I am guest posting this idea over at The Crafty Cupboard, and sharing the "How-To" over here as well.
With all the traveling that summer brings, I've come up with a "Grab and Go Traveler" organizer to help keep the kiddos entertained wherever you might go.
The idea actually came about as my brother decided to pack up his house, wife and 3 young boys and move across country.
It's a sad thing for us, but I was hoping to help make their trip a little easier. I know how difficult it can be to travel with little kids.
This little traveler folds up super easy and then hangs anywhere you need a little organization or entertainment.
Want to make one, or maybe 3?
Here's how I did it.
Grab and Go Traveler Tutorial:
2 1/2 yards of fabric (get 1 1/4 yards each of 2 coordinating fabrics)
1 1/2 yards of pellon (I used the soft fleece like kind and non-fusible)
Cut the following measurements out of each coordinating fabric and the pellon (making 3 pieces of each cut). All measurements are in inches.
Main Part Inside and Outside: 21 x 17
Bottom Pocket: 9 1/2 x 17
Top Inside Pocket: 8 1/2 x 14
Top Front Pocket: 7 x 17
Straps: You need only 1 piece in the desired fabric for one strap, and 1 piece of pellon. So for the needed 2 straps you will need to cut 2 pieces of fabric at 4 x 19 inches, and 2 pieces of pellon, 4 x 19 inches.
Follow the steps below to make your Grab and Go Traveler:
To prepare all your pocket pieces, sew them as instructed in steps 1-5.
1. Line your pocket pieces together with the stiffener on the bottom and fabrics on top with right sides together.
2. Sew along the top, 5/8ths of an inch.
3. Press your seams open.
4. Fold your top fabric down, sandwiching the stiffener. Press the edge so it looks nice and flat.
5. Top stitch along the edge. Add a double top-stitch for a little more design.
6. On the right side of your inside fabric, starting at the bottom mark lines at 2 inches from the edge. Do this about 1/4 of the way up from the bottom.
7. Mark these lines on both left and right sides of this fabric piece.
8. Take your BOTTOM POCKET piece and trim the non-sewn edges to even them up good.
9. Press the edges of the short sides to the back about 1/4 of an inch.
10. Pin these edges to the inside fabric piece where you previously marked.
11. Topstitch and double topstitch those edges down, removing the pins as you go. This topstitching should encase your raw edges inside so there is no fraying.
12. There will be a large gap in this pocket after all that is done.
13. Make a small pleat at the bottom of the pocket piece on both sides, as evenly as possible. Pin it down.
14. Baste the bottom of this pocket to hold the pleats in place. Press your pleats so they look crisp.
15. Prepare your other pockets following steps 1-5 if you haven't done so already.
16. Take your TOP INSIDE POCKET and press in the edges about 1/4 of an inch.
17. Find the center of the pocket and the center of the outside main piece and pin in place where you would like your pocket to be.
18. Topstitch the edges down and the bottom of the pocket. Mark a center line on this pocket and stitch it down to form 2 pockets. You could do as many pocket dividers as you would like at this point.
19. Clean up the edges of your TOP FRONT POCKET.
20. Press the long bottom edge only to the inside of the pocket, 1/4 of an inch.
21. Lay that folded and pressed edge right along the bottom of the INSIDE pocket, hiding the raw edges. Pin in place.
22. Stitch and double stitch along the bottom, checking to make sure you are encasing those raw edges.
23. Now you are ready to sew it all together. Lay the MAIN PART stiffener evenly with the back of the INSIDE piece, with all the pockets sewn on. Take the MAIN PART OUTSIDE piece and lay it on top, right sides together.
24. Stitch all around these 3 pieces, leaving a gap for turning. Clip your corners and trim the edges.
25. Turn it inside out and press all the edges making it look nice. Topstitch and double topstitch along the whole rectangle, closing the opening as you go. Find the center of the traveler (folded hamburger way) and mark a line. Stitch and double stitch along this line. This will help the organizer fold easier.
26. To make your STRAPS place the stiffener on top of the fabric's wrong side, evenly.
27. Fold it in half (hot dog way) and stitch along the long edge catching the stiffener as well.
28. Turn this fabric tube inside out. Fold in your top and bottom ends and stitch them down, while topstitching along the edges. Press.
29. Create button holes in each end according to the size of your buttons.
30. Hand stitch your buttons onto the traveler, measuring evenly and placing them where you would like them best. Button your strap in place. (This picture's handle was sewn slightly differently because I was running out of fabric for the last traveler I was making. The handle has both fabrics in it, which you could also do).
This completes your Grab and Go Traveler.
I've got 3 down and only 3 more to go, now that I'm convinced my children need them as well.