Not Clothing: Grainline Portside Duffle

Mid-November I attended a 3-day conference for work.  As I was figuring out what I was going to wear, and if there was anything I needed to sew, I realized that I don't really have a great mid-size travel bag.  I have my huge 60L camping backpack and a small ratty carry-on rollie-suitcase, but nothing that fit right in the middle.  So obviously, I figured I would pick up some fun canvas and make my own duffle bag!  The Grainline Portside Travel Set caught my eye, and I headed off to IKEA to pick up some fun canvas.

I had a bit of difficulty picking out just the right hardware from Fabricland, and in the end that part was the most expensive!  There isn't a great selection of zippers that are long enough, and aren't meant for jackets - but I managed to find one that matches the blue of the bag almost perfectly!  I also wasn't able to find fusible heavy-weight interfacing, so I had to go with the sew-in kind.

This bag was probably one of the trickier non-clothing items I've sewn, especially because of the curved sides.  They took a bit of work, and I had to re-do one of them, but I'm happy with how they turned out overall.  (They're a bit lopsided in the photo, but they really did turn out smoothly!)
I also did not like the way they outlined how to add in the lining, so I followed the steps I learned when I was just leaning how to sew - thanks to this tutorial by Carly over at A Sewcial Life.  This was MUCH easier than hand-sewing in the whole thing.  I had just enough of this fantastic fox-print fabric for the lining and I am SO happy with how it looks.
I also was not able to find the two different sizes of webbing the pattern called for, so I just used the 1+1/2"size all over.  When reading the instructions I really didn't understand how the long strap was supposed to work - but I figured it out!

I didn't make the two smaller bags included in the pattern as I have way too many small makeup bags already.  However I did buy enough fabric and notions for when I do decide to finish up the whole set.  One thing I would add if I make this bag in the future would be little pull tabs at either end of the zipper.  The zipper I bought is a bit stiff, and it would be easier to close if I had something to grab onto at the end to hold the bag still.

This was a really great pattern, even though it was a bit of a challenge.  The overall cost for this bag was roughly $60, including all the hardware and the extra fabric.  Definitely not much cheaper than your average duffle, but it is one-of-a-kind, so I'll always be able to spot my luggage!

Here's a few more pictures of the details - and a bonus cat!


  1. Oh Simon! Really nice bag Kallie. How did the machine perform sewing through layers of heavy canvas?

    1. Thanks Sandy! The machine was great! There were a couple spots where I just had to take things slow, but overall everything went smoothly.

  2. Awesome job! I love the fox print, it's amazing. And it looks like the cat approves. :)

  3. Really adorable bag... not just a great pattern but I also love the fabric choices - those foxes are so cute!