Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Cargo Duffle Bag, by Noodlehead

Last week, we celebrated a friend's birthday and that friend is a bit hard to shop for. She's a bit of a work-a-holic and those are the hardest types, aren't they? But her job does require some travel, so I thought maybe a cute carry on type bag would be nice.

I'm going to admit, I struggled some with this. The making of the parts was ok. The assembly of the parts was only slightly harder, but the binding of the inside seams almost got my friend a gift card instead. That was my experience. I'm sure someone with actual bag sewing experience would have different results.

One comment I saw on another blog was that she chose a zippered pocket instead of the cargo pockets because they always seem to look homemade. Yep. It's not huge, but when you want someone to carry your gift from Tennessee to California, you don't really want sloppy details making it look "homemade."

You can see from the above picture that somehow my flaps are a bit more narrow than the pockets, and also on the right is a piece of pocket showing that shouldn't show:

And common sense should have told me to buy the kind of snaps that go through the fabric, so my stitches wouldn't show.

I just don't happen to be very big in the common sense department.

So, here are some of my "wish I'd done it differently" tips:

1. I would make the sections larger and then cut them down to size after quilting.

2. I'd have choose different snaps.

3. I'd spend a lot more time, and probably some fabric glue, making sure those pockets were perfect. They are the focal point of the whole bag, after all.

4. I'd line the whole bag rather than binding the seams.

One thing I did that varied from the instructions was to sew the bottom accent fabric on and then quilt over it. Her instructions were to iron the side under and just quilt over it - I liked sewing it down first.

Oh, and the other thing I did differently was to use headliner fabric - the stuff that goes in the roof of your car. I know, weird, right? I'd read on another blog that was the product of choice for all her bags, but when I checked it out at Hancock, not only was it not that much cheaper, but it was noticeably thinner than the Pellon foam interfacing. I was on the fence as to whether to use Pellon or fusible fleece when I noticed some headliner fabric in the remnant bin for just a couple dollars. So I snatched that up and gave it a try. It was perfect! I might have gotten even more frustrated with the thicker Pellon, and the headliner fabric sewed and ironed just as well. So, if you don't have ready access to the Pellon, or find some headliner fabric on sale, give it a try!

Minor imperfections aside, I do like the bag, and I really love my fabric choices for it.

My daughter has requested one in pink and purple. No matter what I sew, my daughter requests one in pink and purple, but this might be a practical make for her since she does spend every Friday night with her Grandmother.

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