"Man Bag": A Dopp Kit Tutorial

My Dad is super difficult to buy for on any occasion, and Father's Day is no exception. Making it more difficult, his birthday is one week before Father's Day, challenging my creativity each year. This year, I decided to make him an old-fashioned Dopp Kit, aka a men's toiletry bag. My parents travel a lot so I thought this would be a nice treat. 

Want to make this for a special man in your life? 

You will need:
Main Fabric {I chose a little heavier weighted dark navy blue fabric with pinstripes}
Light weight felt {or other interfacing material}
Small piece of light interfacing 
14" Zipper
Coordinating thread
Zipper Foot
{plus of course your basics: sewing machine, iron, needles, measuring tape, chalk, scissors, etc}

4 pieces of main fabric cut 13" x 14"
2 pieces of light felt cut 13" x 14"
1 smaller piece of fabric cut 5" x 7"
1 small piece of interfacing cut 5" x 7"

Feel free to serge your raw edges after cutting your pieces. I used Fray Check for my raw edges. 

First, you will assemble the handle for the kit. After your interfacing is attached to the small piece of fabric, fold the fabric in half hotdog style, with right sides together, and pin:

Sew the two short sides using the presser foot as your guide. Repeat on the longer open section on top, leaving an opening so the handle can be turned inside out:

Turn the piece inside out, and use a pointed utensil to make the corners come out. Then hand stitch the opening closed with thread and needle, and set aside:

Next, make a zipper sandwich. Place your felt down, next a main fabric piece right side up, next the zipper right side facing down, and finally another main fabric piece {for the interior} facing right side down. Then sew using your zipper foot as your guide. Repeat for the other side of your zipper using the remaining pieces:

Here's another visual to aid with the zipper sandwich: 
{NOTE: I used a larger zipper and trimmed the length later on because the color I needed wasn't available in a 14" size. Ideally, you will use a 14" zipper and it will align with your fabric. Mine is shown hanging over the edge slightly, due to the increased size.}

Once your zipper is installed, pin your handle to the center of one of the exterior pieces on the right side of the fabric. {Pin this to the outer piece alone, not the felt or interior piece.} Sew the shorter sides onto the exterior piece to create the handle effect:

After your handle is attached, bring the bottom edges of the bag together so that the interior pieces are on the outside and pin:

Sew across the bottom pieces using the presser foot as your guide:

With the bag still turned inside out, and the bottom pieces sewn together, fold your bag like so:

Open the zipper half way and pin the open sides. Then, sew the remaining sides using a 5/8" seam allowance:

With the bag still inside out, you will now square the corners. Originally I marked a 1.5" corner, and decided on a 2", which looked much better and gave the bag a boxier look. Although the chalk mark looks a little rough, it is helpful to  keeping a straight line when sewing across to create the corner. Measure 2" from the top corner, mark and sew across the line. Repeat for all four corners:

Once all four corners have been squared, turn the bag inside out, and...

You'll have created a bag the man in your life surely will love...

To make the bag even more special, fill it with a favorite cologne, aftershave, or other fun goodies. 
My Dad will be receiving his Dopp Kit with a new Birchbox Man subscription. 

Happy Father's day to all the special Dads out there!

Have any questions about this tutorial?
Feel free to email me at ktwcraftiness {at} gmail {dot} com or comment below!

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