Duffle bags

A classy twist on the 80’s gym bag, these duffles were so fun and easy to make!

(adapted from Saltwater kids)


The materials are easy (but can get expensive)

  • 1/2 yard heavy weight fabric (I used upholstery fabric, but you can use heavy weight denim or even outdoor and laminated fabrics)

  • 1/2 yard cotton lining fabric (I used a quilting cotton I found on sale)

  • 16” SEPARATING zipper* (if you get a zipper that does not separate, or accidentally get ahead of yourself and sew one end in, the project gets harder)

  • Jean/denim sewing machine needle  (I used a 90)

  • 76” of 1½”-2″ wide webbing


  • Cut a 26” X 16 ½” piece out of both your heavy weight and lining fabrics.

  • Cut (2) 8 ½” circles out of each fabric for the ends.

  • Sew the body pieces right sides together at the 16.5″ sides and then turn right side out.

  • sew the zipper in across the now finished seams, separating it so that your work remains flat.

  • Turn the piece sideways and lay flat so that the zippers are to your left and right with raw edges at the top and bottom.

  • find the horizontal center line and mark 1.5″ above and below it (you will use these to align your webbing)

  • Align the webbing to the lines so that there is 3″ of space between the top and bottom and make sure the loose ends of the webbing come together at the center point to form a loop. Mark the mid point of your piece of webbing and align it with the joint to make sure the loop is even (picture from the original post are helpful here).

  • Sew along the outer edge of the webbing and add an “X” at the top below where it meets the zipper and becomes handles in all four places (see photo below).

  • pin the circle lining pieces wrong sides together to their heavyweight counterparts.

  • Face the body piece heavyweight fabric side up and the circle heavyweight side down.  Start sewing at the zipper and slowly work the pieces together as you sew around the circle until you reach the other end.  If there is space, try adjusting your seam allowance.

  • repeat on the other side.

  • Turn inside out and you’re done!

  • IMG_2369

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