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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Free Pattern: The Luggage Tag

I finally found some time to get this pattern written up. My notes were a scribbled, incomplete mess, so I had to make another one just so I could figure it out! It's a quick project, though. I use the same "turning" technique that are found in the Composition Book Cover and the Breezy Business Card Holder. So much easier to make!

Fabric for the exterior, lining, and loop
A small piece of vinyl. This can be from anything, including the package that sheets come in.
A walking foot
A buttonhole attachment

1 - 6 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of exterior fabric
1 - 6 1/4" x 4 1/2" piece of lining fabric (yes, it is a bit smaller!)
1 - 2" x 12" piece of loop fabric
1 - 1" x 4 1/2" piece of fabric for pocket bottom
1 - 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of vinyl
1 - 6 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of fusible fleece

The pocket once it's top stitched and finished!


Fuse fleece to the wrong side of the exterior piece.

Make the Vinyl Pocket:
With right sides together and using a 1/4" seam, sew vinyl to the 1" x 4 1/2" pocket bottom. You'll need a walking foot to do this.

Fold back and finger press flat. Topstitch as shown.

Make the Loop:

Place loop fabric wrong side up.

Fold in half as shown and press.

Open back up and fold sides in so they almost touch the crease. Press.

Do this for each long side.

Fold each long side in to the crease and press flat. Your raw edges should be on the inside.

Topstitch along each side.

I usually make my stitches longer when I topstitch - around 3mm.

Fold the loop in half. There should be no twists in it. Just flat.

Using a 1/8" seam (or so), baste the loop in the middle of the EXTERIOR - along a  4 1/2" side as shown.

With right sides together place the pocket on top of the loop, lining it up along the 4 1/2" side. Using a 1/4" seam, sew the pocket to the exterior, right over the loop (yes, the loop is not in the picture. I got a ahead of myself and had to do a little unsewing!).

NOTE! only sew along that ONE end. You don't need to sew all the way around the pocket. 

Place exterior right side up.

Place lining wrong side up on top of the exterior (RST). Line up along the OTHER 4 1/2" side (2). 

NOTE: The side with the loop/pocket will not match up. This creates the opening to turn the tag right side out!

Using a 1/4" seam, sew along THREE sides. DO NOT sew along the side with the loop!

Be sure to backstitch at each corner (no pivoting allowed!).
Clip corners and turn right side out through the opening at the end with the pocket/loop.

Don't flip the pocket just yet. If you leave it as shown (the pocket is on the exterior side), you can slip a chop stick in and poke those corners out.

OK, now flip the pocket to the lining side.

You now need to close the hole. You'll do this by sewing all the way around the luggage tag. 

I sewed just a hair below the vinyl, then worked my way around the luggage tag.

You can see my topstitching here.


Get your buttonhole attachment. Don't be scared! You might want to stitch out a practice one first.

I put the buttonhole about a 1/2" in from the side. It's 3/4" long.

Go ahead and add your buttonhole.

Sew a "fold" line about 1/8" above the vinyl. This helps keep tag flat when folded.

You'll probably need a walking foot.

Pull the loop through the buttonhole.

All done! Time for a trip!

UPDATE: And because everyone is so great, here's a link to a free zippered coin purse pattern!. It's round...and really easy to make. You don't cut out any circles! YAY!

UPDATE: Read a review of this pattern on Pattern Review.


  1. found you via Karen's FaFF and I am now your 33rd follower. love the luggage tag and i am going to attempt to make it really soon. Would love if you popped over to say hi too.
    Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

    1. Thanks Cath! I Just checked out your blog. I really admire your organized and neatly folded fabric. I'm envious! I need to force myself to be better at refolding and keeping my piles straight.

  2. Hi just found your blog through craftsy, I love all your creations and your tutorials are really well explained. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge with us. With me you have a new follower, thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I appreciate the feedback Marisa! I couldn't do it without my circle of friends who are constantly giving me problems to solve.

  3. Good post I like it I also find same like this post thanks for share I also share with you something hope you like How awkward that would be, when Magellans and Changes in Latitude and others sell very well made pouches for just that purpose - smooth so you don't even feel them when they are tucked behind your waistband, and easy to pull up when needed without embarassing belt-loosening moves etc.Plastic Luggage Tags

  4. This tutorial looks great, just started doing it. I've got to the stage of stitching the vinyl to the pocket bottom but can't see how to get it looking like the picture if I use the instructions and do it wrong sides together.
    Any advice?

