Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dollar Dolly Duffel Bag! -- TUTORIAL

Today's Dollar Store Craft is a mini duffel bag for your dolly (or for yourself!). Your 18"doll can haul her dance clothes to the studio in style. Or, when she heads over to her friend's house for a sleepover, her pretty overnight bag will be the envy of all the other dolls!

All you need is one tote bag and a zipper. I had my zipper on hand, but you could purchase one at a crafts/sewing supply store. Or, if you are not opposed to a little seam ripping, check this out:

(photo courtesy of my "high-quality" cell phone camera!)
A dollar store backpack! That green zipper is exactly the right color -- and you can steal the black webbing straps as well. All for a buck!

(Note: For my duffel bag I used the body of one tote bag and the handles from anothe rbecause I wanted contrasting handles.)

STEP ONE: Cut apart your bag! I simply cut the sides away and removed the handles.

I ended up with a 24" x 13" rectangle, plus two strips of approximately 26" of straps.

STEP TWO: Cut out the pieces of your bag:
Cut a 7 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangle for the main body. (On mine I was careful to center the motif.)
Cut two circles with 3 3/8" diameter. (Again, I centered the motif!)
Cut two strap pieces at 18" and one at 8".

STEP THREE: Fold your rectangle in half to find the center. Lay your handles as shown, with the raw ends of the handles about 1/4" from the center. I centered my straps carefully on the motif. Repeat for the other handle.

STEP FOUR: Sew your straps down. Don't sew them all the way up to the top edge! I stopped 2 1/2" from the top edge of the rectangle on either side.

STEP FIVE: Sew your 8" strap across the bottom center, covering the raw edges of your straps.

STEP NINE: Fold down the two short edges of your rectangles a scant 1/4". Crease with your finger.

STEP TEN: Attach your zipper to either side of your bag. My zipper was about 18" long, giving me plenty of extra space to get the job done without having to wrestle the bag and zipper.

STEP ELEVEN: Attach one circle to the first end of your duffel bag (not the one with the long zipper tail). If the motif on your circle is directional, be sure to get it right side up. The circle is actually quite easy to attach -- simply pull and rotate the circle around in front of the presser foot, matching the edges as you go.

Looking good so far!

STEP TWELVE: Sew the other circle on, starting a short distance away from the zipper and ending a short distance before you reach the other side of the zipper, as shown.

STEP THIRTEEN: Next, zip your zipper about 1/4" of the way across the body of your bag. You need to have plenty of room to turn your bag right side out through the zipper opening.

STEP FOURTEEN: Finish attaching your circle. I gave the zipper a little added stability by sewing a bar tack over the zipper teeth in the seam allowance.

STEP FIFTEEN: Cut off the excess zipper (don't use your good sewing scissors! I used my kitchen shears) and turn your back right side out. Done! Your doll is ready to pack up her duffel bag and head to her best friend's house for a sleepover!

Want ideas of what she can stuff in there?

Wendy at Old Days Old Ways (hi, Mom!) just made a super fun sleeping bag for her 18" doll -- she gives measurements here. And guess what -- after checking the dimensions of the rolled up sleeping bag we discovered it will fit EXACTLY in the duffel bag! Serendipity!!!

Wendy also has her famous Dollar Doll Clothes from Underwear tutorial to outfit your dolly with some new jammies and other goodies. She includes free patterns!

I also have a few ideas for how to make some super easy clothes for her.

Then again, if you don't want to share your duffel bag with your dolly, you can always use it for your markers! :o)


Shari said...

I love these dollar store makeover projects. My only problem is that I'm zipper-phobic when it comes to sewing. One day I'll overcome that. I think the cookie backpack is adorable and just wish I could magically shrink THAT to doll size.

Wendy said...

So cute!! I need one for my markers AND one for dollies--love it!

Carrie said...

THIS is adorable. i totally bought dollar store backpacks the other day! i thought you'd be so proud. :) they had a front zipper as well as the big one and nice straps. the fabric for the actual backpack is practically tissue. haha. but i'm so excited about my zippers and straps. i saw some cute totebags and now i'll have to go back and get them to do this project. yay!

Anne said...

This is SO awesome!! Thank you for this tutorial!

I linked to it over on Craft Gossip Sewing:


KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

I saw this featured on Craft Gossip. This is absolutely adorable. I'll try it.

Ms Muffin said...

How cute is that?! Amazing!

Joanna said...

You're a genius! I hope to make two for my grand-nieces. Thank so much.

VickiT said...

Oh my gosh, this is just SUPER CUTE! I love it and my Granddaughter just got an American Girl doll. I only hope I can attempt this without the fear I also have of zippers. I KNOW they are (supposedly) easy to do, especially with my Viking D1 machine that practically does it by itself, but the key is to get me to TRY it. LOL
Thank you SO much.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Aww, that is so cute! Thanks so much for the fun how-to, I'll be linking.

Anonymous said...

I made one ! It's not self-standing since I used some inexpensive cotton and ribbons for handles, but it came out fairly cute !


Thanks for the great tutorial - that was a fun project just right for National Sewing Month !

Catherine Peart said...

My daughter just became obsessed with AG dolls (which has come as a shock - she has never been into dolls) so I am just now searching for things we can make for her (I don't want to pay the original AG prices for everything - sheesh!). Thanks so much for this tutorial. I am off to check out all your other links.

Alexsandra said...

Eu adorei o tutorial desta bag. Eu vou fazer uma.

Libby said...

I just want to say that it is cute and a great idea except that I cannot for the life of me have the end pieces work, they are too small. This was supposed to be a quick gift and I’m screaming (silently) over it. I’ve been sewing many different types of items over the past 55 years so I definitely have the skill to sew & troubleshoot, but this is a bust for me. I even converted the circle size to metric, cut out another one slightly larger, changed types of zippers and I have to quit because it just doesn’t work & I don’t have the time to fiddle with it anymore. Your instructions are relatively clear but by gosh I’m fed up with this.

Best Travel Purse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Best Travel Purse said...

These Duffle bags are beautifully designed. But we should also know about how to measure a duffel bag for carry on

Online Shopping At Smile Bazar said...

Informative, Thanks.I would like to suggest SmileBazar, online shopping website offering made in India Products. Buy Duffle Bag online at lowest prices. Hope you enjoy discovering new products.