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Compact Quilted Duffle
We always get compliments on our custom duffle patterns, but we realized the one category we hadn’t tackled was a smaller size bag that would work for kids or anyone who wants a space-saving, on-the-go option. We created a soft, quilted exterior so the duffle can gently expand and mold to better fit its contents. And we used Dritz hardware and polyester belting to pull it all together, adding a fully adjustable and detachable shoulder strap plus Double Cap Rivets to strengthen the pocket tops, and a handy Swivel Hook key lanyard on the inside. It’s true what they say, good things do come in small packages!
Although we made our sample Duffle with kids in mind, the size and style would work equally well for adults. Simply consider extending the length of the adjustable strap as suggested below in the Getting Started section.
As professional and adorable as this bag turns out, it is surprisingly straightforward. We’ve included lots of little tips along the way for fussy cutting and motif matching, rivets, adjustable straps, seam finishing, and more.
The fussy cutting in particular makes a huge difference. If you’d like to precisely fussy cut your main panels in order to have a perfect match to the pockets, review our tutorial prior to starting this project: How to Perfectly Match a Pocket to a Background Panel.
Our striking exterior fabric is Tigris in Lollipop from the Tallinn collection by Jessica Swift for Art Gallery Fabrics. Have fun with your lining fabric for an extra pop of color. We used classic White on Orange Medium Cotton Dots by Riley Blake Fabrics. Polka dots are always available, but the exact exterior fabric we used is no longer readily available. Pick your favorite from the season’s latest and greatest!
The right hardware really makes the difference in the finished look of a bag. It has to be functional, look great, and everything should be in a matching finish. In order to check off all the pro-look boxes for our S4H bags, we often turn to Dritz Hardware. With this bag’s bright colors, we selected the antique brass/brushed brass finish for our Dritz D-Rings, Fashion Swivel Hooks, Fashion Slide Adjuster, ½” Swivel Hook (for the interior key lanyard), and Double Cap Rivets.
The adjustable strap combines tough Dritz Polyester Belting accented with an eye-popping orange grosgrain ribbon. Because both the belting and the ribbon are poly based, the raw ends can be quickly and cleanly finished by simply running them through a small flame. Our strap is designed to be a bit longer so it can be worn either over-the-shoulder or cross body
For a duffle, it’s so much handier if the strap can be detached and packed away so it doesn’t catch on things in more crowded situations or if you want to use it for traveling. When you’re ready for the strap again, just clip it back on.
The bag’s exterior panels are highlighted with piping, which is a great finish to emphasize the pretty curving shape of the panels. We used a standard packaged piping in a coordinating carrot orange, but you could certainly make your own piping should you want a thicker line and/or a more perfect color match. Our piping tutorial is linked below.
You’ll like our easy steps for inserting the chunky plastic zipper. The striking orange sport style zipper is a perfect matching accent to the ribbon and piping. In a smaller size like this, it’s fun to play with bold and bright colors.
As with most commercial bags, for the longest life, this duffle is meant to be spot cleaned. Spraying the outside with a stain repellant, such as ScotchGard or similar is a good protective step. That said, all the elements are machine washable, and on a gentle cycle in cold water, you could likely get away with a full wash. However, tumble-drying isn’t recommended. Let the bag air dry after any cleaning.
For the easiest construction, the duffle goes together in a way that creates visible seam allowances on the inside. We choose to wrap ours in bias binding in a color to match the lining. You could do the same or select your favorite machine sewn seam finish. Don’t have a favorite? We have a four-part series on the subject with lots of great options from which to choose.
Our Compact Quilted Duffle finishes at approximately 8½” high x 15″ wide with a 6″ base and sides. The carry handles have a 3” drop, and the detachable strap is about 38” fully extended.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Zipper Foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional but helpful when working with the multiple layers and for the straight line quilting – we used our built-in Janome AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Yardage amounts below include extra for fussy cutting and pattern matching a directional fabric.
