Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Travel Handmade: Simplicity 2274 Pattern Review

Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit
This post is part of the Travel Handmade series, for more great travel bag posts click here!


Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag! by jenib320
Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag!, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Today I'm going to be reviewing Simplicity Pattern 2274. The pattern was designed by Studio Cherie, and is also available in her Etsy Shop.

This pattern makes a BIG bag! The bag finishes off at 12" tall, 12" deep and 20" wide. I have never attempted a bag this size and I won't lie, I was slightly nervous. Especially since I was using pricey fabric! My partner in crime, Amanda, picked it up for me on sale, but if I messed up, it would be an expensive mistake! I used two prints from Heather Ross's Far Far Away II for the exterior and handles and a print from my stash in the interior. The advantage of using the Far Far Away II, is it's weight. It is a cotton linen blend, so it is somewhere between a quilting cotton and a canvas in weight. It was easy to sew and quilt with, but gives it a nice sturdiness. Because of the added bulk of using heavy fabrics and the multiple layers and batting, I used my walking foot for the entire bag!

Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag! by jenib320
Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag!, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
As I started to cut out the pattern pieces, I got really excited to realize I only really needed to cut one of them! There are only 5 pattern pieces for this bag, and all but one of them is a rectangle or square. I really do not like using pattern pieces, so simply measured the other pieces and used my rotary cutter for the cutting, yippee! Just be careful to transfer your marks correctly too! If you have a fabric print that is directional, you'll need to follow her directions and cut two pieces for the main body of the bag instead of one. Just make sure you add in the seam allowance!

Once all your pieces are cut out, and there are quite a few between the exterior, lining and batting, the main pieces and side pieces need to be quilted. The pattern recommends using high-loft batting, but I cheated and just used Warm and White cotton batting, which is a low-loft batting. So, my bag is a little less puffy! It also doesn't stand up on it's own, but that doesn't bother me personally!

Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag! by jenib320
Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag!, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
My biggest problem with this pattern is the quilting instruction. You are to make a quilt sandwich like normal and quilt the ends and middle. However, when you quilt, there can be a fair amount of shifting of all the layers, even with a lot of basting. I didn't think about it when I was cutting, but I would definitely recommend cutting your batting and lining even 1" larger than the exterior. This way there is room for shifting and you can simply trim it off when you're done. I also quilted mine a little more heavily then suggested, so maybe that added to the issue for me! I quilted straight lines, varying the width apart.

Whenever it is recommended to zig-zag stitch or serge, do it! You end up with exposed seams on the inside (which could easily be covered with binding or seam tape if you want), so be sure to take the time to do that. Once my bag was finished, I did a final round of zig-zag stitching to finish it off. It looks much more finished now!

Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag! by jenib320
Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag!, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I had a little trouble finding the jute webbing for the handles. My local JoAnns didn't have it, but I did end up finding it at Hobby Lobby. You can order it online, but it's a bit pricey, Hobby Lobby had it for $1/yd. Be aware that the webbing usually has colored (or black) stripes on it. My webbing has red stripes on it. I thought, oh no worries it will get covered by the fabric! But! On the other side, some of it is exposed. So if that bothers you, you'll need to add a little fabric lining there as well, maybe only 5" or so. Do NOT skip pre-washing it! I almost did and I am so glad I didn't! I hand washed mine, and as soon as the webbing hit the warm water (in hindsight, should have used cold water!), the red bled like crazy! My shout color catchers are still packed away in a box somewhere, so I continued to rinse the jute for a while and then soaked it in soapy water and vinegar to help set the color. I dried it on high for about 30 minutes and then hung it to dry the rest of the way. It ended up being a lot softer after washing which was nice!


Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag! by jenib320
Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag!, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Really the only confusing part about this pattern is attaching the sides at the end. I think you were supposed to use the marks to line it up but that wasn't working very well for me. I ended up marking the center at the top and bottom of each side piece as well as 1/2" in on all four corners. I lined up the top of the side pieces with the zipper and pinned. Then I sewed 1/2" in from the side all the way over to 1/2" on the other side. Then pinned and sewed both sides, then the bottom. This worked out quite nicely and any excess ended up at the bottom, so my top corners were super neat!

Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag! by jenib320
Travel Handmade: Duffel Bag!, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
All in all I think this is a great pattern! In general it is easy to follow and I think there are some really great details on it. Included with the pattern there is also a clutch pattern and luggage tag pattern! If you're not up for sewing one yourself, you can also buy already made bags in Cherie's shop.

I am really, really happy with the way my bag turned out. I love it! It's going to be perfect for Sewing Summit as well as a lot of other overnight trips! I did not have a duffel bag so this will get a lot of use! :)

I hope that this was helpful, please if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment here or email me!

PS - Simplicity patterns will be 5 for $5 this weekend at JoAnn Fabrics!

Will continue to edit this post to address questions here!
- Totally simple construction! It's basically got 1 body piece, straps and the two ends, and everything else is simply embellishment. I think on a scale of 1-10 (10 being easy, 1 being hard) in terms of bags I've made, I would rate this as probably a 7 or 8, really not bad! Just don't let yourself get befuddled by the instructions. Stop and think about how it all fits together and things will make sense! :)

- The jute did not end up shrinking much at all! Just bled everywhere and softened up!

