Sew a Handy Travel Case – Free Sewing Pattern

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Sew together a cute pouch with a cross body strap that’s perfect for travel. There are 3 interior pockets in 3 different sizes – room for just what you need!

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Are you getting ready to travel again? Use this free sewing pattern to make a beautiful little case to carry your passport and essential documents without lots of fuss. It can be worn cross body style and is big enough to carry a small wallet if you need to.


And, this free sewing pattern for a cross body travel pouch is also fat quarter friendly! All of the pieces can be cut from a fat quarter except for the strap – and you could always piece two strips together to make the strap if the fabric that you want to use for that is a fat quarter too.


After I showed my finished case to you last week, one of my readers pointed out that it needs a pen holder. So I carefully unpicked the binding stitches (on both sides – 2 seams) so that I could insert a loop of elastic to hold a pen. Great idea Donna – thanks! I will show you those pictures at the right time for you to sew the loop on so you don’t have to unpick your seams like me. πŸ™‚

Are you ready for the Handy Travel Case Pattern? Let’s get sewing!

You will need:

  • 1/4 yd fabric for the exterior

  • 1/4 yd fabric for the interior and binding

  • 1/4 yd fabric for the pockets

  • 1/4 yd foam stabilizer (such as ByAnnie Soft and Stable)

  • 2 d-rings with a 1’’ opening

  • 1 snap (I use a Kam Snap setter and plastic snaps)

  • a 2’’ long piece of elastic that is 1 1/2’’ – 2’’ wide (for pen holder – optional)

For the strap you will need:



From your exterior fabric, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 14 1/2’’ x 7 1/2’’ (body piece)

  • 1 rectangle 4’’ x 7’’ (little pocket)

From your interior fabric, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 14 1/2’’ x 7 1/2’’ (body piece)

  • 1 rectangle 4’’ x 7’’ (little pocket)

  • 2 strips 2’’ x 4’’ (d-ring tabs)

  • 1 square 13 1/2’’ x 13 1/2’’ (to make bias binding – you will have some leftover)

From your pocket fabric, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 7’’ x 20’’

From foam stabilizer, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 14 1/2’’ x 7 1/2’’ (body piece)

Baste and Quilt Your Fabric Layers

1. Smooth the exterior fabric body piece over the piece of foam stabilizer (wrong side of fabric against the stabilizer) and baste around the edges with a long stitch length 1/8’’ from the edge.

2. Turn the piece over and baste the interior fabric body piece to the other side (wrong side of fabric against the stabilizer), 1/8’’ from the edge.

Refer to my video above to see how easy this is.


3. With the fabrics basted in place so they won’t shift, you can quilt your piece to give it more dimension and texture. I simply put the walking foot on my sewing machine and sewed wiggly lines down the piece about 10 times. If you want you can skip this step, but I think it adds so much!


4. Trim the quilted piece to 14’’ x 7’’.

5. Use a bowl or can with a 4’’ diameter to help you cut curved corners (I used the 2’’ radius curve on my Creative Grids Curved Corner Ruler).

You can either mark the curves with a pencil or pen and then cut them with scissors; or carefully cut the curves using a rotary cutter.


6. After trimming the piece to the right size and cutting curved corners, baste around the piece 1/8’’ from the edge again to seal the edges and make putting the binding on easier later.


Make the Pockets:

1. Place both 7’’ x 20’’ pocket pieces right sides together. Make small marks at the top and bottom of the piece on top, as seen in the photo above. The mark on the top edge should be 10’’ from the left end. The mark on the bottom edge should be 13’’ from the left end.


2. Place a ruler across the fabric rectangles and cut diagonally from one mark to the other.


3. Do not separate the pieces. Place pins along the diagonally cut edges to hold them together.


4. Sew along the diagonal edge of both pieces with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


5. Press each seam open. Then fold the pieces wrong sides together and press the seam.

6. Topstitch along the diagonal seams 1/8’’ from the edge.


7. To make the small pocket, place the two 4’’ x 7’’ rectangles right sides together and sew across the top edge with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Press the seam open and then fold the piece wrong sides together and press. Topstitch along the top 1/8’’ from the edge.


