Over a decade ago a friend of mine, who loved Vera Bradley and anything monogrammed, sent me a hanging organizer for my birthday.  I have loved it ever since.  It is the perfect thing to fit all of my junk in when I travel.  My cousin was wanting to make herself one just like it.  So we decided to come up with a pattern for it using some gorgeous fabric from Online Fabric Store.

hanging toiletry bag





Laminated Cotton – fabric used: Amy Butler Floral Couture

2 Fabric Prints – fabrics used: Premier Prints Zig Zag Girly Blue (fabric #1), Amy Butler Peacock Feathers Sea Glass (fabric #2)

4 zippers at least 12” long

Fusible fleece

1/4” ribbon (optional)

Bias Tape or make your own


Cut list:

Back of bag:

starting from the top of the bag going down:  cut 3” x 12” of fabric #1

cut two pieces of 4” x 12” accent fabric #2

8” x 12” fabric #1

10 1/2” x 12” fabric #1

for handle: 3”x 26” fabric #2

Closure tab: 3” x 7” fabric #1

Inner bag (where the pockets are:)

2 1/2” x 12 fabric #1

vinyl 7”x 12”

2 vinyl pieces that are 6”x 12”

6”x 12” in fabric #1

fusible fleece 26” x 11 1/2”

fusible fleece 2 1/2” x 25 1/2”

4 coordinating zippers at least 12” long

27” x 12” piece of laminated cotton

6” x 12” of laminated cotton


1.  Let’s begin with the handle.  Apply the 2 1/2”x 25 1/2” piece of fusible fleece to the handle piece.  Iron sides up 1/4”, fold in half, and sew both edges and down the center.  Cut into two equal pieces of 13”.  Set aside.

cosmetic bag tutorial

2.  Closure tab: take your 3” x 7” piece and fold lengthwise, right sides together, iron and then sew around three sides.  Turn, press and top stitch. Sew 2” piece of Velcro to the finished end.  Set aside.

hanging toiletry organizer

3.  We are going to assemble the back panel first.  Line up fabrics according to picture below.  Refer to this picture for further directions.

overnight toiletry bag diy 

4. Take piece #1 and lay it face up. Take one of the completed handle pieces and line up the raw edges along the top of this piece in center (with 2” separating handles) and baste in place.  Take piece # 2 and lay directly on top of handles, lining up all raw edges and sew across. Press these 2 pieces open.  Sew 1” piece of Velcro just below this seam on fabric #1 and secure the straps down with “x’s”.

DIY toiletry bag 

5.  Take piece #3, lay that on top of piece #2 right sides together and sew in place. Press open.

7.  Take piece #4  and lay that right sides together with #3 and sew in place. Press open.

8.  Take the other handle and lay it on top of piece #4 in the center, again leave a 2” gap in the center. Line up the edges.  Baste in place.

hanging toiletry bag 

9.  Take piece #5, lay it on top, right sides together and sew along the top seam.  Open up and press and secure the handle down with little “x’s” again. (It should be secured down on piece #5). You should have all the back pieces assembled and pressed nicely so now take the 26”x 11 1/2” piece of fusible fleece and attach it to the back of this piece.

overnight toiletry bag

We now have the back of the toiletry bag complete.  Lets assemble the inner bag.

toiletry bag

**The handles would be secured by this point in the above picture and the 1” velcro applied as well. Sorry the picture doesn’t reflect this.**

Lets assemble the inner pocket piece:

12.  Lay your pieces out in the order you plan to sew, placing your zippers in between each piece. (zipper pulls to the left, unlike in this picture. Doh!)

vera bradley hanging organizer-knock-off

Take fabric piece #11 and place it face up.  Take your first zipper and put the zipper pull to the left facing up , and lay the bottom edge of zipper directly along the bottom edge of fabric #11.  Then take fabric #10 and right sides together sandwich the zipper, lining up all the edges of zipper and both fabrics, and pin well along this bottom edge.  Using your zipper foot, sew down the length of the zipper.  Turn the fabric and finger press the fabric away from the zipper (we didn’t iron it because the underside is laminated cotton and we didn’t want it to melt).  Top stitch 1/4” away from zipper teeth.  (This is the only pocket that is “lined” like this)

toiletry bag sewing tutorial 

See video if you are confused.


