Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Not So Simple Simplicity 2274

EDIT 10/2015: I cannot provide support on this pattern as this is not my design so please do not contact me with questions. I highly suggest that you ask the designer of the pattern, StudioCherie, for support. She has literally made hundreds of these bags and can probably assist you much better than I could.

I'm reposting my entry from PatternReview, because it's very thorough and I don't feel like typing out even more words on this subject.
Simplicity 2274
Pattern Description: 
Clutch, overnight bag and luggage tag sewing pattern. i made the overnight bag but i'm pretty sure i could fit enough clothes in it for at least a week. it's a big bag.

Pattern Sizing:
another review says it's 20x13x11. i'm too lazy to get out the tape measure.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

pretty much but i made a ton of changes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

i really hated that the pattern doesn't include a lining. i also don't like how the seam is exposed on the inside of the side pocket zipper. the whole thing is rectangles with the exception of the tabs, so i used my rotary cutter and ruler instead of the pattern pieces. it'd be nice if the dimensions were written on the pattern pieces but they aren't. i don't love the tabs but there's nothing wrong with them per se. they're a little floppy, so maybe consider adding interfacing.

Simplicity 2274

Fabric Used:
quilting cottons for the exterior, fusible fleece instead of batting, an old bedsheet instead of muslin, quilting cotton for the lining. i also used quilting cotton with fusible fleece for the strap instead of jute webbing. i started with the aqua Flea Market Fancy fabric for the lining and straps and chose coordinating fabrics for the exterior. i used a lot of different fabrics but amongst them were more FMF, Echo, Quilt Blocks, Sherbet Pips, It's a hoot, Brrr, DS quilts collections, Summersville, and more. I used both new and old prints pulling from my hoarded and mostly unused fat quarter stash, but i managed to work in some last super loved bits, like the pink red letter day geese.

Simplicity 2274

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

firstly i made a patchwork exterior. i cut fusible fleece and my bedsheet 2" larger around on the main bag and side panels and fused them together. then i did quilt as you go onto the pieces. the quilting lines are about 3/8" apart and the entire bag is densely quilted. on the main bag, i started in the middle and once my QAYG area got too large, i pieced together smaller sections and then quilted them onto the main bag. it might have been a better idea to add interfacing to the exterior as well for more stability but it also would've been another layer to deal with. i'm undecided as to whether it would be worth it. after i finished QAYG, i trimmed all pieces to the correct size.

Simplicity 2274

i added a zipped pocket to both side panels. i really wish i had sandwiched the zipper so that the seams are hidden. i had to cut about an inch off the bottom of the zipper pocket after attaching it to the side panel. i may have read the instructions on placement incorrectly.

instead of jute webbing, i cut 3 8" pieces of kona snow. i made 2 62" pieces and then seamed the long sides to make a tube. i ironed 3.5" wide fusible fleece to each strap and then turned it inside out, enclosing the fleece on the inside. then i topstitched the FMF to the white straps. i forgot to finish the short ends, so i stitched my straps together with 1/2" seam. the join was a little bulky when sewing it to the exterior but nothing too heinous.

Simplicity 2274

i also added a full lining. i cut main bag and side panels from flea market fancy, and added decor bond interfacing. i ended up cutting 4" off of the main bag (both lining and exterior) because i didn't need a facing. i attached the zip to the main bag in the same way you would for a lined zipper pouch (zip face down on main bag, lining on top RS together. stitch next to zip and 1/8" seam for extra strength, flip ends out and press, sandwich other side of zip in same way, stitch, forming a tube). for the side panels, i sewed all layers together at the top where the zipper is (so lining side panel, lining main bag, exterior main bag with tabs, exterior side panel) as one. then i stitched the other 3 seams with just exterior pieces together and then lining pieces together (so each are sewn separately). i left a turning gap on one side panel lining piece. (if you do this remember to leave the zipper open. it says to do this in the main instructions but it's really important when adding a lining too) then i turned the whole thing inside out and handstitched the lining closed. i gave serious thought to adding an interior zip pocket to the lining but i don't think i'd use it with the 2 zipped exterior pockets plus the slip pocket on the front. thank goodness. the last thing i needed was to add another step.

Would you sew it again? 

oh heavens no.

Would you recommend it to others? 

it was very time consuming though i did manage to finish the whole project in a weekend. i love my bag. it's really unique. but it was a big pain in the rear. just trying to maneuver all those giant pieces with the main bag being so heavy and twisting things about with the lining was an ordeal. i understand now why the original directions would omit a lining, but the finished bag is still way better with one. i should clarify that if you follow the instructions and don't try to make it as complicated as i did then you will have a much easier time and it'll go a lot faster.


probably worth it in the end. prepare yourself for a wrestling match.


  1. Your scrappy version is so good. I love it! I agree that wrangling the bag is a PITA, but the result is so great! Totally worth it. Once. ;)

  2. pincushiontreats7/03/2012 11:44:00 AM

    Too bad it was so much work. But you do have quite a lovely bag there Glad you powered through.

  3. That is amazingly beautiful! You've been so productive lately!

  4. I have this pattern and am waiting for a weekend to devote to tackling it.  I have also been waiting for the perfect fabric, but I love the quilted idea.  I have so many scraps of fabrics I love and this would be a great way to use them.  Thanks for the inspiration and the review!

