Here's my bag:
While the tutorial makes an adorable bag I added a few changes to make it more convenient for my use.
1. I wanted a larger bag, so I cut the pieces 20x14 instead of 16x14 and used a 22" zipper.
2. I added pull tabs at each end of the zipper to make it easier to open.
3. I added a handle to make it easy to grab and go.
Here's where the fabric for the bag came from. It was a crazy, fabulous shirt my husband used to wear that I saved from the "donate" pile.
I chose not to use oilcloth for the interior so I needed another way to add "bulk" to the bag. If you've been reading the blog you know I am obsessed with learning how to quilt so I took this opportunity to practice my freeform quilting skills....or lack thereof! This picture shows the back so you can get an idea of the pattern I used. We'll call it "abstract sea coral". Boy, do I have total respect for anyone who does freeform quilting! It is work, but also a lot of fun, but also a lot of work.
In similar tutorials I have noticed pull tabs. As I mentioned earlier they really do make the zipper easier to open and close. It also ended up being a perfect way for me to pay a little homage to Nautica by using the original shirt tag as one of the pulls. Because I'm keeping this bag for myself I'm going to guess they won't come after me for re-using the tag...I hope. Who knows, maybe this little ditty bag will become super popular and Nautica will feel compelled to add a whole new product line.
Add the tags when you stitch the sides together. I just made my tabs from extra fabric, but a loop of ribbon would be cute too.
Adding the handle was just a little bit of gilding the lily. It's not necessary, but it does harken back to the original ditty bags the sailors used. Again, using a scrap of fabric ( 2 1/4" wide by about 10" long) I fused iron on batting to the wrong side, folded it in half lengthwise, stitched it and then turned it right side out. Pin it in place as you are sewing the triangles.
As if getting ready for a trip wasn't fun enough! Now you get that extra "hey, I made that!" spark of pride when you pull your own bag out. I think it's time to plan another vacation.