The Guy’s Survival Kit: A Tutorial

Looking for the perfect gift for the man in your life is harder than losing those last 5 pounds! What makes guys so hard to buy for?

The possibilities seem endless when choosing a gift for your Mom, your sister or your BFF. Even under last minute pressure, you can always pick up a candle, a scarf or whip up a cute tote bag or zippy pouch!

It’s when shopping for a guy that it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and end up with the standard sports gift or paperback.

So today I’m sharing a great guy gift that’s easy to make, is super useful and let’s you play with fabric. Yep, I said fabric.

Presenting, the Guy’s Survival Kit, otherwise known as The Go-To Dude Gift!

Great Guy’s Gift: The Guy’s Survival Kit

guys survival kit tutorial at ellison lane

Stock it with essentials for the man in your life, this gift is useful and practical. He can stash it in the car and have everything he needs at his fingertips!

Finished Size: 13″ x 10″ (when open)

Let’s get started.


Fat Quarter of outer fabric

Fat Quarter of lining fabric

Fat Quarter of binding fabric

Fat Quarter of Shape Flex

Fat Quarter of Fusible Fleece

Fat Quarter of 8 gauge vinyl

14″ of 3/4″ wide velcro

Glue Stick

Binding Clips or Wonder Clips

Fabric Pen

Needle and Thread

Rotary Supplies

Sewing Machine



Binding Fabric:

A. Cut (3) 2.5″ x 20″ strips

B. Cut (2) 4″ x 10″ strips

E. Cut (1) 10″ x 3.5″ (flap)


Outer Fabric: 

C. Cut (2) 6.75″  x 10″

D. Cut (1) 6.75″ x 5.75″ (pocket)


Lining Fabric: 

F. Cut (1) 13″ x 10″

G. Cut (1) 6.75″ x 5.75″ (pocket)


Fusible Fleece: 

H. Cut (1) 12.5″ x 9.5″

I. Cut (1) 4.5″ x 3″ (flap)



J. Cut (2) 6″ pieces of both the soft and scratchy parts

K. Cut (1) 1.5″ pieces of  both the soft and scratchy parts



L. Cut (2) 5.5″ x 10″


Shape Flex:

M. 12.5″ x 9.5″


Read through all directions before beginning!

Make the outer pocket:

1.  Place pieces D & G right sides together. Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance across one 6.75″ side.

2. Flip over the seam, wrong sides together and press. Topstitch 2 rows across the fold at 1/8th” from the fold and 1/4″ from the fold.


3. Place pocket on a C piece, matching up the bottom edges. Sew with a basting stitch and a 1/8″ SA along the two sides and across the bottom of the pocket to hold in place.


4. Place the C piece with the pocket, right side up on the table and place the other C piece on top of it, right sides together.

5. Sew along the right sides of the C pieces with a 1/4″ SA.  When you open the fabrics, the pocket should be on the left.

6. Press the center seam open.

7. Fuse H to the wrong side of the C panel according to manufacturer directions. (*Tip: Flip the pocket piece out of the way when fusing so you won’t be pressing through so many layers.)


8. Sew the rough piece of velcro (K) to the right side of the C panel, 3″ in from the right edge and centered between 5″ and 6″ up from the bottom.

Set aside.


Pocket Bands: 

1. Using the (2) B strips, fold each in half length wise and press. Open and fold the raw edges in to the center crease. Press along the fold.


2. Place the band on the table, raw edges down and hidden. Swipe glue along the back of a soft velcro (J) piece and center it on the folded half of the band.


3. Sew the velcro onto the band, backstitching at the beginning and end.

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4. Swipe glue along the inside of the band (where the raw edges are) and tuck the vinyl piece (L) inside the band. Make sure the edge of the vinyl is against the center crease of the band.

5. Use clips to hold the vinyl in place. Do not pin. Sew along the top and bottom edges of the band securing the vinyl.

(*Tip: Place a piece of fabric underneath the vinyl but not under the needle. This will help the vinyl glide along as you sew the band.)


