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Quilted Travel Duffle
On-the-go just got a whole lot prettier! This beautiful duffle is made for travel. Pack it on its own or use the sleeve on the back to slip it over the handle of a rolling suitcase. Classic hardware pulls it all together, allowing the design to include carry handles as well as a fully adjustable and detachable shoulder strap. Plus, a magnetic snap keeps the generous front pocket closed.
The bold fabric and pretty straight line quilting might remind you of designer bags seen in stores for hundreds of dollars. We’ll admit to grabbing a bit of inspiration there, but we’ve made the look our own with unique embellishments and our signature S4H easy-to-follow instructions.
As professional and gorgeous as this bag turns out, it is surprisingly straightforward. We’ve included lots of little tips along the way for getting the best look, matching up the lines of quilting, and more. You’ll also find links to technique tutorials if you’re new to setting magnetic snaps or creating your own piping.
The exterior fabric we originally used is Peony Season in Gold from the To Market collection by Emily Isabella for Cloud9 Fabrics. This fabric is no longer readily available, but you can certainly select your own bold print from the dozens of new collections that debut each season.
For a travel duffle, it’s important the strap can be detached and packed away so it doesn’t catch on things in crowded aisles and seats. But once out of those confines, you then need to be able to snap the strap back on and adjust the length to wear it over-the-shoulder or cross body. Metal rings, sliders, and hooks are the hardware classics that make it all happen.
The bag and the front pocket flap are highlighted with piping, which is a great finish that outlines the pretty curving shapes. Although you could use packaged piping, we recommend making our own to get a thicker line and a more perfect color match.
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 get away with a full wash. However, tumble drying isn’t recommended. It could be air fluffed in the the dryer for just a bit, then hang to let it air dry the rest of the way.
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 duffle finishes at approximately 12″ high x 18″ wide with a 8″ base and sides. The carry handles have an approximate 4” drop and the detachable strap is about 58” fully extended. The back sleeve opening is 8″ wide, which should easily fit most rolling suitcase handles.
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 the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome Skyline S7, incorporating a Quilt Guide Bar
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 2 yards of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton in a bold print
NOTE: Yardage allows extra for fussy cutting and some pattern matching.
- 2 yards of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton in a coordinating solid for the lining; we originally used a honey gold quilting cotton
- ½ yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton in a coordinating solid for the piping; we originally used a pale pink quilting cotton
- 4 yards of ¼” (size 2) piping cord; we used cotton piping in size 2
- 3 yards of 1” wide polyester or nylon webbing; we suggest the 1″ Dritz 100% polypro webbing, which comes in a variety of colors
- ONE 24” coordinating “chunky” zipper; we used a YKK Fastrak Separating Zipper in Mustard
- 4 yards of double fold bias binding; you make your own for a perfect match or buy packaged bias binding in as close a match as possible; we used packaged Wrights Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape
- TWO 1” Triangle Rings
- TWO 1” Swivel Hooks
- ONE 1” Slide Adjuster
- FOUR 1″ Rectangle Rings
- ONE Magnetic Snap
NOTE: We used Dritz hardware in a matching nickel finish.
- 2 yards of 44″+ fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus
- ¼ yard of 20″+ mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- 1 yard of 20″+ lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shape-Flex
- Scrap or ⅛ yard of thin faux leather or similar for the zipper pull; optional
- All-purpose thread to match fabric and webbing
- 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
- Seam sealant; optional to help finish the webbing ends
Getting Started + Pattern Download
- Download and print the TRAVEL DUFFLE pattern.
IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of FIFTEEN 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 arrows on the pieces, assemble the fifteen pieces into five finished patterns as shown below.
- From the exterior fabric, cut the following:
Using the assembled pattern, cut TWO exterior panels
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior pocket
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior pocket flap
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior sleeve/pocket panel
ONE 9″ wide x 24″ high rectangle for the top of the exterior side loop
ONE 9″ wide x 33″ high rectangle for the base of the exterior side loop
ONE 18” x 2” strip for the interior pocket binding
NOTE: If you’d like to precisely fussy cut your panels in order to have a perfect match of the pocket and/or the sleeve to the base panel, review our tutorial: How to Perfectly Match a Pocket to a Background Panel.
