When I decided to create the Transit Tote, I was inspired by this cosmetic bag that I had been using every day to store my make-up. I think it was from Lancome? Clinique? Estee Lauder? Who knows. I loved it and knew that I could modify it to fit my traveling needs.
I had to adapt my Inside-Out Zipper Technique quite a bit to make this, but in the end, it's something that I'll be using to design a lot of other patterns.
I am not a fussy sewer. In a way, I'm more of an engineer who sews. That seems odd to those who know me. I'm not an engineer. In fact, my math skills end with geometry. I teach college...and I teach nothing remotely close to engineering... or art for that matter. I teach communication. But I've always loved technical writing, so writing patterns is fairly easy (and fun) for me. I am an efficient person; I streamline just about everything I come in contact with. Maybe I watched the original Cheaper By The Dozen a few too many times. FYI...if you watch the original, you'll be introduced to Frank and Lillian Gilbreth - pioneers of time and motion studies. Lillian Gilbreth invented lots of things that make our lives easier - like the foot-pedal trash can and egg/butter trays in refrigerators.
So figuring out how to make this cosmetic bag became a challenge. I made a few rough drafts and got it on the third take.
Here's what you end up working with:
1. A lid and a bottom.
This is the lid (inside).
The lid (outside). The gray dotted fabric is the handle.
There's a bottom piece that is similar.
2. A zipper panel.
This goes together using the Inside-Out Zipper Technique.
When the zipper panel is complete, it looks like this.
And those three pieces get sewn together:
Sewing the bottom to the zipper panel. It's a bit cumbersome, but nothing too difficult. There are a lot of layers, so I used a jeans needle and went slowly.
The bottom is on! Now I'm sewing the lid to the zipper.
Those Wonder Clips are a life-saver!
The assembly is counter-intuitive. If you bought the pattern you'll probably wonder what I was thinking...but don't give up. Just take each step one at a time. Trust me...it looks more complex than it actually is!
Here it is. This was the third one I made.
And the back.
I'm back to work soon, but I plan on developing a backpack pattern
using this technique. I bought a cute artist notebook at TJ Maxx and
already began sketching it.