Zippered Dopp Kit

I love my dopp kit! (I also love the phrase "dopp kit" which Joelle and Page just taught me, It's an old fashioned term for a toiletry bag). I think of my dopp kit as a little piece of home that I can carry with me wherever I go. I like to keep it well stocked with travel shampoo, toothpaste, and maybe an extra pair of earrings so I can just toss it into my bag when I'm packing and be ready to go.



Cut a 20-inch x 24-inch rectangle from the fabric.

Mark a 3 1/2-inch tall by 8-inch wide rectangle at each corner of the fabric as shown above.

Cut out these rectangles.

Additionally, cut out a 9-inch by 2-inch piece of fabric for the the handle and put it aside for the handle.

Attaching the Zipper

Arrange the cut fabric so that it's wrong side is facing up and then fold the longer  sides over toward the middle so their right sides are facing up as pictured above. These long sides will form the top pf the bag.

Arrange the zipper so that its bottom is 1/2-inch above the bottom edge of the fabric and pin it to the edge, with the zipper teeth facing out as pictured above.

Above is a more closeup picture of the pinned zipper. Make sure that both sides of the zipper are oriented in the same way so that the top, where the zipper pull will be when the zipper is closed, is at the top and the bottom, which is where the pull will be when the zipper is open, is at the bottom.

Sew the zipper using a zipper foot. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Now try to zip the top shut. If the zipper is closing smoothly and seems straight move on to the next step. If it isn't just rip it out and start again, it won't take long and it will be worth it in the long run!

Making the Handle

Press your 9-inch by 2-inch handle piece flat.

Press seams along the long sides a 1/4-inch to the wrong side of the fabric as pictured above.

Press the handle in half length-wise and sew it with a 1/8-inch seam allowance along its long open side.

Sewing Together

Pin the short sides of the dopp kit piece to the long  sides, right sides together, so that a box shape is formed as shown above.

Sew the short sides to the long sides with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, stopping the seam a 1/2-inch before the end of the short side.

Here is a close up showing the the seam stoping a 1/2-inch before the end of the short side.

Now fold the long top flaps towards the middle of the kit, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, so that the zipper meets in the middle. Press straight creases along the left and right sides of the top. Pin the bottom side (where the zipper pull will be when the zipper is open) together along it's raw edges so that the zipper meets neatly in the middle.

The corners of this side should look like this, with the the raw edges all following each other around the corner.

Pin the top side together in the same manner only this time also insert the handle 1-inch from either side of the middle of the zipper. The handle should be in between the two layers of fabric with it's two raw ends pinned into the top edge.

Once both raw edges of the top side are pinned then pin along the creases you ironed along the sides of the kit as well.

Sew the top and bottom raw sides closed stopping a 1/2-inch from the ironed side creases.

Then sew along the ironed side creases a 1/2-inch from the fold starting and stopping a 1/2-inch from each edge.

Your corners should now look like this.


Pin the binding tape around the raw edges of the zipper encasing the zipper tape and the raw edge of the fabric. You will have to rip out a few stitches using a seam ripper to free the ends of this edge but don't worry because you'll sew it down again in the next steps.

Edge stitch the bias binding in place and then sew back over the stitches you pulled out along the 1/2-inch seam.

Next pin the binding tape along the top and bottom raw edges.

Fold the sewn side crease down over towards the side of the bag as you pin the binding tape over it. Tuck the ends of the binding into themselves to encase their raw edges.


Edge stitch the binding on these sides as well.

Turn the dopp kit right sides out and press its corners out and you'll be all done!

Click here to add a comment

33 Responses to Zippered Dopp Kit

  1. Brooke says:

    So cute Molly! I love it!

  2. Ângela says:

    lovely Molly… <3

  3. Emily Wolfe says:

    I LOVE the bias tape finishing inside the bag!!!! What a fabulous idea! I’ve never seen this before and I appreciate that there is a way to make the inside look pretty without a lining. Great tip. Thank you!

  4. BethG says:


  5. Tammy says:

    I love this!! Saw it last night and made one this morning. I’m going to have a happy teen now, going off to camp in style.

