Million-dollar question: where are my sewing needles... again?! And where did I place the snips... probably sitting on them right now and if I move, they will definitely poke me badly (again, duh). Yes, I have been there and I lost my needles, clips, thread, snips, pens and even thread while I literally didn't even move. How is that even possible? I am sure you know what I am talking about... But I had enough. Instead I decided it was time to get organised. One bag to keep all my notions and fabric in place whether being at home or out and about getting the kids to their tennis and materials arts classes. And that's why I came up with the Wee Travel Pal my notions buddy for on the run - not loosing those needles again.
How about you? Do you need to get a little more organised? Let me share all my best tips and tricks with you, giving you the confidence to create a Wee Travel Pal all by yourself!
Shall we get started?
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
The Wee Travel Pal comes with sooo, soo many pockets to help you stay organised. All you ever need for your sewing and quilty notions, EPP and embroidery with enough space for lots of fabric and WIPs as well! Best pal for on -the-go or on your sofa...
But let me show you the Wee Travel Pal in action - kindly demonstrated by my sweet girl...
She found the secret pockets... - which can hold so much fabric by the way!
But let my daughter show you the outside as well. For this version I decided to go for a simple tie (in the pattern I show you how to attach a proper elastic closure) but it's so cute. Don't you think?
About the Wee Travel Pal...
The Wee Travel is not only the perfect organiser for all your quilty notions, swap partner or EPP-obsessed mother-in-law but also great to keep your kids Legos and art supplies in place. One bag to hold all your little ones' treasures while out on your next road trip... Imagine not having to bring a gazillion of bits and bobs next time but instead have everything neatly organised in one place?! No more emergency stops to go and find the one and only pencil which just rolled under the seat for the third time...
But let me tell you a little more about the Wee Travel Pal. Are you ready?
- The bag measures about 8" x 15.5" (hxw) when opened and 8" x 5.5" (hxw) when closed.
- You can either make a Wee Travel Pal with the see-through vinyl pocket in the middle but I also show you in the pattern how to make a version without using any vinyl.
- They are in fact much easier to make than you might think at first and once you made a couple you will get the way that are constructed. Then you can start customising and that's where the fun starts: add more pockets, change the layout, add a different closing mechanism or change them in size! So whatever option you pick - you can totally make it your own!
- Or why not make a scrappy Wee Travel Pal, using up all those precious little scraps from your last project?! Or quilt the outside panel like I have done here... there are no limits!
And if you're wondering about the pattern itself - let me tell you more about the actual pattern. Shall we start?
- The pattern is a digital file (PDF) and you can easily get your copy from my shop. After purchasing your copy it will be ready for instant download. Make sure to save it and you're ready to go. Super easy! The Wee Braw Bag is a measure and cut pattern, meaning all pattern pieces are cut using a rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler. There is no need to print it unless you wish to do so, as there are no templates needed. So you can start today!
- The pattern is consisting of 14 pages, includes loads of pictures, detailed instructions, graphics and tables. I carefully talk you through, step-by-step. It's like I am sitting right next to you - cheering you on!! I know you can do it! I wrote the pattern with absolute beginners in mind but if you are a confident maker, I am sure you'll still love making one as well...
If you like to know more about teaching classes or your local guild, selling finished bags, need more information on buying, saving and printing the pattern - please hop over to my FAQs, there I try to answer all your questions in more detail.
Before we start sewing, let's talk a little about the materials you'll need. Shall we?
First of all - you will need your copy of the pattern which you can find in my shop. Remember, it's a measure and cut pattern, meaning all pattern pieces are cut using a rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler. No need to print anything, unless you wish to do so. So you can start straight away picking your fabric!
So here a list with all the things you'll need:
- Wee Travel Pal pattern
- Elastic or webbing
- Sewing Machine
You will need fabric. Obviously. I like using quilting cotton throughout the project and use interfacing for all the areas where I need my fabric to have a little more structure, like the outside of the pouch. If you like to use stronger fabric like canvas - that would work as well. Totally up to you!
I used some of my most treasured prints for this Wee Travel Pal. For the outside I used this gorgeous neon Betsy - it is quite pricey but you don't really need much and it's so worth it. For the inside I used a mix of my fave prints by Heather Ross. A little bit of Crafty Chloe, she's just so adorable and I can really see my daughter in her. And some basics by Heather as well like the florals and gingham. Throughout the project I also used my faves shades of pink Kona for the lining. It's super inexpensive and calms down the overall busy look of the pouch if that makes sense.
As for the vinyl, I would highly recommend some soft and pliable vinyl. You don't want it to be either too hard or too sticky. So play with some options until you find the one that has just the right consistency for you.
I've recently seen someone using old plastic packaging (for duvets etc) and cutting it up for a See It All Pouch. Absolutely genius. Such a fun and resourceful idea. I absolutely love it. Bear Grylls would be all over that...
You will need zippers. If you are making the vinyl version (shown here) you will need two and if you decide to go with the non-vinyl version, you will need three 10" zippers.
I always use 10" zippers. Like ALWAYS. They are my absolute go-to zipper length for literally everything. Even for much smaller pouches... you can always chop off the ends of a plastic zipper, right? And now the tip: buy them in bulk! I order mine all the way from the US but they are here in absolute no time, super cheap if I buy a pack of 50 or more and the colour choice is amazing (cotton candy pink, bubble gum pink and gray are my faves if you were wondering).
You don't need much interfacing for this project (or any at all if you go for canvas). But I like the outside of my pouch to be a little more sturdy and as I am using quilting cotton - here even more so as I picked Liberty lawn - I had to add some interfacing. Usually I would pick my go-to interfacing but as I also wanted to quilt the outside, I chose fusible fleece instead. The fleece in combination with the quilting really gives the project a new level of depth and structure - which I loooove!
But again. If you are using canvas and don't care to quilt your panel - you will be fine to skip interfacing all together.
Elastic or webbing:
For the closure of the pouch I recommend using elastic (like I show you in the pattern). Super quick to install and looks so cute. For the sample here, I used webbing instead to tie the pouch together and I really like the end result... again, totally up to you!
I am using two kinds of thread for making a Wee Travel Pal. All the construction work is done using Aurifil 50wt - for literally every seam that is hidden on the inside. And for topstitching along the zipper for example or the quilting - I am using Aurifil 28wt. Super simple rule really, all visible seams with 28wt and all hidden ones that have to last it's 50wt!
Next to your standard cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler you will need a couple notions. I like to use clips instead of pins - as they are just much quicker to handle and I tend not too loose them as quickly on the ground...
You will also need some double-sided tape to hold your layers together when it comes to inserting the zipper (not pictures above... *oooopsie*). Pins are not really an option and tape is just super straight forward. And a good investment. I bought my tape over 8 years ago and I haven't used even half of it.
I am using my Janome MC 6700p - and I love her. She is a real workhorse, so reliable and the seams are gorgeous and always even. Never skipping a stitch. And as a bonus: she looooves Aurifil! Win win...
Throughout the project I am only using two feet. The zipper foot as well as the HP foot but I do take advantage of being able to change the needle position - either sewing at the recommended position, or going narrower if needed. The needle position is quickly changed and I get back to making my pouch... And for this project you don't even need the Ultra Glide foot as we never directly sew on vinyl. Yay!
I know the bag might look a little intimidating at first but I promise, it is really not that hard at all! Even for beginners. Only straight seams - a lot of them but only straight seams and you can totally do that!! In my pattern I carefully talk you through each step of the process but it all boils down to being super precise in the end. Use a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat and trim your sections to the exact size and you will be laughing. I promise!
But if you feel you need a little extra help - why not join our free Facebook group? If you are new to sewing or still a little intimidated by zippers and vinyl, bag making or your sewing machine in general... I get it. Because I have been there as well! And that is the reason why I am offering a little extra help over in our Facebook group. In learning sections I share lots of helpful tips and tricks with you, answer your questions and even share little videos on HOW TO tackle all my patterns. All you need to make sweet, little pouches with confidence! You can do it... HUZZAHHHH!!
So, what do you think? Fancy joining us...?
Now you tackled the Wee Travel Pal, you my friend, can do anything you set your mind to! How about a little more 3D sewing by making a Wee Braw Bag? I promise, it's again super duper easy - only straight lines...
And dang, they are seriously addictive as well. Head over to my post on the Wee Braw Bag, there I share all my best tips and tricks with you, my fave materials and lots of inspiration. Are you ready...?
And finally I like to take the chance to thank Janome UK for working with me. I love my Janome MC 6700p and don't want to miss her anymore... So thanks so much Team Janome for having me!
Take care and Happy Bag Making!
Love, Laura x
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