Thursday, February 23, 2012

Car Case

Last week, I made a clutch that is going to help me keep the little things at hand on our plane ride to the States. I made it because all the little things float to the bottom of my purse, making it impossible to access them when needed.

Do you know what else finds their way to the bottom of my purse? K's cars. He likes to bring a few along whenever we leave the house. He generally carries one, but then wants a different one at some point. He tends to get a bit "impatient" while I'm ransacking the bottom of my bag looking for the one car he wants. It's awesome.

To alleviate this issue on the plane (and to ensure we don't leave any of his tiny treasures in the plane), I made him a car carrying bag. It's like an eight car garage all conveniently contained in a little bag.

I had to make the bag long enough so that his favorite train could fit at the bottom. He's loved this train since he first received it. Although it's metal, he sometimes brings it to bed with him. Dear me.

Usually my sewing projects are inspired by something I came across in someone else's blog, but this one was all my idea. (I imagine others have made something similar, but I haven't come across it.) As a result, I was quite proud of the fact that it turned out as it did.

I'm not gonna lie, however, this bag took me ages to work out.

The first night it took me three hours to figure out the measurements, cut and iron the fabric and get the interfacing attached. I wish I would have taken a photo at the end of the night, before cleaning up. It looked like a fabric store exploded in my living room.

The next day, while K was napping I spent two hours prepping the inside pockets and sewing the handle and front flap together.

Then, last night it took a final two and a half hours to get the eight tiny straps to hold the cars in place sewed on and then sew the bag together. Since I'm still just learning to sew, I'm not good at figuring out construction. I used this tutorial to make the basic bag. It's a brilliant tutorial if you ever decide you need to make your own messenger bag.

After I completed the bag last night, it looked like this.

I liked it, but it seemed a tad boring. I looked through my trims to see what I had and found the train/tree/house ribbon that is on it in the first photo and the one below.

I think it added heaps to the final product. I only wish I would have put it on while I was making the flap. It would have looked way cleaner, but I wasn't about to deconstruct the whole bag just to do that. Next time, I suppose.

K saw it this morning and let out a big, "woooooow". I think that means, "OMG!!! That is so cool," in K talk. At least that's what I'm going to believe it means. Since it's all Velcro up in that bad boy, he can open it, close it, and take cars in and out on his own.

This is all great, because after seven and a half hours of working on it, if he didn't like it or couldn't use it, I think I would have cried.

If you decide that you need your own eight car garage, leave me a comment and I can give you all the measurements I used so you don't have to waste your time figuring that bit out.

One of my good friends from a few years back has asked for the measurements for a car case for his son. So here are my measurements and a few notes about how made it. It's quite long...

Materials (all measurements in centimeters):

• 3 - 20 x 20 squares from each of the main fabric, lining and quilting interfacing (front, back, flap)
• 3 - 12 x 20 rectangles from each of the main fabric, lining and quilting interfacing (sides and bottom)
• 2 - 46 x 16 strips from lining (car pockets)
• 2 - 46 x 7 strips from a strong interfacing (car pockets)
• 8 - 3 x 8 strips from lining (car straps)
• 8 - 1 x 4 strips of Velcro, rough parts cut into 1 x 1 squares, soft parts 1 x 4 (to keep car straps down)
• 1 - 30 x 22 rectangle from main fabric (handle)
• 1 - 30 x 10 strip from quilting interfacing (handle)
• 1 - 2.5 x 14 strip of Velcro (to keep flap down)

Basic Instructions:
Sew everything with a 1 cm seam, except the car straps. For those use as small of a seam as possible. I folded the strips in half so they are 1.5 cm wide and then folded all of the edges under and topstitched. Each strap is about 1 cm by 3.5 cm.

Iron the car pocket strip in half and attach the interfacing to one half of it. Right sides together, sew the bottom edges together and flip so the right sides are facing out. Topstitch on the opposite end. Mark the car pocket at 1 cm, 12 cm, 23 cm, 34 cm, and 45 cm. Sew the 4 cm strips of Velcro going down the pocket in the middle of each 11 cm segment. Sew the squares of Velcro to the ends of the small car straps.

Mark so the bottom of the car pocket is 7 cm up from the bottom of the lining. Sew the car dividing lines to the lining so that each pocket has 11 cm of slack sewn 4.5 cm apart from one another. Fold the bottom sides under and sew a line across to close it off.

Sew the straps 2 cm above the top of the pocket.

Prepare the flap and attach the Velcro 1.5 cm from the bottom of the flap. Sew the matching Velcro halfway down the front of the bag.

Prepare the handle the same as the car pocket (iron, attach interfacing, sew, invert).

Construct the bag as in the tutorial above. Insert the strap into the mix before sewing the lining and main bag together.

At the end, I folded the handle in half and sewed a line across to make it easier for K's small hands to hold.

Leave me a comment if something is unclear. I wrote down my original plan, but then changed a few things during the process, so something might be a bit off. Similarly, I didn't write down the steps as I was doing it, so that is all from memory. I hope it makes some sort of sense.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. It's wonderful! Sounds like it will be well loved. Glad you liked the tutorial :)

    1. Thank you for coming by to see the bag! And thanks again for the tutorial, I certainly would not have been able to figure that out on my own ♡

  2. Thank you, Anna, for your pattern. I have just finished making the car bag for my grandson, Chase. I think you did an excellent job of working this out and I can also see it being used by an older grandson for his action figures.
    Again, thank you,
    Dave's mum!

    1. Hi!! Thanks for the message. I'm so pleased that it worked out well. I hope Chase likes it! That'd be great if it worked for action figures as well. We don't have any yet, but I'm sure the time will come. Maybe I'll whip up a second one in the future.