    1. Hope this helps! The picture is what it looks like after it's been top stitched. so...put the fabric wrong side down on the edge of the vinyl, then sew it down using a 1/4" seam. Then flip that piece of fabric back so it is right side up and finger press it in place. Then top stitch close to the edge.

    2. Hi Thankyou for your generosity in your free sewing tuts and your wonderful patterns I found you on craftsy and soon found how to be a follower!!! [Im tech impared] So few people share their knowledge freely these days, while ive quilted for a few years now Ive not 'sewn' so things are new to me
      thanks again

  5. Thanks for the free pattern, much appreciated! I'm planning a trip, for a quilt retreat, and need luggage tags luckily I found you via Google. I really like the pattern, and your tutorial is easy to follow with the most adorable results!! Glad I found you :D

    1. YAY! Thanks so much! Be sure to check out my other patterns - lots of free goodies! Have a great trip! bb

  6. Thanks so much for your tutorial - this is such a clever little project the way it all folds out - and it has forced me to use my so far unused teflon foot, walking foot and buttonhole foot - so thankyou muchly :)

    1. Wonderful! Have fun making it - and more importantly, have fun using all those feet!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing. Just made a sample and it is just what I was looking for.

  8. I'm just starting to make some of these luggage tags (I like them because the name isn't visible), but I'm having a real problem with sewing the 1 inch fabric strip to the vinyl. If I lay the edge of the fabric WRONG SIDE DOWN (therefore, right side up) on the edge of the vinyl, then sew the 1/4 inch seam, I can't understand how I can flip it back and have it come out right side up. Am I missing something? Shouldn't I lay the fabric WRONG SIDE UP on the vinyl, sew the 1/4 inch seam, then when I flip it back to do the top stitching, it is right side up? Maybe you could add some photos showing how you place the fabric on the vinyl before you sew the 1/4 inch seam?

    1. Thanks Vicki...sometimes with the quick projects what's in my head and what I write are two different things!

  9. I added an embroidered initial on the outside and after a few false starts made four of these bad boys. They are quite lovely and once you get the hang of it, are really easy to make. Instead of using the walking foot, I cut a piece of tear-away embroidery interfacing the same size as the fabric for pocket bottom sandwiching the vinyl. Works great and just tear away the paper after sewing,

    1. YAY! Great idea for an alternative to a walking foot. Thanks for the tip!

  10. Hi Bia, found your post through Pinterest and love the tag, straight made some .. you can see them here:
    Thanks so much.

    1. I love it! And I like your twist on it with the loop! A great alternative to a buttonhole!

  11. Hi, thank you for this fabulous tutorial, the luggage tags are great. However, i just started to make one and the transparent pocket became all creased when I turned the tag right sides out. Any hints on how to avoid this happening? Thank you.

    1. Hi Liz,
      Thanks! Glad you liked it!
      Hmmm. I've not experienced the creased vinyl - it might be the gauge of your vinyl. I use fairly thick vinyl. BUT...have you experimented with an iron on low heat and a pressing cloth or muslin? I've lightly pressed vinyl before and it's worked for me. Just don't iron directly on the vinyl.

  12. Your tags are so colorful and fun! Many thanks, I have listed you on my blog related to sewing fabric postcards!

  13. Hi, found your tutorial on google and have just made three tags out of an old vintage Australiana teatowel. They have turned out great and look really professional. Your tutorial was easy to follow and I just used a ballpoint needle and greaseproof paper from the kitchen to stop the vinyl sliding - similar to the tear-away interfacing - no need for a walking foot at all. I did buy a small piece of quality vinyl from Dimmeys and had no problem with it creasing at all when turning it out. Great tag with your details so private!!!!

    1. Thanks so much! And excellent way to improvise!

  14. Hello,
    I'm french and just did this luggage tag for my mother. we re going to New-York in a few days!! thank you for all this.

  15. I'm so excited. I was a little afraid to try this! But your direction were so clear! Thank you for sharing your pattern. Mine turned out so cute; I can't wait to do one for each of my bags.


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