I am SO very pleased with how this project ended up. It was a lot of work, both preparation and actual sewing. It was challenging. It was very unwieldy during the final steps. But totally worth it. Now I need to hit the road so I can give it a test run!
This is the carry-on size duffle bag by StudioCherie. It is the smaller of her two versions of this design, and it is still big as far as I'm concerned. It would definitely be large enough for clothes, personal items, books, etc., enough for a weekend away (for me anyways, but I'm a light packer).
Each end panel has a pocket - pleated & zippered on one end, and an open magazine pocket on the other end, both fully lined. The end panels are very very structured, with quilted sections as well as canvas, heavy interfacing, and of course multiple layers of fabric. I'm convinced that it's the sturdy end panels that allow this bag to stand on its own.
(Side note: for some reason when I did the final assembly of the bag, the markings I had transferred from the pattern onto the end panels would not match up with the markings on the main bag - I think it may have been that the zipper I used was narrower? - so I had to trim the end panels down just a little. No problem right, but guess what? It no longer fits a magazine! Doh! Oh well, I don't really read magazines anyways and the pocket will still be useful for other things. :)
The straps are made using denim leftover from my Super Tote. The pattern called for 2" webbing with fabric strips added to make it look nicer, but all I could find was white webbing so I decided to make my own straps. I followed Lindsey's instructions for the strap (except I started with 8" wide fabric strips rather than 10", and did not add any interfacing) and they turned out great. I'll probably still fold the middle/top of each strap in half and stitch it down like this to make it easier for carrying.
One of the modifications I made was to decrease the length of the main bag panel and add a zipper facing rather than folding the top 2" of the main bag to the inside like the pattern suggested. I think it makes a neater finished look, fully enclosing the zipper tape.
The only raw edges inside the bag are around the two end panels. I thought I was really going to be unhappy with that and was originally thinking I'd try to cover the seams with binding, but honestly it's not that bad at all and really, you hardly see it anyways, especially if the bag is full of stuff! I set my machine to a really wide zig zag with a short stitch length and went around the whole thing twice, so I know those edges aren't going anywhere!
A few other modifications:
- I used 2 layers of an 80/20 cotton/poly batting for all of the quilted pieces. Makes it nice and soft & poofy, and probably also contributes to the bag's good structure.
- I did not make the trolley sleeve called for in the pattern. I knew I wouldn't care to use it for that purpose so instead, I made pockets on both sides, fully lined.
- I changed up the tabs on the ends of the long zipper to be smaller and not rounded.
I would absolutely recommend this pattern. It is well written with really clear instructions, including lots of photos. Also, the designer is really great as far as email support which is super awesome.
Time to tidy up my sewing mess and get ready to go pick up my kids from school. Have a great weekend everyone!