  6. Tammy says:

    I have a question – how to get the bias inside to look neat? Mine was short on each folded side and just putting in a row of topstitching didn’t enclose all the layers. I had to put 2 rows of stitching on each side of the bias tape, or just zigzag down the middle to catch it all.

  7. becky says:

    Ah very nice – i can’t wait to make one of these! Thanks for the tutorial.

  8. kelly jo says:

    Very cute! I love it – would make a great guy’s travel gift as well!

  9. susan says:

    very well done!
    i did one following a japanese book once and it was a little hairy

  10. tiana says:

    Ditto Emily Wolfe: Adorable!

  11. Anne Marie says:

    Super cute & practical. Love the step, by step explanation with photos! Thank you!!!

  12. Nadine says:

    Love the binding on the iside …the whole kit is just perfect.

  13. Zzzzz says:

    Good idea–How can it be made waterproof? I always have problems with shampoo, toothpaste, or something else leaking. Don’t want spills on clothing in a suitcase.

  14. Tina says:

    Lovely! I used to make a similar model in waxed cloth (for the table, this is prpbobly not the right name for it, english is not my mother tounge). Then it becomes waterproof :)

  15. purl bee says:

    Hi Tammy-

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean by the bias tape being short on each folded side? Can you explain a little further?
    Thanks for your comment- Molly

  16. purl bee says:

    Hi ZZZZ-

    You could make it waterproof (or at least resistant) by sewing it out oilcloth. We have several really cute options available:

    Thank you for your comment! – Molly

  17. Sara says:

    Great. I hope I can make one before my son leaves for Boy Scout Jamboree tomorrow. I might make one and just line it with 4mil vinyl.

  18. Caroline says:

    I love all the ideas your putting on your blog! I’m brand new to sewing and have already successfully sewn the quick dish cloths. I will try this here next (after I made the frog ;-) Keep the ideas coming ;-)

  19. Stephanie says:

    Molly I love it! Great colors and easy instructions. I’m going to make matching dopp kits for Imari and me. See you soon to pick out fabric!

    Beautiful work!

  20. Toni says:

    Thank you for this fabulous tutorial. I will definitely have to try this myself. I love making any sort of bag and this is very different so I know I’ll make it then make 10 more :)

  21. Katie says:

    We dig it! Featured you on our blog :)

  22. Barbara says:

    I often carry an extra pair of comfy shoes with me when I travel, and this would make a perfect shoe bag for me! I can think of lots of things besides cosmetic/bath items I would put in bags like this, and what lovely gifts they will make! Thank you!

  23. Linda says:

    hi Molly, Am I supposed to sew 1/2 inch along the bottom edges as well (to make it more like a rectangle) – like from one bottom corner to the other bottom corner lengthwise – or do I just leave that unsewn? THANKS for all the great projects~!

  24. sindhu says:

    thank you so much for the tutorial,the steps are so easy to follow,i just cant wait to do one ,

  25. kahreen says:

    This is a lot more straightforward that many other travel bag tuts- thanks! It would also be really easy to add a step before pinning/sewing to add heavy fusible interfacing to the main body fabric pieces so it keeps its stiff box shape even when it's empty.

  26. Urban Cholita says:

    Great tutorial. I used dog print fabric and skipped the bias tape to save time.

  27. Lynda says:

    Thank you Molly for this wonderful tutorial. Made one as a Christmas gift and now will make one for Hubby for all his things for when we travel…..;) Now I won't have to share my travel bag…:)
    Good job!!!

  28. says:

    Going to try this today.. Love the way you describe every step!!!!

  29. Moriah says:

    Hello, I was curious. I am confused about attaching the zipper what are the measurements of the three pieces of fabric you used to attach the zipper? Thanks!

  30. purl bee says:

    Hi Moriah-

    Just to be clear, this is all one piece of fabric. The length of the sides that you attach the zipper to are each 13-inches.

    It might make more sense if you actually give it a try. I always find that I have an easier time understanding these types of things when I'm actually sewing them.

    Please let me know if you have any more questions!


  31. says:

    nice tutorial! Could you tell me the measurements of the toiletry bag – length x width x height? Thanks

    • Molly from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Debra-

      It’s 12-inches long, 7-inches wide, and 2 1/2-inches tall.

      Thank you for your question!


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