Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sew-Along Day 6: Lining the Bag

Welcome to the final day of instruction for the Cargo Duffle Sew-Along! Today you’ll learn how to add a lining to your bag. It’s my own alteration to the pattern, so if you have any additional thoughts about how to approach this step, please share them in the comments.

Also: Remember to come back and submit a picture of your finished bag sometime between March 18 and March 31 to be eligible for a prize. (Eep! I can’t wait to see everyone’s finishes!)

Sewing the Lining Pieces

Back on day 1, you cut these pieces from your lining fabric:
  • Front/back: (cut 2) 10.75" x 18.25"
  • Bottom gusset: 6.5" x 29.5"
  • Zipper gusset: (cut 2) 3.25" x 27" 
You will sew them together as you assembled the gusset and bag back on sew-along day 4 and day 5.

First, take your two zipper gusset strips, and fold each of them under a half inch along one long edge. Press. Align those strips with the edges of the bottom gusset, right sides together, and pin. As you can see from the picture below, there’s a gap in the middle. (Please note: the gap in these pictures will look bigger than your gap. I altered the dimensions so you will get a better fit than I did while I was testing the lining instructions.)

Sew each of those strips at the short end, backstitching when you start and stop, as indicated in the picture below. Align on the other side and repeat with pinning and sewing.

Now you have a floppy but complete lining gusset!

Continue with the steps you followed to make the bag itself: Take the gusset and the front and back panels. Mark the dots that Anna instructs you to make in step 5 of the pattern. Sew the gusset to the the top and bottom edges of one panel. Make a slit at the corners (see picture below) as you did while assembling the main bag, per my advice on day 5. Sew the sides. Then repeat with the second panel.

I like to press the seams open the best I can at this point.

Sewing the Lining into the Bag

Next, insert the lining (wrong side out) into your bag. Align the folded-under edges of the lining with the edge of the canvas that abuts the zipper. Use whatever works for you! I resorted to Wonder Clips *and* pins.

Get as close as you can to the zipper tab ...

Now, sewing right on top of the line of edge stitching that runs along both sides of your zipper, sew the lining to the bag. Go slowly.

You will see from the pictures that follow that I used a regular foot; the design of my walking foot couldn’t get me close enough to the zipper. Do whatever works for you. Also: I used a bobbin thread color that matches my lining.

Whenever I encounter a messy point in my sewing here, I simply stop, rip out the problematic stitches, and start back up by back stitching and continuing on my way. It’s not elegant, but it works.

You will have to stop before you get to the end of the zipper. The next picture is not great, but it shows how there’s a small gap on the right side between the lining and bag at the end of the zipper. (There is also one, not shown, on the left.) I sewed as far as my machine would allow and then just backstitched at the end.

Adding Some Tacking Stitches

To get the lining to sit better in the bag, I tacked it down with my machine at the four top corners of the bag. In other words, I found a line of quilting near each corner on the top of the exterior and sewed through both the lining and bag at those points. Three stitches forward, three stitches back, three stitches forward. Because I followed an existing line of quilting, these tacking stitches are not really visible from the exterior, but they look like this from the lining side ...

Yours may be in a slightly different location. It doesn’t matter: they’re functional; no one will see them. You could try to do these stitches by hand. I couldn’t get a needle through my canvas.

What these four sets of stitches do is prevent the lining from just flopping around the interior of your bag. It’s almost as if, between the two lines of stitches along the zipper and the tacking stitches, the lining hangs inside the bag.

If you’ve made it this far, good for you! You are the proud maker of a lined Cargo Duffle Bag!

If you have any questions or comments, the best way to share them with me and everyone else sewing is to use the comments below, but you can also email me at frombolttobeauty (at) gmail (dot) com or DM me through Instagram.

Document your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #cargodufflesewalong!

Related Links:
Main Cargo Duffle Sew-Along Page
Sew-Along Day 1: Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Sew-Along Day 2: Making the Cargo Pockets
Sew-Along Day 3: Quilting and Assembling the Exterior Panels
Sew-Along Day 4: Making the Gusset, Tabs, and Handles
Sew-Along Day 5: Assembling the Bag and Installing the Snaps
>Sew-Along Day 6: Lining the Bag<
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  1. I've really enjoyed this whole cargo duffle making process. I used a slightly different method for sewing my lining to the main bag. I used the method by QuiltyLove, which is documented in this YouTube video that I found really helpful (

    1. Interesting, thanks! Emily's approach negates the need to make those tacking stitches and results in a tighter-fitting lining. She also uses Soft and Stable, which some sew-along participants are using, and may make the seam allowances for the main bag less bulky. Thanks for the heads-up, Shena!

  2. Hi Michelle! The quilt along went so smoothly and you made the whole project very doable. I wasn't able to play along this time but I'm sure going to keep this in mind, and I'm going to PIN it so I don't forget! ~smile~ Roseanne

  3. Can't wait to see your bag reveal. Love the tip on the lining.


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