Sewing instruction duffle bag
Making the Base
The base of your duffel is a circular piece with a diameter of 35cm. You can easily trace this onto your fabric or pattern paper using a 17.5cm length of string (mark this point and leave a little extra on each end so you can easily see the measurement)
Tracing the Base
Tie the end of your string around a pencil to easily create a makeshift compass. Hold the string in place at the opposite end and draw a circle around the fixed point. Use a tape measure afterwards to make sure the diameter is 35cm
With your base prepared, you can start cutting out your pattern pieces. You’ll need:
- Circular Base (35cm Diameter): 1x imitation leather, 1x lining fabric
- Imitation Leather Outer Section: x1 imitation leather, 15cm x 110cm
- Main Fabric Outer Section: x1 outer fabric and Vlieseline, 30cm x 110cm
- Strap Loop: x1 outer fabric, 8cm x 30cm
- Lining: x1 lining fabric, 45cm x 110cm
You’ll need to reinforce your 30cm x 110cm strip of outer fabric with the Vlieseline strip in the same size by ironing the two wrong sides together before continuing.
Sewing the Faux Leather and Outer Fabric Together
Stitch the strip of faux leather to the strip of outer fabric by sewing them right sides together. Place the joined pieces of fabric wrong sides together and fold the seam allowances under the outer fabric. Topstitch the seam once from the right.
Closing the Side Seam
Fold the fabric right sides together and stitch the side-seam closed. Take care to line up the join between outer fabric and imitation leather.
Use an iron to press the seam you just sewed, then top-stitch the seam down.
Making the Strap
To make the strap for the bottom take the 8x30 cm strip of outer fabric and fold it in half right sides together. Stitch along the length (8cm) and turn right sides out, leaving the shorter edges raw.
Sewing the Base
Attach the imitation leather base to the body. Turn the bag body inside out and place the base in position, right sides together. Hold everything in place with fabric clips (as pins will leave permanent holes in the imitation leather). Before you stitch the seam closed, take your strap (folded lengthwise) and place within where you will sew the base to the body. Note that the strap loop must be facing inwards when sewing
Finishing the outer body
After sewing turn the bag right-side out again.
Sewing the Bag Lining
Take your lining fabric piece and stitch right sides together to close the side seam. Stitch this to the lining fabric base the same way you attached the outer imitation leather base.
Joining the Lining & Outer Body
Turn your lining body inside out, then place your outer body (right side out) inside it. The right sides of each bag part should be touching. Sew round the top seam, leaving an opening about 10cm long to turn the bag through.
Turning the Bag
Pull the right side of the outer body through the opening you left, and push the lining body inside the outer body. Close the opening you left with hand-stitching
Marking the Eyelets
Mark along the top edge of the bag where you want your eyelets to go. We recommend using 8 eyelets, but any even number is fine.
Installing the Eyelets
Make the holes for the eyelets using hole punch pliers or a hole punch tool, and hammer the eyelets into place.
Adding the Cord Strap
Pull the cord through the eyelets, going from inside to outside repeatedly (starting by threading from outside to inside). When you come back around to your first eyelet, knot off both the ends of the cord to prevent them slipping through the eyelets.
Enjoy your new duffel bag!