- 1½ yards of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton in a bold print for the exterior
- 1½ yards of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton in a coordinating print for the lining
- ONE package or 2½ yards of narrow bias piping; we used Wright’s packaged Maxi Piping in Carrot
- TWO packages of Wright’s Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Binding Bias Tape to match the lining fabric to finish the inner seam allowances and for the inside Swivel Hook lanyard; we used Wrights Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Binding in Orange Peel
- ½ yard of ⅜” cotton piping cord for the handles
- 1¼ yards of ⅝” coordinating grosgrain ribbon for the strap accent; we used orange
- ¼ yard of ⅞” coordinating grosgrain ribbon for the D-Ring tabs; we used orange
- ONE 18”+ coordinating “chunky” zipper; we used a Coats Sports Zipper in Tangerine – ours was 26”, which was easily cut down to size
NOTE: The list below calls out the exact Dritz hardware we used. Keep the sizing the same, but you can certainly vary the brand and finish as needed to coordinate with your project.
- TWO Dritz 1” Fashion D-Rings in Antique Brass
- TWO Dritz 1” Fashion Swivel Hooks in Antique Brass
- ONE Dritz 1” Fashion Slide Adjuster in Antique Brass
- ONE Dritz ½” Swivel Hook in Antique Brass
- TWO Dritz Double Cap Rivets in Brushed Brass
- ONE set of Dritz Double Cap Rivet Tools
- 1¼ yards of Dritz Polyester Belting in White
- 1 yard of 45″+ fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus
- ½ yard of 45″+ mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- All-purpose thread to match fabric and ribbon
- See-through ruler
- Measuring tape
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Craft scissors for cutting the zipper
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Matches or a lighter to melt belting and ribbon for strap
- Small hammer to set rivets; we recommend a soft leather mallet or a ball peen hammer
- Heavy metal, stone or wooden block to use as a cutting and hammering surface for setting the rivets; we use a small granite block
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- DOWNLOAD AND PRINT: The COMPACT DUFFLE pattern. You may want to print more than one set of pattern pages since we’ve combined the body pattern and pocket pattern. With two assembled pieces, you won’t have to cut your main body pattern.
IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of FOUR 8½” x 11″ sheets, which have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid line. Using the printed arrows as your guide, assemble the four pieces into one finished pattern as shown below.
- From the exterior fabric, fussy cut the following – being especially careful with your cuts if you use a directional motif, such as our fabric’s cute tigers:
Using the assembled body pattern, cut TWO exterior panels
Cut the pattern along the Pocket Cut Line and use this trimmed pattern to fussy cut FOUR pocket pieces
NOTE: Two of the pieces are the pocket lining panels, which do not necessarily have to be fussy cut. As mentioned above, check out our tutorial on pattern matching if you are new to matching a pocket to a background panel.
TWO 4½” x 9” strips on the bias for the handles
ONE 19″ x 7″ rectangle for the center zipper panel
TWO 13½” x 7” rectangles for the side panels
NOTE: Remember to pay attention to direction. The drawing below shows how we oriented our motif. Note that the dimensions shown are finished sizes not cut sizes.
- From the fabric for the lining, cut the following:
Using the assembled body pattern, cut TWO main panels
Cut the pattern along the Pocket Cut Line and use this trimmed pattern to fussy cut FOUR pocket pieces
ONE 19″ x 7″ rectangle for the center zipper panel
TWO 13½” x 7” rectangles for the side panels
- From the fusible fleece, cut the following:
Use the assembled pattern, but trim along the dotted seam allowance line
Using the assembled/trimmed pattern, cut TWO exterior panels
ONE 18″ x 6″ rectangle for the center zipper panel
TWO 12½” x 6” rectangles for the side panels
- From the mid-weight interfacing, cut the following:
Use the assembled pattern, but trim along the dotted seam allowance line and the pocket cut line
Using the assembled/trimmed pattern, cut FOUR pocket panels
- From the piping cord, cut TWO 9” lengths.
- From the belting, cut ONE 42” length.
- From the ⅝” grosgrain, cut ONE 42” length.
NOTE: For adults, consider cutting both the belting and the ribbon at approximately 62″ for a full cross body strap.
- From the ⅞” grosgrain, cut TWO 2” lengths.
- From the bias tape, cut ONE 11” length for the interior lanyard. Leave the rest of the bias tape un-cut.
- All the packaged piping remains un-cut.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Pre-quilting the exterior
- Find the two “quilt sandwiches” that will make up the front and back exterior panels: two lining panels, two exterior panels, and two fusible fleece panels.