- From the fabric for the lining, cut the following:
Using the assembled pattern, cut TWO exterior panel linings
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior pocket lining
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior pocket flap lining
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior sleeve/pocket panel lining
Using the assembled pattern, cut TWO Interior pocket panels
ONE 9″ wide x 24″ high rectangle for the top of the exterior side loop lining
ONE 9″ wide x 33″ high rectangle for the base of the exterior side loop lining
- From the fabric for the piping, cut enough 1¾” strips, on the bias, to equal 4 finished yards
- From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior pocket
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior pocket flap
Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE exterior sleeve/pocket panel
- From the fusible fleece, cut the following:
Use the assembled pattern pieces, but trim them along the dotted seam allowance line
Using the assembled/trimmed pattern, cut TWO exterior panels
Using the assembled/trimmed pattern, cut ONE exterior pocket panel
Using the assembled/trimmed pattern, cut ONE exterior pocket flap panel
Using the assembled/trimmed pattern, cut ONE exterior sleeve/pocket panel
ONE 8″ wide x 23″ high rectangle for the top of the exterior side loop
ONE 8″ wide x 32″ high rectangle for the base of the exterior side loop
- From the mid-weight interfacing, cut the following:
Use the assembled pattern piece, but trim it along the dotted seam allowance line
Using the assembled/trimmed pattern, cut ONE interior pocket panel
TWO 2” x 2” squares to reinforce the magnetic snap
- From the webbing, cut the following:
TWO 13” lengths for the handles
FOUR 2” lengths for the Rectangle Ring loops
TWO 3” lengths for the Triangle Ring loops
ONE 62” length for the detachable strap
- From the faux leather for the zipper pull, but ONE 6” length.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Fusing the fleece panels
- Find the front and back main lining panels, the front exterior pocket, the exterior pocket flap, the top side loop exterior panel, the base side loop lining panel, the back sleeve exterior panel, and the matching pieces of fusible fleece for all these pieces.
- Place the fusible fleece on the wrong side of each of the above pieces (pay attention — in some cases you’re fusing to the exterior fabric, in others to the lining fabric), centering it in on each piece so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the fleece on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Layer each fused main lining panel wrong sides together with its matching exterior 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.
- 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 system and attaching a Quilt Guide Bar.
- Stitch along the drawn center line.
- Re-set to stitch parallel lines of straight line quilting, first moving from the center line to the right, then working from the center line to the left. We used a Quilt Guide bar set at ¾” to get our perfect spacing. If you don’t have this option, you could draw in all the needed guide lines with a fabric pen or pencil.
- Repeat to sandwich and pre-quilt the base side loop.
- You should still have four exterior pieces that have the fleece fused in place. Below you see the exterior pocket flap with its fleece panel in place. You should also have the front exterior pocket, the top side loop exterior panel, and the back sleeve exterior panel.
- Set aside the top side loop exterior panel. It will be addressed in the zipper insertion steps below.
- On the remaining three pieces, mark and pre-quilt in the same manner with the same style of straight line quilting but without layering with lining.
NOTE: It is a little less-traditional to quilt with just one layer of fabric over batting because the batting can sometimes drag against the machine’s feed dogs. We would not suggest this for large projects, but for small sections like you are working with here, there should be few if any issues.
Fusing the interfacing
- Collect the panels of mid-weight and lightweight fusible interfacing.
- Place the mid-weight interfacing on the wrong side of one of the interior pocket panels. It should be centered so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on both sides and around the bottom. The top edge of the interfacing should be flush with the fabric panel. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- The lightweight interfacing should be fused in place to the wrong side of the front pocket lining panel, the pocket flap lining panel, and the back sleeve lining panel. For all of these panels, the interfacing should be flush with the fabric all around. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
Top zipper panel
- Find the top side loop exterior panel, which should have its fleece panel fused in place, but is not pre-quilted, and the matching top loop lining panel.
- Place the exterior and lining panels wrong sides together, aligning the raw edges all around. Slice the layers in half down the vertical center.
- Find the zipper.
- Place one half of the sliced exterior panel right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Center the zipper across the top. The zipper should be right side down on the panel. Pin the zipper in place.
