Make a Duffel Bag That's Better Than Santa's

Some sturdy fabric and other materials, basic sewing know-how, and the instructions that follow are all you'll need to make a duffel bag.

| November/December 1978

Although the Yuletide is just around the corner, there’s still time to whip up this easy-to-make, inexpensive (but valuable) gift for some of the special folks on your list: the do-anything, go-anywhere, kick-it-and-cuddle-it duffle bag!

All you’ll need to make a duffle bag for a favorite traveler are a few materials, some basic sewing know-how, and the instructions that follow. So grab your scissors. Time’s awastin’!

Materials: The Bag-inning

For a 19 1/2" x 8 1/2" duffel bag, gather together one yard of 40"-wide fabric (canvas, cotton duck, coated nylon, Acrilan or just about anything that's durable and won't stretch or shrink too much), one-quarter yard of 40"-wide cloth (perhaps of a different color) for welting cover, two yards of 1/16"-diameter welting cord or rope, three yards of 1 1/2" webbing for straps, one 21"-long strip of zipper (bought off the roll) with slider, and one roll of cotton-covered polyester (or other heavy-duty) thread.

If You Want to Get Fancy

(A word of caution: Some of the following "trimmings" must be attached to a bag before it's completed. You can save yourself some frustration, then, by reading all the directions in this article before you sew that first stitch.)

FOR POCKETS: You'll need all of the above materials plus one foot of elastic or shock cord, one-half yard of extra fabric (the same as the bag material), and two 9" lengths of zipper (with sliders).

FOR A SHOULDER STRAP: Add on 1 1/4 yards of the same 1 1/2" webbing strap material called for above (if you want end straps, too, make that 2 1/4 yards more), plus a buckle that will fit the webbing, two clip or spring hook fasteners, and two D-rings.

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