How to Make a Simple Travel Bag

Once again I am making a simple travel bag here at Sew Very Crafty. This is a super simple bag that has a few steps but each step is pretty simple. There are only straight seams in this project so anyone with basic sewing skills should be able to make it. There is a zipper but it is not too difficult to install. I did not have an appropriate sized zipper on hand so I just used a longer zipper that I shortened to the appropriate length. it worked just fine. If you would like more bag making projects check out my other projects.

Actually, I used a utility fabric for the outer bag and a quilting cotton for the lining. I would recommend either this heavier utility fabric or a home decorator weight fabric for the outer part of this project. I purchased both at JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores. Of course you can head to Fabric.com or Onlinefabricstore.net to get exactly what you want for your project. This post contains affiliate links that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What you will Need: How to Make a Simple Travel Bag

  • Outer fabric: 25″ ✖︎ 20″ (2pcs.)
  • Inner fabric: 25″ ✖︎ 20″ (2pcs.)
  • Fusible Fleece like Pellon 987F 25″ ✖︎ 20″ (2pcs.)
  • Outer pocket : 8″ ✖︎ 8″ (2pcs.)
  • Inner pocket : 8 5/8″ ✖︎ 15″ (1pc.)
  • Zipper: 18″ long (1pc.)
  • Bag strap : 1″ (100″ )
What you will need

Step 1: Fuse the Fleece

Fuse the fleece to the outer fabric pieces following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2: Create the Outer Pockets

Take each of the outer pocket pieces and fold up the top and bottom end by 3/8″ and press. Fold the top end an additional 7/8″ and press. Topstitch along the top.

Prepare the outer pockets

Step 3: Create the Inner Pocket

Fold the inner pocket in half. Stitch the sides and the bottom using a 3/8″ seam allowance but leaving an opening on the bottom for turning. Clip the corners and turn right sides out and press. Topstitch along the opening end to close up the opening.

Create the inner pocket

Step 4: Add the Outer Pockets

Find the center of each of the outer pieces by folding them in half. Find the center of the pocket pieces by doing the same thing. Place the pocket pieces 6″ from the bottom of each outer piece in the center. Stitch along the sides and bottom to secure.

Add the outer pocket

Step 5: Add the Inner Pocket

Find the center of the lining and the center of the pocket piece. Place the pocket piece 5 1/2″ from the bottom and in the center. Stitch along the sides and bottom to secure.

Add the inner pocket

Step 6: Cut out the Corners

Cut out the bottom corners of the outer and the lining fabrics using a template that measures 4″ x 4″.

Cut the Corners

Step 7: Stitch the Bottoms

Place the outer pieces and the lining pieces right sides together. Using a 3/8″ seam allowance stitch along the bottom of both the lining and the outer fabric pieces.

Stitch the bottoms

Step 8: Add the Handles

Open the outer bag. Cut the strapping in half. Place one end of the strapping at the bottom seam so that it covers the side of the pocket piece and pin. Continue pinning the strapping until it reaches 7/8″ above the pocket piece. Return the strapping continuing to pin to the bottom seam and covering the other side of the pocket piece starting 7/8″ above the pocket piece. Do the same for the other side of the outer bag. Stitch the strapping in place along the pin line on both sides of the strapping.

Add the Strapping

Step 9: Add the Zipper

Find the center of the outer and lining bags and make a mark on both ends of each. Mark the center. of the zipper as well. Place the zipper right sides down on the outer bag in the center. The zipper will be shorter than the bag. Place the lining piece with the pocket right sides down on the zipper forming a zipper sandwich. Pin. Stitch only the zipper through all layers. Leave there ends unstitched. Turn right sides out and topstitch along the zipper. Fold up the outer fabric to meet the zipper and the lining fabric to meet the zipper again creating a zipper sandwich. Stitch the zipper through all layers. Topstitch.

Step 10: Trim Off the Excess

Open the bag so that the lining is in the inside and the bottom seam is facing up on your work station. Pin the center outer and lining to the zipper on both ends. Pin the longer sides. You will notice that there is an uneven portion on both ends. Trim off the excess to match the sides.

Fold the Centers together
Trim the excess

Step 11: Stitch the Bag Sides

Open the bag so that the lining sides are right sides together and the outer bag is right sides together. Stitch the sides of the outer bag and the lining bag using a 3/8″ seam allowance. leave an opening in the lining for turning.

Step 12: Box the Bag Corners

Match the side seams to the bottom seams on the bottom of the outer and lining fabric. Stitch across the seam using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Make sure the zipper is at least half way open.

Box the bottom corners

Step 13: Box the Bag Top

Take the top corner of the outer bag and match it with the side like you did the bottom. Do the same with the corresponding lining piece. Clip the outer and lining corners together using wonder clips or pins. Repeat for the other side. Stitch together on each side using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Box the top of the bag

Step 14: Turn Your Bag Right Sides Out

Turn the bag right sides out through the opening in the lining and the open zipper. Stitch the opening closed using your machine or ladder stitch. push the lining into the bag and you have completed your simple travel bag.

Turn right sides out
Insert the lining into the bag
Finished travel bag

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