We deconstructed an old giveaway tote from L'Occitane for our luggage tag. This bag was a great choice, because it already had interfacing stitched into it, to give the bag stability. Interfacing is a stiff substance that provides body or structure to projects. It can be purchased in various weights, and is either sew-in or iron-on (fusible). This is necessary for the luggage tag, so it isn't flimsy. If the item you are deconstructing doesn't contain interfacing, you can purchase some at a fabric or craft store.
The luggage tag is designed to hold a business card for ID purposes, but you could also slip a small piece of paper into the pocket with your handwritten contact information. We needed transparent plastic or nylon to create the pocket, but of a density that could be sewn through. For this, we used the packaging from a set of sheets - this is perfectly see-through and easy to sew. If you don't have this packaging on hand, you can also purchase a small piece of transparent vinyl from a fabric or craft store.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome 3128)
- Ultraglide sewing machine foot (optional). This type of foot allows you to sew on things like nylon or plastic, which may stick to a regular metal sewing machine foot, with ease. You can see Janome's version here.
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Two scraps of fabric, at least 4" x 5" – fabric can be two of the same pattern or two different
- Two pieces of heavy-weight interfacing, either salvaged or purchased new (If purchasing interfacing, look for heavy-weight iron-on interfacing)
- One scrap of fabric, at least 2½" x 14"
- One piece of transparent vinyl, 2" x 4" (You can salvage from discarded sheet packaging or purchase at a fabric store. It is sold as a table covering, and you can buy it by the yard)
- All-purpose sewing thread in color to match fabrics
- All-purpose sewing needles
- Cut the two smaller pieces of fabric so they measure 4" x 5". These will be the front and back of the tag.
- Cut two pieces of interfacing to measure 4" x 5".
- Trim the third piece of fabric to measure 2½" x 14". This will be the strap of the tag.
- Cut the transparent nylon or plastic to measure 2½" x 4". This will create the pocket for your business card or other identification.
- If using iron-on interfacing, iron the two 4" x 5" pieces of interfacing to the two 4" x 5" pieces of fabric, following manufacturer's instructions. If you are re-using interfacing, you will baste it to the fabric pieces in the steps below.
At Your Sewing Machine
- If you are using sew-in interfacing, you will need to baste it to the wrong sides of your fabric pieces.
- Adjust your stitch length to the longest stitch available on your machine.
- Stitching very close to the edge of the fabric and interfacing, attach the interfacing to the wrong side of both the front and back fabric pieces. If your machine has a memorized needle down function, you may want to use it now, so you can easily pivot on the corners.
- Re-adjust your stitch length back to 2.5.
- Center the piece of vinyl on the right side of one of the fabric pieces.
- Stitching just inside the piece of vinyl, sew around three edges of the vinyl. Leave one edge open for inserting a business card. I show it below with a piece of paper inside it – that's just so you can see the vinyl in the photograph.
- Fold the 2½" x 14" fabric piece in half, right sides together, along the long edge.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along the long side. Do not stitch the ends. Turn the tube created right side out.
- Take your two fabric/interfacing front and back pieces as well as the strap piece to the ironing board.
- Fold each side of the fabric/interfacing pieces over ¼"- ½" to the wrong side and press flat. Fold the corners so the edges of the fabric point in.
- Align the long seam with the center of the strap piece and press flat.
- Place the two front and back fabric pieces interfacing sides together. Fold the strap piece so the seam is to the inside, then center it on the short side of the tag between the fabric pieces. Pin all elements in place.
- Starting in the center of the side containing the strap, and positioning your stitches as close to the edge as possible, sew around all four sides of the luggage tag in one continuous seam. If your machine has locking stitch capability, you may use it at the beginning and end of the stitching for a clean start and stop – if not, try to position your forward and reverse locking stitches directly on top of each other.
- Place a business card in the pocket and attach to your luggage handle.
Other machines suitable for this project include the Pfaff Hobby 1142 and the Singer Curvy.