Travel bags – Free sewing patterns


Linen, 70cm x 1.6mPatterned cotton, 1m x 2.2mCotton, scrapsMedium weight sew-on interfacing, 2mFusible webbing, 60cm x 90cm51cm zips, four (two for each bag)

Dimensions List

6cm x 30cm x 35cmUse a 1cm seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

sew a bag

1 Download the lid template and print out. Mark a 31.5cm x 37cm rectangle on tracing paper. With a compass, draw a 12.5cm diameter circle on paper and cut it out. Place the circle on one corner of the pattern and draw around it to create a curve. Repeat on each corner of the pattern, cutting along the curves. Cut two rectangles from linen, interfacing and patterned cotton. Tack the interfacing to the underside of the linen rectangles; one will be the lid and the other will be the base.

2 Trace the lid template centred onto the lettering and motifs, then turn wrong side up. Trace the design onto the paper backing of fusible webbing. Roughly cut out the T-shirt and bikini and press to scraps of plain fabric. Press the remaining fusible webbing to the wrong side of patterned fabric. Cut out all the pieces and peel off the backing papers.

3 Lay the linen lid right side up on an ironing board, place the tracing right side up on top, and pin the upper edge. Slip the letters and clothing under the tracing. Lift the tracing to press the pieces in place. Draw the bikini straps and washing line on the lid with a sharp HB pencil. Remove the tracing. Outline the letters and stitch along the drawn lines with a 1.5mm wide zig zag stitch. Use a double length of sewing thread to stitch a ‘V’ shape at the top corners of the clothing as clothes pegs.

4 Cut two 7.5cm x 97cm rectangles of patterned fabric and one of interfacing for the gusset. With right sides facing out, pin and tack the interfacing between the patterned gussets. Press under 1cm on one long edge. Mark the centre of both long edges with a pin. Place right sides facing up, and pin two closed zips under the pressed edge, positioning the sliders either side of the centre pin and the pressed edge close to the teeth. Cut off the excess zip, level with the short edges of the gusset. Stitch close to the pressed edge.

5 Cut two 8cm x 27cm strips of patterned fabric and one of interfacing for the back. Pin the interfacing to the underside of one back. With right sides together, and matching the short edges, pin the interfaced back to the zipped gusset. Pin the other back to the gusset, matching the right side of the back to the wrong side of the gusset. Stitch the short edges. Turn right side out and press the seams toward the back. Pin the long edges of the back together, and topstitch the back, 6mm from the seams. Mark the centre of both long edges of the back with a pin.

6 Tack the patterned rectangles to the underside of the lid and base, sandwiching the interfacing in between. With right sides facing, pin the zips and upper edge of the back to the lid, matching the centres at the front and back. Snip the seam allowance of the zips to lay flat on the curved corners. Stitch the lid to the zip with a zip foot.

7 Open the zips. Pin and stitch the long raw edge of the gusset and back to the base, snipping the seam allowance of the gusset to fit the curved corners. Neaten the lid and base seams with a zig zag stitch. Lightly press the lid seam toward the lid. Turn the bag right side out.