- 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. Open the zipper about half way. Pin well.
- 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.
- Stitch across the top through all three layers, using a ¼” seam.
NOTE: All 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 layers back so the front exterior panel and the lining panel are now wrong sides together and the remaining free side of the zipper tape is sticking up. Press. We also pinned the layers in place because with the fleece, the layers are a bit bulkier than with traditional zipper insertions.
- Find the remaining half of the exterior top panel and the remaining half of the lining top panel. Make a second sandwich similar to the first one. Place this remaining exterior panel right sides together with the in-place exterior panel.
- You are aligning its top raw edge with the free edge of the zipper tape. Lightly pin in place.
- Flip over the assembled unit and place the remaining lining panel right sides together with the in-place lining panel. The top raw edge of the lining panel should also be flush with the free edge of the zipper tape.
- As before, you have sandwiched the remaining free edge of the zipper between the layers. The two exterior panels are right sides together and the two lining panels are right sides together. 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.
- Open up the entire unit so it lays flat. The exterior front and lining halves are wrong sides together to either side of the zipper. Press well and pin in place.
Assemble the side loop and finish quilting
- Find the base side loop, which you pre-quilted above as a traditional sandwich.
- Find the two Triangle Rings and the two 3” lengths of webbing.
- Slip a length of webbing through each Ring.
- Align the raw ends of the webbing and center them at each end of the base side loop. Re-attach a standard presser foot. Pin and then baste the loops in place.
- Pin the zipper section of the side loop to the base section, forming the full side loop. Open up the zipper about half way.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch each short seam. In the photo below, we are stitching the seam along the top end of the zipper panel with the pre-quilted base panel facing up.
- When re-setting to stitch the the seam along the bottom of the zipper, we flipped over the unit so the zipper was facing up and we could most easily avoid the zipper stop. Because we chose a separating zipper (it’s not critical to use a separating variety, but this style of zipper tends to have the “chunky” style we’re looking for in a duffle), it had a particularly large zipper stop to work around. We already accounted for this when initially centering the zipper, but it’s still something to work around. Stitch slowly across the teeth. You can even stop and hand walk across the teeth to avoid any needle damage.
- Turn the loop right side out to finish the quilting to either side of the zipper. Why have we waited until now to do that quilting? So the lines along the top will line up exactly with the pre-quilted lines of the base!
- 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. Lengthen the stitch to what you used above for the straight line quilting (3.5mm in our sample).
- Starting from one outer raw edge and working inward toward the zipper, you’ll create parallel lines of straight line quilting that exactly match the pre-quilted lines of the base unit, ending with a line of edgestitching right along the zipper teeth.
- Align your ruler with the outer line of quilting on the base unit in order to draw in a guide line on which to start.
- Stitch along this drawn line first, then set your Quilt Guide Bar to align with each subsequent line of existing quilting as you move from the outside in toward the zipper. Your seam starts and stops at the horizontal seams that join the top to the base. You can draw in the guide lines if you do not have a Quilt Guide Bar.
- Repeat to stitch from the opposite outer raw edge working in toward the zipper teeth.
- Flip the Triangle Ring loops up towards the zipper and topstitch horizontally along the two short seams within the bottom panel.
- You now have a finished, quilted side loop that is a complete circle with perfectly matched lines of quilting. Yay!
- Turn the loop wrong side out and use a pair of craft scissors to clip the zipper stop out of the seam.
- Finish the seam allowance on each side. We wrapped our seam allowances with bias binding so it would match the rest of the inner seam allowances (see steps below), but you could also you a standard machine sewn finish, such as an overcast or zig zag.
- To use binding, flatten the binding and pin it in place against one side of the seam allowance. Change your presser foot as needed and re-set the stitch length to normal.
- Stitch in place.
- Then wrap around the raw edges of the seam allowance and stitch again to secure.
Create the piping
- If you are new to making piping, you might want to first review our tutorial, How To Make And Attach Your Own Piping.
- Find the four yards of bias strips. Stitch them together end to end to create one, continuous length.
- Find the matching length of piping cord.
- Wrap the fabric, right side out, around the cord. Pin close to the cord to hold it in place.
- Using a Zipper foot, sew close to the cord to create your fabric covered piping.
