"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!


Friday Favorites: Blogging about Birchbox- Part 2

A few months ago I shared with you one of my favorite subscription services, Birchbox
You can find my original post here to learn more about the basics of this particular subscription service, as well as some of the point perks and extras.  

I wanted to continue to share my experience since I am a believer that if you recommend something to others, it should be something you really stand by. 

So, here is a run-down of the boxes I've received over the past 4 months, including this month's June Box. 
I have been even more impressed, month after month, by the quality of products, selection, and outstanding customer service that Birchbox provides. Check out my original post for the boxes I received prior to March 2012!

{Once again, I've highlighted the products I loved in pink, and placed * next to the products I've purchased, or plan to purchase}

Twistband Hair Tie {Color: periwinkle}
*essie Luxeffects Nail Polish {Shade: Set in Stones}
*Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint {Shade: Lucky}
Kerastase Elixer Ultime
*Kate Spade Twirl Perfume
NOTES: In March, I was given the choice to opt into the limited edition Teen Vogue Box {even though I'm not a teenager, but the e-mail mentioned essie so I was sold!} I really loved the hair ties, but I have recently cut my hair to a much shorter length. I typically use clear hair elastics when I do pull it back to give it a clean look. I loved the essie polish, which was no surprise and I plan on purchasing the gold-flecked shade. The Tarte LipSurgence was a huge highlight of this box {valued at $24} and I received a beautiful light pink shade. This is a wonderful and light product, especially for the upcoming warmer months. I liked the Kerastase product, but I have found less expensive alternatives for hair products and serums, especially since I don't really have problem hair. Finally, the Kate Spade Twirl is a scent that works well with my body chemistry and has light citrusy notes, which I enjoyed. 

*Befine Exfoliating Cleanser
Befine Daily Moisturizer
*Yes To Blueberries Brightening Facial Towelettes 
*Zoya Nail Polish {Shade: Bevin}
Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift Perfume
Lulu Organics Hair Powder
NOTES: I loved that April was all about Natural Products, since I try to incorporate as many natural products into my beauty regimen when possible. There was actually a problem with the befine samples sent to subscribers, concerning their date of expiration, which would affect the strength of the SPF samples of course. Birchbox awarded subscribers with a $10 shop credit for the inconvenience, an example of the stellar customer service they stand by. I really loved the exfoliating cleanser, which was more abrasive than my usual exfoliators, but gave me such a wonderful clean slate. I also really loved the facial towelettes, which are easily found at your local Target, along with the other Yes To options. I always love a Zoya polish, and the light green shade I received was a beautiful shade for spring. Zoya never disappoints with a creamy formula, free of harmful chemicals. The Taylor Swift perfume actually was quite nice; different perfume samples are always great to have around for a quick variety. I was not a huge fan of the hair powder; to me the product seems complicated for my liking. 

Birchbox Stationary
*Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20 {Shade: bronze}
SHU UEMURA Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo
*Dior Miss Dior Perfume
*Dior Diorshow Extase Mascara
NOTES: May's Box was Gossip Girl themed, just in time for the season finale. Every girl deserves a little glamour. The Birchbox stationary was a sweet little treat as I have always believed in the importance of hand-written notes. I was excited for the skin transformer, perfect for a wedding I was attending soon after receiving my box. It gave me that extra glow I needed for the occasion and evened out my overall skin tone on my arms and legs. Plus, the SPF was an extra bonus since the ceremony was outside. The oil shampoo was extremely lathering, smelled wonderful, and gave me an amazing clean. And Dior. Dior. Dior. Dior. That's all I really need to say. I have always loved the Miss Dior Perfume, it's one of my go-to perfumes, very classy, warm, and feminine. The mascara I received has become one of my all time favorites giving me some really beautiful lashes. Who doesn't love Dior? 

*tili Bag 
*stila one step bronze
*Masqueology Pore Minimizing Mask
Comodynes Self-Tanning Intensive Wipes
John Varvatos Star U.S.A Men's Cologne
*the Balm Stainiac Lip and Cheek Stain {Shade: beauty queen}
NOTES: June's box had a traveling theme, which was perfect for little travelers like myself. Not everyone was thrilled over the tili bags, but I actually loved these! The fun and girly designs make packing way more fun. The stila one step bronze in this box was definitely the highlight, at a value of $36 alone. I love stila and this did not disappoint as a multi-tasking product, perfect for the summer months. I also love masks, and the pore minimizing mask was fantastic. The tanning wipes were also a perfect edition for the start of the summer, great for treating my legs since they never seem to want to keep a tan. The lip and cheek stain was also a full sized product valuing $17. Finally, the men's cologne was an extra, to share with a friend, brother, boyfriend, hubby, etc., bringing more awareness to the new Birchbox Man subscription service. 

Not only have I continued to receive quality boxes, I've also enjoyed some of the extra perks of being a Birchbox subscriber. Here's a look at some of the products I've redeemed my Birchbox points for in the Birchbox shop:

Questions about this post? As always, feel free to reach out to me at 
ktwcraftiness {at} gmail {dot} com or comment below!

