I recently completed the Betz White Weekend Duffle. This pattern is offered as part of her Craftsy class Sew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffel. I won the class for one of the bags I submitted to the Bag of the Month Club competition. I was super excited about it! Thanks, Bag of the Month Club! 😀
I’ll talk about both the bag and the class. First, the bag. The bag is offered in two sizes and I chose to make the smaller size. For the main fabric, I used a quilted cotton that my mom gave me and otherwise I used fabric from my stash. No new fabric was purchased for this bag! I did have to buy hardware though. I’m really making an active effort to use fabric from my stash this year and so far I’ve been doing pretty well!
My favorite part of the bag was how the lining was put in because it pretty much hides most raw edges. In the video, she hand sews three of the base lining edges, but I was able to only hand sew the two short edges and I was pretty happy about that. I suspect she doesn’t recommend machine sewing the other long edge because it’s a bit of work to pull the rest of the bag through (I did it the same way you do the ends of the lining), but doable if you’re determined (as I am).
I like the shape of the bag. It’s got standard pockets and a zip pocket on the inside. I like the handles. I like the detailing although I had to add an extra row of stitching around the edge because 1/8” was still too far and didn’t hold it down well enough. I also like the way the way the zipper is inserted. Goes well with the way the lining is attached.
However, it should be noted that this bag takes a while. There are a lot of steps. None are significantly complicated, but there are a lot of them. Arguably it shows in the quality of the finished product. But for that reason, I don’t think I’m likely to make it again unless I want this shape in particular. I have other similar bag patterns that I would probably try first just because it’s something new. I will probably use many of the techniques I picked up in the class though — which brings me to the class.
The class teaches the basics of making a bag. If you’re relatively new to bag making, it’s a great class. Like almost all Craftsy classes, I watched it on 2X speed. I do this with audiobooks, too, so I think it’s me, not the class. If I had been sewing along with the class, I might have left it on normal speed. My only “complaint” about the class and it’s not really a complaint, more of a preference, is that I wish she had provided a pattern. There’s a list of instructions included in the class materials, but I had to keep referring to the video to see how to do something or what the seam allowance was. Sure, I could have taken notes when I first watched it but I didn’t. And really my M.O. is to watch a class and then go do something. It’s just how I work. I mentioned it in case you’re the same. If you like to sew along with the instructor, then this class is perfect for you! And as I mentioned, even as an experienced bag maker at this point, I picked up some great techniques like the way she adds the lining.
So, there it is, my Weekend Duffel! Not sure what I’ll be using it for. I had planned to use it for a dance bag, but it’s a bit bigger than I expected (I’m terrible at grasping how big something is based on measurements unless I mock it out) so it might get used for something else. But it’s so fun and cheerful that I’m very happy with how it turned out!