Create and place the interior pocket
- Find the 2” x 18” strip of binding for the interior pocket (in the exterior fabric). Fold it in half so it is now 1” x 18″, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease. Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Fold in each raw edge so they meet at the center crease line.
- Re-fold in half along the original crease line.
- Find the two interior pocket layers, one of which should have the mid-weight interfacing fused in place.
- Put the two pocket layers wrong sides together, making sure the raw edges of both layers are flush all around.
- Slip the binding over the top. The crease of the binding should sit right along the straight raw edges of the pocket panels.
- Fold the binding down and pin in place.
- Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the binding in the top and bobbin. Using a slightly lengthened stitch, run a seam across the entire top of the pocket. Stay close to the inner folded edges of the binding, but go slowly to insure you are catching both the front and the back of the binding in this one seam.
- Find the pre-quilted back panel. Place it lining side up on your work surface.
- Place the pocket right side up on the lining side of the panel, aligning the sides and curved bottom of both layers. Pin the pocket in place.
- Baste the pocket in place along the sides and around the curved bottom.
- Flip over the panel so it is now right side up. Measure in from each outer raw edge approximately 6” – it doesn’t need to be exact; simply find the existing line of quilting closest to your 6” measurement.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior in the top and to best match the lining in the bobbin. Lengthen the stitch to what you used above for the straight line quilting (3.5mm in our sample).
- Working from the front, stitch directly over the top of each of your two chosen (apx. 6” in) lines of existing quilting. You are stitching through both the main panel and the pocket panel.
- This divides the interior pocket into three sections. Later, when you stitch the back sleeve in place, the pocket will be further divided into two shorter outer pockets and two narrow pen pockets.
Create the front pocket and flap with its magnetic snap
- Find the pocket flap lining, which should have its lightweight interfacing fused in place.
- Set the flap lining interfacing side up on your work surface to mark for the position of the top half of the Magnetic Snap. The snap should be centered side to side and sit 1¼” up from the bottom raw edge of the flap.
- Use the snap’s washer to sketch in cut lines.
- Find the two 2” squares of mid-weight interfacing. Fuse them, one on top of the other, over the marked area as reinforcement. Re-mark the cut lines if needed,
- Make tiny slits at the two cut lines.
- Insert the top half of the snap from the front…
- … through to the back.
- Add the washer over the prongs and bend them outward to secure.
NOTE: If you are brand new to this technique, we have a full tutorial on How to Insert a Magnetic Snap Closure.
- Find the pre-quilted exterior flap panel and the piping.
- Place the piping on the right side of the exterior flap along the sides and across the bottom, cutting it to fit. There is no piping along the straight top edge. The raw edge of the piping should be flush with the raw edge of the flap. Pin in place, clipping into the corners to help the piping ease around the curves. The remaining length of piping is for the main front and back panels.
- Baste the piping in place.
- Place the exterior quilted flap and the flap lining right sides together, sandwiching the piping (and the magnetic snap half) between the layers.
- Re-set the stitch length to normal. Using an approximate ½” seam allowance, stitch around the perimeter of the flap. Leave a 3-4” opening along the top straight edge for turning. We used a Zipper foot in order to stay tight up against the piping. We say an “approximate” ½” seam allowance because your goal is to be right up against the piping, which might be slightly wider or narrower. Across the top, use a true ½” and remember to lock the seam at either side of the 3-4″ opening.
- Press open the seam allowance and clip the curves.
- Turn right side out and press the flap flat, pressing in the raw edges along the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Find the exterior front pocket, which is pre-quilted but does not yet have the lining in place.
- Find the main front panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. Place the exterior front pocket into position, also right side up, on the panel so the sides and bottom of the pocket are aligned with the main panel. Lightly pin the pocket front in place.
- Find the flap. Pin it in place, also right side up, on the main panel. The top straight edge of the flap should sit 4½” down from the top raw edge of the main panel. Pin the flap in place. The lines of quilting on the flap should match up with the lines of quilting on the main panel.
- Use the top half of the Magnetic Snap, which is in place on the flap, to mark the position for the bottom half of the snap, which will be inserted on the pocket front.
- Unpin the unlined pocket front and insert the bottom half of the magnetic snap in the same manner as the top half.
