An Easy Win

I'm a bit behind in my class reading this week but I decided I didn't care--I really needed me some fabric therapy. Let's just say, it's been so long since I sat at my sewing machine that it took me a few minutes to figure out I had the foot pedal positioned wrong. Note to self: Foot pedals don't work as well sideways. 

In any case, I knew I'd only have a couple of hours this afternoon/evening so I decided to give myself an easy win and finish up a UFO that's been on my shelf since last spring. 

This is the second project I've made out of this little booklet that came as a freebie in a Fons and Porter magazine years n' years ago. The first, made about 8 or 9 years ago, was a super-easy tote bag (my first tote bag ever, in fact) that went together pretty quickly even though I really didn't know what I was doing. The only hitch I ran into was when it said "box the corners" and I had no idea how to do that, so I skipped it. No biggie--I still use the bag frequently.  (I've since learned to box corners, by the way. I do occasionally have some forward progress in my skill set!)

Ever since I made that first bag I've intended to do a duffle bag pattern in the same booklet. I bought some pre-quilted fabric while on a shop hop a long time ago--2009 comes to mind--with the intention of making that duffle. The fabric sat on my shelves...and sat...and sat...

Finally, last spring, after I'd done a couple of Craftsy classes on bags and zippers and such, I decided doing that duffle bag would probably not be that big a deal. I pulled out the fabric and got it about half done. And then it sat...and sat...and sat...

Today, when I got as much classwork done as I could stand for the day, I pulled the duffle-in-progress off my shelves to assess where I was at. As it turned out, it apparently had ended up on the shelf because I had some unsewing to do. Once I got myself oriented to where I was in the pattern again, and ripped out some stitches that were clearly not in the right place, it only took maybe another hour and a half total to finish. I'd taken a couple of breaks in there to get myself dinner and such so I'm not entirely sure, but it didn't feel onerous.

And so... Ta da!

A duffle is born.

I stuffed it with a lap quilt to try to give it some shape for the photo, but it is a pretty mushy duffle. The prequilted fabric only gives it so much heft. But that's fine--all the more stuffable.

The prequilted fabric is reversible, so the print is one side and the blue mottle the other. It's really simple to use, although I wasn't keen on the quality of this fabric. The stitches in the quilting left a little to be desired but I think it'll hold up okay to the light use I'll give it.

I had to restitch the handles on about three different times because the blue pocket pieces kept popping out of the seams. It was really hard to keep all those layers of fabric together. I couldn't use my Wonder Clips for that part so I had pins that were hanging on for dear life. Things were a little shifty.

I was, however, loving my Jumbo Wonder Clips for this part. (I have the smaller ones too--if you don't have these, you need them!)


There are two end pockets as well. (The blue horizontal strip is the binding on the top of the pocket.) None of the outside pockets have closures--this is a pretty strip-down duffle bag design. But for the way I'll be using this I won't really mind not having zipper or velcro closures on the outside. 

By the way: There are supposed to be zipper tabs. I made the zipper tabs. They're still sitting on my cutting table. Oops. 

So, yay! A UFO knocked off the list, a finish, and another usable bag, all in one fell swoop!


Speaking of usable bags: I put all my little zipper pouches to good use on my work trip last week. I finally found the perfect use for that Bendy Bag--it's exactly the right size for pads of sticky notes! I use those for group brainstorming so I always carry a bunch with me. Now I can keep them from flying all over the insides of my larger bags.

So, another yay! Forasmuch as I'm still not keen on the process of making these bags, it is nice to be able to use them.