I am a horrible mom and let me tell you why. I made this cute kids duffel bag and now all of my kids want to be the one to keep it! And because of that, I will probably give it away to a friend so that we don’t have fighting over it. They don’t like that idea. But at least I can be confident that it was a good project-they like it! So here’s a kid’s duffel bag tutorial for you. (So maybe you can be a horrible mom too?)
It’s kid sized and perfect for taking on an overnight trip to Grandmas or you could even use it to store soccer or dance gear.
Pretty fun right?
You know what else is fun? The fabric I got from Stitch Stash Diva! This is like my very favorite online fabric store. So. Many. Cute. Fabrics.
I seriously go ga-ga every time I browse that store. So many wonderful fabrics!
Kid’s Duffel Bag Tutorial:
- 1 yard each of 2 coordinating fabrics (I got mine at Stitch Stash Diva)
- 1/4 yard of a complimentary fabric for the straps
- 1 yard of fusible fleece interfacing
- 20 inch zipper
- Circle Pattern Piece (Just a note-the diameter of the circle is 8.75 inches. I couldn’t fit this all on a page, so the edges of the circle are cut off. Still cut a full circle, just filling in that spot where it is slightly cut off. It’s just a tiny bit cut off so you should be fine to just eyeball it.)
- Cut 2 circles from each of your main fabrics
- Cut 1 piece from each of your main fabrics that is 20 inches wide by 27.5 inches long
- Cut 2 circles and one 20 x 27.5 piece from your fusible fleece
- Cut 1 long piece that is 4 inches wide by 120 inches long. Obviously you won’t be able to do this all in one cut and will need to piece this together. It will depend on how wide your fabric is, but you will probably need 3 pieces all pieced together to create this long piece. Cut fusible fleece for this as well.
Iron your fusible interfacing pieces to the back of your outer bag fabric and your straps.
Fold your straps in half the long way and sew up the long (very long) side. Turn right side out and press flat.
Grab your large outer piece and your strap. Lay your long strap piece on the bag starting from the center of the fabric. Guide the fabric up and loop it around the form handles, back down across the center of the bag and up the other side the form the handle and then have it meet back where you started. So it forms a big oval and you have straps on either end. The length of the actual handle on each side should be about 30 inches from where the strap fabric leaves the main fabric and then rejoins it. Pin all of this in place.
Starting about 5 inches from the top of the bag, sew the strap in place on either side of the strap. Do this for both straps leaving that 5 inches or so on either end that is not sewn in place. (This just allows the straps to drop to the side of the bag and not be sewn clear up to where the zipper will be.) In the spot where your oval that you created with the straps began and ended you will need to fold the fabric over and sew it in place so that the raw edges aren’t showing:
Now we are ready to insert the zipper, so grab it and both of your large pieces of fabric.
Before I start to describe how to do this, let me say that there is more description and more pictures of this process on this post here if you end up confused and need more.
Place your zipper between your two fabrics so that it is face down on the outer fabric and is sandwiched between the two with right sides together. You will then stitch the length of the zipper. Try to keep your stitching close to the actual zipper but not too close. Keep it steady and even. You will need to move the zipper pull out of your way as you go. Just stop, move it out of your way and continue on.
Also, be sure that your strap is tucked inward and out of your way.
Look at these two pictures. This one shows the process from the outside:
Then, once I have stitched and if I open the fabric, it looks like this. See that the zipper is facing down on my main fabric (the rockets).
Now I am going to do the same thing on the other end of my fabrics. Sandwich them between the other side of the zipper-the part that is not sewn yet-with the zipper facing down on my main fabric.
When you have completed this step, you will have a big loop of fabric. Basically like a duffel but without the ends on it yet.
Press the fabric around your zipper to make sure it is laying very flat. You can even top stitch along either side of the zipper to keep it really nice.
Now all we need to do is stitch the circle pieces to each end. Separate your bag so that the inner and outer pieces are separate and not on top of each other. Grab your circle and pin it in place like this on one end. This is ONLY being pinned to my outer fabric, not my inner. My inner fabric is out of the way for now.
Sew around this part. Just be careful at the place that is meets the zipper. Sew through the zipper area but make sure you don’t have the zipper pull in the way and that you don’t break a needle by sewing right on the zipper.
Do this for all 4 circles-each on one end of the bag. On the last circle, leave an opening at the bottom about 4 inches big.
Turn everything right side out through that opening, then sew it closed.
Push the inner part of the bag down into the outer and press everything nice and flat and pretty.
Then head to Grandma’s!