it’s in the bag: Grainline’s Portside Duffle

I recently moved back to San Francisco after a three year hiatus, and exactly one month after my arrival one of my best friends announced she was moving from SF to LA. It was a happy/sad moment because she was moving in order to accept her dream job, and I’ve seriously never seen her as happy as she has been since taking this leap. Needless to say, her move also provides a great excuse for me to travel down to visit her and her fun new town, which I did for the first time this past November. Of course, I like to travel in style: intro the Grainline Portside Duffle!

Portside Duffle

I’m a fan of all the Grainline Studio patterns I’ve tried, and this one is no exception. The instructions were really clear, and after just a little effort on my part to hunt down the sort of hardware I envisioned (found at Britex!) the pattern came together really quickly. Admittedly, I was on deadline; I needed to pack the finished bag for my trip! I was in LA for a long, four day weekend, and was able to pack all the necessities (plus two pairs of shoes, of course) into this perfectly sized beauty. During my travels I got not one, not two, but three unsolicited compliments on my bag. It seems everyone is on the lookout for travel gear that isn’t made out of cruddy and unattractive nylon.

Portside Duffle1 The only change I made from what’s stated in the pattern was using the wide 1 1/2″ webbing for both my handles and the over the shoulder adjustable strap. This makes sense because you don’t have to fuss with finding matching webbing (which I actually found to be kind of difficult), and I think wider straps are more comfortable. I also did my adjustable strap just a little differently.

Portside Duffle innards

This time around I used a heavyweight denim for the contrast fabric, and lighter weight green denim for the main body. The green denim actually has a really cool design on it, but it’s difficult to see in these photos. If I make this again (and I think I may because 1: It was super fun to put together & 2: I’ve had some birthday requests from friends) I would try to find a way to sew the lining in by machine. I lined my bag with a light canvas in pale blue—pulled from the stash. I generally love hand stitching, but this was a little tough on my fingers. I’d also like to add a zipper pocket to the lining. (But maybe this felt more necessary because I didn’t have time to make up the awesome travel pouch and dopp kit that come with the pattern…)

All in all, I’m really proud of how well this bag turned out! It was especially rewarding to sew something so utilitarian. Have any of you experimented with bag making?