- With the second half of the snap in place, layer the front pocket lining and the quilted exterior pocket right sides together. Pin along the top straight edge only.
- Attach a standard presser foot if necessary, and using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across the top.
- Press the seam allowance open and flat. Then fold the two layers wrong sides together so the seam sits straight along the top. Press again.
- Replace the pocket into position on the main front panel. Pin in place.
- Baste the pocket in place along both sides and around the bottom.
- Re-pin the pocket flap into position. Lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch across the top of the flap through all the layers. This secures the flap in position and closes the opening used for turning.
Create and place the back sleeve/pocket
- Find the quilted exterior of the sleeve and the sleeve lining panel, which should have its interfacing fused in place. Place the two panels right sides together and pin along the top and bottom, the sides remain open.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the top and bottom. Press both seam allowances open and flat. Then turn the sleeve right side out through the open ends and press flat once again, making sure those top and bottom seams are running straight and true along each edge.
- Edgestitch along the top seamed edge. Keep the same slightly lengthened stitch as above.
- Find the main back panel. Place it right side up on your work surface. Place the sleeve, also right side up, on the main panel. The bottom edge of the sleeve should sit 3½” up from the bottom raw edge of the panel. The raw side edges of both layers are flush. Pin the sleeve in place along the sides.
- As you did with the interior panel, you are going to find an existing line of quilting to use as your stitching line. In this case, find the line of quilting on the sleeve/main panel that is approximately 5” in from each side edge. These lines will become your outer dividing lines that will separate the panel into two outside pockets with the inner sleeve opening.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior in the top and to best match the lining in the bobbin. Lengthen the stitch to what you used above for the straight line quilting (3.5mm in our sample). Attach a Walking or Even Feed foot or engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system.
- Starting at one raw side edge, edgestitch along the bottom of the sleeve panel, continuing until you get to your apx. 5”-from-the-edge quilting line.
- Stop, pivot, and stitch directly on top of the existing line of quilting up to the top of the sleeve panel. Lock your stitch at the top. Repeat to stitch in from the opposite raw edge edge, then pivot and stitch to the top of the panel in the same manner. The drawing below summarizes the measurements.
- Find the four Rectangle Rings and the four 2” lengths of webbing.
- Slip a length of webbing through each Ring and pin in position along the top raw edge of both the front and back panels. As shown in the drawing above, the Ring tabs should be 6” apart on center. Pin and/or baste in place.
- Find the remaining piping. Starting at the center bottom on both the front and back panels, wrap piping around the perimeter of each panel.
- Baste the piping in place on each panel.
- Trim back the piping cord at the start/finish so the two ends butt together.
- Fold and overlap the ends and finish the basting to secure.
NOTE: If you are brand new to piping, as mentioned above, we have a full, step-by-step tutorial with the basics, including details on finishing.
Insert the front and back panels into the side loop
- Find the front and back exterior panels. Fold each panel in half, top to bottom, and place a pin at each edge of the fold. Fold it in half in the opposite direction and place two additional pins. You now have pins at the quarter points of the 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 working with a full circle.
- Repeat this process with the side loop to mark quarter points along each raw edge.
- Flip the side loop wrong side out. Set one 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 panel, 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 remaining exterior panel to the open side of the loop.
- 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 periodically – with your needle in the down position – to adjust the layers as needed.
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 use the bound method, turn the entire bag wrong side out and follow the same steps as above to pin 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 (both sides of the binding and the seam allowance) to secure.
Adjustable strap, handles, and optional zipper pull
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the webbing in the top and bobbin.
- Find the 62” length of webbing, the two 1” Large Swivel Hooks and the 1” Adjustable Slide Buckle.
- Loop one end of the webbing through the center bar of the Adjustable Slide Buckle. Pull it through about 1″ and stitch in place to secure. We used a dense zig zag stitch, running across and back several times for a nice, tight seam.
- Feed the free end of the webbing through one of the Swivel Hooks, then bring the end back through the Adjustable Slide Buckle, going up and over the stitched-down end. This creates your adjusting loop. Before continuing, do a quick check to make sure the webbing is looped through so the swivel clip is facing right side up (closed side up) to match the right side up of the adjustable buckle.
