Monday, July 7, 2014

Overnighter Ellie Travel Case

Overnighter Ellie Travel Case Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Ever since I posted my Ellie Travel Case Tutorial, people have been asking if I could share the dimensions for making it bigger. Yesterday I finally sat down to crunch the numbers and sew up a sample, and here it is at last.

Overnighter Ellie Travel Case Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Though I adore the straps on the original bag, I changed them in this version. These wider straps make a better anchor for a larger case. The big bag also uses Peltex 70 interfacing by Pellon on the lining. I won't kid you, it's a bear to work with on this project, but the finish is worth it. You'll end up with a seriously structured bag. I used a Melody Miller print for the top panel, charcoal Brussels Washer linen for the bottom panel, and pink Mochi Dots for the bag lining. There are endless ways that you could customize your bag with extra details and pockets if you're in the mood to be creative, but the basic version still makes a great travel case all on its own. Here's the new materials list for the larger size:

  • (2) 11 1/2 x 20" linen print for the exterior top panel
  • (2) 11 1/2 x 20" batting for the exterior top panel (You can attach regular batting with adhesive basting spray or just use fusible batting.)
  • (2) 9 x 20" linen for the exterior bottom panel
  • (2) 9 x 20" batting for the exterior bottom panel
  • (2) 20 x 20" linen print for the bag lining
  • (2) 20 x 20" heavy interfacing to reinforce the lining (I used Pellon's Peltex 70 which I fused to the lining with adhesive basting spray.)
  • (2) 1 1/2 x 38" strips of cotton webbing for the handles
  • (1) 22" purse zipper with two sliders and a closed bottom (I bought mine at Joann Fabrics.)
  • coordinating thread
  • Clover clips or clothespins

*All seams are 1/2" except alongside the zipper where they are 1/4" wide.

Follow the same instructions for the original bag with just a few changes:

1. Fuse the batting to the top and bottom exterior panels before you do anything else.

2. Attach the handles to the top exterior panel before you sew the top and bottom exterior panels together. The left handle end is 6" from the left side of the top panel, and the right handle end is 6" from the right side of the top panel. I followed the same procedure for attaching handles that I used in my Ipanema Beach Bag tutorial (minus the outer pocket on this version, though you could add one if you like), sewing 6 1/2" up the handles from the bottom of the exterior panel. I also added a 1" square with an X inside it at the top of the stitching on each side just to keep the handles securely in place. After sewing the two exterior panels together, I topstitched two 1/4" lines below the seam joining them.

3. The squares cut out on the four corners of each exterior panel are 3 1/4" square for this bag size.

4.  I did not make zipper tabs for my zipper this time, but you can if you want to.

5. Go even slower as you sew in the zipper on this bag. The Peltex 70 makes for a tough wrestling match, but you can win if you put your mind to it!

6. I added leather thongs to the ends of my zipper sliders on this bag. I love this easy finishing touch.

Overnighter Ellie Travel Case Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

That's it! The resulting bag is approximately 9 x 12 x 13. Not quite enough for a weekender, but definitely good for an long as I don't bring my children along, of course. Speaking of which, my husband and I fly off tomorrow for a quick getaway to San Antonio, Texas. You can follow our adventures on Instagram if you're so inclined. I'm not sure that I'll know what to do with myself without three little girls running around...

If you make one of these larger cases or decide to go with the original, be sure to tag it #ellietravelcase on Instagram and tag me too @fabricmutt. There are already so many adorable versions of this bag out there, and I look forward to seeing more!


  1. I will be adding this to my list! Love it! We close on our house tomorrow!!! Hope y'all have a great time in SA! I'm about 2.5 hrs from there!

  2. Very cool. And have a terrific time away!

  3. Just wondering if you have ever tried Soft and Stable as interfacing? it is REALLY cool. I use it in all my bags. It's like car headliner material.

  4. Wonderful bag! Thank you for the tutorial, I always have issues with bags . And enjoy San Antonio, it's now where I live. You will love it!


  5. Heidi - I highly recommend you try Soft and Stable next time instead of Peltex. Same structural results, but very weightless and soooo easy to work with! I teach bag classes and use it in any bag that requires structure. You'll love it!

  6. Looks like a great bag! Pinned it!

  7. Thanks for sharing and taking the time to write everything down :)

  8. well, now, you know I have to make one of these! I love the little one. Have a great trip!!!

  9. Oooh, Im just making my second travel case while I'm on vacation, how timely to give me an awesome new size to make when I get home! It looks great, thank you for the write up and hard work!

  10. Heidi, you're going to get me to do bags yet! This looks like a great size, and a super structure. I like the handle details. Interesting to read the comment suggestions about stabilizers........

  11. This is a beautiful bag! Thanks so much for the directions for this bigger Ellie Travel!! I am so going to make one of these!! I just love your bags!!

  12. That was so beautiful. You're so creative. I love the color and the fabric you used.

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  13. Thanks Heidi! One quick question - for the zipper on this case, is 22" the exact length needed? For the smaller version you mention to prepare the zipper to exactly 16" (step 6) but I don't see that instruction here. Planning to whip this up this weekend. Thanks!

    1. Jaime, I'm pretty sure 22" was the exact length I used!

  14. Trying to paint over dark paneling with white is obviously going to take a few coats. Maybe I was just being a perfectionist, vacation deals


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