13.  Take vinyl piece #9 and lay it directly on top of piece with zipper facing up.  Line up top of zipper with edge of vinyl. Sew down.

Quick tips to sewing on vinyl can be found on Make it and Love It.

14.  Finger press the vinyl up and flip this piece over so you have the wrong side facing up and the vinyl end is closest to you. Place the edge of this vinyl on top of the next zipper (again, zipper pull to the left) and line up the the edge of the vinyl with the edge of the zipper closest to you. Since we don’t want to put holes in the vinyl you can use hair snap clips to hold in place or like we did, just hold in place with your hand and guide it as you sew the zipper in place.

15.  Repeat step 13 until you are all done adding each of the the zippers ending on piece #6. (Don’t worry about top stitching down the vinyl pieces, only top stitch the very top fabric piece like you did with the bottom fabric piece #10 in step 12.

16. Now you should have something that looks like this.

adding zippers to toiletry bag

17. Hopefully the edges are relatively lined up but if they are a little off, now is the time to take you rotary cutter and ruler and even up the sides.

18. Take the 27”x12” piece of laminated cotton and lay it right side up in front of you and place the piece we just assembled with the 4 zippers on it and lay it directly on top also facing up. Trim down the top (it should be a few inches taller than the laminated cotton) so that all the sides line up. Use the snap-able hair clips to secure these two pieces together so we can create the pockets.

toiletry bag directions

hanging toiletry bag diy

19. Starting from the bottom of the bag and working our way up, sew a line along the bottom of the first piece of vinyl, using the top edge of the zipper as your guide. Then go up to the next vinyl pocket and sew a line along the bottom of the vinyl again. Finally repeat this for the third piece of vinyl. This will create the pockets.

toiletry organizer

20. Now take the back piece we assembled in steps 1-11 and lay it with wrong side facing up and place the laminated cotton/vinyl piece directly on top with right side up. Again trim down any areas that don’t quite line up and round all 4 corners. (You probably already noticed the rounded corners in the pictures but its easiest to have all the layers together and cut them at once during this step.) Baste these 2 pieces together as close to the edge as possible to keep the layers together and prevent shifting.


21. And FINALLY, take your bias tape and attach it to the entire perimeter of bag and add some cute decorative ribbon to your zipper pulls and you are done! Here’s a good tutorial for applying bias tape if you are unfamiliar with this step:


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Do you love all the fabric I have been showcasing this week? I have one more tutorial and then we will conclude with a big giveaway on Friday!

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  1. I am so impressed with your amazing sewing talent! I am just beginning to sew, and I can only hope to do this one day! This is so cute and would be great for traveling. Thanks so much for the great tut!

    ~Abby =)

  2. Hola que bonita idea, me ha encantado y gracias por el tutorial, estoy animandome hacerlo.

  3. While I like to pretend I can sew, my cousin really is the wonder. I pretty much just cut and ironed all the fabric. Ha! 😉

  4. what a great tutorial! I have one of these, a purchased one, but it’s not exactly pretty. It might be time to pretty up my toiletries!

  5. It takes me creative sometimes to organize my toiletry bag, it’s kinda stuff I have. By the way thanks for the DIY, it looks cool.


  6. I’m a newbie visual learner sewer and I saw a but of the YouTube video segment and was wondering if you have the entire above tutorial video. Thanks

  7. No, we actually only did a video for that step since it could be confusing. The tutorial is pretty detailed though so hopefully it will help.

  8. This is Simplicity Pattern 2600, printed sometime back in 2010 for anyone who’s looking for a physical copy of it.

  9. Hi Delinda, This actually is not a Simplicity pattern, but thanks for offering an alternative for those who like a written pattern.

  10. Hi Becki, Thanks for posting this, I am making it as an organiser for all my sewing bits and bobs. Exactly what I needed.

    The instructions are really great but where does the 7inch by 12inch piece of vinyl go? I can’t see it specified in the picture or pattern. I may be missing some thing though!

  11. Great tutorial, super easy to follow, thank you! I just made this last night(with small alterations) as a gift for my hubby. Looks amazing!
    I wish we could post pictures here, just to brag! 😀 😀 😀

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