2h 55min intermediate Resources

Sew beautifully constructed duffel bags that stand up to travel and stand out with custom style. Build your sewing skills to create bags as fun as they are functional.

Episode descriptions

Preparing Materials
1 . Episode: Preparing Materials

Meet your sewing instructor, Betz White, and learn about the features of the weekend duffel you'll be making. You'll choose a trendy print or solid fabric, then add useful features such as exterior expanding pockets, a zippered inner pocket, reinforced straps, a solid bottom and fashionable fabric accents. Betz shows how to use the included templates and measurements to cut out and stabilize all the fabric you'll need.

Interior Pockets
2 . Episode: Interior Pockets

Start building your bag from the inside with the interior divided and zipper pockets. Betz shows how you can customize the divided pockets to meet your needs -- pencil slots for an artist or space for a beach-goer's flip-flops. If you're intimidated by zippers, you'll be reassured by Betz's easy technique for installing the zipper pocket, and delighted by the professional look you'll achieve.

Exterior Pockets
3 . Episode: Exterior Pockets

Your exterior pockets are next. Choose a pleated or bellows pocket, and a twist-lock or magnetic fastener. Both are easy to install and give your bag a polished look. Betz walks you through the assembly of the pocket flaps, pocket body and fasteners step by step.

Assembling the Bag Front & Back
4 . Episode: Assembling the Bag Front & Back

Now it's time to assemble the front and back panels of your bag! Betz shows how to add the accent patches at the corners and attach the lower straps. Then sew on the upper panels and secure the lower strap hardware. Finally, sew on and topstitch the zipper facings.

Zipper & End Panels
5 . Episode: Zipper & End Panels

Learn how to make a "zipper sandwich" so you can attach your duffel's main zipper to both lining and outside panel, front and back for a professional finish on both sides in just two seams. With a little topstitching, your zipper will be secure and not get snagged on the lining. Betz then shows you how to assemble the end panels with accent fabric and tackle the challenge of sewing them onto the bag. Abundant pinning and careful sewing will get you through!

Base of Bag
6 . Episode: Base of Bag

Give your bag its base with Betz's guidance. With the help of guideline creases and placement marks, line up and sew your lining and base to the bag's long sides. Finish one short side with with a hand-sewn ladder stitch, leaving the other open to insert a hard base.

Finishing Touches
7 . Episode: Finishing Touches

Finish your bag with handles and a handle grip, plus a long, detachable shoulder strap. Betz shows you how to make the straps out of fabric or sturdy webbing and attach the hardware. The final step is inserting a hard base such as plastic canvas and sewing up that final seam. You'll be ready to join the jet set with your one-of-a-kind, super-trendy bag!

About the Teacher

Betz White
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Sew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffel

Betz White

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Sew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffel