How to Make a Duffel Bag Purse
As anyone that follows Sew Very Crafty knows I love making handbags. This duffel bag purse is a particular favorite of mine so I thought I would share it with you. It is simple bag making project but requires intermediate sewing skills to complete. There are some fidgity parts of the bag. A confident beginner could try this bag but I worry that the round ends could be problematic for the beginner sewist not to mention that there are two zippers in this project as well. This is a fun handbag project and terrific little purse to make so I urge you to give this one a try.
I decided to use cotton fabric for this duffel bag purse but I used a high loft fusible fleece to give it structure. I purchased both products from JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores but I have purchased fabrics for my bag making projects from Hobby Lobby, Fabric.com and OnlineFabricStore.net as well. This post contains affiliate links that if you click on them I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
What you will Need: How to Make a Duffel Bag Purse
- Outer Fabric and lining fabric
- High loft fusible fleece like Pellon TP971F and SF 101
- 1 6″ zipper (I used #5 continues zipper)
- 1 10″ zipper (I used #5 continuous Zipper)
- 2 1″ D-Rings (I used a triangle ring for fun)
- 2 1″ Swivel clips
- 1 1″ triglide slider
- 2 1/2 yds of 1″ cotton strapping
- 2 #5 zipper sliders (Optional if you use continuous zipper)
Step 1: Cut your Fabrics
From the outer fabric cut a rectangle that measures 11″ x 15 3/4″ and two 7″ circles. From the outer fabric cut two rectangles that measure 11″ x 3 1/8″ and one rectangle that measures 6″ x 11 7/8″. Cut Fusible fleece in the same measurements for all of the outer fabric except the 6″ x 11 7/8″ piece only minus the seam allowance of 3/8″. From the lining fabric cut a rectangle that measures 11″ x 20 1/2″ and two 7″ circles. For the SF101 cut the same measurements for the lining pieces minus the seam allowance. There are four zipper tabs that measure 1 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ from the outer fabric that do not need interfacing. Cut two 15″ pieces of cotton strapping for the handle and two 2″ pieces for the D-Rings.
Step 2: Measure for the 6″ zipper
Find the center of the 6″ x 11 7/8″ piece of outer fabric by folding it in half lengthwise and making a mark. Find the center of the two 11″ x 3 1/8″ rectangles by folding the in half widthwise and making a mark at the center. Make another mark 1 3/4″ from the bottom of the long edge of the rectangle. Place the 6″ x 11 7/8″ rectangle on the long side of the 11″ x 3 1/8″ rectangle matching the center marks and making sure that the top meets the 1 3/4″ mark as shown and is right sides together. Pin. Measure down from the top of the 6″ x 11 7/8″ by 1/2″ and draw a rectangle that measures 4 1/2″ x 3/8″ and is centered. Inside the box draw a a small triangle at each end. Join the points of the triangle with a straight line.
Step 3: insert the 6″ zipper
Stitch around the box. Using a seam ripper or scissors. Cut the line in the center of the box through all layers and the legs of the triangle making sure that you do not cut through the stitching. Push the 6″ x 11 7/8″ through the hole you have created and press. Place the zipper so the teeth are centered in the opening and pin. Stitch the zipper to the opening. Turn the piece to the wrong side and fold up the 6″ x 11 7/8″ piece so that the bottom meets the top. Stitch the sides and the top to create the pocket for the zipper. Do not stitch anything other than the two layers of the pocket fabric. Push everything else out of the way.
Step 4: Create the handle
Take the 15 3/4″ x 1″ pieces of strapping and find the center by folding them in half. Measure 4″ on each side of the center mark and make another mark. Fold the strapping in half between the 4″ marks and clip. Stitch between the marks. Repeat for the other handle.
Step 5: Attach the Handle
Take the rectangle that you added the 6″ zipper. Place one handle piece on each side of the zipper and pin. Measure up 3/8″ from the bottom of the handle and make a mark across the handle. Measure up 1 1/2″ and draw another line. Make an X between the two lines. Repeat this for the other side. Stitch the X to secure the handle. Take the other handle piece and place it on the second 11″ x 3 1/8″ piece in the same position as the handle on the zipper placket. Stitch in the same way.
Step 6: Create the body of the bag
Take the 11″ x 15 3/4″ piece and lay it on your work surface. Place the two pieces that have the handles at either end of the 11″ x 15 3/4″ piece right sides together. Stitch using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Top stitch along the seam.
Step 7: Add the 10″ zipper
Place the zipper tabs right sides together with the zipper in the center. Stitch the tabs using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Make sure the total length of the zipper is 11″. Place the zipper on the short ends of the bag right sides together and clip. Stitch the zipper to the bag. Repeat for the other side f the zipper and the other side of the bag. Turn the bag right sides out and top stitch along the zipper.
Step 8: add the D-rings
Take the 2″ pieces of strapping and wrap them around the 1″ D-Rings. Place the strapping with raw edges matching at the end of the zipper tabs and stitch.
Step 9: Add the circles
Mark the center of the bottom of the bag and the centers of the circles. Turn the bag wrong sides out. Place the centers of the circles on the centers of the bag and pin. Clip the curves of the bag so that it will more easily attach to the rest of the circle. Attach the bag to the circle and pin. Stitch the bag to the circle. This part can be fidgity so take your time with it. Repeat for the other side. Turn right sides out.
Step 10: Create the lining
Fold the short ends of the lining rectangle by 3/8″ and press. Find the center of the circles and mark. Measure 3/8″ on either side of the mark and mark again. Add the circles in the same way that you did for the main bag.
Step 11: Add the lining
Drop the lining into the bag. Turn the bag and the lining wrong side out. Pin the lining to the zipper. Hand stitch the lining to the zipper using invisible stitch. Turn the bag right sides out.
Step 12: Create the strap
Take a 47″ piece of strapping and add the triglide at one end, folding it under and stitching. Add one of the swivel clips. Thread the other end of the strapping through the triglide and add the other swivel clip at the end by folding under the strapping and stitching. Clip the strapping to the bag and you have finished your duffel bag purse.
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