a long overdue pattern review

February 28, 2011

I made some really great duffle bags quite a few months back and knew while I was in the middle of making the first one that I wanted to do a review of the pattern!  I think large bags are a real challenge for some people.  Not only because there just aren't that many great duffle bag patterns out there but also because they just use a lot of material.  The frugal part of me screams "too much fabric to use on one bag!!!"  But I really have to just get over that!  I mean, it is what we buy it for ladies, to be used!!  :)

 I got the pattern from my friend, and sponsor, Virginia!  She has an adorable blog to go along with her awesome etsy and big cartel shops!  She also allows you to sell the items you make with her patterns (the only exception is her owl patterns)!  She has a second super cute vintage shop on etsy where she carries vintage sheets and trims, patterns and other wares!

Her crayon art folio pattern has single handedly kept my first shop afloat!  Seriously, if any of you have kids, know kids, or are involved with kids in any way, you NEED to make one of these!  It is the only way Doug and I can eat out and stay sane!  :)

Ok, I totally got off the subject!  Duffle bag pattern!!!!  I really had fun with this one!  The shape is great, with rounded corners and a large zippered opening.  The size is perfect for a long weekend or even a week if you are a light packer.  I love that the pattern includes 2 sizes.  I made one of each and the kid's version is not only a good size for the little ones but would also make a great gym bag!

I used piping on the smaller bag and I love how it accentuated the lines of the bag and really make it pop!  Piping is also a great way to bring out a certain color in a print or add color if you are using something with a lot of neutrals.

 I think this is also one of those great patterns that lets you use some of those fabrics that you love but often find that the scale is just too large for other projects!  It would also be a great bag to add applique to or iron on patches or other embellishments.  (Hint, hint!  I may have something for you soon!!)

The sides and bottom of the bags are quilted to add a little padding.  I stuck with her suggestion of quilting the piece with a simple diamond shape for these bags but you could use any quilting style here for some added fun!  A pebble style or floral pattern would be really fun or just simple stippling!  The possibilities are endless!

I found the pattern well written and easy to follow.  I did need to adjust the length of the side panel/zipper piece but Virginia clearly stated in the pattern that you may need to do this and I had no problem fixing it to fit.  There are lots of great pictures to help you visualize the construction, which is always helpful.  All in all, I really loved it and want to make a few for my girls!  I think they would be fabulous in some Heather Ross Far Far Away 2!!!  :)

Head over and check out the duffle bag pattern and some of the other adorable (and super useful) designs that Virginia has for you!!


  1. Wow, those bags are super cute and you did a great job! I will head on over to her shop & blog. Thank you.

  2. Awww love this pattern! Can't wait to try it :)

  3. These are so cute and you're right, it's for those fabrics that you need big for.
    Thanks for the review.

  4. Looks like a great pattern, lovely fabric choice. So refreshing to see some non-boy colours for a change from my world. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog, I'll be stopping by here again soon :)

  5. Hi! Based on your cute bags, I bought that pattern and it's looking really cute...except for the zipper/bottom pieces coming together. Can you tell me how you altered your pieces to make them fit? I cut a good chunk off of the bottm piece on one side and it's looking okay, but the other side is jacked up. I haven't sewn the lining yet and am waiting until I have time (and more patience) to really look at it.

    Thanks! I'd love to use this pattern with some great Echino scooter fabric to make a Christmas gift for my almost-16 niece, but don't want to mess up that nice ($$$) fabric.



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