Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Pattern Whisperers Wanted and a Bag


Our kid wants a bomber jacket to match his Big Bang quilt. Must be navy, in quilted fabric and look like this –


Apparently, no other variations are tolerable.

I have 3m of navy, quilted poly (yuk) with a % of spandex, a very long zip and matching thread – all I need is the pattern.


So off you go….a men’s jacket pattern please that doesn’t cost the earth and your recommendations and advice if you’ve already made it. Teenage son is 6’6″ (1.96cm), very broad shoulders and extremely fussy!  Much appreciated in advance.

Now something for us girls……

For my recent trip away which was only for four days and i carried only cabin luggage my packing and luggage had to meet the restrictions of security and EasyJet.

Cabin luggage must not exceed
Maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25cm including handles and wheels or else they’ll charge you an extra ££ for hold. Imagine having to pay £30 because of a couple of extra inches!

All cosmetics and liquids etc must be under 100 ml and stuffed into a plastic freezer bag.


You can bring liquids in your cabin baggage as long as:

  • they are stored in containers no bigger than 100ml and;
  • carried in a clear, re-sealable plastic bag with maximum dimensions of 20 x 20cms.

Each passenger can carry a maximum of 1000ml (e.g. 10 x 100ml). You’ll need to present your bag at security and you may be asked to dispose of liquids that do not meet these requirements.

Does anyone else see the futility of this rule? I mean, a beautiful hand sewn quilted, double walled cosmetics bag with a zip is obviously much more secure and pretty than a flimsy plastic bag which can be ripped as easily as, well, a plastic bag.


Who would want to destroy such a thing of beauty, that someone (maybe your mother) took the time to choose the right fabrics and then sew them all together? A plastic bag – who cares? Anyway, I needed to fly, so I complied with the plastic bag aesthetic, but rest assured, with intense indignation.

In our house we have suitcases –  a giant sized one that holds enough for a family of three for a fortnight, a weekend sized one adequate for two, even my mother’s 1960s honeymoon blue Antler;

$_86We have carry-all bags that are great for weekends away when you drive to the destination;

523ce8381f35266423b62f75bb609675We have one night only sized bags – enough for a toothbrush and pair of knickers. But did we have a bag that is big enough but not big enough, for a few days away? No.

Best solution then was to make one.


The pattern is designed by my quilting class teacher – Yvonne. It’s called the Aomori Bag which is a city in Japan. On the Quilter’s Quest website the patterns are not listed but if you really want this then just contact Yvonne and I’m sure she’ll be more than pleased to post it to you.

Measuring a perfect 15″ X 21″ X 6″ it is within an inch of the current limits and because it’s fabric and soft, can be squeezed and moulded to fit the cabin luggage requirements.

This is genuinely the first ‘real’ bag I’ve ever made. I have sewn a few others  here and here – but this one had to withstand the rigors of travel along with the so-called traditional female efforts of over-stuffing and so-called traditional male efforts of airport security. It has metal feet, a reinforced bottom with gussets and straps, a zip and loads of pockets.



I was surprised by the number of pieces: most of which are lined and so doubles the cutting and fabric and sewing. I choose LIme Twist fabrics from Henley Studio Collection simply because I wear so much grey that I hoped this would travel well with me anytime and anywhere.

As I was intending to walk through any international airport in the world with this bag and I would no doubt probably be distracted by duty-free shiny things  (me being female and all) I included a zip for personal security (not in the pattern) so I had to make a gusset. I just used the bottom pattern piece as a template, added some seam allowances for the zip and voila, a zip closure. Best advice I can give is to not overthink this – it’s not complicated, unless you make it so. Same size as template plus 5/8″ for the zip in the centre and the L and R seam allowances on the edges.


As usual, I hate to not use leftovers, so there was a bit of editing involved with the original pattern. I added pockets inside and out and even used the cutouts from the bottom corners to make a zip pull.

DSCN5580 DSCN5582

One side has elasticated pockets to hold bottled water etc and the other has plain, straight versions to hold folded over Burda magazines.

I also added two lengths of straps – a short and a long for variation, primarily to use up the scraps and secondly to make me look stylish, no matter what the fashion – low slung or under arm – I’m ready!

DSCN5591 DSCN5593

The result is that my bag made it through security although I was subjected to one degree less than full body cavity searching.

Really? I look like an international terrorist to you? I actually want to carry hand-made quilted cosmetic bags instead of plastic ones – doesn’t that tell you enough?


Whoops! that’s not actually me….but I dress really well.

BTW –  Just finished summer reading of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – so might just be feeling a little bit trod upon and need to re-assert myself.


