Shape-wise it was a fairly simple design - all I needed was a 12 inch square cake, which I then cut one side from to make a rectangular suitcase, and an 8 inch round cake with a part cut off to make a flat bottom for it to stand on. I went with dark chocolate mud cake for the bottom suitcase and white chocolate mud cake for the top one. So with this cake it was all in the detail of the decorations.
I used my handy quilting tool to make the quilted stitching on the suitcase and the smaller bag. For the top of the purple suitcase I first stuck the fondant onto the cake and than did the stitching, but for the rest of the suitcase sides, and the smaller bag I did the stitching with the fondant rolled out on the mat, and then stuck it on. The latter method works well for smaller strips of fondant, but I was worried that the larger piece of fondant for the top of the suitcase might deform or rip while being transported from the mat to the cake.
On this photo you can see the stitching on the smaller red case as well:
I would have normally used my fondant extruder tool to make the black trim for the cases, but as I was really rushed for time (which seems to be a bit of a theme for me with cakes... I think better time management is necessary!) I just rolled the fondant into thin 'sausages' using my fingers. Because of this the trip wasn't as perfect as I would have liked but it did the job.
I also bought silver edible balls which I stuck on to the handles to make them look like little metal fasteners. The handles themselves were quite simple, made with a thick fondant 'sausage' sandwiched between two longer fondant strips.
The final touch was the farewell message which I cut out of red fondant to tie in with the smaller red case.
Once again my favourite part of the whole process was seeing the big smile on my friend's face when she saw her cake :) Even if making her farewell cake has made her leaving that little bit more real...
Maybe I can convince her to stay by bribing her with more yummy cake! :)