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January 12, 2019

Portside Duffle Pattern


I have been eyeing the bags that my sewing cohorts are making and figured it was my time to join in the fun. The Portside Travel Set pattern by Grainline Studio contains three separate bags (travel pouch, Dopp kit, and duffle bag) and is the perfect choice for bag newbies. The directions are straightforward and just challenging enough to keep you interested. And the satisfaction level is HUGE- I just created a useful vessel to take on my next trip!

The Supplies

Beetle and Fred in Beacon Hill, NY

On a recent trip to NY (more about that later), I found a fantastic shop for all things sewing modern- Beetle and Fred. This storefront in the center of Beacon Hill may be small, but the place is jam-packed with sewing goodness. You know when you enter a fabric store and immediately say “yeah, they have the good stuff”? That is the first impression this shop imparts! And after looking, and touching, everything I kept coming back to the bolts of uniquely patterned canvas from Cotton & Steel. I loved all of them, but eventually selected the pattern by Jen Hewett called Headlands Sunset (Imagined Landscapes Collection) for my bag project. I quickly found all of the necessary notions to complete this pattern and was especially thankful for the kind women working that day who had just taught the Portside Bag Class and gave me all the insider details!

The Pattern

The construction of the Portside Duffle Bag pattern is not hard and was fairly straight forward. Since this pattern was new to me, I took the extra time to go through all of the directions before I started cutting. After the pieces of the fabric and lining are cut out, the interfacing gets attached (I chose a lightweight variety to add just enough stability).

Constructing the Bag

After the initial cutting and ironing, it was time to construct the bag. The steps were easy to follow, and the pictures were helpful. The assembly was logical, including the strap preparation and attachment. Like most sewing patterns, this one has all the pertinent details if you take the time to read the directions thoroughly.

Wrong side view of the bag fabric.

Once I began to work with my contrasting denim fabric, it became clear to me that using my serger would allow for a clean finish and make assembly easier. This bag has a lining so this may have been an extra step, but I’m glad I did it to keep the fraying raw edges from getting in the way.

Lining fabric cut out and marked for assembly.

Constructing the Lining

With the outer portion of the bag finished, the whole thing begins again for the lining (minus the interfacing and straps). I chose lightweight denim for my lining for two reasons: it gave the bag a little more structure and it was a nice compliment to the Jen Hewett print. I learned from my Skirt Skills course to use an iron for marking, and find that I’m consistently incorporating these tips into my sewing practice (see photo above).

Finishing the Bag

And finally, with the outer bag and the lining constructed, it was time to attach them and finish the bag. To prepare for this process, I pressed the 1/2″ under along the zipper seam as instructed in the pattern. I also a fabric glue stick and pins to help align these pieces before sewing. Then, with wrong sides together, I hand sewed along the zipper seam using the same thread from my machine. I had no problems getting this to line up nicely and am happy with the results.

I am so thrilled with this completed project! The Portside Bag Pattern is not only a beautiful bag (thanks Jen Hewett!) but also a function piece for my lifestyle. I couldn’t be happier with this make and plan to complete the other two bags in the pattern set with my remaining fabric. What about you, have you made this bag and what do you think?


  1. Doris says:

    What is the size of the bag?

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