- Place a fleece panel on the wrong side of each exterior panel, centering it so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the fleece on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Layer each fused main exterior panel wrong sides together with its matching lining panel. The raw edges of the two fabric panels should be flush all around.
- On each layered unit, measure to find the exact center.
- Using a fabric pen or pencil, draw a vertical line at this center point. Remember, anytime you’re working on the right side of your fabric, make sure your marking tool is one that will easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
- With your exact center lines set, measure and mark parallel lines 1” apart across each panel, first moving from the center line to the right, then working from the center line to the left.
- Thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior fabric in the top and to best match the lining in the bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch; we used 3.5mm. If possible, attach a Walking or Even Feed foot or engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system. This is what we did, using the Janome AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system.
- Stitch along the drawn lines, again working from the center out to each side on each panel.
- Set aside the two quilted exterior panels.
Create the exterior and lining pockets
- Find the four exterior pocket panels, the four lining pocket panels, and the four interfacing panels.
- Center an interfacing panel on the wrong side of two of the exterior panels so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Place each interfaced exterior panel right sides together with a non-interfaced exterior panel. All raw edges of the fabric should be flush. Pin together just along the straight upper edge.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the straight upper edge of each pair.
- Press open the seam allowance.
- Re-fold the panels so they are now wrong sides together and press flat. All raw edges should be flush and the seam should be perfectly straight along the top edge.
- Repeat to create the two lining pockets.
Attach the exterior and lining pockets
- Pin one exterior pocket right side up on one exterior body piece (which is also right side up), aligning the bottom curved edges of both. Mark the center stitch line for the pocket, which should align with the center quilting line of the main panel.
NOTE: If you have one exterior panel and pocket that you feel is fussy cut better than the other, work with this pair first as it will become the front of the bag.
- From the center stitch line, measure ¾” to the right and ¾” to the left, drawing in parallel vertical lines at each of these points. These sections will become the narrow front pen pockets.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior in the top and to best match the lining in the bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch and sew through all layers along all three drawn lines.
- Place the exterior panel, with its pocket sewn in the center only, lining side up on your work surface.
- Find a lining pocket, place it right side up against the lining side of the exterior panel, aligning the curved bottom edges. Lightly pin in place along the outer perimeter.
- Find the center point on the pocket panel, then measure 2½” to the right and 2½” to the left, drawing in parallel vertical lines at each of these outer points. As shown, these lines will be in between the quilting lines above the pocket on the exterior panel. That is okay (we explain below).
- Before sewing these two lining pocket division lines, you will need to fold the exterior pocket out of the way. Flip the panel to the exterior side and fold one side of the exterior out of the way. Lightly pin in place.
- Flip back over to the lining side. Pin along the lining’s drawn line.
- Stitch along that drawn line.
- Repeat to flip and fold the other side of the exterior pocket out of the way. Pin along the remaining drawn line on the lining pocket, and stitch along this drawn line.
NOTE: Why the heck are we going to this trouble? Because the required pocket divisions do not line up exactly with the pre-quilted lines. Just mathematically crazy to make everything line up perfectly. So by stitching the lining pocket divisions in this manner, these “in between” stitching lines are hidden on the inside of the pocket and don’t mess up the perfectly spaced 1” quilting lines of the exterior. We’re glad you asked… and aren’t you glad to be so clever?!
- Re-flatten the exterior pocket and press well from the front and back. Pin along the perimeter.
- Machine baste along the perimeter of the pocket through all the layers: exterior pocket, main body, lining pocket.
- Repeat to attach the back exterior and lining pockets to the remaining back body panel.
- The only change we made was to leave off the two narrow pen pockets on the back. You could certainly choose to repeat them on the back if you’d like.
- Set aside the exterior panels.
Create the top zipper panel and side panels
- Find all the pieces that will make up the center and side walls of the duffle. You should have three sets of three: exterior, lining, and fusible fleece for the center top zipper panel and the two side panels.
- As you did above with the exterior panels, center and adhere the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the three exterior panels.
- Then, layer the these fused panels wrong sides together with their matching lining panels. All raw edges of the fabric should be flush on all three “quilt sandwiches.”
- Set aside the center top quilt sandwich.