- Finally, slip the free end through the remaining Swivel Hook, pulling the end through about 1″. Edgestitch in place; we again used a dense zig zag. Before stitching, do one more quick check to make sure there are no twists in your strap. We added a line of Dritz® Fray Check seam sealant along each cut edge for an extra smooth finish.
NOTE: We didn’t use a lot of pictures here, so if this process this seems like an origami puzzle, have no fear. We have a complete, step-by-step tutorial on how to create an adjustable strap.
- Find the two remaining 13” lengths of webbing.
- Slightly lengthen the stitch.
- On each length, measure 3” in from each raw end and mark with a pin. Fold the webbing in half, between these two pin points, creating a double-layer handle loop with two flared ends.
- Edgestitch along the folded section.
- Feed the flat, flared ends through the free side of the rectangle rings on the front and back panels. Make sure you feed the end through from front to back, pulling the end of the webbing through a full ½”. Topstitch across, again using a tight zig zag stitch, to secure.
- As above with the adjustable strap, we added a line of Dritz® Fray Check seam sealant along each cut edge for an extra smooth finish.
- For an optional finish, slip the length of leather lacing through the zipper pull, looping it in place as you would to tie on a price or gift tag.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild
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I made this for my daughter-in-law for Christmas and it came out beautifully! I actually made her two different bags but definitely like this pattern much more.
Hi Honey! Thanks so much for letting us know. We always love hearing about project successes. And… we love being “the most liked pattern” too 🙂
I am an experienced quilter/bag maker and am excited to make this for an upcoming trip! One question, do you think it is necessary to quilt it with the vertical lines? I was thinking about doing some free motion quilting, but wasn’t sure if that would mess things up.
Hi Jo – glad to hear you’re going to make our duffle. It’s SO popular. The straight line quilting does make it easier to align the pockets, panels, and the zipper and sidewall, but if you’re experienced, that will probably not be an issue for you. As always with our projects – and really, for all sewing (am I right?), the final choices as up to you!
Hi, have you done a video on this bag? I have read the instructions but I am more visual learner. Thanks
Hi Susanna – We don’t do full video tutorials at this time. However many, many folks have made this popular bag with great success just using the photos and steps.
This is an awesome bag. Would it be possible to just make this with canvas and not create the quilting?
Hi Melissa – thanks so much! This is a VERY popular duffle. We have not tested the bag without the quilting. It certainly could be possible, however, the way everything is layered, the quilting is what keeps everything nice and flat — no shifting during construction. There is such a thing as TWO-sided fusible fleece. That could be a possible option for keeping the layers flat and secure. That said, without testing, I can’t give you a 100% guarantee of what will or won’t work.
Je viens de terminé ce sac pour ma fille . Merci pour ce patron si bien détaillé et illustré. Je n’ai pas fait le matelassage . J’ai acheté le tissus déjà matelassé réversible . Par contre j’ai fait le biais et le passepoil . Pour moi une première bien réussi grâce au tutoriel . Ma fille va l’utiliser comme sac de change pour bébé aussi j’ai transformé le manchon arrière en poche . ❤
Thank you so much for letting us know you had such great success with this pattern. I think it will make a great diaper bag!
This is such an awesome pattern – it’s the first bag that I’m sewing and my first time quilting anything as well! I have a question about sewing the exterior and interior pieces with the batting. I marked my material to sew and quilt the exterior sides of the bag but my material keeps shifting. I lined up everything nicely and tried adding pins all over to stop it from shifting but I’m still having the issue (and I’m using a walking foot with the interior/fusible fleece side facing up). What am I doing wrong??
Hi Tyler – Hmmm, it certainly sounds like you are doing everything right. With the fabric layered wrong sides together, aligned, securely pinned, and a Walking foot… you should be stitching without problem. It makes me think your Walking foot might not be operating correctly. Are you 100% sure it’s correctly attached? Have you tried doing some quilting on scraps with the same foot? When you attach the foot, take a look — without fabric in place — at the throat plate area. While using the hand wheel, allow the foot to move and confirm that the feed dogs in… Read more »
Thank you for the feedback Liz! I’ll check out my walking food and if that’s not the issue I’ll try your other suggestion. Thank you!
