I spent the Sunday after the workshop finishing the Cargo Duffle.
I really, sincerely disliked all the prep work, but was thrilled to see how this bag turned out. it has substance. I was going to give it away, but I am keeping it. I really like the fabrics I chose, even though I chose the green because I thought I would give it away. I love that text fabric.
I am also thinking of making another one. I know. I know. I am crazy, but I keep thinking about how I would make a second one differently. I want to see if I can do it again better. ALSO, I do have to make a bag for one of the guild officers.
For example, after cutting out the straps, I would just sew them. After cutting out the pockets, I would sew them to the lining. I think it would be less confusing. Yes, I would still have to quilt a bunch of pieces and panels,, but I think it would be easier. It might not have worked when I didn’t know how to make the bag, but now that I have an idea, I think it would work better for me.
I am behind in posting, but I also don’t want to bore you by posting on one project or topic day after day.
You know that I have been prepping for the Cargo Duffle. It seemed interminable, but paid off. On the first Saturday in August I went to the BAMQG workshop and worked on assembling the Cargo Duffle. I arrived in good time after only getting a little lost*. 😉
Gerre arrived right after I did and we quickly decided to sit together in the back of the room. That way we could have a whole table to ourselves. There was a bit of table shortage because their day camp program was using the long rectangular tables we like. We ended up with two tables, mostly because I decided we needed a separate table on which to layout all the pieces we had prepped. It is always great to work with Gerre. On the day of the workshop, I was on edge (not sure why – a lot going on, maybe) and she kept talking me down off the ledge. I reciprocated the favor by keeping her calm when parts of the bags weren’t going as planned.
It was also good to see that some people had done less of their homework than I did, not to be mean to them; it just reduced my stress a bit.
We started out with the slip pockets and my first problem was with what pieces needed to be used. Jaime helped and once I got that problem sorted, the “which piece was which” problem sorted itself out. Even though I had all the pieces labeled, with this bit of help, I had a frame of reference.
Seeing what other people were doing and having access to a teacher also made me calm down quite a bit.
My first huge accomplishment was finishing the lining. Yes, I finished the interior slip pocket and the interior zipper pocket, which help to make up the lining, but seeing a real 3D item made from all that prep work me very happy.
I made mistakes and had to rip, which I am sure others were doing as well, even though I didn’t see them. I also had to change the way the main zipper worked, which Gerre talked me through. I may post the steps for you later. Not sure, but stay tuned.
Still, it was a super long day and I didn’t finish completely, but made really good progress. By the end of the day I only had to sew the rest of the exterior together and then insert the lining. I really don’t have a lot to complete and feel like I accomplished quite a bit by the time the day was over. Do I wish I had finished? Yes, of course, but I have to be happy with what I was able to do.
Gerre finished her bag and it looks great! Cheryl, Amanda and Karen all finished their bags as well.
As you know I have been working on the homework for the Noodlehead Cargo Duffle*. This is one of the most difficult bags I have ever made, including the Liesl Backpack, though I think the directions are the problem and not the actual bag. Also, there is a lot of prep and, as you know, I like to get straight to the sewing. As I have said, the directions are too brief for me.
These handles can be used for other types of bags, so this tutorial creates a useful skill.
In this case, I couldn’t understand the directions for making the handles. I looked at them several times until I decided just to try what they said and see if that worked. I did what the directions said, though they didn’t make sense, and the directions actually worked! Me or the directions? You decide.
Since I think the pattern instructions just need a bit of explanation for those of us who need to know more why in their patterns, I wrote up a tutorial.
Cut strips according to the directions or according to your needs. I made mine a little longer as I wanted to have more carrying options.
2. Sew strips together. They are not the same width so they will not line up, width-wise, exactly.
3. Press seams open. This is not critical and if you don’t want to, press how you like. I press seams open on handles, because I want to reduce bulk. You get a lot of bulk in handles, especially if you add some kind of filler like cotton webbing, which I used in these straps, or Soft & Stable or any other kind of interfacing. Pressing the seams reduces bulk.
Optional: At this point you can add some ShapeFlex to the handles to add strength. If you add ShapeFlex, cut a piece that covers both strips and covers the seam. It will add strength to the seam.
4. Fold the long side of the raw edges towards the center seam. I folded the Pearl Bracelets green piece first, but where you start doesn’t really matter, I don’t think.
5. Press fabric so there is a crease in the fold.
6. Next, fold the second long side, raw edge towards the center seam (yes, it is slightly off center, which is part of what confused me). This is the fabric (text fabric) with the smaller width.
7. Make sure to line both raw edges up with seam you just pressed open. Each different fabric will be a different folded width.
7. Press just folded fabric so there is a crease in the fold.
8. Fold the fabric with the smaller width (mine is the alphabet fabric) up towards the wider fabric (green Pearl Bracelets). There will be some green showing, which is what you want.
9. Press so you have crisp folds. Some of the wider fabric (green Pearl Bracelets, in my case) will show. This detail makes an accent.
10. Now unfold and add your cotton webbing or other stiffener. I used 1/5″ cotton webbing. I had never used this and was pleased at how well my machine sewed through it.