- I think this bag would look fantastic done in patchwork, if you don't have enough of one fabric for the exterior (it takes 1 5/8 yds and uses most of it)! I am planning on making another that's all patchworky, maybe even with a pieced block on the one end!

- It's really not particularly time consuming either! I worked on it here and there over a week! The most time consuming parts were the cutting and the quilting!

53 comments:

  1. Thanks for the very thorough review! I'm planning to start this pattern soon (just waiting on my jute webbing!), but it's great to hear a recap so I can learn from your experience. Your new bag is beautiful!

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  2. seriously though - it's simple enough? It's so awesome and would be PERFECT for my carry on for Houston, but I'm scared of bags. How simple on a 1-10 would you rate it (bearing in mind I'm slightly challenged mentally. lol.)

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    1. It really is simple but tedious. Taking it step by step instead of thinking about making the whole bag helps a lot. I say things like this to myself while sewing. Okay right now I am only going to think about the handles. Then when I finish I pick the next part. Kind of silly but it works for me.

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  3. Wow! What a great bag. Thanks for the review!

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  4. It looks amazing! I almost got that pattern last time I was at Hancock's, I definitely be picking it up the next time I'm there. This would be a great bag for my son!

    Nice job!!!

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  5. Looks great Jeni! I might have to pick up that pattern!

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  6. Have all my pieces cut and ready to go!
    Did the jute shrink in the dryer?

    I'm planning to use fusible thermolam on both outer and lining pieces. That should give good structure and reduce shifting while quilting.

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  7. It's a great duffle! And your review is great.

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  8. Super cute bag and a great review too. I'm quite tempted to stitch one up myself!

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  9. Love, love, love! I wish I had enough of this fabric to make it as it is one of my favs. Sigh. Maybe I'll find something else in my stash. Thank you for sharing Jeni!

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  10. It is gorgeous!! I am totally going to be making some soon. I think the girls would love one too :)

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  11. Ok 1 I'm jealous that you had enough of this awesome fabric for a duffel bag! And 2 this bag is awesome and I'm jealous of your crafty-awesomeness :)

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  12. Love your fabric choice and even the jute showing on the inside! It looks great.

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  13. I love this. I'm going to make this to take on my trip to Spain.

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  14. it's fantastic Jeni!!! Love the FFA, perfect choice! thanks for the review, I am going to have to hit Joann now this weekend! :)

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  15. Thanks for all these great tips, Jeni. I'm hoping my go at this pattern will turn out as nicely as your lovely bag!

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  16. Great job, great tutorial and perfect fabric for going on a sleep away.
    Thanks.
    Sandra in Moab

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  17. Awesome review, Jeni! And the bag is amazing!!! I love it! Glad to hear that the pattern is a good one, you sure can't beat the price for it! Thanks for the tip about the webbing, too, I've never worked with it before and I'm sure I wouldn't have realized that it would show a bit either, but it works on your bag. Love it! :)

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  18. This bag really blows me away Jeni !
    I really need a bag for my sleepover at my parents in law but I afraid to mess the bag up. It looks so difficult !

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  19. Wonderful review....I think I see a new travel bag in MY future, too! Tho I am not sure I can afford a vacation! LOL

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  20. Thanks for the review! I've picked the pattern up twice and put it back. I think it would be a great bridal shower gift. I am going to make one for my daughter and if I can find a great print I might make one for my son as well!

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  21. Oh, I totally love it! And am so happy to hear it isn't too difficult. I am definitely going to have to get this pattern and make a couple for my boys. It looks so fun!

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  22. I love your bag. The straight quilting is great. I rent time on a longarm to quilt mine, so that makes that part a lot easier. I think I have made 100 and something of them now. My next bag pattern out will be a back pack. I hope you will try that one too.

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  23. oh, what a great bag, J! thanks for doing such a thorough review.

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  24. Your bag is adorable! And your pattern review is great! Your whole post made me excited to buy the pattern, but then I realized that I've already made a bag like it using a tutorial on Moda Bake Shop. I think I got thrown off by your super cute fabric. :D

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  25. Love it. The 5 for $5 at JoAnn's was a great tip too!
    I would love to do a patchwork one with hmmm? Vintage Sheets in the patches!

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  26. Another one for my wish list!

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  27. Very cute! I wish I had one of these bags when I was living between cities last year. Thanks for the indepth review!

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  28. Thanks for posting such a thorough review! I love your bag and am putting this on my to-make list :)

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  29. It turned out great! What a fantastic bag!

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  30. Gorgeous! I love how yours turned out. You may have me looking for that pattern this weekend! ;)

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  31. Thanks for the great review. I'm going to have to grab this pattern now.

