Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Crafty Traveler blog hop hosted by Ellison Lane.
For this hop, we were asked to review patterns for handmade travel items. Since I'm lacking the handmade bag department, I opted for the Cargo Duffle. It is made by Anna Graham of Noodlehead for Robert Kaufman. This is a nice bag that can be used for all sorts of things. I really like how my bag turned out, even with the few adjustments I made. When it comes to making things from patterns, the thing I dislike most is having to contact the person who made the pattern. Not only does it make me feel stupid, but I always fear that I am bothering their time with what may be stupid questions. Unfortunately, I had to contact Anna a few times, which I am sure were just errors on my part and my lack of bag making skills, but I included below the problems I ran into.
Skill level: Intermediate
Time commitment: Plan for several hours or a weekend to construct your bag.
Perfect for: Day trips, overnight bag, church bag, gym bag, or new mothers
What I changed:
-I opted out of the cargo pockets and made a zippered pocket instead. This would definitely be intermediate since you have to know the sewing and quilting order in order for it to work properly. I also added piping, which is an easy addition anyone could do.
-I chose not bind my raw edges, but I think that is something I wouldn't skip next time. Since it's just for me, the exposed raw edges are no big deal, but I could add the binding on at a later time if I wanted.
-I added a plus in the upper right hand corner for a little character. I chose to inset this, so I would not have any seam lines in my main fabric.
-I sewed my bag with a size 14 needle and my #37 foot (Bernina). I used my walking foot for the quilting lines. I mention this because I know not everyone has a walking foot or size 16 needle handy. My Bernina was able to handle the work, but I know machines vary.
-The "accent" piece is literally an accent piece. My brain kept thinking this was differential word (even after reading the directions!), so I would know which piece she was talking about in the pattern. Main fabric (leaf print) and accent fabric (linen). With that and the combination of my eyes fooling me that there was a seam between the linen and the main fabric print, it made for a really dumb night on my part. So don't do like me and try to fight with this faux seam. You ain't going to win.
- I personally felt the handle instructions were vague. I did not know which side was referred to as the "raw edge" since both sides were raw, even after sewing the right sides together. There is one photo of it rolled, but I think it would have helped me to have more photos of how to exactly fold the fabric so you have nice accent trims on the sides. If I can get around to it, I will snap a few photos how to fold the fabric for the handles, and update this post.
-In the instructions, it states to center the gusset loop, and sew RST. Eyeballing it, I tried to center the zipper and place the piping correctly, so it wouldn't be wonky. After repositioning three or four times, my fabric was pulling in either direction, and I knew I was doing something wrong.
This caused tightness to happen on only one side of the bag. I didn't realize that if I was off even by a little bit with my centering, it would throw the whole thing off causing this tightness. There are no measurements provided of how far the zipper seam was to the gusset seam, so the distance between my zipper seam and the piping on my gusset is 2.5". Make sure to lay your gusset flat (zipper side up) and measure the center of that. Then measure the center of the main front piece of your bag. Pin those two markings into place, and then continue on as the pattern states.
-Do sew only the top and bottom first, and then on the sides. I didn't have issues with that, but I am sure someone out there will want to skip that step.
-Do buy a carryall zipper, preferably YKK brand, because it makes such a difference!
-If I were to make this bag again, I would consider adding canvas to the straps to make them a little thicker. I would also consider adding interfacing to the bag to give it a little more structure when there are few items in the bag. Both ideas are just a personal preference though and have nothing to do with the quality or integrity of the current bag.
My project used:
- Juliana Horner Modbox
- Essex Yarn Dyed Linen by Robert Kaufman
-YKK zippers, 26" carryall and 18" in black
-Quilted in Aurifil Mako 28 wt #2024
Would I recommend this pattern: Yes for those who, in general, feel confident in sewing. No to beginners.
Here is the original bag made by Anna. Isn't it lovely?!
You have a chance to share your handmade traveling item too. Link up your project (no more than 6 months old + a new blog post) at Ellison Lane March 6-12 for a chance to win one of three great prizes. Sorry, US residents only. You may link from Flickr or Threadbias too.
Prizes include: Free Spirit fabric, Crafty Traveler Tote supplies, Dritz rotary cutter, box of 50 Coats threads, and a Pellon Prize Pack
And a special thank you to the sponsors!
2/10: Golden Willow Quilts
2/27: Owen’s Olivia
One year ago: Judy Ross Textiles
Two years ago: Aurifil Crayon Variegated Up close