A new toiletry kit

Each time I travel I use a toiletry kit (AKA dopp kit). I have had several different kits over the years. I quickly got tired of the kind where you dump everything in together. I dislike rummaging around for what I want.

I prefer the kind of kit that opens like a clam shell. Some of these can be hung up, but others cannot. How they hang varies; some hang from the inside of a pocket after it is zipped open. That seems like a structurally inefficient way of suspending the kit. Opening a pocket to hang it automatically decreases the structural integrity.

I have also found that the counter top by a hotel sink accumulates water, sometimes from my own actions, and sometimes because of plumbing problems. Some kits are made of nylon, which may or may not have any waterproofing. I have been very careful not to put my kit on wet surfaces.

As the world has gotten more complicated, TSA has put in place the rules about what and how much liquids may be taken on board an airplane cabin. On the trips where I fly from one place to another, and then to another, I find it annoying when a quart bag does not have a specific spot inside the toiletry kit.

One of my recent toiletry kits was a medium blue, the other was black. It seemed like the black kit could hide in the shadows. I always worried that I might accidently leave it behind.

Some months ago I decided I would make myself a new toiletry kit. It would have some features based on my preferences.

First, it needed to be water resistant. I had some laminated cotton that would work. I wasn't thrilled with the pattern on the cotton. I found some yellow sport nylon fabric in my stash, and decided to use it as an overlay. That certainly made it scream "don't leave me behind!" Amazingly, it toned down the objectionable pattern.

A place for the TSA-approved quart bag was needed. I made two large interior pockets that zip closed. I also included a small pocket in the flap.

Modeling my new kit on a previous one, I found some sturdy dive netting scraps that could cover the interior pockets. But the holes were larger than I wanted, so I doubled the layers, and sewed them down. I later decided that the netting would not work for production. I couldn't find sturdy mesh with small enough holes. The clear plastic that I ended up choosing increases the visibility in the interior pockets.

Making another decision, I used the laminated cotton as the interior fabric, but without the yellow overlay. In the production model, I went with sport nylon. It is locally available, and resists a small amount of liquid.

This toiletry kit needed to hang up when I wanted it to. I decided I would apply webbing and hook and loop tape to the outside. I ended up deciding that would work, but I found a better place for the production model.

I liked where my previous kit had an elastic band to keep a toothbrush holder in place. I added that to my design.

After test driving my version a while, I came up with the changes I wanted to make. Now I would put it into production. I had purchased a gray laminated cotton for the outer fabric. I chose a white sport nylon for the interior, with white grosgrain ribbon for seam enclosures. Black

zippers, hook and loop tape, and webbing finished the color coordination.

Before I cut the fabric, I found that I would need to lay out the fabric very carefully. It looked “right” one way and not the other. I marked and applied painters tape to show which piece went in which direction on which unit. That worked quite well.

What do you think about the new product?

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