*As with all Friday Favorites posts: all products or services featured have been purchased with my own money and these are my own honest opinions.*


Project: Cobalt Blue & Lime

Oh Cobalt Blue, I really do love you.
You go with everything my heart desires.

When I pick out fabric for apparel creations, I try to pair it mentally with pieces I already own. Otherwise, I would end up with just a lot of lovely pieces and not a lot of actual lovely outfits.

You already know how much I love Dear Stella, especially their new collections for the Spring and Summer. When I saw the Sari in Navy from the Maasai Mara Collection, I knew I had to have it. I also knew it would pair lovingly with my favorite lime scarf.

Scarf: T.J. Maxx 
Tank Top: Ann Taylor Loft
Earrings: Boutique in Charleston 
Sandals: Kohl's

The best part about this outfit? The total cost is less than $50. Pretty great, right?

You can check out all the fantastic sandals that Kohl's offers here.
They have also offered readers a 10% off code: BLOGIT10 to stack with one other department specific code for extra savings!

Look for more colorful projects as I continue to sew brightly this summer.


Tutorial: Bow Kindle Case

One of my dearest friends asked me a while back if I would create a case for her Kindle. 
Umm, of course! 
She wanted a nautical theme, so I immediately thought of Dear Stella's Tossed Away Anchors in Navy paired with Flamingo Solid by Free Spirits
We both also love feminine and sweet details, so I thought a bow would be the perfect addition to this Kindle Case. 

Here's a lovely tutorial to make your own:
{If you don't own a Kindle, this is also perfect to create a lovely bow pouch!}

Exterior Fabric
Interior Fabric
Padded Felt {or other type of padding per your preference}
Coordinating Thread
Zipper Foot
{plus of course your basics: sewing machine, iron, needles, measuring tape, chalk, scissors}

My kindle, and hers alike, is a 3rd generation measures approximately 7.5 in. x 4.75 in.

1. Padded Felt {or other padding}: 9 in. x 7 in. - 2 Pieces
2. Exterior Fabric: 9 in. x 7 in. - 2 Pieces
3. Interior Fabric: 9 in. x 7 in. - 2 Pieces
4. Fabric for large bow piece {matches interior}: 8 in. x 5.5 in. - 2 Pieces
5. Small piece for center of bow {matches interior}: 2 in. x 5 in. - 1 Piece

After your pieces have been cut, take the smallest piece {2 in. x 5 in.} for the bow and fold so the ends meet up evenly in the middle. Press with your iron.:

Then sew the folded edges of this small piece close to the edge of the side folds:

It will look like this:

With the right sides of the piece together, fold the piece so the raw edges meet up:

Sew across to secure approximately 2 inches from the fold of the small piece:

Turn inside out and it will look like so:

Next, take your larger cut pieces for the bow section, pin, and sew along the long sides, right sides together:

Before the piece is turned inside out, it should look like this:

Turn the large bow piece inside out:

Then, cinch the end of the larger bow piece and pull through the center bow piece: 

The bow will look like this:

After you have assembled the bow, simply pin the raw edges of the bow onto the long edges of one exterior piece of fabric, wherever you would like the bow placed. I chose a centered position for the bow.
Sew the bow edges and the one exterior piece along the length of the raw edges of the bow, as close to the edge as possible. This will secure the bow in place.

I trimmed my zipper to work with the body fabric pieces.
{if you also are trimming your zipper, be sure to use old craft scissors and not your precious sewing scissors}:

Next, is the zipper installation, with what I like to call a "zipper sandwich."
Your sandwich should be assembled like so:
First place down your padded felt, next place an exterior piece right side up, next align your zipper and place it right side down {the zipper pull should be facing the right side of the exterior fabric- back of zipper should face up} and lastly place your interior piece right side down, with all edges meeting:

Here's another visual for this zipper sandwich while pinned:

With your zipper presser foot on your machine, sew your zipper sandwich and reinforce your stitching on each end, using the zipper foot as your guide:

Then repeat this for the other side of the zipper:
{The easiest way to approach the other side of the zipper is to simply pretend the other fabric you have already sewn is not there, just follow the same zipper installation steps as above.}

Once your zipper has been completely installed, it should look like this:

Next, open your zipper halfway.
Pin your exterior pieces {including the padded felt} and sew along all three sides using the presser foot as your guide:

After you have sew the exterior pieces and felt it should look like this:

With ANY pouch I make, I always pull the project inside out at this point, simply to check to make sure all my seams have been sewn properly before moving forward:

Next, after turning the project back outside in, pin the interior pieces together, and mark a small space {about 3 inches wide} at the bottom of the pieces with chalk. This is the space you will not sew, so the case can be pulled through. 
Sew along all sides, except for the marked space:

Turn the case inside out, and top stitch the small opening of the interior pieces:

And VoilĂ You have created a sweet Bow Kindle Case!

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

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

Linking up to:
Mommy by Day Crafter by Night
Love Notes by Lauryn
Blissful and Domestic