8. Stack the pockets together with the largest pocket on the bottom, the smallest pocket on top, and the raw edges all lined up at the bottom.


9. Baste the raw edges of the pockets together.


Assemble the Handy Travel Case:

1. Place the pockets on top of the quilted body piece against the interior fabric. Pin in place, with the pins on the exterior side.


2. Baste the pockets to the body piece by sewing on top of the previous basting stitches. By sewing on the exterior side of the case, you can sew accurately around the curves.


3. Trim the pocket fabric around the curves to match the outside of the case.

4. To make the d-ring tab pieces, fold each 2’’ x 4’’ strip in half with the 2’’ ends wrong sides together, press. Then open and fold the raw edges to the inside fold. Press. Fold in half again to make a 1’’ x 2’’ strip.

Topstitch close to both folded edges. Repeat to make 2 tab pieces.


5. Slide the first tab through a d-ring and pin the raw edges to the case just above the lower edge of the middle pocket.


6. Slide the second tab piece through a d-ring and pin the raw edges opposite the first tab – the same distance from the bottom of the case.


7. If you would like to add a pen holder, fold the 2’’ long piece of elastic in half and place the raw edges together against the side of the case, just below one of the d-ring tabs.

(If you remember, I decided that I wanted a pen holder after my case was finished. I had to unpick my binding on the front and back to insert it. Yours will be much easier if you attach the pen elastic now!)


8. Baste the d-ring tabs and pen elastic (if using) in place 1/8’’ from the edge.


Make and Attach the Binding:

1. Cut the 13 1/2’’ square of binding fabric in half diagonally.

2. Use the method that I teach in this video to make 2 yards of bias binding.

Cut your binding 2 1/4’’ tall. There is no need to press the binding strip in half.

3. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and place one end near the d-ring tab on the right side (against the pocket side of the case).

Start sewing the binding to the case at the top of the small pocket, using a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Starting at the top of the pocket will leave a short tail of binding fabric unsewn for now.


4. Sew the binding carefully all the way around the case, going slowly around the curves to maintain a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


5. Sew all the way around until you reach the d-ring tab on the right side. Sew over the tab and then backstitch.


6. Bring the binding ends together and fold back where they meet. Use your fingernail to make a crease at the folds where the binding ends meet.


7. Cut away the extra binding 1/4’’ past the creases that you made with your fingernail.

8. Open the binding and place the cut ends right sides together. Stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Press or finger-press the seam open.


9. Re-fold the binding and finish stitching it to the case.


10. Turn the binding over to the exterior side of the case. Topstitch the binding in place close to the folded edge. Be careful not to sew on a d-ring as you pass by the sides of the case.

Attach the Snap:

1. Use the snap setting tool to attach one side of the snap at the top edge, centered and just below the binding.

2. Attach the remaining side of the snap on the small pocket, centered and about 1/2’’ below the top edge.




Lastly, sew a strap for your bag. I used the technique that I hare in my post ‘How to Sew DIY Bag or Purse Straps’ to make a strap that is 1’’ wide by 50’’ long. The strip that I started with was 4’’ wide by 53’’ long (pieced together) and I interfaced my strap with Pellon SF101 medium weight interfacing.

When your beautiful travel case is finished, make sure you post a picture on Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can see!

Thanks so much for reading my blog. You can find lots more free sewing patterns like this one on my Free Bag Patterns page and my Clever Little Things to Sew page.

Happy Sewing!


p.s. This free pattern is included in my Ultimate List of Fast and Easy Tote Bags to Sew and Fast & Easy Cross Body Bag Patterns. Check them out!


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. πŸ™‚