I think this pattern is officially called a Travel Case but the style is commonly called a Train Case. After having this pattern for years I finally got around to making it. A travel case is comprised of 3 sections – top, middle and bottom. The top has a handle on the outside. You can use a regular zipper or a 2 pull one. There is optional piping and the choice of inside pockets. I decided to make the most basic version without piping or pockets
M7487 is unique in the way that it is constructed. The seams that join the top/bottom sections to the middle section are all enclosed. When you make it you leave a turning gap that you sew closed at the end. If you look on Youtube all the clips showing how to make train cases are sewn with exposed seams that are later covered in binding.
Before I even traced out my pattern pieces I read the instructions then re-read them and re-read them. My brain just couldn’t grasp the concept of how the seams were enclosed. The instructions had the steps with simple line drawings but it just didn’t make sense in my head. After many days of trying to figure it out I decided to just start making it with the option of sewing it the traditional way if needed. The middle section was easy to do although I used the burritto method of joining the zipper to form the loop after seeing it in this Youtube clip. It is a way of fold back the zipper and sewing that so that all seams are in enclosed and you don’t have to worry about sewing one part with the fabric already folded at the back to cover the raw edge. Once I had my pattern pieces in my hand joining them to the middle zipper section suddenly made sense. I was able to place the pieces as per the line drawings. I’m a visual learner and need to see things in action. I can understand instructions better if I can see them step by step. Making this was actually a lot easier and quicker than the traditional way. From tracing out my pattern pieces on to trace and toile to actually finishing it took me only 3 days (I only spent a little time each day on it) so that is a pretty quick make for me. You don’t have all the binding to sew after you have attached all your sections so it is much faster.
The reason I decided to finally make this case was to hold my hand sewing tools in. A train case was the perfect solution for me. I can fit all my tools in. I can pick it up and move it about when I need to. If it gets bumped on my craft trolley my tools don’t fall everywhere.
Pattern – M7487
Size – Medium
Fabric – Quilting cotton from my stash
Notions – Double pull zipper
Would I Make This Again? Absolutely!
This pattern does look intimidating at first. I think the reason I first struggled with this is that I don’t have a lot of experience in sewing with patterns from the big 4 sewing companies where you have just have instructions and basic small line drawings. I am used to indi patterns where you have step by step photos or larger line drawings showing what things should look like at each stage. The method used to enclose the raw edges is great so I would recommend this pattern if you want to make a train case.