Thursday, January 7, 2010

the laura duffel

It took me a long time to come up with this bag design.  It's nothing new, but my sister asked for a gym bag for Christmas. I struggled with the design because I wanted it to be more like a duffel and less like a tote--totes are easy and I wanted to challenge my creativity. 

I suppose this bag looks more like an overnight bag (oh, a dual-purpose bag, even craftier!) but hopefully not too much like an old 70's flower-print suitcase.  I think the fabric choice suits her.  I especially like the idea of one long strap for a gym bag.  In fact, I would probably like all of my totes to have only one strap to contend with.  With this strap, I used green ribbon to accent and strengthen the underside of the strap.

I added some interior pockets but, per usual, I think I made them too small.  I had in mind that my sister would use the pockets for small things like a wallet, keys, water, membership card (if that's what they give out...I don't frequent the gym scene) but I really should have made them larger.  I'm really not sure that she will be able to use them.  I also used the same fabric that I used to make the lining so you can't really see the pockets.  I didn't mean for them to look invisible, but we will pretend that was my exact intention (I suppose precious items should be difficult for intruders to find).

I'll bet that there is a pattern out there for this type of bag that would have made this project a lot easier.  Instead of trying to find one, I put the design together in my head and began sewing from there. It turned out just like I imagined (so that's a plus), but the top part with the zipper really threw me for a loop. I was afraid that my seam ripper would fall apart it was being used so much.  But all in all, it's exactly what I had in mind and I hope she likes it.  If I would have had more exterior fabric, I would have added an outer pocket for any last minute items or flyers (read: phone numbers) picked up at the gym.

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