6. Repeat steps for other vinyl pocket.



1. Fuse the Shape Flex (M) to the wrong side of the lining piece (F) according to manufacturer directions.

2. Place the vinyl pocket pieces on the lining, matching up the ends and edges. With a fabric pen, mark the placement of the scratchy velcro strips (J) using the soft velcro on the bands as a guide. Set vinyl pocket tops aside.


3. Use a swipe of glue to adhere the scratchy velcro (J) pieces in place then sew on, backstitching at the beginning and end. Repeat. Place the vinyl pocket pieces in place once again. The velcro should hold them secure.


4. Place the lining and the outer piece, WRONG sides together, making sure that the pocket is not upside down.


5. Hold the layers together with binding clips or wonder clips. Sew a line of stitches along the back center seam through all the layers.

Set aside.


Make Binding: 

1. Using the A strips, place the ends of two strips together at a right angle, right sides together.

  • For the top fabric, fold the top right corner down to meet the bottom left corner. Finger press to crease. Release the fabric and line up the edges along the right side.
  • Sew a diagonal line of stitches from the top left corner to the bottom right corner, along the crease.
  • Trim to the right of the line of stitches, leaving a 1⁄4” seam allowance. Press the seam open. Repeat for the remaining strip.


2. Place binding on top of the lining, raw edges to raw edges, 4″ above the bottom right corner. Leave a 3″ tail and sew with a 1/4″ SA, backstitching at the beginning and stopping 1/4″ from the bottom corner. Stop with the needle down, pivot and sew a diagonal line to the corner of the fabric and off the edge.

3. To make mitered corners, cut the thread, fold the fabric up over it self then back down again. Starting at the folded corner, sew along the edge with a 1/4″ SA, backstitching at the beginning. Repeat for all 4 corners.


4. Sew until you get within 4″ of the starting tail. Backstitch. Overlap the tails and trim so that they only overlap by 1/2″. Twist the fabric so that it is right sides together and sew the ends together with a 1/4″ SA.


5. Untwist and finish sewing binding on, backstitching at the beginning and end.


Assemble Flap:

1. Fold E in half and finger press the fold. Open and fuse Fusible Fleece (piece I) to the wrong side of the fabric (E)  to the left of the fold.

2. Flip the fabric over, right side up and center the soft Velcro (K) on the fabric, 1/2″ to the left of the center fold and sew on. Sew the velcro on the fabric that is backed with the Fusible Fleece.

3. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, sewing up the two sides with a 1/4″ SA, leaving the bottom open. Clip the corners, turn right side out and press.

4. Topstitch along the 2 sides and folded end, leaving one end open.


5. Center the flap on the back of the cover, on the pocket side. Align the raw edges, tuck the binding out of the way and sew on with a 1/4″ SA, backstitching at the beginning and end.

6. Fold binding over the entire bag, mitering the corners and holding in place with clips.

7. Hand sew your binding to the front with a ladder stitch.

8. Fill with essentials!


Guy’s Survival Kit Suggestions:

  • hand sanitizer
  • band-aids
  • Advil
  • Rolaids or Tums
  • floss
  • pen
  • Tide stick
  • Wet Wipes
  • notepad
  • $5 mad money
  • safety pin
  • Kleenex
  • mints
  • Chapstick
  • Lapel Stick

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guys survival kit tutorial at ellison lane


And even though this is the perfect guy’s gift, it would be a great gift for Mom too! Whip it up in a cute print or a fun patchwork. I can think of tons of things to use this for!

Be sure to pin this tutorial so you can come back to it when you are ready to start your holiday sewing!

Have a great weekend!













  1. 4

    Carmen says

    Dear Ellison: i wrote yo You from México City. This is a great tutorial! I made ir this weekend. Would like to send You pictures but couldn’t find años option here. I’ll Mail them. Than la again, I Love your blog.

  2. 8

    Joann says

    Wonderful project. I made it and will make it again. Please mention that the binding needs to be folded in half lengthwise and pressed before applying it to the lining. Nothing is obvious. I know. I have been sewing for about 45 years. Thanks.


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