Sewing with friends either at retreats, sew ins, or just at someone’s house can be a lot of fun, but sewing comes with a lot of gear. What sewing supplies should you take when you travel and how do you get it there?
I love to keep things organized so I made or bought a few things that have really helped. Most of the things I made for on the go sewing I made with the same fabric so they would match. This way when you go to grab your stuff you know which ones yours.
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I like to prep for sewing outings so I can get the most done while I’m there. This involves cutting my fabric and packing it all into project bags. Sewing is much easier than cutting while you’re talking to all your friends. This isn’t actually necessary but I’m a planner, it’s who I am. Check out my tutorial on how to make this project bag.
Sewing Machine Caddy
Unless you are planning on hand sewing your project you will need to pack your sewing machine. I have a rolling sewing machine caddy that I love for traveling with my sewing machine. It has extra pockets for accessories and it has enough extra room in the main compartment for most of my sewing supplies. The wheels also help a lot when you are lugging it around. I have never traveled by plane with my sewing machine so if this is your plan you may need to check with the TSA website.
I like to iron my pieces as I go so I bring my iron and a travel ironing board. After my last quilt retreat, I made an iron caddy to help keep my iron safe. The pattern I used was called a Caddy Pad which came with the ironing board material I needed. I bought the pattern at my local quilt store. You can also find patterns on Pinterest if you can’t find the pattern locally.
My iron caddy can be opened up to double as an ironing pad, I just need a place to set it. Another option here is to make a small ironing board on top of a tv tray. I actually think this would be super useful in the sewing room as well but I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet.
Bionic Gear Bag
I used the bionic gear bag pattern years ago to make my gear case. This bag is amazing, though it was really complicated to make. I do suggest making one but give your self plenty of time to make it, this is not a beginner project and the pattern isn’t always clear. I will say that I was an intermediate sewer at best when I made it, so don’t let this scare you off. The pattern can now be found on Etsy or her site Sew Like a Rock Star, I believe she has updated the pattern so it may be easier now. I have never seen another bag that even comes close to this, I love it.
I keep all of my accessories in my gear bag. Scissors, needles, extra thread, pins, wonder clips, quilters safety pins, measuring tape, seam ripper ,and just about everything else. The pattern I had also came with what she called dumpling dishes. These were also a pain to make but worth it. I keep my wonder clips in the dumpling dish.
I have a pop up thread catcher that I made to match my bionic gear bag. This is super helpful because you can close it to fit inside the bag. You can buy patterns for these that come with metal springs that make them stand up tall. I didn’t want to spend the money so used this collapsible thread catcher tutorial but it doesn’t stay up as well as it would with the spring.
I received the cutest pin cushion that attaches to my sewing machine at a quilt retreat. I changed it up a little and made this pin cushion to match my other accessories. This is a sewing accessory that I use all the time but it’s also great for sewing on the go. It’s hard to misplace your pin cushion when it’s attached to the sewing machine. You can see my sewing machine pin cushion tutorial here.
Omnigrid On The Go Carry Bag
This bag is great. I was going to make my own version but I found this and loved it. With a coupon these are much cheaper then making it and you will love the design. This will hold your quilting rulers, rotary cutter, and a medium size cutting mat with plenty of pockets to spare. I like to pack my fabric in this bag, it has a pocket the perfect size for finished squares.
My sewing machine caddy has enough room to fit the iron tote, gear bag, and a few project bags. If I precut my fabric I can leave the house with nothing but my sewing caddy and a tv tray to lug around. If I feel like I will need to cut fabric all I have to add is the Omnigrid bag. I can handle this in one trip from the car, not too bad.
This set up has really made mobile sewing easy, what’s in your travel sewing kit?