Edited to add: I forgot to mention what I managed to pack into the bag – mostly from the Merchant and Mills Workbook:

2 pair trousers (Strides and grey linen pair)

2 jumpers

1 cardigan

4 sleeveless T-shirts (Bantams)

1 long sleeved T-shirt (Curlew)

1 pair shoes

1 jacket (Haremere)

1 shawl and 1 scarf

6 pairs of knickers (in case of emergencies), 2 bras

2 pair of socks

Plastic bag of makeup and cosmetics

30 thoughts on “Pattern Whisperers Wanted and a Bag

  1. I haven’t used the men’s patterns (only the women’s), but Lekala 6011, 6013, and 6006 look like they would be good (you’d just have to change the collar). You can put in your son’s measurements, and the patterns are inexpensive enough that you could get all 3 and frankenpattern them together.

  2. How about Burda 7142?

  3. I like your bag. I don’t want to fly because I am 70+, have dry sensitive skin, and I NEED my jams and jellies. I still do understand all that nonsense. Isn’t “the Handmaid’s Tale” something?

    • I’m a bit ashamed Patsijean that it has taken me so long to get round to reading this – it should be compulsory for all 12/13yr old girls.

      Fly anywhere you want to – just decant your favourite jells into smaller containers. I seemed to see similarities between the ridiculous airport security measures and the Handmaid’s Tale – foretelling the future???

  4. Here is a tutorial and pattern that looks like it covers everything anyone would want to know:
    That bag is too cool…beware of thieves..not wanting what is inside but the bag itself!

  5. Love the bag Ruth. I knew you would eventually get around to making your own .

  6. Your bag is brilliant! My solution to the wrong size bag problem would have been to go to Dunnes and buy a new one, your solution is much better!!

    • Best bit Lynne is that you can add pockets and stuff that YOU want. I measured my phone, Kindle and eyeglass case and made pockets to fit these exactly. I obviously had too much time this summer, otherwise Dunnes would have been the easiest solution. Thank you.

  7. So sorry, but no help on the pattern. I will say that the men in your life are quite lucky to have you 🙂
    Fabulous bag!

    • Rhonda – I’d like you to tell them that directly because I think they think this is “normal”.
      DH buys stuff that is is too long in the sleeve with the automatic assumption that I can alter it to fit. See? Harks back to The Handmaid’s Tale……..

  8. Great bag! Makes me want to make one. I sure get distracted! so many things going on at one time, but why not. Also – I love The Handmaids Tale. Atwood is one of my fav authors.

    • I never knew she was so good. I’m on my second one ” Blind Assassin” and have another 3 or 4 or even 5 lined up. She might even come between me and sewing!

  9. I don’t have any suggestions for the men’s pattern but had to say how fabulous I think that bag is. I have intended to make a bag for longer than is reasonable and still haven’t done it. Bad Kim.

  10. I am sure all terrorists carry quilted bags! 😂. Yours is lovely! Last time I made a bomber jacket for my husband was the last time – probably 20 years ago! It took a long time to make and I loved it and I think he liked it. He didn’t complain at least. But perhaps he didn’t gush over it as much as I wished he would have. Oh yes, he still has the jacket but he wears it when working in the yard as it is a bit worn in places. Looking forward to seeing your’s. I wish I had taken photos of his before he wore it out!

  11. I’ve got a couple of ancient men’s jacket patterns- battered and tattered, but [probably] uncut. You’re welcome to them, I make nothing for men! [I read the Handmaid’s Tale LONG ago. I also recommend ‘The Gate to Women’s Country’ by Sheri Tepper.] [sounds like a euphemism, but isn’t. Probably] Patterns are Butterick 6209
    and simplicity 5708

  12. I know nothing about patterns, but you have lots of great suggestions there. I am impressed at your son’s height, which I imagine might be the challenge with a bomber jacket…

    I love your bag, especially the idea of designing one to accommodate exactly what one needs to travel with.

    And the book recommendation is very much appreciated. Thank you.

  13. Pingback: M&M Work Wear | corecouture

  14. Love the bag – Im on the lookout for a bag I can carry on that;ll take all my stuff for a 3 month trip to Australia. This also has to fit in the silly size of Qatar Airways luggage rules. Your bag looks almost big enough and with the addition of one dress, a sunhat and a swimsuit and minus the sweaters (I’ll wear that on the plane) we have almost the same packing list!)

  15. What a great bag. I love the customisation and thinking of colours to go with the grey you like to wear. I made my first bag as a Christmas present; won’t be the last.

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