Pattern Review, Sewing

Waxed Canvas Gentleman’s Travel Case

My oldest boy turned 12 this month! Twelve is a big year around here. The boys count down the years until they are invited to attend the church men’s retreat and be counted among the men. To celebrate, we bought him a few special manly gifts, but I also wanted to make him something. I waited until the last minute, but I was still able to make this in an afternoon.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

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All men need a bag for their toiletries, right? I looked at a few free box pouch patterns but didn’t really find what I was looking for. Then I remembered the Gentlemen’s Travel Case pattern in Betz White’s Present Perfect and went to work making it. It’s very roomy, probably bigger than a 12-year-old needs, but it will grow with him. I love the extra pocket details and zipper tabs. Both make it a very practical and useable bag.

I love sewing with waxed canvas, especially for men. It looks rugged and stays nice for many years. Since this will be stored in the bathroom and most likely get wet, the wax will protect the canvas and keep it clean. I had plenty of canvas in my fabric stash, along with some denim scraps and a masculine cotton print for the lining.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

I made my husband a waxed canvas messenger bag about 3 years ago. He carries it to work daily. Though the inside is showing signs of wear, the waxed canvas still looks as good as new! I make my own waxed canvas using Otter Wax. Here’s a tutorial I posted, showing how you can make your own waxed canvas.

I waxed this bag after it was completed (and after the gift was opened….told you it was last minute!), but in hindsight, I would have added the wax as I sewed.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

I followed the directions in the book but omitted one of the outside pockets. I also added a metal snap instead of the hook-and-loop tape suggested in the pattern. The exterior and lining are constructed completely and then the lining is dropped in and finished with hand sewing. I was a little bit worried about hand stitching all the way around the zipper, but it didn’t take long and it looks great. Overall, I’m really happy that I used this pattern. It makes a great gift for both the young and older men in your life.

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Sewing

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style

I’m a huge fan of Anna Graham and her Noodlehead patterns and projects. Last year, she wrote a book called Handmade Style, which I bought and have used several times. I made a few Christmas presents for my family this year. One was the Double Zip Wallet from Handmade Style.

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style | Tokyo Train Ride Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

My 17 year old sister claimed it was her favorite gift this year and has been excited to show it to all of her friends. So, if you are looking for handmade gift ideas for teens, this one is a winner!

The wallet is an intermediate project. The instructions are detailed, with helpful illustrations. Though there are some tricky parts, you can get through them by doing the next step, one line at a time. Reading too far ahead can be confusing until you see what you have in your hand.

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style | Tokyo Train Ride Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

I definitely underestimated the time this would take. I planned to make it in a couple of hours, but it took closer to 4 hours. I’m sure the 2nd time around would be faster, but don’t underestimate it as a “quick and easy” project. I also had some measurement problems with the card slot piece. I’m sure I must have made a mistake somewhere, and ended up cutting out a second piece with different measurements. When I compared what I had with the finished photos, they didn’t match up. I ended up improvising to get it the “right” size. It still doesn’t look quite like the photos, so maybe I folded the card slots the wrong way?

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style | Tokyo Train Ride Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

I used Cotton & Steel Tokyo Train Ride Canvas for the main part of the wallet and accented it with brown canvas. The weight of the two canvases together felt a little bit thick for this project, especially in the zipper corners. Anna recommended canvas for the lining, but used quilting cotton for the exterior.

The Tokyo Train Ride fabric is very pretty for a wallet, but it’s also a one way design. I knew the fabric would be “upside-down” on the back of the wallet, but decided to use it anyway. If you care about that sort of thing, choose a fabric without a one way design.

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style | Tokyo Train Ride Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, it was a fun and successful gift! Now that I’ve put one together, I may try another one with some lighter weight fabric to see how it goes.

And I highly recommend the Handmade Style book for all of its other projects. I rarely buy craft books, but Anna’s patterns are really usable and well-organized–well worth the investment.

