Ok so this past week my SIL went through the temple for the first time. As most of you know, we're Mormon, so this was an exciting time. In honor of her special event I decided to make her a temple bag. BUT if you're not LDS, you can still make one because they make great garment traveling bags! Plus it was pretty easy and I think it turned out so cute!
* Sewing machine and all that goes with it
* 2 yards fabric (I used cotton)
* piping (optional)
* matching thread
* zipper (should be about 18" long)
1. Cut your front and back panels. I made mine 18 1/2" x 53 1/2". Obviously if you need it longer then go for it.
2. Choose which piece is going to be your back panel. Using your hanger as a model, pin down the top in a triangle to match the slope of your hanger. The top of the triangle should be flat. You can go ahead and sew this flat part. It's part of the opening for the hanger.
3. Repeat step 2 with the front panel. Now that you have your triangle, you can decide where your zipper will be. Make sure it's high enough that you can reach the hanger with ease when you put your dress in the bag. Mine was about 4 1/2" fron the top. Draw a line for the zipper and cut out. I used a rotary cutter for this line. Makes it much easier.
4. If you need to shorten your zipper to fit the hole, go ahead and whipstitch it shorter. Pin it in place and sew the zipper. (I do not by any mean claim to be an expert seamstress so my pictures are deinitely not perfect)
5. Now you will be cutting the fabric for the pockets. Before you do this go ahead and fold up the front piece into 3 pieces. The bottom piece will end up in the front when it is folded up. The first pocket will be going on the top piece. It should take up as much of the top as you can, leaving about 2" from the bottom of the zipper. Cut as much fabric as you will need for this. The pocket should go all the way across the bag.
6. Sew the top hem of the pocket. Then, sew the bottom of the pocket onto the front of the bag, making sure that it doesn't lap over onto the middle piece. You wil be sewing the sides when you sew the front and back together.
7. Cut out some velcro to hold the pocket together. Place it on the pocket and the front panel, matching them together. Sew each piece in place.
8. Next, cut out the same, or a little bigger, size piece of fabric for the middle section. Same as before, sew the hem and then sew the bottom onto the middle section. Make sure to leave about 2" at the bototm of the middle section. This time, though, cut out 3 pieces of velcro and place them evenly spaced along the hem. Sew each piece in place, making sure they line up on the panel. After doing this, sew a line between each set of velcro, creating 3 seperate pockets.
9. Sew a piece of velcro to the middle of the bottom of the middle section. Fold the panel up and sew the matching velcro onto the top of the top section. Make sure they line up. Also, sew 2 small pieces in both corner so the bag will hold it's shape when compact.
10. Now it's time to make the handles. You can do this however you want. Or you could buy purse handles form the craft store. I just made regular bag handles (like ones you find on reusable grocery bags). Pin one handle on the front piece on the inside of the triangle at the top. The other handle will go right below your bottom pocket (NOTE: you can actually sew the handle right into the bottom of that pocket as you are connecting it).
11. Now you're ready to bring the front and back panels together! Put the right sides facing each other. You will turn it right side out when you finish. Start at the top and sew the trangle type pieces together. Next, if you are going to use piping, pin it in place around the rest of the bag. If not, just pin the sides of the rest of the bag together. Sew together and turn right side out. Tada!! Whew! You made a cute garment/Temple bag!