Right before we left on our trip, I decided to whip up an organizer case to keep all our travel documents in. I hate rooting around in the bottom of my purse for important pieces of paper, or even worse, not remembering where I stuck my passport after the last time I used it. So I thought if everything was in one place it would make things easier.
After looking around on the internet for some instructions, I came up empty handed. I did see a few types of organizers that were about what I was looking for and I thought I could puzzle out how to construct something close. This is what I came up with, and I thought I’d document it in case anyone else is looking for something similar. The instructions for the zippers are a little but tricky, but hopefully you can follow the steps that I took without too much confusion.
You’ll need three different types of fabric, cut into the following sized pieces:
10 x 12
4 pieces of 6 x 5
2 pieces of 6 x 10
6 x 8
10 x 12
2 pieces of 6 x 5
6 x 3
6 x 10
2 6-inch zippers
Take one of the 6×5 pieces of Fabric A and the 6×8 piece of Fabric B and hem the top edge of both. These will be the left hand pockets.
Lay these two pocket pieces on top of the 6×10 piece of Fabric C, then lay the 6×10 piece of Fabric B on top of all that like a sandwich, right sides together. Stitch along the right hand side, through all the layers, 1/4 inch from the edge. Flip the top piece underneath so the wrong sides are together, and press the seam flat.
Top stitch the edge of this whole side pocket along the right side, 1/4 inch from the edge. This is the completed left side of the organizer. You can repeat this for the right side if you’re not comfortable sewing zippers, but I think its nice to have a few zippered pockets to keep change and other things in securely.
So for the left side, start by taking one of the 6×5 pieces of Fabric A and one of the 6×5 pieces of Fabric C as the lining. With right sides together, place one of your zippers in between the two fabrics and stitch the top edge with a zipper foot on your machine. Flip the front and inside pieces down to reveal the zipper and top stitch along the zipper edge.
Repeat the same for the second zipper, using the 6×3 piece of Fabric B and a 6×5 piece of Fabric A as the lining.
To complete the top zipper pocket, take the smallest 6×3 piece of Fabric C and one more 6×5 piece of Fabric A (which will be the other pocket lining piece) and sandwich them, right sides together, along the top of the second zipper that you have already sewn to the pieces of Fabric B and A. After sewing through the fabric and zipper, flip the Fabric C piece up, and top stitch over the edge next to the zipper (keeping the lining Fabric A down to line up with the other Fabric A).
Now repeat this for the bottom pocket by taking the bottom zipper piece previously completed and placing the last 6×5 Fabric C piece, right side up, underneath with the top edge lined up with the top edge of the zipper. Then take the piece you just finished sewing with the second zipper pocket and place it on top, upside down and right sides facing, so that the bottom remaining raw edge of the Fabric B lines up with the top edge of the zipper. Stitch along the edge of this zipper sandwich, flip the top pocket piece up and top stitch along the top edge next to the zipper.
To complete the two zipper pockets, stitch the underneath lining pieces together into a square for each, being careful to only stitch through the lining layers, not the top layers.
Next, take the last 6×10 piece of Fabric B and lay it on top of the whole zipper pocket piece, right sides together. Stitch 1/4 inch from the left side, flip the Fabric B lining piece so wrong sides are together and top stitch along the left edge through all layers. Be careful not to catch your zipper teeth in your machine while you’re doing this step.
These are the two completed sides of the organizer.
You may have to square them both up so all the corners are even at this point (or at least square them up as much as you can – mine’s a bit wonky still but it all turned out in the end).
Now take the 10×12 piece of Fabric C and the 10×12 piece of Fabric A. Lay out the piece of Fabric C face up and lay the two pocket sides on top of this, also face up, with the edges and corners lined up. Lay your elastic piece on top of this, lengthwise along the right side, about an inch and a half from the edge. Lay the Fabric A piece on top of all this, right side down. Pin in place. Stitch around all four edges, leaving a small gap to turn it right side out. After turning the whole piece right side out, press the edges and top stitch around all four sides, closing the gap as you stitch over it. Again, be careful when stitching over the zipper ends on the right hand side, and don’t catch the elastic in your top stitching either.
And your travel organizer is now complete! Congratulations!