Something my weekend trips to visit my boyfriend has taught me is that I have no adequate bag for these sort of trips. All I have is tote bags and backpacks and then the next size up is a suitcase. Nothing appropriately sized for being away for a few days.
Enter Grainline's Portside duffle bag.
I decided that I wanted a luggage set to match the last Minerva bag that I made.
The duffle pattern is part of a set, which also includes a dopp kit (a toiletries bag, basically) and a pouch, and I will likely get around to making those as well. For now, I just made the duffle bag, as it's my most immediate need.
Some notes on the materials: I quite like this gaberchino fabric I keep using. The colors are vibrant, it's nice and sturdy, has enough poly content to keep it from wrinkling too badly, and over the usage of my purse (which I carry with me quite often), I've found it to be quite stain resistant. I feel like the interfacing that I ordered for this duffle is too stiff, but once I stuffed it with a blanket for taking pictures, I think I'm glad for the structure, though I do kind of wish I had gotten fusible fleece instead.
Also, Minerva did not have a closed-end metal zip in the right length for this project, so I got an open-ended one and it turned out quite well. The end extended about an inch longer than the bag (Minerva had a 20" zip and a 22" zip, while the pattern asked for a 21" zip, of course), so when I was sewing the ends, I made sure to sew a little gap over the metal of the zip in the seam line. In fact, it worked out quite nicely having an open-ended zip because it allowed me to separate the zipper to more easily insert it- otherwise I would have been fitting in a lot of fabric into the throat of my sewing machine.
I've been quite into embroidery lately. I decided that I wanted to personalize this bag a bit further and embroider a motif from Sublime Stitching onto the front (from their Mexican Loteria collection). I had thought that I had centered my embroidery quite well, but when I was assembling the front I discovered unpleasantly that I had not. Oh well. I tried.
I used to be very into archery (my cousin is a national bowhunting champ, actually) and I am still quite fond of arrow motifs.
Another note on the materials- the hardware for the strap is topnotch. Seriously, I feel like this bag will last me for quite a while, the materials feel so nice. The cotton webbing is pretty heavy duty, especially the wider version that forms the handles. It was rather difficult attaching it, but I feel like it was worth the effort.
Consequently, my frustrations in attaching the handles and attaching the bag bottom (There are some wrinkles there. It happened. I don't give a fuck because that was so frustrating attaching it.) made me decide that this bag was worthy of one of these tags:
Bags. They always seem like a great idea and then I end up hating myself while sewing them. My Cooper bag also has one of these tags.
Anyway, how fun is this lining? I LOVE IT. I may use it in place of the black fabric when I make the matching pouch and dopp kit. Hell, I may end up getting more of this from Minerva for a very Ms. Frizzle style dress because I love it so.
|There's a lot of SPACE inside this bag. Both literally and figuratively. :D|
A change I made to this bag's construction- the instructions say to slipstitch the lining to the zipper, but knowing how hard I am on my bags I kind of laughed at that notion. I pinned the lining to the zipper and then machine stitched it, going back over the topstitching of the zipper.
It turned out quite well and is much sturdier than I know it would have been if I had handstitched it.
It's not perfect, but I think it's pretty and it feels very solid, like it will serve me well for a long time. The extra effort to make it was kind of a birthday present to myself. I turn 24 on Wednesday and I haven't felt much like sewing lately. I got some nice fabric to make a birthday dress, but I've felt no desire to sew it up. I typically have horrible birthdays and this year I suspect the horror will be from having to dye my hair brown. I have teacher education stuff at school this fall and I can't have pink hair for its school practicum, which makes me very sad. I love the pink, and I'm going to miss it. I absolutely hate myself with dark hair, but brown is the only thing that will cover the color (bleaching it out is out of the question, I assure you), so I'm just going to have to come to terms with hating my hair for the next couple of months until the pink undertone is faded enough that I can bleach my hair back to blonde.
At least I have a nice duffle bag.