Pattern Review: Noodlehead Cargo Duffle Bag (For real this time!)
After contemplating Noodlehead’s Cargo Duffle Bag pattern for over a year, and even trying to hack the pattern – I finally took the plunge and made one.
In an effort to #SewMyStash2015 – I pulled from my most treasured finds – Cotton + Steel basics and a beautiful pink and gold print: Brambleberry Ridge Bow Tie Plaid Cameo by Violet Craft for Michael Miller.
I consider myself to have intermediate bag making skills, and have made several from various patterns. That said – this one was still quite challenging. DO NOT TRY THIS PATTERN until you have some experience with easier patterns behind you. If you attempt this as a beginner, there are so many ways this could go wrong and you will not be happy with the way it turns out.
From start to finish I would estimate the Cargo Duffle Bag took me 20+ hours to complete. This included ironing fabric, cutting, fusing interfacing, quilting sections, bag construction, and putting in a lining.
After my disastrous time trying to use binding to cover exposed seams in my Cargo Duffle Turned Flight Bag, I wanted to try the lining instead using this tutorial from Small Town Thread. (This is a Michael Miller print, but the name escapes me…)
Was this any faster than the binding? Heck no! It took longer and was difficult to maneuver the bag into my sewing machine, but I am much more happy with the end look of the bag with the lining.
One thing that did mess up my lining slightly was the fact that I used a shorter zipper than what was recommended (24 inches instead of 26 inches), and I made fabric tabs at both end. The lining calculations counted on that 26 inch zipper, so my top lining gusset fell below where the zipper actually ended. This made sewing the lining in VEEEERRY tricky, let me tell you!
In hindsight, I should have cut the lining’s top gusset 2 inches shorter, and the bottom 2 inches longer to account for the shorter zipper.
Other adjustments I made to the pattern include:
- Bosal In-R-Form Plus Unique Fusible Foam Stabilizer (in lieu of batting and canvas for stability)
- Magnetic snap closures for the pockets
- Single fabric for the handles instead of two, also lengthened/widened them from original dimensions
Gusset construction is still somewhat new to me, but I used a ton of pins and wonder clips to keep all the pieces in place until they were sewn. Definitely do this! Also – if you have a walking foot – use it as much as humanly possible for this pattern.
With all that being said, I am thrilled with this bag! The pockets were one of the factors that influenced why I put off making it for so long, and I was surprised at the ease of construction and how sharp they make the front look.
If you follow the instructions carefully, and have at least an intermediate understanding of bag construction – you should be able to give this a whirl and end up with a gorgeous duffle bag.
On a completely different note, I want to give everyone a sneak peek at another project in the works. Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness is coming out with a brand spanking new fabric line in March called Fantasia for Art Gallery Fabrics. If you haven’t checked it out yet – it’s this amazing collection of sophisticated, yet whimsical prints in vibrant colors. She was kind enough to share some of her own personal stash with me, and I’ll be making something very special with it in the next few weeks.
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