Just finnished this bag with some curtain fabric I had left over, really pleaseed with it although I did have three broken needles probalbly because the layers of curtain fabric do get very thick.Off to Spain next week end and this is definately going with me.Thanks for the free pattern and the really good instructions. I dont use instagram otherwise I would share some photos.
Hi Linda – Thank you so much for letting us know about your fabulous success. This is SUCH a popular bag, we’re glad to know it’s on its way to Spain! We are also on Facebook, if you wanted to post a picture there: at sew4home
I have just uploaded a photo, thanks.
Just saw it and responded on FB — lovely job. Have a wonderful journey!
Sorry, I found the answer to my question but don’t know how to delete it!
Love this bag!!
I’m glad you figured it out! Enjoy the project!
So sorry, just found how to print, lol
Love the look of this bag! Is there any way to print the directions? For some reason I cannot do it on my computer….
Hi Jo – yes of course. Look for our SHARE bar which has all the quick buttons to allow you to share on social, print, email, and save as a PDF. If on your desktop, it is a vertical bar to the left of the images and copy that travels as you scroll. On some smaller devices it may appear horizontally near the top. Below is a link which explains all the details:
I have fallen in love with this bag, and have just ordered my fabrics (Timeless Treasures). I will need to work S-L-O-W-L-Y as I tend to have difficulty with attention and details. Hope to finish by Christmas! All of your your comments have given me hope that I will be able to succeed with this. 😀
Hi Maureen – Yay – I know you can do it! This is such a popular project – hundreds of folks have found success with it. Slow and steady is always the best approach. Another tip we often give: if you come across a part you are struggling with, make it first from scrap fabric to work through the steps. This helps cement it in your brain and you’ll be ready to motor through that section with your real fabric with confidence.
I’m going to attempt this one with my Tula Pink fabric I don’t want to cut haha. I’m a beginner but my mum is the experienced one.
But does anyone know of a video sew-along for this bag?
Hi Laura – Ohhh Tula … love her so much. I know you can do it. Read through the instructions a few times to “make it in your head” and go slowly. We don’t do full video project tutorials. And, since all our patterns/projects are copyrighted… I would hope no one else has either since that violates copyright – but (**sigh**) the internet. Even so, by working carefully and slowly, we know you can make it through. Let us know how it goes!
I love working on projects from Sew4Home, and this one has been a labor of love and patience. I had some old Amy Butler home decor weighted fabric in my stash that I pulled out for my first attempt. I would suggest making note of what direction to quilt the bottom loop piece because I quilted it in the other direction (which I don’t mind) but will quilt in the recommended direction on my second attempt. I will admit that the process of attaching the side panels to the loop was a challenge where I cused up a storm as… Read more »
Hi Christina – Thank you for letting us know about your success with this pattern. Sorry to hear you had a bit of a challenge with the direction of the lines of quilting. We do try to be super detailed with our steps and pictures, but there is a lot going on with this project. Glad to hear it was fixable. If you follow us on social media, we’d love to have your post a pic or two so we can all be inspired. I bet it is gorgeous in Amy Butler fabric!
Thanks Liz! Just shared some pics on Instagram and tagged Sew4home as the pattern credit.
Hi Christina – we saw them pics – thank you so much for sharing and such a lovely job!!
I just finished this pattern and wow!!!!! I’m not totally new to sewing but totally not a master and this was do-able for me. You had every detail of the pattern photographed and described to a T. Thank you so much for the wonderful pattern and giving it for free is the icing on the cake.
Hi Robin – that is such great news! Thank you so much for letting us know about your success. If you follow up on social media, we’d love to see a picture posted 🙂
I absolutely love this site. It has given me so many fun projects to enjoy using my machine. I think every member of my family needs one of these duffles!
Wow – thanks, Terry. So sorry that we missed your comment all those months ago, but it was so sweet to come across it today.
Oyez oyez! This needs to
Oyez oyez! This needs to vacay with me this summer. Most curtains for the ne house are finished and hung, and I’m thinking about vacation time. I need this. I really, really need this. Thank you! I had downloaded the project before, but then forgot, so I appreciate the reminder!
@Momo – Yay! Can’t wait to
@Momo – Yay! Can’t wait to see how yours turns out!