton seersucker material (inner pocket/lining)
  • One  6-inch (W) X 9-inch 9-inch (H) approx. seersucker material (pocket)
  • Two Velcro strips (cut to size)
  • Vintage Tie (shoulder/neck strap)
  • Liquid Stitch
  • Buttons (decoration)
  • Coordinating Variegated Thread
  • Hand-Sewing Needle

Firstly, I tidied the edges, of all the heavy duty fabrics and seersucker material, with a half-inch double seam all the way around.

Then, I found the horizontal centre of the seersucker material and pinned for placement of the passport pocket material, which I had previously measured for accurate size.

I created the pocket with a smaller strip of the seersucker material.  For added privacy, I fashioned a flap by folding the pocket material about two-thirds of the way up the vertical length, pinned it in place.  Then, I machine-stitched the pocket in place (I chose to add a bit of extra interest with the seersucker stripes on the pocket running them vertically against the horizontal stripes of the inner seersucker material used for the interior lining.)
Showing Velcro Fastening
I added a small square of Velcro to secure the pocket, if desired.  I attached the Velcro by both hand-sewing and Liquid Stitch.  To help disguise the placement of the Velcro, I hand-sewed a decorative button on the outside.

As for the larger piece of seersucker material,  I added an "extra" pocket by sewing a vertical line down either side of the pocket.  Then, I created a large loop by sewing the two ends of the material together using a neat seam.

Next, I set aside the pocket and interior materials to work on the main body of the bag:

  • Placing both the plain and patterned heavy duty fabrics right-sides facing outward, I pinned around three edges, leaving one end open...
  • Also, very importantly, using pins to mark the channel for the vintage tie strap to be threaded through for the strap handle.
  •  Once satisfactorily pinned, I machine-sewed the two fabrics together, making sure I left the channel an even width on either side for the strap to easily pass through.
I must add that using one of my vintage ties was not at all part of the original design idea! Originally, I had planned to use heavy-duty webbing...Until, I realised I didn't have any! Eek!  Nothing else in my stash was a practical solution...Or, so I thought! Initial panic turned into a brain-storm session...when I suddenly remembered my stash of vintage ties! Hurray!

You see, several years ago, (being a quirky-dresser anyway), I went through a phase of wearing vintage ties to accessorise my outfits.  They have since been retired sitting in a plastic file box with my fabric stash waiting patiently for a suitable re-purposing project.  Thankfully, my epiphany saved this creation!

A silky neck tie for the strap handle turned out to be a soft, and natty, design tweak.  It was easy to create:
Vintage Neck Tie Shoulder Strap
  • I stitched down the inner edges of the tie, in case they ever unravelled or otherwise came undone.
  • Then, I threaded it through the channel I created in the main body of the bag.
  • I closed the tie's loop created by inserting the skinny tie-end into the opening of the large end of the tie; then,  carefully, hand-sewed it securely into place.  
  • I added a decorative button to help hold it further, while hiding, also, the hand-stitching.
Now that my separate construction pieces were finished, it's time to put them together:

Finished With Buttons!
Remember the seersucker lining and pocket "loop"?
  • This part was slipped between the heavy-duty fabrics with the pocket side on the side of the plain, heavy-duty, woven fabric.  I made sure the seersucker material seam was sandwiched between the fabrics, so it won't show once sewn in place.
  • I pinned these pieces together before sewing to make sure; (a) I'm happy with the placement, and; (b) they don't budge while sewing!
  • Next, I carefully machine-sewed the pieces together around the edges being sure not to sew over the tie handle-strap/channel.  I did back-stitch at these places for added durability.
Lastly, my decorative buttons!

Time for a cuppa, now that I'm...

Pfaff®-ing About Again!