Carry your garments in style - from 'Made at Home: a Guide to Simple Sewing' by Lisa Stickley
Are you tired of travelling with smart outfits squished into your suitcase, making them creased and crumpled? Well, this very easy to make suit carrier not only holds suits but also coats, dresses, blouses and posh sweaters too! Even when you aren't going anywhere, it is a great way of protecting your favourite clothes while they are hanging in the wardrobe.
You will need
● oilcloth fabric, 150cm x 150cm will be plenty, cut to size (see template, below - cut 2 pieces)
● 1 upholstery zip, 110cm long.
● 1 piece of cotton fabric for the zip end, 3cm x 4cm or thereabouts.
● 1 wire coat hanger
● 1 piece of cotton for loop, 4cm x 10cm or thereabouts.
● 3m length of bias binding, 2.5cm wide.
Make the loop
Fold a 1cm hem over to the wrong side along each long edge of the fabric piece and press. Then fold the fabric down the middle lengthwise so the two turned edges meet. Press and pin. Stitch along the open side, stitching as close to the edge as possible for a neat finish. Backstitch at the start and finish to fasten the seam. Stitch the same line along the opposite side to finish the loop.
Add the bias binding
Fold the front piece in half widthways and cut along this line. Fold the bias binding in half lengthwise and press. Starting on the straight edge, pin the bias binding all the way round the first front half. Fold the bias binding lengthwise and pin in place over the raw edge of the fabric. Stitch as close to the turned edge of the binding as possible, taking care to catch the underside of the binding as you sew. Tuck the raw edge of the binding under for a neat finish at either end, and backstitch the start and finish to secure the seam. Repeat this on the corresponding straight edge of the second half.
Add the zip end
Before fitting the zip, add the zip end. Place the small zip end piece and the cut end of the zip right sides together. Stitch in place with a 5mm hem. Fold the unstitched side of the zip end back 1cm, then fold the whole piece around to the back side of the zip being careful to keep the raw edge tucked underneath. Stitch in place sewing a little to the right of the first seam just sewn, making sure to catch the tucked side of the zip end in as you stitch.
Fit the zip
Fit the zip to the two front panels: the open end of the zip needs to start at the top of the suit carrier and should line up with the top of the bound edge. Pin the zip in place along each edge in turn. The zip should finish 10cm short of the bottom edge. Add a zip end, a small piece of fabric 3cm x 4cm, which will cover the raw end of the zip. Place the small zip end piece and the cut end of the zip right sides together. Machine in place with a 1cm hem. Fold the unstitched side of the zip end back 1cm, then fold the whole piece around to the back side of the zip being careful to keep the raw edge tucked underneath. Machine in place sewing a little to the right of the first seam just sewn, making sure to catch the tucked side of the zip end in as you stitch.
Prepare the two pieces of fabric the zip is to be fitted to by folding and pressing a 1cm hem along the edge of each panel. Change over to the zip foot on your machine. Starting with one panel, line the pressed edge of the panel up with the open end of the zip. I find this easier to machine without pinning in place and with the zip open by only a couple of centimetres. Depending on the type of zip foot you have on your machine, it is often easiest to stitch the panel to the zip with the fabric on the left of the zip, then turn the zip around to attach the second panel. Machine the zip in place making sure to backstitch at the start and finish to secure the seam. Repeat this on the opposite side of the zip, this time machining the other panel in place. Make sure to line the panels up with each other, and the open end of the zip.
Join the panels
With right sides facing, place the front and back panels together so the raw edges meet. The two pieces of oilcloth may stick together so it can take some time to line them up exactly. Unzip the zip to over half way so you will be able to turn the cover right side out once stitched. Pin all the way round. Fold your prepared loop in half widthways. Then slot it in between the front and back panels at the centre of the bottom edge, with the fold facing inwards and the raw edges lining up. Pin in place. stitch around the outside edge with a 2cm seam allowance, trapping in the loop as you sew. Backstitch at the start and finish to fasten the seam. Trim the excess seam allowance all the way round with pinking shears.
Add the hanger
Turn the suit carrier out to the right side. Fit the suit carrier over the wire hanger, taking the hanger's ‘neck' through the hole at the top where the zip finishes. Now fill the carrier with your best outfits. I highly recommend taking a weekend away to test your new suit carrier fully!
This project is taken from 'Made at Home: a Guide to Simple Sewing' by Lisa Stickley (Quadrille, £16.99) Click here to buy the book for £12.99, from the Allaboutyou bookshop