- On the two side panel quilt sandwiches, you’ll create 1” lines of quilting across each panel similarly to how you did above on the exterior panels. As you can see above in the sample photos and the drawing, these lines of quilting run vertically – the long length of each panel; they are not short horizontal lines.
- First find the vertical center of each quilt sandwich. Place a pin at this center point. Measure ½” to the right of center and, using your fabric pen, draw in a vertical guide line. Then measure ½” to the left of center and draw in another vertical guide line.
- From these first two vertical guidelines, measure in 1” increments out to either side, first to the right and then to the left.
- Make sure the machine is threaded with thread to best match the exterior in the top and to best match the lining in the bobbin, and also make sure the stitch is still lengthened to match what you did above.
- Stitch along each drawn line on each side panel quilt sandwich.
- Set aside the side panels.
- Find the top zipper panel quilt sandwich, which has not been quilted.
- Slice down the center of the panels so you now have two halves that are each 19” x 3½”.
- Separate the layers into fused exterior and lining layers; you should have two of each.
- Place one of the fused exterior halves right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Find the zipper. Place it right side down on the exterior. The zipper pull should be just over ½” in from one raw end. The bottom zipper stop should be over ½” in from the opposite raw end. If you are using a longer zipper, as we did, the tail of the zipper will simply extend beyond the opposite raw edge. This is correct and we can trim away the excess later.
NOTE: As mentioned above (take a look at the drawing at the top of the instructions), make sure you are working with the raw edges of the sliced panel that will be the center – to either side of the zipper.
- Pin the zipper in place along just the bottom zipper tape.
- Place one half of the lining panel right side down on top of the front panel, sandwiching the zipper between the layers.
- The top raw edge of the lining panel should be aligned with the top raw edge of the exterior panel and the zipper tape. Pin well.
- Open up the zipper. Since we used a long zipper, we simply opened it all the way. If your zipper is to-size, open it about half way.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best coordinate with the exterior, lining, and zipper. Re-set the stitch length to normal. Attach a Zipper foot. We continued to use our AcuFeed™ Flex system instead of a Zipper foot.
- Stitch across the top through all three layers, using a ¼” seam.
NOTE: As with all zipper insertions, when you feel you are approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Raise the presser foot and twist the layers slightly so you can access the pull. Then move the pull out of the way of the presser foot. Once clear, drop the presser foot, re-position the layers, and finish the seam.
- Fold the lining back so the fused exterior panel and the lining panel are now wrong sides together and the remaining free edge of the zipper tape is sticking up. Press.
- Find the remaining half of the fused exterior panel and the remaining half of the lining panel. Layer this side with the remaining free edge of the zipper – following the same steps as above. Pin in place through all three layers.
- Stitch through all three layers along this second side of the zipper, again using a ¼” seam.
- As you did above, fold the exterior and lining wrong sides together and press. The exterior front and lining are now wrong sides together to either side of the zipper. Close the zipper and press well. Remember to keep your iron away from the plastic zipper teeth!
- Pin in place along either side of the zipper teeth.
- The final step is to add the quilting lines to the zipper panel. Starting from one outer raw edge, measure in 1” and draw a guide line. Measure in another 1” and draw a parallel guide line. Then, measure 1” from this second line and draw a third guide line, which should end up approximately ⅛” – ¼” from the zipper seam.
- Repeat from the opposite raw edge in to the other side of the zipper.
- Stitch along each drawn line.
NOTE: As above, if you are not using an extra long zipper and cannot open your zipper all the way past the fabric panels, you’ll need to remember to open and close the zipper as necessary to be able the keep the final quilting lines straight.
Assemble the center section with the sides and add the D-Rings
- Find the two side panels, which you pre-quilted above.
- Find the two D-Rings and the two 2” lengths of ⅞” ribbon.
- Slip a length of ribbon through each D-Ring, aligning the raw ends.
- Place one D-Ring at either end of the zipper. At the head end of the zipper, simply align the raw edges of the ribbon with the raw edges of the layered panels and pin in place.
- Find a side panel. Remember, if you’re using a directional fabric as we did, keep track of which side is up. You want to find the TOP of the side panel.
- Open up the zipper about half way. Place the side panel right sides together with the head end of the center zipper panel, sandwiching the D-Ring between the layers. Make sure to match up the quilting lines. Pin in place.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across through all the layers. Stitch slowly! You can even stop and hand walk across the zipper to insure you don’t hit the zipper stops or run into the D-Ring. We used our Janome AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system to help keep these tricky layers moving together smoothly and evenly under the needle.
