Creating a Dopp kit has been on my "To-Sew" wishlist for quite some time. I just love their utilitarianism as well as their overall appearance: Simple, clean lines. However, sewing a dopp kit has always been one of those projects that was a) easy to put off in favor of sewing more clothing and b) a somewhat daunting task for me.
I'm not entirely sure why I have been so timid to create one of these kits as the construction is relatively simple, but I've had the entire process built up in my head, causing me to simply bypass ever making one.
So when Klum House reached out to me and asked if I would test out their new Dopp kit Kit, I put my own fears aside and said YES! I am so excited that I took that leap because this was such a fun project and I think it came out really well!
The Woodland Dopp kit comes with everything you need to create a really sleek looking bag, which is nice for someone like me who doesn't work with leather or rivets all that often and who doesn't particularly want to spend all my time hunting those accessories down. It also comes in a variety of colors, all of which were really difficult to choose from! I wound up asking Arlen to make the final color decision as I wanted this one to be a gift to replace his old, plastic toiletries bag when we travel together.
After having made this one for him, I am a bit jealous and want to sew another for myself in either the Berry or Marigold colorways and line it with a really fun print! Alas, that will have to happen some other time.
I don't know about you, but packaging is really important to me as an environmentally conscious sewist. I honestly care about how things are packaged and shipped and prefer a more minimalist approach. I don't like getting a ton of papers and plastic wrappings with each package as I feel a bit stressed about how to dispose of the excess waste, so I really appreciate the fact that Klum House's packaging has minimal waste.
All of the sewing bits arrived in one cardboard tube. In that tube, the fabric pieces were rolled to ensure no wrinkling/ creases were created on the waxed canvas. The instructions were wrapped around the pre-cut fabric roll and secured with a rubber band. And their were only two plastic baggies used: one securing the little rivets and one securing all the other hardware for the bag. That's it! No other packaging beyond a little note saying "Thanks!" from the ladies at Klum House.
Alright, time to sew!
The construction for this bag went pretty quickly and smoothly with only a few tricky bits- much less scary than I had built it up to be! All-in-all it took me around 2 hours to complete this project, and that included running up and down my stairs to grab supplies as well as take pics of the entire sewing process.
The first tricky part comes right at the beginning when you install the zipper. Zippers have always been tricky for me and it wasn't until these past few years that I gained any confidence in inserting them properly. Because the Woodland works with a metal zip that has a large head, sewing it down can be a bit challenging. You have to literally stop sewing, lift up your foot with the needle still in your fabric, move the zipper head away from your needle, and then drop your foot to continue sewing. This got really challenging once the lining was installed, especially on the sewing the last leg of the zipper when everything is wrapped inside itself, making the zipper a challenge to move.
I ironed after each side of the zipper was installed; It didn't say to do this in the instructions, but I find my zippers get caught on the fabric less when I take the time to do this step.
Constructing the rest of the box was pretty straight forward as the instructions included were nicely illustrated (I love lots and lots of illustrations!) with some fun tips and tricks sprinkled throughout to make the sewing process easier. There is even a point in which the instructions suggest you get up and take a stretch break!
I wound up adding bias tape to the inner seams of this bag since my serger was threaded in the wrong color and I was too lazy to change it, haha. Adding the bias tape wasn't super challenging, only a tad difficult when sewing over the thickest seams! I just went slowly over those bits and I believe the bias tape add an extra level of fun to the bag! Can you tell that it has a bumblebee print?
Isn't that tag the cutest? It comes inside the kit from Klum House for you to add!
The last difficult part for me in this project was installing the rivets. I am just really bad at rivets. It's why I never install them on my jeans. I always manage to break them , which is exactly what I did with this bag. The very first rivet I attempted to install got bent out of shape and broke. Luckily the kit comes with an extra rivet- probably for people like me!
I also don't really have the right tools for installing hardware on most things. I don't own the bag punches or rivet setters and generally opt for items I have around the house to help me out. To mark the holes, I used a typical awl; then I used some snips to make the hole bigger when I realized my awl wasn't making a large enough hole for the rivets to fit through.
I hammered all of the rivets into place using a hammer and an old t-shirt on the floor- super sophisticated, amirite? But it worked! And I am so so so happy with the finished project! Plus, I think Arlen likes his new gift as well!