This duffle has just spent a week beach-side with me, so I can definitely say it's the perfect travel bag. I am such a sucker for bags & luggage & knew this pattern would join my stash when it was released. This duffle is a great size, its bigger than I thought it would be, big enough for a week away. (I am such a bad packer, this really does fit all my junk in).
I took a while finding the right outer fabric. When I saw this chevron I knew it was a winner. I wanted a black base & handles to hide the dirt. (I've seen some lovely white handled bags but I just know I'll get it too dirty).
I also wanted a light-coloured lining so I could find things in the bag easily. I had some pillowcases that had been de-comissioned in a lovely natural linen that I thought would match the caramel in the contrasting print. I'm happy I could use up something instead of throwing it out. I also had a pewter (pleather) shoulder strap from another bag that I'm using for the moment - I thought it would match but I think I will go ahead and make a black cotton version too.
I've noticed a few bloggers buying the hardware & strapping online (like Etsy) but I was happy to cut my d-rings off an old bag. I used a double layer of cotton twill tape, sewing it together before sewing in on the bag. This gives a nice weight & strength & I could easily & cheaply buy it locally.
I used a demin-weight needle in my machine for the canvas and it sewed like a dream, even when topstitching the bottom (through maybe 4 layers of stiff canvas?).
A decorative/stretch stitch on my machine gives the leather pull a bit of a leaf vein look - I love that little detail.
This pattern sewed up very easily - thanks of course to the clear instructions. It's a lovely end result, perfect for your 2014 adventures to come & would even make a lovely present for someone (I'm imagining some monogramming would be so lovely on a pocket or on the lining to make a more personalised gift!).
(Construction shot, getting ready to slipstitch lining into bag)