- Press the side panel away from the center panel, pressing the seam allowance down towards the side panel.
NOTE: The steps below are for a long zipper that needs to be cut to size. If your zipper is a perfect fit, both side panels can be attached in exactly the same manner. If shortening, follow along below.
- At the tail end of the zipper, pin the ribbon ends of the D-Ring in place so they will be flush with the fabric panels.
- Stitch across the zipper teeth to secure the teeth together prior to cutting. Plastic zipper teeth are soft, but you should still go slowly and, as above, may want to hand walk the needle across the teeth. We switched to a Zipper foot for this step.
- Cut away the excess zipper flush with the fabric panels, then cut away the teeth a bit more to leave ½” free for a smooth seam allowance.
- Find the remaining side panel. Again, make sure you rotate the panel so you’re working with the TOP raw edge.
- As above, layer the side panel right sides together with the tail end of the zipper panel, sandwiching the D-Ring between the layers. Pin in place. Remember to match up the quilting lines panel to panel.
- As above, use a ½” seam allowance to stitch across through all the layers. We used a standard presser foot this time, but you could certainly switch to a Zipper foot or a Waking foot or use your built-in fabric feeding system. Remember to be careful as you stitch across the tail end near the zipper teeth.
- Finish the seam allowance on each side of the zipper panel with your favorite method. We wrapped our seam allowances with bias binding so they would match the rest of the inner seam allowances (see steps below), but you could also use a standard machine sewn finish, such as an overcast or zig zag. Remember to re-thread the machine as needed with matching thread in the top and bobbin.
- With the seams finished, flip the D-Ring loops up towards the zipper and topstitch along the two short seams within each side panel. Again, if necessary, remember to re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior in the top and to best match the lining in the bobbin.
- You now have a finished zippered center section with the two side panels attached to either end.
- Place the raw ends together to form a loop.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across and finish the seam allowance in the same manner as you chose for the upper seams of the side panels.
Create the handles
- Find the two bias cut 4½” x 9” strips of exterior fabric.
- Fold in half, right sides together, so they are now 2¼” x 9”.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. The stitch length and width should be set to standard.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch each length into a tube.
- Press open the seam allowance, then turn the tube right side out. Roll the seam to the center back and press flat.
- Find the two 9” lengths of cording.
- Lay cording down the center of each pressed strip, placing the cording right over the seam.
- Wrap the fabric around the cord. Pin close to the cord to hold it in place.
- Using a Zipper foot, stitch the length of each, keeping your seam as close to the cording as possible.
- Using your scissors, cut and pull out some of the fluff from the middle of the cording on each end so you can flatten it to better stitch over the ends during the final construction.
Create the Swivel Hook lanyard
- Find the 11” length of bias tape.
- Fold under one end ½”. Thread that end through the ½” Dritz Swivel Hook. Pull the end through on itself and pin place.
NOTE: You don’t need the D-Ring that comes with the ½” Dritz Swivel Hook set for this project. Keep it in your stash.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the bias tape in the top and bobbin.
- Stitch along the folded edges of the bias tape and across the one end securing the Swivel Hook.
Add the piping to the front and back main panels
- Find the piping. Starting at the center bottom on both the front and back exterior panels, wrap piping around the perimeter of each panel.
- You are placing the piping on the right side of the exterior panels so the raw edge of the piping is flush with the raw edge of the fabric. Pin in place. If need be, you can clip into the curves at each corner to further help the piping ease around the curves.
- Baste the piping in place on each panel.
- Trim back the piping cord at the start/finish so the the two ends butt together.
- Fold and overlap the ends and finish the basting to secure.
NOTE: If you are brand new to working with piping, we have a full, step-by-step tutorial with the basics, including details on finishing.
Place the handles and lanyard
- Find the two corded handles and the original paper pattern.
- Use the placement markings on the paper pattern to position the handles.
- They should sit on the exterior side of each main panel with the handle’s seam to the inside. There should be approximately 4” of space between the handle ends. Pin in place.
- Machine baste each handle end in place to further secure.
