I didn't really believe everyone when they told me how rough the winters are in the Pacific Northwest when I moved to Seattle. But I was naive and thought, "But I'm from Colorado! How could any winter that doesn't have snow be hard?!" And the first couple years weren't so bad...rumor has it they were abnormally nice. Thanks global warming.
And then this year happened. Until now, I hadn't really realized how far north Washington is - which means there is significantly less light. The sun comes up around 8:00 in the morning and sets at 4:00-ish. And the middle of the day is cloudy. Sun? What's sun? I am counting down these short days until the days start getting longer again.
Needless to say, I'm ready for a getaway to someplace sunny and warm. It's not part of the plan this year, but a girl can dream, right? I'll live vicariously through all the people spending their holidays on vacation. And in the meantime, I'll just make all sorts of these dopp kits, pretending I'm packing up for a long weekend on the beach...
I love this bag because it's actually big enough to hold all my toiletries. Usually, it's a struggle to fit my face wash and toothbrush into a travel bag with all of my make up. I'd end up having to decide if I really want to brush my teeth or wear lipstick more while I was away. These were my life's tough decisions.
1 fat quarter of fabric for exterior
1 fat quarter of fabric for interior
1 fat quarter of fusible fleece
-Any mid- to heavy-weight fabric will be great for this project. I used quilting cotton in my sample, but canvas would be a perfect alternative.
Cut all three pieces of fabric into rectangles measuring 16.5" x 19.5". You will also want to cut a rectangle from your interior fabric measuring 2.5" x 7.5" for your handle. Set this piece aside for now.
From your three larger rectangles, you will need to cut out the corners to make a cross-like shape. You will come in 6.25" from each corner on the long sides, and 3.5" in from each corner on the short sides. Reference the image below for a visual.
I've labeled each side in the image below to make it clear which side I am talking about in future steps.
Fuse your fleece to the wrong side of your exterior fabric. Place your interior fabric on top of your exterior fabric, right sides together. With a 1/4" seam allowance, stitch through all three layers around all sides, leaving a 4" opening in the center of one of the side D edges.
Clip your outside corners. At the inside corners, clip to the seam allowance, but not through it.
Flip your fabric sandwich so that the right sides of the interior and exterior of the fabrics are showing and the fusible fleece is encased inside. Get your corners as square as possible and fold the opening along side D under 1/4". Press well. Topstitch around all edges at 1/8".
Now it's time to prep your handle. Grab your piece of fabric that's 2.5" x 7.5". Fold long edges under at 1/4" and press. Then fold your handle in half lengthwise and press again. Stitch folded edges together at 1/8"
Fold the short edges of your handle under 1/4" and press. Then fold under another 1/4" and press so that the raw edge is hidden inside the fold. Stitch in place and repeat for the other edge.
Returning to your main piece of fabric, you are now going to stitch side B to side C with exterior sides together. (A & D will be parallel to each other). Place your handle in between side B and side C, lining up all edges, about 3/4" from the corner where the two sides meet. Starting at the corner, stitch together at 3/8", stopping 1/2" from the end of side B.
Carefully clip through all layers at the point where your stitching stops, 1/2" from where side B ends (you can just see my cut in the image below, marked by the arrow).
Repeat the last two steps for the opposite side B and its corresponding side C. Then repeat for the last two side B's and their side C's, this time without the handle.
Your project should be looking like an inside-out box now, with two flaps on top. Flip it right-side out so that your exterior is your exterior and the interior is inside the bag.
Zipper time! Since you've already finished all the edges of your work, you can sew the zipper directly to your top flaps without needing to fold anything under. Separate your zipper and pin it to the flaps, being careful to line up the bottom of your zipper withe the edges of your flaps. Make sure the bottom of your zipper is on the opposite end of your bag from the handle.
Sew the zipper to the flap, stitching along the same line that was created when you did your topstiching. Repeat with the other side of your zipper and the opposite flap.
Cut your zipper down so that it's even with the top of your flaps. Close the zipper and turn your work inside out again.
Starting at the bottom of your bag, align the edges of the flaps with the edges of side A, making sure your zipper is centered. Sew along side A at 3/8", crossing over the zipper carefully. Go slow and manually move your needle if you're worried about hitting the zipper.
Repeat for the top of the bag, bringing the zipper pull down just a bit so that you can sew over the top of the zipper.
Flip your bag right-side out and you've got yourself a dopp kit!!
This bag comes together in under 2 hours and makes a great gift-giving option. Make it in waxed canvas for your other half and fill it with travel size toiletries and the promise of a weekend getaway, or have your kid pick out fabrics for their teachers and fill it with snacks! I've used it as a project bag for some socks that are a work-in-progress. Seriously, this bag can be used for pretty much anything!