Sew & Tell: Canvas and Denim Duffle Bag

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
A break from the bread posts today. There is sewing to share! I needed a bag for weekend trips away, something easy to carry and not something like wheeled luggage. The solution: a duffle bag with a shoulder strap.

dufflebag 1

When I think of a duffle bag, the first thing that comes to mind is a smelly nylon bag full of gym clothes. This is nothing like that.

dufflebag2

It's made of canvas and denim to reinforce the bottom of the bag. The denim was recycled from an old pair of jeans, and it's quilted so that the bottom has some firmness to it. A walking foot would have helped here (there's some puckering) but it still does the job.

dufflebag4

And it has a detachable shoulder strap, along with a little ribbon for the zipper pull.

dufflebag3

It's fully lined, and on the inside there is one long pocket along one side, and smaller pockets on the other. The seams are (very imperfectly) bound with bias tape, so there's no fraying, and it holds it shape better. I flipped it inside out so you can see the interior.

duffle5

It's not flawless but it's already gotten so much use that I'm super satisfied with it.

Improvements for next time:

I wish I'd designed some outside pockets. The pockets I originally included were too shallow to hold anything so I sewed them closed. The pockets on the inside are too low in the bag. They could have been an inch or two higher, even though they're large enough to hold my toiletries. Also, the shoulder strap isn't adjustable because I didn't have enough cotton webbing so I just made it the length I prefer.

P.S. If you fly discount airlines something like this comes in handy. I made this bag to fit Ryan Air's carry on luggage limits.
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