- Place the raw end of the lanyard against the lining side of the back panel. It should be 4” from the center of the panel at the right edge of the panel. If need be, you can shorten the lanyard at this time. Pin and then machine baste the raw end in place. We dropped the Swivel Hook end of the lanyard into the pocket so it would stay safely out of the way of the perimeter seams.
Insert the front and back panels into the side loop
- Find the front and back exterior panels. Fold each in half, top to bottom, and place a pin at each edge of the fold. Fold in half in the opposite direction and place two additional pins. You now have pins at the quarter points of each panel, a little bit like the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 points on the face of a clock, but in this case you’re not quite working with a full circle.
- Repeat this process with the side loop to mark quarter points along each raw edge. The bottom seam is the 6:00 point on the loop.
- Flip the side loop wrong side out. Set the front exterior panel into the loop so the two pieces are right sides together. Align the quarter point pins of the front panel with the matching pins of the loop.
- Pin through all the layers at these points first, then fill in around the panel.
NOTE: This technique is the same as any project where you are inserting a flat panel into a tube. In this case, we simply have a very narrow tube and a non-traditional “circle.” If you are new to this process, check out our full, step-by-step tutorial.
- Using a Zipper foot, stitch all the way around the circle, running your seam as close to the piping as possible. If your machine allows you to set the needle position, move it all the way to the left.
- Repeat to add the back exterior panel.
NOTE: This side will be a bit more challenging to wrangle under the presser foot because you no longer have an open side. However, by making sure the zipper is all the way open and working to flatten the layers, you should be able to go all the way around without a problem. As with all things that may present a challenge, go slowly and stop as needed – with your needle in the down position – to adjust the layers.
Interior seam allowances
- As above with the side loop seam allowances, we opted to wrap the exposed interior seam allowances with bias binding. You can choose this method or your favorite machine sewn finish.
- To wrap your seams as we did, turn the entire bag wrong side out and stitch the flattened binding to one side of the seam allowance. Remember, you are only stitching to the seam allowance – NOT to the bag itself.
- Then wrap the binding around the raw edges of the seam allowance and stitch in place, through all the layers, to secure.
Add the rivets at the pocket tops
- We added a Dritz Double Cap Rivet to the center top of both the front and back pockets. The rivets help reinforce this stress point at the pocket tops and add a cool hardware embellishment.
- Collect the Dritz Double Cap Rivets and the Dritz Double Cap Rivet Tools.
- First cut a hole with the Dritz Cutting Tool.
- Set the front cap into position through the hole from front to back.
- Place the back cap onto the stud of the front cap. You’ll need to pull the lining pocket out of the way, but that’s easy – you have plenty of open pocket to work with.
- Using the setting anvil, hammer to seal.
- You should use a very hard surface to hammer against for the best seal. We like to use a small block of granite.
NOTE: Riveting is easier than you might think (especially with the Dritz tools), and we’ve summarized the steps above. Check out our Metal Rivets Tutorial if you are brand new to the technique.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the grosgrain ribbon in the top and to best match the webbing in the bobbin. Or, you can use an invisible thread in both the top and bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
- Find the 42” length of 1″ Dritz Belting, the 42” length of grosgrain ribbon, the two Dritz 1″ Fashion Swivel Hooks, and the 1” Dritz Fashion Slide Adjuster.
- Place the ribbon on top of the belting, centering it side to side along the entire 42” length. Pin in place.
- Using a match or lighter, lightly pass both ends through the flame to melt and secure the ends from fraying.
NOTE: We can only do this because both the belting and the ribbon are poly based and will melt with the heat. Do not try this with cotton webbing or ribbon. Instead finish the ends by folding under or use a dense zig zag stitch across the raw ends.
- Stitch along both sides of the ribbon.
- Loop one end of the belting through the center bar of the Adjustable Slide. Pull it through about 1” against itself and stitch in place to secure.
- Feed the free end of the belting through one of the Swivel Hooks, then bring the end back through the Adjustable Slide, going up and over the stitched-down end. This creates your adjusting loop. Before continuing, do a quick check to make sure the belting is looped through so the swivel clip is facing right side up (closed side up) to match the right side up of the Adjustable Slide.
- Finally, slip the free end through the remaining Swivel Hook, again pulling the end through about 1″. Stitch across to secure. Before stitching, do one more quick check to make sure there are no twists in your strap.
