A Handmade Travel Set

For the past couple months, I’ve been planning to up my luggage game. Over the years, I’ve made do with a fairly old suitcase (handed down from my parents – not sure exactly it’s age, but I know there are receipts in the pocket from when we went to Disney World in 1994, so at least 20 years!) and a really ratty/cheap duffel bag. My travel schedule is starting to ramp up this year, and one thing I don’t have is a duffel bag that is suitable for a weekend getaway. The aforementioned ratty bag was pretty small and difficult to carry comfortably. Also, I broke the zipper while I was in Paris – rather than repair it (it was really REALLY cheap – even down to the hardware), I decided to make a new set, courtesy of Mood Fabrics.

Portside Travel Set

The Portside Travel Set is the perfect pattern for my luggage needs – a roomy duffel bag, plus a matching dopp kit and a small zippered pouch. The pattern is designed so you can really play with color blocking and fabric options, and it’s not difficult at all to put together. The duffel bag is nice and big (20″ x 11.5″ x 12″), and includes both hand and shoulder straps (the shoulder is adjustable, as well as removable!), a zippered top, and two exterior pockets. The dopp kit has both a zippered top and a zippered exterior pocket, plus a small handle. The little zippered pouch is one of the most basic things ever – like the kind of pouch you’d make in a ‘learn to sew zippers’ class – but I can see it being very useful. And it all matches! Yay!

Portside Travel Set

Portside Travel Set

Portside Travel Set

Anyway, let me also point out that making this set gave me an excuse to peruse the home decor section of Mood Fabrics. I rarely sew with home decor fabrics (I know some people love them for clothing, but I’m not much of a fan, unfortunately), but I totally jumped at the opportunity! There are SO many cool designs, it was really hard to narrow it down to just 3! I started with this cool turquoise geometric print, matched it to a charcoal grey faux suede, and lined the inside with grey and white polka dots (I’ve been eyeballing that polka dot fabric for over a year now – so glad to finally have an excuse to buy it!). All the zippers, webbing and hardware are from my stash (you can buy cotton and nylon webbing from Mood Fabrics, but the colors I wanted were sold out, unfortunately).

Like I said, making the set was not difficult – it took me about a weekend worth of work. I block-fused my exterior pieces – both the canvas and suede – with a medium weight interfacing, less for structure and more to prevent wrinkles. While I was initially a little concerned to work with the suede, it was actually really really easy. This suede is fairly lightweight, so I could get by with my regular 80/12 needle. It’s not super sticky, so I didn’t need a special foot to sew it with. AND it doesn’t show pin marks, so I didn’t have to worry about using clips or anything like that. I was even able to press it without any drama – although I will point out that my iron has a shoe specifically for this reason, so if you’re shoe-less, you might want to test some scraps and consider using a press cloth to prevent melting or scorching.

Portside Travel Set

Portside Travel Set

Portside Travel Set

Portside Travel Set

Because the print is so big and because it’s broken up by the color blocking, I did not try to match the seam lines – although the tops of the zippers were happy accidents, both for the duffel and the dopp kit. I’m also really happy with the little leather zipper pulls – those leather scraps came out of my stash, and I think they really tie the whole thing together 🙂 The only thing I changed from the pattern was to include a removable fabric-covered piece of plastic for the bottom to keep it rigid.

Oh, and in case these pictures are deceiving you – it’s a BIG bag. I could probably zip myself up in this thing.

Portside Travel Set

It’s also very floppy (there are a lot of pillows stuffed in there to show you the shape!), which is great because I will be able to squish it down to store it. Or, realistically – hide in my suitcase just in case I find a fabric store that needs cleaning out while I’m traveling 🙂

Portside Travel Set

I’m not really one for sewing a lot of non-clothing projects, but this was a fun little break and a great way to switch things up. Not to mention – I finally filled that duffel bag gap in my luggage arsenal! Now I just need to start looking for a new suitcase – I think mine is finally on it’s way out (wires poking through and zippers are struggling – ugh).

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Comments


  • Ginger
    January 19, 2015

    These turned out great! How fun!

    • Lladybird
      January 19, 2015

      Thanks, girl! Can’t wait to put them to good use! 😀

  • Peter
    January 19, 2015

    As someone who has never made a pencil case, let alone a set of soft luggage, I am incredibly impressed. They’re gorgeous!

    • Lladybird
      January 19, 2015

      Thank you so much, Peter! I normally stay away from non-clothing sewing, but it’s fun to mix it up every now and again – and I needed some soft luggage, so I’m happy I didn’t have to buy it 🙂

  • Kimberly
    January 19, 2015

    This is great. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cheryl
    January 19, 2015

    Great job! I love your colors. I’m currently obsessed with gray. I think the web handles are a really good choice, too. I prefer stuff like this and find clothing intimidating. If I keep reading you and MPB I may get over it.

    • Lauren
      January 22, 2015

      Thank you! The colors make me really happy 🙂 I think you should definitely move your way into sewing clothing – it’s not so different from sewing this sort of thing, at least technique-wise 🙂 LET ME PEER PRESSURE YOU INTO IT! 🙂

  • Sarah Gunn
    January 19, 2015

    Great pieces!

    • Lauren
      January 22, 2015

      Thank you, Sarah! 🙂

  • sallie
    January 20, 2015

    These are so awesome! I’ve had my eye on this pattern for awhile because my luggage situation isn’t so great either. Seeing it made up makes me remember how much I need/want to make my own set! I’m especially drawn to the dopp kit, as my toiletry bag has pretty much devolved to a plastic baggie…
    I love the cool colors and the suede you chose. Very fun!

    • Lauren
      January 22, 2015

      I’m really excited to put it to use! Matching luggage is something I’ve always thought seemed so terribly grown-up. Plus, these colors are way better than something I’d find in a shop 🙂

  • Patricia Moore
    January 21, 2015

    Beautiful work, flawlessly sewn!

    • Lauren
      January 22, 2015

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    January 25, 2015

    I’ve been going weekends all over the place in recent years – and when I’ve driving places there is no need to have some industrial baggage handler proof suitcase. The amount of times I have look at this pattern is frightening. This project is making me tip over into buying! Great fabric choices.

  • Enriquesews
    January 29, 2015

    I love this!! Im wairing for my pattern in the mail! Im a fan of this post and make of yours! Cant wait to make mine!

  • Fiona
    January 31, 2015

    This is such a great set Lauren! I love your fabric choices, that grey suede looks lush and those zipper pulls really step it up a notch and make it look super professional!