If you make a tag, drop me a note and a picture and I'll add a link to show it off for you!!!
These tags are great for more than just luggage. Attach to backpacks, sewing machine cases or sewing toolboxes. I have one on each item I take to retreat. We all have rolling toolboxes…mine is the only one with the “naked cowboy” luggage tag!!!!! My nephew attached his baseball tag to his backpack for school! DH has one football tag and one comic strip fabric tag. They are so much fun to make!
• Fabric at least 7.5”X 12.5”
• Matching fabric cut 12” X 2 ½” for strap
• Fusible interfacing the same size – I used DecorBond. You can use any type of heavier interfacing/craft interfacing. You want this to have a bit of body.
• Clear plastic/vinyl – I bought mine at Joann’s. It is on the long rolls with the plastic tablecloth and home dec fabric. It is the “blue writing on the backing paper” weight.
• Zipper foot
• Teflon (nonstick) foot for your machine. This is a lifesaver!!!
Make a Pattern
With the pattern material of your choice, (I used a mailing envelope. You can use a manila folder, a piece of cardstock….anything that is long enough to cut to the right shape. It isn’t necessary to be durable), measure a rectangle that is 12”X 3.5”. Cut it out. (For accuracy, I used a rotary cutter and ruler to cut out my pattern). Mark the center on one of the short ends. Then, working from the same end, measure and mark 1 ½” down on both sides. Create the angle of the luggage tag by drawing a line from the center dot to each of the marks along the side. (my picture is for demonstration only. The actual pattern is not the same color)
Cut on the line to create the angle of the pattern. (Again make sure this is accurate as it is you pattern. )
Cut the Fabric and Interfacing
Fold the fabric in half to measure 3.5”X 12.5”. (I was fussy cutting my fabric so my photos show a much bigger piece of fabric. I have the pattern lying along the fold. That is extra fabric at that the top) Lay the pattern on the fabric with one long edge along the fold.
Cut the fabric.
*I used a rotary blade and ruler to make nice clean cuts. Lay the ruler on top of the pattern and cut along the edge. Repeat on all sides. If you have trouble with the pattern slipping, put a piece of tape under it to hold it to the fabric.
* Because I was fussy cutting, I made a see thru template. The rest of the cutting photos will use the see through template.
*Don’t mind the blue tape on the edge…it is so you see the template. Also, the ruler is only being for cutting, not to measure.
When you open the fabric it will look odd!
Blunt the tip of the point by measuring in ¼” and cutting it off. (I noticed that I didn't blunt the tips in this picture...or the next.....BLUNT the tip even if I did do it out of order!)
Cut 2 separate pieces of interfacing. DO NOT cut on the fold. You need these to be separate so that the tag folds nicely. Cut the interfacing with a separate pattern down ¼” 4 sides. Cut down the 3 sides shown plus the shorter side (The picture does not show the ¼” cut off the shorter side). There is no need to cut the second long side (in this case, the picture is right!)
Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. Use the picture to help with placement. As you can see, I wing it with trimming the interfacing. It isn’t perfect!
This odd shaped piece will be folded in half to be finished. Before we continue, you need to choose which half you will finish to the inside of the tag and which will be the outside. The outside of the tag is what people see while the inside will hold your label.
Adding the vinyl label holder
Cut your piece of vinyl/plastic to measure 4 ½” X 2 ½”
We will be working the portion of fabric that finishes to the inside for this step…... NOT the inside of the tag as in the interfacing side but the side of the fabric that will finish TO the inside. In this picture I have folded the tag to make sure that I will be adding the plastic label protector to the correct side. You are looking at the outside of the tag….The label will be inside…where the woman’s head is!
* It is nearly impossible to attach the plastic with out a “Teflon” or non-stick foot. Do yourself a favor and invest the couple of dollars it costs for this foot. You will NOT regret the purchase and as an added benefit your family will not be subject to your creative vocabulary while trying to use a regular foot on plastic!
Place the plastic 1 ½” down from the short side, and centered between the fold and edge of tag. (You don’t want to catch the plastic in the seams later on.) See the picture below? IT IS WRONG! YOU MUST HAVE THE TAG OPEN AND FLAT WHEN YOU ATTACH THE PLASTIC PROTECTOR!
I use a piece of blue painters tape to hold the plastic in place while sewing. Using a short, small zig zag, sew three sides…the short side closest to the edge and both long sides. (if you would like you can hand or machine embroider your information and lay it under the plastic before stitching. If you do this, you can stitch down all 4 sides of the plastic and enclose the information.) Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end. Sew very close to the edge of the plastic. See the picture below? IT IS WRONG! YOU MUST HAVE THE TAG OPEN AND FLAT WHEN YOU ATTACH THE PLASTIC PROTECTOR!
Can you tell I had to rip apart my example!?!?!
Make the strap
Press the strap fabric in half lengthwise. Open it up and using the center press mark as your guide, fold in both sides to meet the center. Press and then fold in half along the original press line.
Attach the Strap
Fold the luggage tag, right sides together, along the fold where the two pieces of interfacing meet. Pin the strap on the inside, along the blunt tip with the edge of the strap at the edge of the tip.
Match the sides and pin. Using a ¼” seam, sew around all the sides making sure to leave an opening to turn the tag. When sewing the blunt tip end, be sure to pivot and keep the tip squared off. Also, I always go back and forth when crossing the strap to reinforce the stitching. (That is, I go across the short area where the strap is, backstitch back across and then go forward again and continue on with my seaming)
Trim the corners and turn the tag right side out. I use a chop stick to poke out the corners.
*You see where I have the opening for turning? I find it works best there and it is where I always place it.
Tuck in the unfinished edges where you turned the tag. Press. DO NOT PRESS OVER THE VINYL/PLASTIC!
Using the zipper foot and working close to the edge, top stitch all sides.
Making the closure
Along the short end, mark a line 1” down and approximately ½” in on each side. Following your machines’ directions, make a button hole (YES! A buttonhole!) along this line. My machine has a buttonhole foot along with the settings for an automatic buttonhole or a manual buttonhole. I needed to use the manual setting. (Don’t be scared off here because of the buttonhole. You just need to have a finished opening to close the tag. It doesn't need to be perfect or beautiful! I always have trouble with my buttonhole but end up with a reasonably good looking opening. )