Free Duffel Bag Sewing Pattern and Directions

  • 01 of 06

    Materials and Cutting Instructions to Sew a Duffel Bag

    Gym bag, Duffle Bag
    Free Pattern to Sew this Strong Sturdy Bag. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

    You'll find yourself reaching for this versatile duffel style gym bag so many times that you may want to mass produce them! We used to go camping a LOT... as in every weekend and vacation. It never seemed like I had enough bags to keep things organized. That dilemma seems to have rubbed off on my daughter... she wants a bag for everything to keep things organized and at hand. This duffel bag is great as a tool bag in the car and the perfect size for small children to pack and carry as an...MORE over night bag to Grandmas house.
    The bag will finished bag is thirteen inches wide, five inches deep and seven inches tall. This bag is not lined which makes it a relatively easy sewing project.
    Materials

    • 1/2 yard of 45" wide fabric- Denim, Canvas, Duck,Strong durable similar weight fabrics. (Refold the fabric so you are not cutting the fold pattern pieces from the center of the fabric.) If your fabric lacks body, consider fusing a layer of craft interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric or fusing two layers of the fabric together. (More about Fusibles)
    • Thread to Match - How to Choose the Correct Color Sewing Thread to Match Your Fabric
    • 18" Purse Zipper
    • One package of Maxi Piping
    • Print out of pattern piece
    • Bottom inside of the bag - Suggested materials - Cardboard, Plexiglas, Shower wall liner, lightweight wood
    Cutting Note - Rotary Cutting Tools are best to assure that you are cutting truly square pieces.
    • Cut two on fold of pattern piece
    • Two 2 3/4" by 19 1/2" for each side of the zipper
    • Cut one 5 1/2" by 18" for the bottom and bottom sides
    • Cut two 3 1/2" by 19" for the straps
    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    The Handles

    Sewing the Strap Handles
    Sewing the Strap Handles. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

    Using the fabric to make your handles, as described in this step, will create a strong, sturdy handle that can carry a heavy load. Although you could use webbing, the self fabric handles are less apt to fray over time.

    • Fold the length of the 3 1/2" by 19" strips in half with the wrong sides of the fabric together and press well. Pressing Tools
    • Fold the raw edges in to the fold line and press well.
    • With the folds in place, sew close to the folded edges that are separate to sew them in place.
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Adding Piping to the Bag and Attaching the Handles

    Adding Piping to the Bag and Attaching the Handles
    Adding Piping to the Bag and Attaching the Handles. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

    Although the addition of piping to the seams is not necessary, it does assist the bag in holding it's shape. Sew piping to the side sections starting at the center of the flat bottom.

    More information:

    Attaching the Handles
    • Mark the top center of the side pieces with the piping attached.
    • Measure over 5" on both sides from the center marking.
    • Pin the handles in place so that the edge of...MORE the side so the outside edge of the handles are at the 5" marks.
    • Sew the handles in place on the piping sewing lines, sewing multiple times for the handles to be securely held in place even if the bag is loaded with heavy tools.
    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Sew the Zipper

    Sewing an exposed purse zipper
    Sew the Zipper. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    This zipper is sewn in so that it is exposed and the seam allowances are top stitched so they will not get caught in the zipper.
    • Place the zipper right side down on the right side of the fabric aligning the long edges.
    • Sew the zipper to the fabric using a 3/8" seam allowance (following a guide on the zipper tape).
    • Repeat for the second side of the zipper.
    • Apply a seam finish to the raw edges, securing the zipper tape to the fabric at the same time.
    • Press the fabric back from the zipper teeth.
    • Top...MORE stitch the seam allowance to the fabric so it will not get caught in the zipper.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Attach the Bottom and Bottom Sides to the Zipper Section

    Creating the side and zipper section of a durable bag
    Attach the Bottom and Bottom Sides to the Zipper Section. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • With the right sides together, align the ends of the zipper with the 5 1/2" ends of the bottom and bottom side sections to form a continuous loop.
    • Sew the sections together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
    • Apply a seam finish to the seam allowances.
    • Press the seam allowances downward toward the bottom section (away from the zipper section).
    • Top stitch the seams in place sewing close to the seam on the bottom section.
    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Assemble the Bag

    attaching the sides of the bag
    Assemble the Bag. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
    • Mark the center of the zipper on both edges.
    • Open the zipper enough that you will be able to turn the bag right side out after you have sewn the seams.
    • Starting at the center top of the sides of the bag, match fabric at the edge of the center of the zipper.
    • Pin the entire edge on both sides.
    • Sew the bottom/zipper section to the sides of the bag using the piping as a seam allowance guide.
    • Apply a seam finish.
    • Turn the bag right side out.
    Reinforce the Bottom
    • Using any of the suggested materials or...MORE something similar, cut the bottom reinforcement to 12 1/2" by 4 1/2"
    • Cover with fabric if desired.