For more double zip Wallet inspiration, check out these three made by the staff at Fancy Tiger Crafts, and these two made by Anna!

What were your most successful handmade Christmas gifts this year?

Sharing this one over at Sew Can She!

Tutorials

Fold Over Tote Tutorial {Tote Bag Upgrade}

This tote bag upgrade is my favorite so far! I love the look of fold over totes, like my Retro Rucksack. With this tote bag upgrade tutorial, you can make a simple fold over tote with a shoulder strap.

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

I think the plain canvas bag is totally transformed with this upgrade. Faux leather accents, modern fabric, and simple hardware change the tote bag from boring to something you will want to carry every day! If you like repurposing things, try using an old belt for the strap. Without further ado (and because I took a lot of photos)…the Fold Over Tote Tutorial!

Fold Over Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Materials:

• canvas tote bag
• 1/2 yd. quilting cotton or mid-weight canvas
• 1/3 yd. fabric for handles and strap (or substitute 2 yds. webbing)
• 2 d-rings size 1″
• 2 metal clips size 1″
• mid-weight fusible interfacing (I used Pellon 931.)

Preparation:

• cut 4 rectangles (width of your bag + 1″ x 7″) from quilting cotton for the bag top
• cut 2 rectangles (4″ x 3″) from strap fabric
• cut 2 rectangles (4″ x 24″) from strap fabric
• cut 1 rectangle (4″ x 36″) from strap fabric

Fold Over Tote Tutorial:

1. Make the straps. For all strap pieces, fold the raw edges to the center. Then fold again so that the raw edges are enclosed and the folded edges meet. Stitch along both long sides as close to the edges as you can. Straps should be 1″ wide when you finish. (For faux leather, mark the center with a water soluble marker on the wrong side of the fabric. Fold inward and press using a press cloth so that you don’t melt the fabric. Use sewing clips or binder clips to hold the folded edges while you stitch. Use gift wrapping tape on the bottom of your presser foot to help the sticky fabric slide through.)

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

2. Apply fusible interfacing to 2 of the bag top rectangles. Center the 24″ strap handles on each rectangle, with 4″ of space between the straps. Stitch along the edges of the straps, leaving 3/4″ to 1″ space at the top edge for seam allowance. Stitch a small square 1″ from the top edge to reinforce the handle.

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

3. Slide each D-ring to the center of the 3″ straps and fold. Baste the edges to the sides of one of the rectangles with the handles, 1″ from the bottom edge.

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

4. Align one bag top with a handle to one without a handle, right sides together. Fold the handle out of the way and stitch along the edge that will be the bag top, rectangles right sides together. Repeat for the other side. Open and press both sides.

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

5. With bag tops opened up, align them right sides together, matching seams and straps. Make sure all straps are tucked in and out of the way. Sew along the bag sides.

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

6. With the bag top still inside out, slide the tote bag (with handles removed) into the bag top so that right sides are facing. The interfaced sides with the handles should be toward the top of the tote bag. Match side seams. If you have left the existing hem on the original tote bag, you’ll want to stitch just below that line. You can align the new bag top about 1/2″ from the lower part of the hem, leaving about 1/2″ sticking out at the top. Stitch around the bag on the inside using the original hem fold as a guide. Open and press.

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

7. Press the remaining raw edge under 1/2″. Fold it to the inside of the bag and align the folded edge with the line of stitching you just sewed. You can “stitch in the ditch” from the outside of the bag, or hand stitch it into place. I prefer to hand stitch (it’s much cleaner looking!) and it really doesn’t take as long as you would imagine. (Less than 15 min. I promise! You can do it while you watch the kids playing outside!)

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

8. Slide a clip onto each end of the long strap, fold over the end about 1″, and use a wide zigzag stitch over the raw edge to secure it in place. Clip it to the rings on the bag, give it one last press, and you’re finished!

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Fold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home StudioFold Over Tote Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Fold Over Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio