Quilting Toiletry & Make-up Bag Sizing

Quilting Toiletry & Make-up Bag Sizing

Having seen the Quilted Toiletry & Make-up Bag Tutorial on YouTube and taken a look at our corresponding blog post; Quilted Toiletry & Make-up Bag I hope that you have an understanding of the basic toiletry bag. Want to know how to personalise the shape and size of your individual bag? Read on...

In the original blog post I provided three different size options; small, medium and large. However I thought you might like to know how to personalise the size and make your own unique bag.

How do I go about changing the size?
The easiest way to change the size of the bag is based on the zip length. Especially if you wish to use a metal zip, as these are harder to shorten. Should you wish to use a plastic zip you can easily shorten the zip to your required size.

Find the length of the zip you wish to work with. Measure from the zip pull at the start of the zip, to the zip stopper at the end of the zip. This is the length of the zip.

We require the zip to be in the centre of the bag. Take your zip length measurement and add 1/2″ (1cm) onto each side of the zip for the zipper tabs. I would recommend using zipper tabs as they will take your bag from homemade to professional. Read the original blog post or watch the YouTube video to understand how to use them, the size of the tabs will not change.

Next add 1/8″ (3mm) to EACH side of the zip, this creates a very slight gap between the zipper tab and the rest of the bag. If you fail to include the 1/8″ (3mm) you will find it difficult to achieve a perfect corner. Add another 1/2″ (1cm) to EACH side for the seam allowance.

Your measurements should look something like this:

Seam Allowance | Gap | Zip Tab | Zip Measurement | Zip Tab | Gap | Seam Allowance

1/2″ | 1/8″ | 1/2″ | Zip Measurement | 1/2″ | 1/8″ | 1/2″

1cm | 3mm | 1cm | Zip Measurement | 1cm | 3mm | 1cm

As you can see I haven’t used accurate conversions for imperial to metric measurements, I am working with the ‘easiest’ measurement for you to work with.

To recap the width of the bag is based on the zip measurement. The height of the bag will be based on your personal requirements, however you will need to add 1/2″ (1cm) to both the top and the bottom of the height measurement for seam allowances.

What if I want to shorten a zip?
This works for a plastic zip. Decide on the size of the zip you require, you can work back from the width of the bag you would like. Measure the required zip length from the start of the zipper pull, mark the zip with a pin.

You MUST add 1/2″ (1cm) to the zip length measured above before cutting off your zip. The 1/2″ (1cm) extra is required for the zipper tabs, this extra 1/2″ (1cm) will be covered by the zipper tabs during the sewing process. 

This method is suitable for a plastic zipper because we can carefully sew over the plastic zipper teeth. 

Shortening a metal zip? 
Remove the zipper teeth from the top of the zip using a pair of pliers. 
You can also remove and reposition the metal zip stopper (at the start of the zip).

Positioning the zip into the bag?
The zip should be positioned in the centre of the bag, and will be sewn along the width. When positioning the zip into the bag measure in from both side seams 5/8″ (1.3cm) . This calculation is created from 1/2″ (1cm) seam allowance, and 1/8″ (3mm) gap, previously discussed and explained above.

Hopefully this brief tutorial has allowed you to understand the sizing construction of the bag, and develop your own. If you have any questions do get in touch with me, as always I would love to see what you have created, get in touch on Facebook and Instagram.

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