NOTE: The strap steps have been summarized here to keep the instructions at a manageable level. But have no fear, if you are new to the technique, our friends at Dritz sponsored a complete, step-by-step tutorial on how to create an adjustable strap.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild
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Is there anywhere you can print off the instructions without all the adverts?
Hi Louise – Yes – that is available for any/all of our articles. Look for the vertical SHARE bar along the left hand side of all our articles. It scrolls as you scroll. On some smaller devices, it may appear horizontally across the top. You’ll see PDF and print icons within this bar. Click to download and print. Our custom software allows you to choose the size of your images and font. You can read more details here: https://sew4home.com/how-use-sew4home-pdfs-articles-patterns/
I wanted a large toiletry case that matches my Pioneer Woman luggage, and I thought this one looked the closest to what I was imagining. It’s a little big, but I’ll be able to put everything I want in it and squish it into my suitcase. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions! It turned out really cute.
Hi Erica — Wow – this is indeed large for a toiletry case, but if worked within your luggage, then: WIN! I’m so glad to hear you found the instructions easy to follow.
Hi! Would it be possible to shrink the pattern slightly to use it as an everyday handbag?
We don’t traditionally recommend shrinking our patterns as some of the “tight places” could become too tight.
Hi, thanks for this detailed tutorial. Is there an alternative to quilting? Perhaps an interfacing that is a little more rigide? Like Vlieseline Style-Vil?
Hi there. Thanks! This is a super popular bag pattern :-). We haven’t used that particular type of foam interfacing but have used the Pellon fusible foam on other projects. We tend not to use a foam unless we are sure we want a fairly rigid shape, which isn’t what we were going for with this bag. Because we haven’t tried it ourselves, I can’t tell you for sure what your results would be. Two things to keep in mind if you decide to try it: 1) be careful with the sizing of the panels; you for sure want to… Read more »
Thank you so much for the explanation. Does this mean that if I can get a two-sided fusible I won’t need to quilt? Vlieseline does have one.
Hi again. Since the quilting is an integral part of the design, I really can’t give you a guarantee about how eliminating it would turn out. I suggested the double-sided fusible as something that might work to help keep all the layers together, but again – we haven’t tried it, and a single sided option really wouldn’t solve the issue. If you want a smaller duffle without quilting, you might want to instead take a look at our Favorite Overnight Duffle: https://sew4home.com/favorite-overnighter-duffle/
Thanks Liz for this explanation. I will have a look but it looks quite big actually.
Our Compact Quilted Duffle finishes at approximately 8½” high x 15″ wide with a 6″ base and sides. The Favorite Overnnight Duffle also finishes at approximately 8½” high x 15″ wide x 6” deep.
Is there a video tutorial?
Hello Pa – No, we do not produce full-length video tutorials at this time. We do, however, spend a lot of time and energy to make sure our instructions and in-step photos are as detailed and complete as possible. I encourage you to read through the project to “make it in your head.” I think you’ll find it something quite achievable.
Loved this little duffle! The instructions were detailed and very clear. The result is highly professional-looking. It turned out roomier than I expected, which was great. Thank you so much for this pattern!
Hi Angela — Thank you so much. We’re thrilled your duffle turned out so great! If you follow us on social media, we’d love to see a picture so we can all be inspired :-)!
Sure! I already tagged you in my Instagram post.
Hi Angela – Thanks 🙂 – we are sew4home_diy in instagram (someone hijacked sew4home way back when!) – I’ll keep an eye out.
Adorable! I love this bag but
Adorable! I love this bag but it’s way too small for my needs. Please consider making a pattern/tutorial of this exact bag in a much larger size for adults.
Thank you for all you do to be the best resource for sewing success!
@Coryb – Thanks! We have a
@Coryb – Thanks! We have a number of larger size Duffles. I’ve linked to two recent ones below and you can also always browse through the Totes & Bags section of the Project Index.
I know a 7 year old who hasn
I know a 7 year old who hasn’t yet gone to her first sleepover, but I imagine that will happen anytime. I also imagine that she’d love this little duffle. Great project!
@Momo – Thank you! And, yes,
@Momo – Thank you! And, yes, I’m sure she would love it. Especially picking out her fave fabric.