For roughly the last week, I have been working on this duffle bag after I received my first shipment of Tula Pink fabrics. I am absolutely NUTS about this fabric designer. Her use of color is insane, and her patterns are awesomely fun. I've had a duffle bag on my to do list for over a year now, and it was high time I kicked into high gear.
I browsed tons of websites looking for patterns for duffle bags, watching tutorials, and looking up travel bags on Pinterest. I didn't like any of the patterns, they all seemed either really juvenile, dorky looking, too small, or just not finished enough.
So I made a list of all my "must haves" and decided to write my own pattern. I had all my fabric out and ready to go, and got to work in my sketchbook drawing out measurements and the order of construction steps. Turns out I didn't even so much as cut a piece of fabric until 2 days later. If you haven't ever written a pattern before, you might take for granted how much time, trial and error, and re-writing goes into it.
The project took me about 5 days start to finish (my husband's family was in town for the weekend--I may have been able to shave one day off if I worked all the way through).
The one thing I just really was not satisfied with was that I did not put any interfacing in the zipper panel that goes in the top. In the picture, I have two huge sacks of fabric shoved inside to keep the middle from drooping. I'm pretty confident that adding the interfacing would fix that. Maybe there will be a duffle bag 2, but I'm thinking about naming this bag "The Body Bag". I could literally fit all three of our dogs inside and still zip it up (Border collie and 2 heelers).
This bag has all over free-motion quilting in four different thread colors, a three-section elasticized pocket on the interior, a 3-section pocket for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, another smaller elasticized pocket, and another 3-section pocket. The exterior has two zipper pockets (one on each end), and 4 exterior pockets. And enough room to pack for a week and a half without needing anything. Those were my requirements, so I guess if the middle is a little saggy, I'll get over it!