I have a little problem with blogging ADHD. If you’re a loyal reader, you must be very patient with the way I skip around from one project to the next and leave half of them unfinished. I apologize for the inconsistency – maybe this year I should work on my follow-through. Here’s a couple things I owe you a post on:
- The results of my Kaffe Fasset dress! (cute but with some serious fitting issues despite muslining – I see seam ripping in my future)
- What became of Josh’s shirt! (It’s finished! He wears it! I’m gonna make another one! Eventually…)
- Photos of the finished wedding dress! (Are we even interested in this anymore? I only just got a hold of the official photos)
Now that I got that off my chest, I’m going to blog about something new! Whoops. Actually, it’s new-old. I have to give you a belated Christmas sewing report because I want to tell you about my adventures sewing duffel bags. So if you’re so over Christmas…
…and you’re not interested in sewing bags, perhaps you wanna sit this one out.
I managed to sneak in sewing time and even made some last-minute Christmas gifts. I’m quite proud of this for two reasons. First, I was totally scrambling to get everything together for Christmas this year. There’s never enough time, but somehow there was time to make a few gifts. And second, I somehow managed to resist fabric shopping for myself whilst out buying fabric to make others’ gifts, even though everything was on super Christmas sale and even though I found many fabrics that would make a fantastic holiday dresses. [I guess you know from my silver dress that I did cave, eventually. But not til after Christmas!]
With the release of two beautiful bag patterns this season – Cooper from Colette Patterns and the Portside Travel Set from Grainline Studios – I suddenly had the itch to sew luggage, if not the spare cash to buy patterns.
|Colette Patterns Cooper bag|
|Grainline Studioes Portside Travel Set|
So, using the power of geometry and some trial and error, I drafted my own pattern for a duffel bag.
[I finally had to look it up – duffel can be spelled “duffel” or “duffle” and the word comes from a town near Antwerp. Or at least so says dictionary.com.]
I used leftover wool from my Minoru coat, duck cloth from Joann’s, and hardware that I scrounged from a Goodwill bag. Pro tip – it is much cheaper to buy a piece of luggage at the second-hand store and harvest it for the hardware than to buy all those pieces new. Plus, you find interesting looking options that Joann’s doesn’t stock. I particularly like the antique-y looking brass of this set I found.
The bag has a zippered pocket on one end and pockets on the sides.
The shoulder pad thingy was also scrounged from the Goodwill bag. I also lined the duffel with rip stop nylon (also from Joann’s). The bottom of the lining is made out of the duck cloth though, for extra durability.
I already have more bags planned. In fact, I’m in the process of making one for my brother’s Christmas gift. Yes, it will be a late gift. A very late gift. Actually, I was aiming to make it in time for his birthday, but I’m afraid I’m going to miss that mark as well, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because I harvested the hardware from a Samsonite bag, and Samsonite bags are apparently built to never come apart, ever.
The D rings are fastened to the bag with strips of metal, and removing them was a battle waged over several days. I attacked, retreated, attacked with a new tool, retreated again, etc. I was too lazy to go buy the proper tool to hack through metal, but I am extremely stubborn, and I did win in the end.
All in all, the bag yielded up three zippers, a couple of lobster claw clasp thingies, some D rings, and a metal slide for the strap. The bag was $2.50. A single zipper can cost more than $5 at Joann’s.
But was it worth the energy to extract all that hardware? Considering the triumph I felt overcoming a laptop bag, I’ll say yes.
As for the irony of destroying one perfectly good bag in order to create another? Well, I haven’t sorted out how I feel about that yet : )