Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Finish: Featherweight Bag

Hey and Happy Friday! 
I finished Jeni Baker's Sew Portable Travel Bag, and let me say it travels well on the airplane!  

Not being a bag maker, I was happy the sewing machine bag, as well as the drawstring pouch and tray cover, was not complicated to make.  I cut into my precious Carolyn Friedlander fabrics for this project.  The bag could have been quilted more, but I was in a hurry to finish before my trip.  The picture above shows the featherweight that traveled in the bag, but I should note that I used my Juki to make the bag.

I have wanted a way to carry my featherweight on the plane without having to lift it into the overhead bin (forget checking it in a suitcase), and I seemed to remember this pattern being described as such.  When I went to find the pattern, I did not see it described as being able to fit under an airplane seat, but it does which is awesome.

This was on a Southwest flight; I had more room on the United flight.

I brought my featherweight with me to Montana (via a quick trip to Chicago), and I had no issues going through security (no more than usual...I always give TSA a heads up), carrying the bag through the airport, or fitting the bag and machine under the seat in front of me on the plane.

I can't tell you how happy this makes me.  Soon I will travel to Minnesota for my eighth Gruber's retreat, and I am excited to have a better plan for traveling with my machine.  In the past, I would pack my sewing machine in my carryon bag and carry an oversize tote bag filled with fabric as my personal item to fit under the seat.  Well, you know how much fabric weighs!  Over the years, I have developed a pain in my left shoulder from carrying heavy tote bags and lifting suitcases (usually holding fabric and a sewing machine) in overhead bins.

Recently, I have switched to traveling with a backpack that slides on the handle of my roller carryon bag...nothing on my shoulder and seeking assistance with lifting my bag in the overhead bin.  For this trip with my sewing machine, I replaced the backpack with my Featherweight bag which had room to hold my wallet, iPad, and sweater.  My rolling bag was lighter without a sewing machine so lifted easily in the overhead bin.

On the return trip, my rolling bag had acquired some weight so I checked it in which meant carrying the Featherweight bag on my shoulder through the airport.  The structure of the bag was durable enough for this purpose, and I had no concern carrying the sewing machine around.  It was quite the conversation starter as well while waiting to board ;-)))  The funniest comment I heard was from a quilter's husband who referred to quilt guilds as "covens"!

So those are my tips and experiences when flying with a sewing machine.  What are yours?

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a fabulous weekend!


  1. You da man! (Or sewist in this case!) Who'd have thought it possible?

  2. What a clever girl! Your new bag is fabulous! I've never flown with a sewing machine, so no hints from me, I'm afraid! I'm still scared to carry scissors on to an aeroplane....

  3. Covens....!!! I hope his wife smacked him.

  4. The best part of this was reading about how you traveled with your machine, your supplies, your personal effects in bags, suitcases and carryons, giving me valuable information for the next trip I make. Your bag is darling--love it! And thank you for the really great details and descriptions.

  5. I have never traveled with my machine on a plane either. What a great bag and great information in this post. Thanks a lot.

  6. I admired your bag when I saw the picture on Instagram. It looks just perfect! I've never flown with a sewing machine, as I've worked it out that both our daughter and daughter-in-law have Berninas at their houses for me to use when I visit! :-) I'm glad though that you've worked this out, as I know you're in an airplane way more frequently than I am. Hope you have a fun time at Gruber's, though it's really silly of me to say that. I know you will! Happy travels!

  7. Sooooo intrigued by your bag. I noted the tray cover (who wants to travel without the "tools")--when you pack the bag with the sewing machine in it, is the tray in the tray cover under the machine??? I assume the drawstring bag would hold the cord/foot pedal?