frankie exclusive diy: canvas duffle bag

Whether you need a big carryall for overnight trips or something roomy to cart your clothes to the gym in, this sturdy duffle will have you covered (no dorky sports labels or plasticky materials involved).

duffle bag diy frankie BLOG

1/2m heavyweight patterned canvas fabric
1/2m heavyweight plain canvas fabric for lining
2m webbing, 2.5cm wide (contrasting colour to your canvas)
40cm zip
Thread to match your fabric and webbing
Basic sewing kit

1. Cut out the following pieces from your fabrics:

Patterned canvas fabric:
One piece: 58.5cm (h) x 42cm (w)
Two circles: 20cm diameter
Two pieces: 10cm (h) x 8cm (w)

Plain lining canvas fabric:
One piece: 58.5cm (h) x 42cm (w)
Two circles: 20cm diameter

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2. Lay out each of your three lining pieces and place a corresponding patterned canvas piece on top of each, face-up, lining up all the edges. Pin each fabric pair together. From now on we’ll treat each of these pairs as if it is one piece of fabric.

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3. Now we need to make the bag’s handles. Lay out your large canvas rectangle, face-up, in portrait position. Mark a line 11cm in from each of the longer sides. Next, measure and mark the mid-point along one of your lines. Starting from that mid-point, pin your webbing along the inside of your line.

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4. When you reach the edge of your canvas, allow a 28cm overlap of webbing, to form a handle, before continuing to pin your webbing along the inside of the other line you marked. Again, when you reach the other edge, leave a 28cm length as a handle then continue to pin as before until you meet the point where you started. Here, overlap the end of your webbing by 3cm and cut away the excess. Fold your overlapping end under by 1.5cm (so it still overlaps the other end by 1.5cm) and pin in place. (You can remove any pins that were holding your two layers of canvas together as you follow this step).

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5. Starting 8cm in from the edge of your canvas, sew along one edge of one of your webbing strips, about 2-3mm in, stopping 8cm in from the other edge of the canvas.

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6. At that point (8cm away from the edge of the canvas), turn your sewing 90 degrees and sew across the webbing, stopping 2-3mm from the edge. Turn your sewing 90 degrees again and sew along the other edge of the webbing, stopping 8cm from the edge of the canvas again, turning your sewing 90 degrees and sewing across your webbing to the point where you began sewing. Repeat steps 5-6 for the other strip of webbing.

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7. Once your webbing is secured, turn your fabric over (face-down) and lay out portrait position. Fold both of the shorter edges of your rectangle over by 1cm and press with your iron.

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8. Now it’s time to add the zip! Turn your fabric over so it is face-up again and pin your handles back out of the way so they are not overlapping the edges. With your fabric portrait position, lay your zip face-down on top, lining up its top edge with the fabric’s folded-under top edge. Pin the zip in place. Using a zipper foot if you have one (otherwise just sew as close as you can to the zipper teeth), sew along the top edge of your zip 3-4mm from the zip’s teeth.

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9. Lay out your fabric again (face-up) so that the other shorter, folded edge is at the top. Line up the other edge of the zip, face-down as before. Pin and sew as before.

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10. Turn the fabric ‘tube’ you’ve made right way out, smooth the fabric away from the zip’s teeth on either side and pin. Change your foot back to an ordinary sewing foot and sew along the fabric at each side of your zip, about 2-3mm from the edge of the fabric. Remove the pins from the handles.

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11. Now we need to make the little loops to go at each end of the zip (these help when you’re zipping the bag but can also be used to add a shoulder strap if you’d like to). Take one of your 8cm x 10cm rectangles of canvas, face-down, fold in half so the longer edges meet and press. Unfold it and now fold the long edges in to meet the center crease, pressing again. Finally, fold in half again along the original fold, press and pin. Repeat with your second small rectangle.

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12. Sew along both long edges of each of your strips, about 2mm in.

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13. Unzip your zip! Next, pin one of your canvas circles, right-side in, at each end of the fabric ‘tube’ you’ve made (you can remove the pins that held your layers of fabric together now). Your pins should be about 1cm in and your edges roughly match up, but I always find this takes a bit of fiddling and re-pinning to get the circles to sit just right. As you can see from the picture, mine ended up overlapping the edges a bit this time, but this doesn’t matter.

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14. Now is also the time to add your loops in. Fold one of the strips you made in half, so the short edges meet. From inside your bag, tuck these edges between the ‘tube’ and the end circle exactly where the zip ends (you might have to remove some pins to do this). Pin in place. Repeat with the other strip at the other end of the zip. Finally, sew the end-circles in place where you pinned them.

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15. Trim the seams to about 5mm and then zigzag stitch over the raw edges to stop them fraying. Turn your bag right way out through the zip and voila!

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styled duffle diy bag frankie blog

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