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Weekender Travel Bag. Tutorial & Pattern

Weekender Travel Bag. Tutorial & Pattern

This bag is the perfect size to carry all you need for an overnight trip or weekend getaway. It also makes a great gift (and the holiday season is coming up.)

Weekender Travel Bag. Tutorial & Pattern

Weekender Travel Bag. Tutorial & Pattern

Weekender Travel Bag. Tutorial & Pattern

Weekender Travel Bag. Tutorial & Pattern


 This pattern is for an intermediate sewer. The construction really isn’t that complicated but beginners might find it so, especially if you don’t have much sewing experience with zippers, curves or interfacing. Since this is intended for an intermediate sewer, I did not go into rudimentary details when explaining steps in the assumption you will know them.

I also like to put a small zippered pocket inside. This is optional and I did not included directions on how to do it. If you choose to add one to your bag, you will need to know how to install an inset zipper. I would recommend a zipper between 9” to 12”. Be sure you place it more than ½” from top edge of bottom body lining piece.

The first couple I made I top stitched next to the seams to give a more professional look. It is extraordinarily
frustrating. I no longer do it. But it’s not impossible if you want to try it. Once you fill the bag up with stuff it takes
shape better.

The finished bag measures approximately 16” wide by 15 ½” tall by 6 ½” deep with a 7” strap drop. It’s plenty big enough to bring all of your essentials for an overnight stay or weekend getaway.


- At least 1 yard of 56” wide home décor weight fabric for the body

- 1 ½ yards of quilting weight cotton for the lining

- 1 ½ yards of a medium or heavy weight stabilizer of choice

- (You could use an iron on fusible interfacing. Originally, I used Pelon Décor Bond but am now using a 10oz canvas which I glue to the fabric. You want some structure but not too much bulk.)

- 22” Coats and Clark Purse Double Slider Zipper

- (This pattern was designed with this exact zipper in mind. The zipper tape is wider than an all-purpose  zipper. They should be available at most sewing stores or online at places like Joann or Fabric.com. They come in only three colors.)

- Two 29” long pieces of 1” wide webbing

- (I use cotton webbing but nylon would work well too. Or you can create your own out of a complimentary fabric.)

- printable pattern

- optional 9” – 12” zipper for inside zipper pocket plus pocket lining fabric, width measuring length of zipper tape plus an inch or so and about 13” tall Instructions:
(All seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise stated. Notches marked on pattern pieces are optional guides to help you find centers and ease the curves.)

- Cut all pattern pieces, two of each from outer fabric, lining and interfacing, as well as reserving two (about) 2 1/2” x 2” scraps of lining and outer fabric for the ends of the zipper.

- Apply your chosen interfacing to the outer fabric.

Start by sewing scraps to the ends of the zipper with a ½” seam allowance. Lining will be right side up, zipper right side up and outer fabric wrong side up. Iron open lining and outer fabric and topstitch about 1/8” or 1/4”. Trim sides even with zipper edge.

Layer lining (right side up), zipper (right side up) and outer fabric (wrong side up), measuring and using the center to line everything up and stitch down the length of the zipper with a 1/4" seam allowance. Don’t worry about extra length from the scraps. You will trim them later.

Iron open and top stitch close to fabric edge. Repeat for other side. Now you can trim the excess scrap fabrics at the zipper ends.

For both the lining and outer fabric, sew side bottom pieces together at the wider end.
(Note: Seams from here on will be 1/2".)

 (You can attach the straps to the top outer fabric pieces now, before any seaming, which is easier when maneuvering under the presser foot but I like to do it later because it sandwiches the lining to
the outer fabric and keeps it from being baggy or loose.)

Sew lining of zipper piece to lining of top lining along long curved edge, right sides facing. The notches I put on the patterns are just guides and are optional. The important thing is to line up the
centers and the ends and ease the curves. Repeat for other side. Then repeat for outer fabrics.
Clipping notches in the seam allowance around curves will create better ease.

Now to attach straps. Pin the lining to outer fabric along edge. Strap placement has been marked on pattern pieces but you can simply measure and pin strap 4” from side seam.

Now stitch up webbing about 1/8” to 1/4" from edge, stop at about 5” and pivot to stitch across and then back stitch to reinforce a stress seam and then back down other side of webbing.

Repeat for the other three strap ends. You will go through the outer fabric and lining and the three sided rectangle stitching will be visible on the lining. (This helps keep the lining flat and not baggy or loose.)

Sew the body pieces of the fabric similar to the top pieces you just did, along the long curved edge for both the outer fabric and lining, except leave a 6” opening along edge of one side of lining.

Open the zipper! With the outer fabric body bottom section inside out, pin the top zipper section to the body bottom pieces with right sides together. Then pin the body bottom lining section inside, right sides of linings touching. Stitch around edge. Turn right side out through opening left earlier then stitch the opening up. And you’re done.

Weekender Travel Bag. Tutorial & PatternWeekender Travel Bag. Tutorial & Pattern

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