Sewing Rewind: Travel edition! ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Sewing Rewind: Travel edition!

It's sewing rewind time again!  A week goes by so fast, doesn't it?  Anyways, coincidentally when I was making out a schedule of the projects I wanted to share, it didn't even occur to me that this post would be so fitting due to recent travels!

Right now, I am in New York and headed to Nashville tomorrow.  Tons of traveling, and today's featured projects are getting a some use right now!

In this post (jump to):

Cord Tamers, Packing Cubes & Jewelry Roll

Packing Cubes

Last year I had a few weekend trips when I decided that I wanted to make something that would make it easy to organize my suitcase quickly.

Previously, I had been using large Ziplock bags for items such as toiletries, underwear, and makeup.  For my shoes, I was using some drawstring bags that my grandmother made and are still in perfect condition.  And for my clothes, I was using the vinyl bags that bedsheets are packaged in.

  • Pros: Everything was in clear bags and therefore easy to find!  Many bags with different categories made it easy to pick out exactly what I wanted (PJs in one bag, workout gear in another).
  • Cons: Plastic bags have no structure and fell over easily, with smaller bags of makeup, etc. falling to the bottom of the bag and becoming hidden and hard to find.  The bedsheet bags for my clothes were flat and therefore difficult to access the items at the bottom of the bag.

So I put together a wishlist of what I wanted:

  1. Clear
  2. Easy to access
  3. Semi-structured (to avoid smaller items falling to the bottom)
  4. Different sizes
  5. Inexpensive!

After finding out what worked and what didn't, I scoured the web to find a solution.  Nothing struck my fancy, until I spotted the packing cubes:

They seemed great for organizing, provided easy access to contents, sturdy, and came in different sizes.  However, they weren't clear, didn't have a small size, were super expensive!

So what's a girl to do?  Make her own!  I tend to do that...

Here's a view of the lower part of my suitcase with clothing, workout clothes, PJs, undies, and an extra for other clothing.

And here's the upper part of my suitcase with shoes in drawstring bags made by my grandmother (see better pictures here!), as well as toiletries, accessories, jewelry, charging cords, and a bathing suit + cover up.

Initially, I toyed with the idea of labeling each cube, but I actually prefer to see my items instead of reading labels.  Here are a couple of them close-up with my zip-around top for easy access to absolutely everything!

Stinky workout clothes stay separate from the rest.

And it's super easy to pack.  I just fill the appropriately sized cube with all of the items that fit that category!

Cord Tamers

To go along with my power charging cords, I made a ton of these cord tamers.  They are super, super easy and I made about 30 of them in a couple of sizes for everything from my phone charger to my Silhouette cord to my iron!

And yes, this is more of the curtain fabric I received for free and used in previous projects here and here.  Waste not, want not!

Jewelry Roll

And here is my final project!  I made a jewelry roll to go along with my vinyl packing cubes, and I love it!  It fits inside the cubes, and I can pack my jewelry without having to spend tons of time untangling them from each other at my final destination.

Starting to unroll the roll...

Fully unrolled!

And filled with some of my favorite things!

These are definitely some of my most used items.  I think they are pretty nice-looking too, even though I toyed with the idea of using a cuter materials.  Maybe next time, but hopefully you get inspiration to make your own travel accessories suited for your own needs!

FYI, if anyone needs a tutorial on how to make my packing cubes (because there don't seem to be any around), I'm up for doing so.  Let me know in the comments below!

Has anyone worked with as much vinyl as I have?  If so, let me know if you love it as much as I do!


  1. WHA?!! NO comments?! I would LOVE a tutorial on your cubes, (IF you would consider making a tute for one) & have NEVER worked w/ vinyl for sewing!! I'm not even sure HOW I found you but have spent the last hour & a half trying to catch up!! :) I have been sewing much longer but have not even tackled half of the stuff you have in such a short time! My first proj was a T-shirt, I gave it to my mom & she wore it for years! Only to bed mind you, due to my pattern choice, but she still wore it! That was W--A-A-A-A-A--Y back in HS! I sewed my daughters school clothes for her first 3 yrs of school!! Well, all except underthings & socks. I so enjoy your "attack" mode to learning all you can! I honestly think I am going to dump a third of the bloggers I am following now to follow you & start really getting into sewing again, clean up to my elbows!! Thanks for your inspiration!

