My family and I are headed to California next week. Exciting stuff! It’s time to start thinking about the most effective way to pack for 4 people. And I’ll be honest, I have a hard time bringing more than I need…
Right now I am able to keep all of my essential oils in a small tin. I only have like 11 bottles, but I have friends whose collections are much bigger. While discussing travel plans and essential oil packing, one friend of mine decided she needed a rather large pouch to protect and contain her EOs. So, after several trials and errors, I came up with this.
My pattern piece is a trapezoid with the top, shorter side at 11 inches and the longer bottom side at 15.5 inches. The height is 10 inches.
This shape allows me to have a rectangular pouch that is 10″ wide and 7″ long with a 4″ base and enough space for three rows of essential oils inside. Elastic holds 11 essential oils on each side, and a sort of quilted cubbie goes down the center. There might be an easier way to do this, but I’m quite pleased with the results of my little trapezoid friend here.
For one bag you’ll need:
- 2 outer trapezoid pieces
- 2 fusible fleece trapezoids
- 2 lining trapezoid pieces
- 4 interfacing trapezoids
- 1 13 x 11″ rectangle for the inside row
- 13 x 5″ fleece rectangle for the cubbie
- 12″ zipper
- 1.5 yards of 1″ elastic (I like the braided kind)
- thread, needles, scissors, sewing machine, yadda yadda
Interfacing: SF101 is recommended by like everyone I know. However, I’m a cheap gal. I’ve found that Pellon® 931TD (Fusible Midweight) is just fine for my pouches and things so that is what I use. You do you.
So once you’ve cut and measured all your pieces, press the 4 interfacing pieces to each of your four fabric pieces. Both outer trapezoids and lining trapezoids should each have an interfacing. Now, fuse the fleece onto the outer pieces. I chose to do it this way to give a little more stiffness here. You’ll have to be patient, too. I noticed that the fleece to FOREVER to fuse once I put the interfacing on first.
Also, fuse the fleece into the center of your cubbie rectangle. You should now have five pieces to work with.
Install your zipper. I first learned by using this video on Youtube. But don’t do anything past installing the zipper. We still have lots to do to make all the little areas to hold your oils!
You should stop once you have a cute little hourglass looking shape.
If you are making this for someone else and need to add your tag to the lining like I do, this would be the time.
So this part was so math-y I could barely stand it. But also really soothing in a way. You’re going to cut your elastic in half, each piece should be at least (if not longer than) 3/4 of a yard. Fold the outer piece up out of the way so you are only working with the lining. You want to measure up 3.5″ from the bottom; that is where the bottom of your elastic will sit. Use a pencil or iron-away pen to mark this line. (I didn’t because I make things hard and just left the ruler there.)
Now find the center of your lining. Measure half an inch over either left or right from the center. Pin the elastic down.
From that first pin, measure 2.25 inches of elastic, and bring it over about 1 1/8″ from your starting point. You’re creating little loops for the oils to slide into. Pin. Repeat.
When you’re finished you should have eleven little loops across.
Pull the opposite lining piece to you, flipping everything else away and do the same measuring technique for that side. Remember, you’re only working with one piece of fabric at a time. Do not pin through the outer pieces!
Sew the elastic pieces down where you pinned, removing the pins as you go as to not damage your machine or needle.
Next take your inside cubbie rectangle and sew along the long edge using a 1/2 inch seam, right sides together. You’re making a tube.
Turn right side out and press. The fleece should fit snuggly inside.
Flatten the tube, then fold it in half keeping the seam on the inside. Put a pin in the middle keeping the two sides together. Then pin every two inches. (I use clips to keep the edges lined up as I sew.)
Sew from the top, open side to about an inch down. The bottom needs room to open to make room for the width of the bottles.
You should have 4 distinct cubbies when you’re finished. Feel free to test with your 15 mL bottles of EO.
Take the edges of your inside cubbie and push the crease in about half an inch. The picture might help, but we want to make sure that the two end cubbies have the appropriate space to expand as well.
See how the ruler is sandwiched inbetween the two sides, pushing the fold up?
Sew a bit to keep this fold in place. You should have little boat looking thing.
When placing it, the bottom of the cubbie is going to be 3″ up from the bottom of the lining. Choose a lining pice and pin (or clip) the cubbie in place. It shoudl fall about half an inch below the bottom of the elastic.
The cubbie is shorter than the lining pieces, but that’ll be okay. We want it that way.
Now finish the pouch construction by pinning/clipping/sewing all the way around leaving about four inches in the bottom to turn. Don’t forget to unzip your zipper.
You’re in the home stretch!
To get the depth to your bag you’ll have to open up each corner, align the seams, and sew across to create a triangle with a 4″ base.
I use my ruler and place a straight line on my seam. Then I move the ruler up or down to find two inches on either side. Honestly, if you placed your cubbie right it should butt up right against all that extra stuff going on in the seam.
We wanted the bottom of the cubbie to be at the bottom of the bag. Make sense?
I draw a line here, clip the triangles flat, then sew each triangle. The I trim all my seam allowances.
You should have this cute bubble going on. Just find the hole you left in the lining and birth your bag!
Sew up that hole using your machine or hand stitch a ladder stitch if you’re feeling fancy. Smooth out all your corners and touch up with an iron and voila!
Cute tin meets stylish essential oils tote. I love it!
There is quite a bit of room at the top. If I were to make this again for myself I would chop about two inches off my pattern piece. But my friend wanted extra room for other stuff, so we left it for her to play with.
This inside cubbie will look floppy with nothing in it.
I assure you this was necessary to keep the bag’s shape when it’s full.
See how when filled the cubbie section fits perfectly?
This tutorial features my third attempt at this bag and I’ve already got some ideas for the next version.
How do you store your essential oils?