This is my second time creating a duffel bag from this pattern, and I haven't had a problem with it to date. The bags produced are able to take a beating, and still draw a lot of attention for their looks. So what's their overall best feature? They cost about 5 bucks to make!
Step 1: Materials
-An Old Sail, or some form of sturdy material. I would highly recommend using canvas for this project, as it is a sturdy and durable material.
-A Carpenter's Square, or some form of measuring tape. A square will pay off when you need to trace out rectangular shapes!
-A Circular Object, I used a mixing bowl, this will be used to create the patterns for the two circular ends of your bag!
-A Zipper, its length is dependent on how long you want your bag to be.
-D-Rings if you are planning on making a bag with a shoulder strap
-Optional: Material for the handles I just used sailcloth
Step 2: Cutting Out the Pattern
Next, we get to do some math! Fold one of the circles in half, and measure the length of the straight edge that you created by doing so. Then, multiply this measurement by 3.14. This will give you the length of the rectangles that make up the main part of the bag. In my case, I cut out circles with 9" diameters, so I ended up with a length of approximately 28.25 inches. It's better to slightly underestimate this measurement than to overestimate it.
After you perform your calculations, cut out two rectangles of canvas that are of the measured length. The width of these rectangles is up to you, their width will make up the width of the bag itself. I cut mine to be approximately 28.25" by 16".
I also cut out three additional pieces of cloth to use for making handles and sewing stoppers on my zipper.
Note: leave room for seams in all of your cutouts
Step 3: Sew the Main Body
Next, take the two shorter sides of the rectangle of cloth and fold them over by about 1/2". The side that you fold onto will be the inside of the bag. Pin these folds in place, and then sew along them.
Step 4: Handles and Zipper
After the zipper comes the handles. I created my own by folding two pieces of canvas and sewing them into long, rectangular shapes. The size and width of the handles is up to you, along with their placement on the bag. The ends of each handle should be placed evenly from either side of the cloth rectangle. Make sure to leave an ample amount of room between them as well. In my case, I attached each handles' ends approximately 3" apart, and 5.5" from the sides of the bag. Fix a handle on, and secure its ends with stitching; repeating the process for the other side.
If you're going to attach D-rings to the bag for the shoulder strap, now's the time to do so. Sew a small rectangle of cloth that's slightly smaller in width than the diameter of the D ring. Fold it in half with the D-ring secured in the fold, and sew the D-ring into the piece of cloth. Then, secure and sew the D-ring onto one of your circular canvas cutouts. It is important to note that the position of the D-ring should be away from the edge of the circle, leaving room for the seam. It should also be sewed onto the side of the circle that you want to be the outside of the bag. Repeat this process for the other D-ring.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
Now, take one of your canvas circles, and either baste or pin it in place onto one of the ends of the cylinder. Attach it with the side that you want on the outside of your bag facing inwards! I would highly recommend basting it in place over pinning it, as you'll end up with fewer if not any folds in the ends of your bag this way. Then, using your sewing machine, sew each of the ends of the bag onto its main cylindrical body. If you have attached D-rings to your canvas circles, make sure to affix the circles to the bag so that the D-rings are lined up with your zipper.
Step 6: Finished!
Turn your bag right-way out and admire it, you're done!
Comments are welcome, and be sure to attach pictures if you make your own bag!
Also, if you're interested in creating your own projects like this, along with electronics, be sure to check out my blog at www.coffeeandcircuits.blogspot.com.