    1. What a nice thing to say! I hope you find some inspiration, and a tutorial should be coming your way semi-soon. :)

  2. I am searching for cube-tutorials right now, because I find the store versions too expensive, an I have all the supplies to make them already. I just need to figure out how to sew the zipper on the edge like you did, looks very good!

  3. Please show tutorials. Such great ideas

  4. These are brilliant! I especially love the cord tamers. I agree with previous posters, I'd love to see a tutorial for the cubes!

    Thanks for linking up with Two Girls & a Party!

    Co-host of this week's Two Girls & a Party linky party!

  5. I'm wondering about how you made the jewelry roll :) My sister-in-law has mentioned that she needs something like this and I haven't searched for patterns yet, but I think this looks perfect. Unfortunately, I'm not a make up my own pattern kind of girl

  6. These are all great! I've linked you up at Bag Brag Tuesday! :)

  7. Great Ideas! Thank you for spreading JOY and sharing at the Oh What a HAPPY Day party.

  8. Puts my packing to shame, my problem these days is that I start packing early but then forget what I have packed and have to start rummaging round trying to find things before I even get on holiday lol

  9. I actually made it on the fly without a pattern. There may be a tutorial out there if you do a little searching. Let me know whether or not you find something!

  10. Ha! I'm definitely not the kind of girl who would pack anything early. :) I'm always a last minute kind of girl!

  11. Hi, I love these being a bit of a 'neataholic'. Will keep my eye out in case you do the tutorial as I was planning to make a sewing machine needle organiser using clear vinyl and I have never sewn with it!

  12. You should definitely do a tutorial and show us how to make these! I'm sure it would go viral on Pinterest too, since I've never seen one before. Thanks for sharing!

  13. These are totally brilliant! You are literally the most organised person in the world.

    Thanks for linking up!

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  14. These are brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I do love the organizers. We've been doing more and more traveling and I'm thinking I could definitely use some of these. I made up a bunch of drawstring bags for various things but I do like how you can see into everything here.

  15. These are some great tips!!

    Again, thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  16. I would love a tutorial on how you made your packing cubes and jewelry roll, thank you for sharing : )

  17. Looks like I'll have to get the tutorial together then! :)

  18. Sure! Now, I just have to figure out a time to put the whole thing together. But now that I see interest, it'll be as soon as possible. :)

  19. Ha! I'm no organization expert, but all of my friends and family would agree with you. :)

  20. I would love a tutorial on how to make packing cubes and the jewelry roll, I have a family of 5 going over sees in a month and need some organizational help!

  21. I'll definitely work on it. How fun that you'll be traveling soon! I'm jealous. :)

  22. Hello Yes PLEASE leave a tutorial for your so helpful vinyl packing cube. Thank you in advance

  23. Any chance of a tutorial on the packing cubes? They look fab!!

  24. Gosh, that is on the list, but I've been slow getting through it. I am thinking about doing it in the next few months so it is ready for summer vacation packing. Definitely subscribe to make sure you don't miss it because I might forget to come back and let you know that it's up. Thanks for the compliment and I hope you stick around! :)

  25. Still no tutorial for cubes?? Security went through my bag, with all public looking on at my messing packing. Have materials; need direction. Help soon? :)

  26. Amazing idea. Did you ever make a tutorial for this? I'm looking through the archives and I don't see it. I would LOVE to use these to help organize my diaper bag when I have my baby!

  27. Please do a tutorial on these. The packing cubes by egal creek are amazing but so expensive. and you can not get them in mainland europe.

  28. Any word of that tutorial? I'm travelling soon and would love to make these!


I love to hear your comments! And putting in your two cents is always free. :)