11. Refold so the cotton webbing does not show.
12. Quilt lines lengthwise, approximately 3/8″ apart, starting with the open seam. This will make the handle is very dense with quilting and add to the strength.
Ta da! You have very nice handles that will be sturdy enough to carry a heavy bag.
Ruth, being the super intelligent woman she is provided a link after I had figured out how to make these handles. I did search, but didn’t come up with the tutorial. I hope you like my instructions for the Cargo Duffle handles, which will, with any luck, come up in search results for others who try to make the Cargo Duffle.
*I really don’t know if the project includes the spelling ‘duffel’ or ‘duffle’. I am going with ‘duffle’ as that is what the dictionary says. You may want to search both, if you do any Google searching in order to get all the results.
As you know from a previous post, I have been working almost exclusively on the prep for the BAMQG Cargo Duffle class. I haven’t had tons of time to sew. What I have had I have spent on prep.
I like making bags, because I have something useful at the end of the process. Also, people seem to like them when I give them as gifts. I do not, however, like the prep required, regardless of whether I am just sewing a bag on my own or preparing for a class. In fact, I always swear a lot and then swear I will never make another bag again when I am in the bag prep process.
Part of this feeling has to do with my, well documented for you, difficulty in reading pattern directions and understanding what the designer is trying to say. I’ll take some, but won’t take full responsibility because I believe that the directions for this bag were briefer than necessary. I understand why, especially after working with Alison, because patterns need to be printed and printing 60 pages of directions including photos is daunting.
One of the things I had to do, which was different for this pattern was to quilt a lot of the parts. I understand why, and you will as well after seeing the finished piece, but it made for a lot of extra work.
Friday night I stayed in my workroom until 10pm sewing on this project. Finally, DH called me down to watch the parade of nations for #Rio2016. I decided that I would have to work on whatever I didn’t finish in class. I estimate working on the prep for about 20 hours. I didn’t keep strict track, but I think that is in the neighborhood.
What I really needed was a chart showing the pieces and giving their sizes with arrows pointing to the piece on the finished bag. I really needed that visual. I think it would have made my life a lot easier. I didn’t really understand what a gusset* was, especially in this context, and that added to the confusion of all of the parts and pieces.
I am not criticizing the teacher who was extremely patient on her first outing as a teacher. She responded quickly and non-snarkily each time she got a question on the guild forum from one of the 20+ students.
I would have liked to have seen more meshing of the pattern and the hacks/supplement (by our teacher), including references back and forth to when to go and do a step from the pattern and when to stop. This addition would have required a lot more time on her part and we weren’t paying her so I think that would have been too much to ask. It might have been nice to get together with other students beforehand to work on the prep.
I constantly learn from creating new bags and, though, this isn’t the kind of bag I would tend to use, I am learning quite a bit from making it, not the least of which has to do with gussets. 😉
The definition of gusset didn’t match what I was seeing in the Cargo Duffel pattern so that created some confusion. Wikipedia’s definition is similar to the American Heritage and Merriam Webster. I didn’t didn’t find any of them to be super helpful in the context of this pattern: “In sewing, a gusset is a triangular or rhomboidal piece of fabric inserted into a seam to add breadth or reduce stress from tight-fitting clothing. Gussets were used at the shoulders, underarms, and hems of traditional shirts and chemises made of rectangular lengths of linen to shape the garments to the body.
Gussets are used in manufacturing of modern tights and pantyhose to add breadth at the crotch seam. As with other synthetic underwear, these gussets are often made of moisture-wicking breathable fabrics such as cotton, to keep the genital area dry and ventilated.
The phrase “don’t bust a gusset” (a variation of “don’t blow a gasket”) is an admonition to calm down; becoming so enraged and inflated that one busted a gusset would imply extreme rage and expansion beyond one’s clothing capacity.
Gussets are also used when making three-piece bags, for example in a pattern for a bag as a long, wide piece which connects the front piece and back piece. By becoming the sides and bottom of the bag, the gusset opens the bag up beyond what simply attaching the front to the back would do. With reference to the dimension of the gusset, the measurements of a flat bottom bag may be quoted as LxWxG.
Pillows too, are often gusseted, generally an inch or two. The side panels thicken the pillow, allowing more stuffing without bulging.
Gussets are also used in other areas of manufacturing, e.g. bicycle frames employ gussets to add strength and rigidity.[clarification needed]” (Wikipedia)
I am taking a workshop to make the Noodlehead Cargo Duffel in a few weeks. The class isn’t just making the duffel, but we are making it with some hacks that Jaime figured out.
I spent a few hours the day after the BAMQG meeting familiarizing myself with the pattern and beginning to cut the pieces. There are A LOT of pieces in this pattern. Last Saturday and Sunday, I spent time cutting the rest of the pieces.
I now have to do the rest of the prep. This involves buying a couple of zipper and sewing bits and pieces together. There is homework because this is a serious bag and it can’t all be done in one day.
I am happy to do the prep even thought I was confused at the beginning. I think it makes for a better start for me once I am in the class.
I actually contemplated cutting out another whole bag so I could make two at once. I am trying to restrain myself. 😉