Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tiki Cargo Duffel

Over the last two weeks, I've been slowly putting together my first Noodlehead Cargo Duffle {sic}.  I say first for a couple of reasons:  this one was my "muslin" to try out the pattern; and I had so much fun making it that I want to make a bunch more!


As you can see, I used some of my leftover Tiki Winki fabric for the main part of the bag.  I ended up buying two contrasting fabrics:  a brown print that reminded me of woven coconut fiber, and a batik with splotches that reminded me of the Polynesian Islands, for an overall Island theme.  I used the wrong side of the batik fabric, because the color was a little lighter and matched my Tiki print better.



I really love the pleated pockets on this pattern:


The bag isn't actually 100% finished.  I decided that I want to use Velcro tabs to close the pocket flaps, and when I went to my stash I discovered that I only have one left.  So I'll have to go to the store and get some more before I can finish it.

I added some strips of leather to the zipper pulls to make them more stylish and easier to grab:


One thing I'll change the next time around is the straps.  As written in the pattern, they're softer than I like.  Next time I'll add in some canvas between the two layers of fabric to make them stiffer.


Because this bag was a trial run, I decided to serge the inside seam allowances rather than apply bias binding.  You definitely want to finish these if you plan to use this bag as an overnight bag - you don't want to get frayed pieces of fabric all over the clothes you've packed!  For future bags I will use the binding though, or even line the bag - there are plenty of tutorials online showing how to do that.  My serger wasn't too happy about going through all these layers.


I had wanted to make this bag ever since the pattern was released last October, but kept putting it off because I thought it would take a lot of thought and energy.  But really, it wasn't very difficult!  The instructions are a little sketchy, but if you've ever made a bag before you will be able to figure it out.  For me, this was a great project to work on bit by bit over time.  Each piece gets quilted before you put the bag together, so it's not a quick process, but one I found relaxing.

There are a couple things I did to make it a lot easier for me to put together.  First, I marked the place where the seam allowances intersect on the front and back pieces.


The front and back are sewn to the loop created by the bottom and zipper gussets by sewing the top and bottom seams, and then the side seams.  To make it easier to sew those side seams, I cut into the seam allowance of the gusset right up to the stitching of the top and bottom seams, so I could spread the side flat.



The only other thing I'll do differently next time is to apply fusible stay tape to my outer zipper gusset piece.  When I was sewing in the zipper, that piece kept stretching, so I switched from my zipper foot to the walking foot I used for the rest of the bag.  Needless to say, it wasn't very easy to sew in a zipper with a walking foot!  It didn't occur to me until much later to use the stay tape.  D'oh!!

But it all worked out and I'm very happy with my bag.  And now I'm having fun daydreaming about fabric combinations for duffel bag #2!


18 comments:

  1. Sometimes a relaxing, yet time consuming project is what we need :) Your bag looks awesome; I love the colors!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it was exactly what I needed the last few weeks! And I spent the week before that going through my stash and choosing fabric! And then ended up buying some ;-)

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  2. This looks great! Bagmaking scares me, but this almost makes me want to try!

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    1. Thanks, Sonja! You should try it - a lot of times making bags is much easier than making garments!

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  3. what a fun bag! i've been wanting to make some bags but they always get pushed aside in favor of things i can wear...

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    1. I know what you mean! Lately I've felt saturated with clothes though, especially since the pretty stuff gets ignored in favor of jeans and t-shirts!

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  4. That is an awesome bag, looks like it can contain a lot of stuff!

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    1. I haven't tried it out yet, but I think it will contain a lot of stuff! My hope is to use it as my carry-on when flying!

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  5. Very cool! I've been doing more of the "small task at a time" style sewing for my personal projects, and it's helped me move a few things along. I have some of that fabric in my stash and I might just need to pull it out soon!

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    1. Because I don't have a designated sewing area, I don't like to let clothing projects go on for too long, because the pieces are so big. For my space, having these smaller pieces made a big difference. It was really easy to put this all away so we could actually use the dining room for eating!

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  6. Mad skillz you've got, gurl.

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  7. Another winner! I always say you can't get enough of a good tiki print. Though maybe you won't want to carry the bag while wearing the dress. . .
    -- stashdragon

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    1. No? Because I totally would! LOL!

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    2. Cool! I'll join you - not in a tiki print (I haven't any, sigh) but in my favorite '90s rtw piece, a silk oversized camp-shirt with big tropical fish painted on it. We'll be tropical tourists!
      -- stashdragon

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  8. So cute! I wanna try making a bag at some point, and this pattern looks really great. Hehe and now you have a dress with a matching bag ;)

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    1. Thanks! Bag-making is a nice change once in a while from clothing!

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  9. So cool, Gail! I like your zipper pull - I think your details really elevate your bags.

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