Embroidered Cork Carry-on Harness

Embroidered Cork Carry-on Harness


In my recent travels, navigating multiple airports with several pieces of luggage was such a hassle. With baggage restrictions, getting everything I need required some juggling. In addition to a checked bag, I also had a carry-on and a personal item. Both of those things were filled to capacity. The weight and the size made them a little unwieldy.

With a family trip to the UK in August, we will need a solution for all of us getting to and fro. To help tame the luggage, I've made a carry-on harness. This allows me to secure my purse on top of my wheeled bag as I navigate through the airport. I've seen several for purchase, but I wanted to add my own personal style and customize it to the size I want.

I decided to make an embroidered initial cork harness. This was made with my Baby Lock Altair Sewing and Embroidery machine, but can be made on a standard sewing machine. If you choose to omit the embroidery, you can use one of the widely available printed cork options.

To begin with, I looked in Baby lock Altair embroidery files for the included alphabet files. I chose the letter "S" for our surname and centered it in the LCD screen. I added four buttonhole stitch designs to create the strap anchors. I wanted  to back the cork panel to hide the stitching. I added a border frame design to secure the backing in place.

Because cork is difficult to hoop on it's own. I floated it with an adhesive stabilizer. This stabilizer is tacky when the paper topper is removed. Peel it away to stick the cork to the stabilizer without hoop burn.

I ran the embroidery to stitch the initial only first. I kept the stabilized cork in the hoop, but removed it from the machine. I applied double-sided stitch perfection tape around the perimeter of the design.

I added the fabric to the back side of the embroidery. I would have preferred to back it with cork, but I ran out. I am trying to use what I have on hand so I went with a cotton fabric from my stash. I secured the edges with more tape so it did not roll under as the final stages stitched. 

 After the buttonholes and the frame stitched out I un-hooped it, trimmed a quarter inch past the frame and then opened the buttonholes. The buttonholes are fairly wide. I was uncertain how wide the strap needed to be to be secure. I began opening the hole 1-inch to accommodate the webbing I had on hand. If I find it is too narrow, I can further expand the hole and insert a wider strap. 

I converted the Altair back to sewing and I added 2 D-rings to one end of the webbing and secured it at the sewing machine.

To use the harness, I passed the webbing across the back side creating a loop at the bottom and the top.

To use it, I simply slide the webbing over the bar of my wheelie bag, position my bag on top and pass the D-ring loop over the top of my bag and adjust it to fit.

To see it in action, be sure to check out the reel I shared on my Instagram. I am happy with it and plan to make a few more for the rest of the family. 

Happy sewing,




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