  5. Arlene McGarrahan8/21/2012 08:27:00 AM

    Thanks so much for all the info on making the bag that you provided in your review.
    After reading your pattern review of the duffel bag pattern, I decided to line my duffel bag which I finished yesterday. Like you, I lined it, added another side zippered pocket, and skipped using jute in the strap. The extra steps were well worth the effort.
    Thanks again for all your helpful tips.

  6. WOW!!!! Gorgeous (found you via PR)
    I followed everything (well almost -Not the bit about the "pieced together smaller sections and then quilted them onto the main bag"- but I don't plan to do any piecing) EXCEPT for how you did the lining on the side panel. Kinda scratching my head . . . Maybe it'll make sense once I'm actually doing it. Also plan to line mine. Thanks for all your pointers

  7. Your bag turned out really cute, despite your problems with it. I've made this pattern 4 times and have loved each bag - they're huge, and can really be customized easily. And I didn't find them difficult to make. My only issue with the pattern was the way she described inserting the zipper. I used my tried-and-true Noodlehead method and had no problems.

    I'm about to make one for myself and found yours by Googling for it...now I think I want to make a cute quilted one instead of a single-fabric exterior.

  8. I'm new to sewing and have begun the process of creating this lovely duffel bag. However, I would love some help in understanding how to read this pattern for proper placement of pockets and zippers. If anyone is willing to help, please email me.

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  10. Knottygnome, any chance you have pics of how to attach the straps to the bag? I'm using jute webbing from Hobby Lobby and I'm not so sure why there is 4 pieces of the strap rather than one long piece. I'm also not sure how to finish off the ends of the strap to the bottom of the bag. The pattern is confusing to me on this part. Really wish there was a video on this duffel bag for beginners!

  11. I love how your bag turned out! I'm in the middle of making one myself, and I can definitely see what you mean about never making another one!! I have a question for you - and perhaps I'm just being dense, but I can't seem to understand what I'm doing in step 9 with the zipper stop tabs. There's no diagram or photograph, so I'm about how I'm folding the tabs and where exactly I'm stitching. Any chance you could point in the right direction? Thanks in advance :)

  12. I have made 4 of these bags so far and have another 3-4 planned. I used Duckcloth for the exterior, Canvas for the handles, broadcloth of the liners, and parka zippers. I measured all of the pieces and cut them using my quilting mat and rotary cutter. I cut the exterior and lining pieces 2” larger than the pattern piece to allow for fabric shifting and quilting shrinkage. I quilted a 1.5 inch diamonds using painter’s tape to make mark my sewing lines. A walking foot is totally necessary. I used a regular presser foot for the 1st bag and was totally frustrated. I purchased a walking foot the next three bag; so much better. I used fusible fleece on the body and side panels. I added interface to the side pieces, strap pocket, and side pocket. I replaced the tabs with D-ring loops (for a future shoulder strap). I added side pockets to each side and strap pockets on each side. I finished the side zippers between the side pocket exterior and lining fabric. I did add a liner to the bags (makes it look more professional). I did not use the jute webbing. I cut 2 8”x58” strips from Canvas. I folded the strap in half and then half again; then ironed 2” fusible fleece to the strap. I topstitched the strap. I will add a piece of plastic to the bottom of the bag for stability.
    I made a No Guts Boxie Pouch to go along with 1 of the bags. http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/accessory/no-guts-boxie-pouch/13424


  13. I appreciate your blog post and thank you for inspiring so many with the gorgeous photos of your bag! Thank you so much for suggesting that people contact me directly for help. It is true, I have made hundreds of these bags. Also, the people who use my PDF pattern do not run into some of the problems you did with the tissue version. (I do line the outer zippered pocket by sandwiching that zipper.) After making 100's of them, and using my own bag for 5 years now, I still believe that my design choice to not add an extra layer of lining (another 1.5 yards of fabric) and interior pockets to this bag is correct. There is a beautiful and clever lining in my departure satchel that will satisfy the needs of those who scoff at the idea of a bag that has exposed seams on the inside. I am sure if you turn their handmade clothing inside out, it is just as wearable and finished on the inside as it is on the outside - no exposed seams. I am being sarcastic here only to point out that sometimes it is correct for a seam to just be a seam. The bag is not designed to be reversible. You obviously put a lot of love and effort into your bag and I hope you are still enjoying the use of it. It is wonderful and perfect. I just think all of that beautiful lining fabric would be better spend on quilted cosmetic bags or drawstring shoe bags to coordinate with the duffle and be useful.

  14. I purchased the store version and struggled then purchased Cherie's PDF which she stated would be easier .. I have not made it yet but just by reading through it, she's right. Love your bag in spite of the trials you had!

  15. Well that's great. I also purchased the store version and had I known the tissue version was going to be more difficult, I'd have gotten the PDF version again. Perhaps Studiocherie should offer a free PDF version to those of us who already paid for the tissue version. I'm not paying for both.

    FWIW, your bag turned out great. Thanks for all the tips. Planning to tackle mine soon and also plan on adding a liner. I think the inside of a bag is equally as important as the exterior and those raw ashes would really bother me.

  16. Darn auto correct! Raw *edges, not ashes. PDF version *instead, not again. Excuse the typos.



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