Here you will find some tips on making my designs. These are mostly things I have learned as I make them myself over the years, or suggestions from other quilters.
Totally Awesome Totebag, Toolbag and Mini-Tote
These bags are sturdy because they have a fusible interfacing adhered to the outer bag and lining fabrics. My current favorite product for the interfacing is Pellon Decor Bond. It is the right thickness and adheres well without causing wrinkles or puckers. It comes in 44" width, so you can purchase half the amount listed on the patterns, which calls for 22" wide interfacing.
When I cut the large pieces for the outer bag and lining, I like to cut both the fabric and interfacing an inch or two larger than the pattern calls for. Then I fuse them, with the fabric side up, so I can make sure the fabric is smooth. After fusing, then I trim to the correct size. This way the edges are all neat and even.
Handle webbing is a big time saver and results in nice sturdy handles that won't wrinkle like the fabric ones eventually do. Thimble Pleasures sells the heavy reinforced cotton handle webbing. The handle webbing is sold on the Notions page. (If I dont have the right color for my tote I just cover the webbing with fabric.)
When applying your handles to the bag, especially if you are using webbing, it is hard to pin them on. Try using a glue stick, or basting glue if you have it, and glue them on. I lay my long ruler on the bag, to make sure I get them on straight. Hold the handle in place, then peel it back and dab some glue stick on (just regular paper glue stick). They will stay put while you sew them on. Be sure to sew down both edges as directed. Always have glue in your sewing room. It's great for basting lots of things.
The front pocket is a great place to use an embroidery motif, or a leftover quilt block, a photo printed onto fabric, or any other little decoration.
A Little Duffle Do It
I recommend starting with the small or medium size Duffle. The tiniest one is just a little trickier to make because it's so small. But they are so cute!
When making the medium and large Duffles, you may want to stiffen your fabric first by fusing a heavy interfacing, such as Decor Bond, or to the wrong side of your outer fabric. Or try using Fusible Fleece instead of the Steam-a-Seam. Then proceed according to the directions. It will make the finished duffle firmer. This is not necessary for the small and tiny sizes.
X-Large Duffles (finished 10" x 5" x 5")
When I re-printed the pattern I added a new size and eliminated the Extra-large one. If you liked making that biggest duffle here are your dimensions: You will need-1 fat quarter of 2 fabrics, 1/4 yard of Fast2Fuse, 7/8 of Steam-a-Seam or fleece, and 1/4 yard of ribbon.
Cut the bottom piece 9.5" x 5". Cut the fabrics and Steam-a-Seam 16 x 21". Trim to 15.5 x 20.5". Cut binding strips 1.25 x 6". Corner cut out will be 2.25 x 2.5"
I hope that helps!