smart packing sewing tips
Bags,  Travel

Smart Packing – Sewing Projects that Make it Easier

Smart Packing Ideas

Smart packing is more and more necessary as airlines charge heftier fees for luggage and car space is increasingly limited. Thankfully, we can use our sewing talents to whip up some pouches, totes and bags that help us stay organized and pack like a pro. Whether you’re actually going on a trip (coming to Europe with us, anyone?) or simply trying to tidy up your storage space or sewing room, these smart packing tips and projects are for YOU!


Zippered pouches are the obvious choice for corralling small items, such as toiletries, makeup and the like. But clear zippered pockets are game changers. Allowing you to see the contents, clear pockets keep you organized and efficient. Try the SewCanShe Organizer pattern, available as a convenient kit in two colorways.

Kitty design on organizer

smart packing small organizerPACKING MAKEUP OR BRUSHES

This fat-quarter friendly project features skinny pockets to hold makeup brushes, paintbrushes or even sewing tools. Adjust the pocket widths to house anything you like. Embellish the front flap with embroidery for a special touch, if desired. Either use laminated cotton or fusible vinyl to make for easy cleanup when needed.

folded makeup brush roll


It’s difficult to find smart packing options for all the cords, earbuds, chargers and accessories for our tablets, e-readers, phones and more! This Posh Project & Tech Tote is the answer! One side has a device pocket, which fits a standard tablet or e-reader (or store in-progress projects in there!). The other side has multiple pockets (including transparent vinyl sections!) that are sized for ear buds, cords and more. The project opens completely flat and shuts with three heavy duty snaps. This project is also available in a kit – choose distressed brown or ostrich black faux leather. HINT: This makes a great Mother’s or Father’s Day gift! Learn how to make it in our FREE Webcast with the designer, Cheryl Kuczek of Paradiso Designs.

Posh Project & Tech Trapper Webcast


If you’re heading to an in-person class or simply need a way to store your thread spools safely and neatly, look to our empty Slimline thread storage containers. Available for either original/snap or king spools, these containers snap shut to keep your spools dust and dirt-free. Plus, they come apart so you can hang them on hooks to display in your sewing space, too!

empty slimline container


We all need one – a big bag that holds everything we need for a day trip, flight or weekend getaway. The Casey Duffle, designed by Sallie Tomato is the answer! Register for our Casey Duffle Videocast and grab a kit (available in two colorways) to make one yourself! (Kit comes with paper pattern; digital pattern sold separately.)

finished gray casey in light side view of casey in gray


Deciding on a big trip is a personal choice and we respect everyone’s views on whether it’s the right choice for you at any given time. We’re presenting a trip to Europe in September with Craftours, and spaces are limited in order to promote social distancing and safety. (For more questions regarding this or to sign up, please visit Craftours¬†and contact them directly!)

Check out our trip if you’re interested in going to Germany and Italy with like-minded people. We’ll have two hands-on workshops (optional!) as well as TONS of unique experiences built in to our daily excursions. Only a few spots are available! LEARN MORE >>

take a crafty vacation

If you’re staying home or taking a road trip, instead of a European tour, we hope these tips and projects help you organize everything you need, whether for a long journey or quick jaunt!

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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!