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  32. I loved your review, great information! Your fabric choices are bang on too. Just wondering if we could get an interior photo... are there pockets inside? (Can't wait to see a pieced version, that would be beautiful too!)
    Thanks,
    Corynne

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  33. Corynne - The interior is not very exciting, hence no photo. There are no pockets or anything fancy inside! You can just see the quilting and the zig-zaged seams! :)

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  34. You did SUCH an amazing job on this! I will be the lame one with the store bought suitcase. LOL

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  35. I think I will add a little pocket on the inside of mine. I'm so glad to have found this review and pattern. Thank you. I'm SOOO glad the jute can be washed. For some reason, the smell was so strong today, it made me ill to my stomach. I'm sure it still has that odor, but I hope not as strong?

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  36. I am really interested in trying this, but how do you think this might work if you prequilted your pieces with the batting and backing before you cut them?

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  37. Cute bag, the fabrics make an interesting combo. What kind of batting did you use for the bag? Is it the same or different that you usually use for quilts??

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  38. THIS BAG IS AWSOM I WANT YOU TO MAKE A VEDO OF MAKING THIS BAG PLSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS THANNX

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  39. Lovely bag! Great review! After seeing yours, I just had to make one. Check it out on my blog!

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  40. It has been some time since I visited website with such high quality information. Thank you so much for providing such helpful information.Thanks for sharing the post.

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  41. I'm so glad that not so long ago you linked back to this post. I love how your bag turned out and I'm getting ready to make one for myself. It was very helpful to know to look at Hobby Lobby for the jute so I didn't end up hunting around for it...or spending more than I needed to by ordering it online!

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  42. Thanks for the review, Jeni. It made me smile as I planned to create this for SS this year.

    Walmart also carries the jute, at least in my area.

    Love how your bag turned out and it helped convince me I can do this without making a mess.

    Thanks. :D

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  43. Thanks so much for this post! (Found you via Pinterest) I have been wanting to tackle a nice big duffle, but was a little intimidated of the project. Confidence growing... maybe a trip to Joann's this week! -CM

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  44. I made this bag as well. I bought the pattern from her shop before it was a simplicity pattern. I made two using Amy Butler home dec prints. Cherie was really helpful in giving me tips along the way and she will also sell zippers specific to this project. I have made a lot of bags and found this to be a challenging project. The two most challenging parts - prepping the panels and quilting them due to their size and assembling the entire bag due to the bulk of all the parts. I would rate myself as an advanced beginner. I am not a quilter though so maybe if you have a lot of quilting experience you may not find this as challenging. But i found the final results incredibly satisfying and my nieces get a lot of compliments on their bags. The FFAII material you used is terrific!

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  45. I am currently making this bag now and it's taken me a little longer than a weekend because I walk away when I become overwhelmed with it and I want to do a great job on it. The quilting seems to me tone the most time consuming. Though I'll be posting pics on my blog as well. Lilbirdiesews.blogspot.com. I'm a beginner at sewing so I'm taking this at a slow pace. Your bag looks great!!! I found my jute webbing & material at Hobby Lobby.

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  47. I have made 4 of these bags so far and have another 3-4 planned. I used Duckcloth for the exterior, Canvas for the handles, broadcloth of the liners, and parka zippers. I measured all of the pieces and cut them using my quilting mat and rotary cutter. I cut the exterior and lining pieces 2” larger than the pattern piece to allow for fabric shifting and quilting shrinkage. I quilted a 1.5 inch diamonds using painter’s tape to make mark my sewing lines. A walking foot is totally necessary. I used a regular presser foot for the 1st bag and was totally frustrated. I purchased a walking foot the next three bag; so much better. I used fusible fleece on the body and side panels. I added interface to the side pieces, strap pocket, and side pocket. I replaced the tabs with D-ring loops (for a future shoulder strap). I added side pockets to each side and strap pockets on each side. I finished the side zippers between the side pocket exterior and lining fabric. I did add a liner to the bags (makes it look more professional). I did not use the jute webbing. I cut 2 8”x58” strips from Canvas. I folded the strap in half and then half again; then ironed 2” fusible fleece to the strap. I topstitched the strap. I will add a piece of plastic to the bottom of the bag for stability.
    I made a No Guts Boxie Pouch to go along with 1 of the bags. [http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/accessory/no-guts-boxie-pouch/13424]

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/98339709@N03/sets/72157634925076906/with/9431869479/]

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  48. Oh my gosh my dog is exactly the same with treats and just food. He'll only eat one specific doggy treat and one type of food! You give him something, he takes away then just leaves it somewhere haha. He also won't go out in the rain even though he desperately wants a walk!
    I think our dogs are some sort of twins from another litter haha. That first picture is great by the way!

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  49. I picked this pattern up the other day and am making it for my daughter for Christmas. I am sewing the sides on. I couldn't agree with your direction more about the quilting pieces. I quilt a lot so I knew to do that but I wish I had cut the outer bag portion larger as well. The more quilting you do the smaller is gets. I think it would be better to quilt first and then cut to size after. Your bag is great. I was looking at your blog and saw the bag and thought to myself hey- that is the same bag I am making. Then I found this great post of your about the bag. I love that people can share their tips on patterns. Wonderful!

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