Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Honeymooner Suitcase

This is an Up-Cycled Honeymooner Suitcase, the pattern for the bag is in the book "Big City Bags" by Sara Lawson.  It is the 10th project in the book, I actually started making this bag way back in March, when I was making a few children's suitcases.  It sat incomplete, since I wasn't to happy about how the other's finished.
 Since it is a Honeymooner Suitcase, I thought it would be fun to take it to a Greek Wedding, thinking I could take a photo of it with the bride and imagining her packing it with...
some sexy lingerie..
Only to find out that it was a shotgun wedding!  She was 8 months pregnant, the only thing she will be packing anytime soon is...
Diapers and Pacifiers!  In case you are wondering 90% of the weddings I have gone to while in Greece are shot gun weddings where the bride is already pregnant, it's really crazy.
Exterior: An old pair of pregnancy overalls
Interior: America w/Flag Manufacturer: Springs Creative 
Piping: Kona Red
Metal Bag Label- Handcrafted Made In the USA, from Emmaline Bags
My butt looks huge in this suitcase.
This is a hard pattern and I made it even easier by omitting the bias tape needed for the interior seams, 
edited:  fellow Honeymooner suitcase pattern maker CeLynn asked how I did this (check out her version here), well, 2 things, I did not cut the side panel in half as suggested in the "Attach the Zipper" section, because I wanted the handle, a pocket and the zipper's to connect at the top of the bag and not at the bottom.
Like CeLynn, I could not find a 48" zipper so I used Two 24" zippers instead, so this made me realize that I did not want them to meet in the middle at the bottom of the bag like in her directions.  I kept the side panel at 6"x48" and added a small 1" x 48" piece of jean fabric to the top of the zipper, and sewed this onto the top of the bag, Sew the interior top fabric right sides together with the top exterior piece and sew together along the zipper, leave a 5" gap at the bottom and turn right side out, hand stitch or machine stitch the opening close.  Top stitch along the 1" piece that is connected to the zipper, now to connect the bottom, I sewed the zipper onto the bottom piece and then when I put the lining in I again sewed it to the zipper, you can't even see the stitches in the photo above since I used a red zipper and red thread, it's great!  Please buy Wash Away Wonder Tape, to make this possible, it is a really awesome product, just stick it along the zipper, then add your folded and ironed edge of fabric, wrong sides together, clip with your Wonder Clips, another totally awesome, go out and buy if you don't have product.  Easy peasy, well until you accidentally run into your zipper teeth and break you needle, but hey, go nice and slow, not all crazy like me.
I broke 3 needles, for some crazy weird reason my top portion of the bag ended up being smaller than the bottom, so I had to do a little reconfiguring when I was sewing the bigger bottom portion of the bag together, I am wondering if I made the top zipper panel smaller or the bottom zipper panel bigger, not sure since I was using up-cycled parts of jeans and sewing them together. 
Top Left, added pleat with buckles underneath to make up for the extra length

I didn't want to rip out all of the stitches afraid I would really screw things up. I know this was my fault, not sure what I did to screw it up, probably when I was re-adjusting adding the cut up jeans together to make the exterior panel.  So I just made a pleat and added some of the overall jeans buttons to the side of the bag, sweet, yah!  And do you like my passport pocket that I made with a back pocket from the pants.
Safe, Secure Pocket under the handle.
 I added a zippered pocket to the interior also.
Also adding a padded shoulder strap out of the overall buckles.
They can hook onto one of the front buckles and the side buckle (pictured above) or they can both go to the two front buckles (like pictured below)
This is me, taking it to the wedding.
Linking up this crazy up-cycled project to the Purse Palooza 2014 over at Sew Sweetness.   I think I really like making up-cycled projects for the Purse Palooza, look what I entered last year.


  1. It turned out really nicely Mara! So do tell,how did you finish the raw edges,or eliminate them altogether? That is the 64,000 $ question.

  2. Mara, I love how you upcycled the jeans to make this bag and a complicated bag at that! I am impressed. Makes sense to me to have the zippers open at the top. What a clever idea how you can hook the strap on the overall bib buttons!!!

  3. Thanks so much for the tips on how to alter the suitcase,I really love your version! Will have to try it again using your instructions. I also love that you included the inside pocket,such a sweet upcycle!

  4. Oops,forgot to say Thank You for the shout out :)