In Bags & Accessories, Sewing Collective

Stacy’s back with a fun upcycling take on the Road Tripper Duffle for her son. It’s always great to find stuff to sew for boys, don’t you think? – Betz

Road Tripper Duffle


Hello again! It’s Stacy from StacySews.com and this week I’m getting ready for summer vacation by stitching a great travel bag, The Road Tripper Duffle. However, this time, the bag isn’t for me, it’s for my 7 year-old son!


interior pocket Road Tripper Duffle


I selected the Road Tripper because it has plenty of pockets for storage, lots of room on the inside for clothes (and even a few toys or a stuffed animal too), and is the perfect size for kids to handle by themselves. While selecting the pattern was easy, finding ‘kid friendly’ fabrics that my son has an interest in is sometimes difficult, so I opted to use a set of sheets for my material.


Lego sheets


Using sheets not only allows you to sew with a pattern or theme that might not otherwise be available in stores, but it usually allows you plenty of yardage to work with as well. If you decide on using bed linens for you next project, here’s a few tips that make working with them a bit easier:

· Using the fabric from sheets may be thinner than the fabric requirements for your project. Additional interfacing may be necessary to give the material more support and structure. As a side note, I have found that many children’s novelty sheets are much thinner than other styles of bed linens.

· Some sheets (such as the ones that I used in my Road Tripper Duffle) have coordinating prints for the fitted and top sheets. This is a great way to get more ‘bang for your buck’ – one set can be used for the exterior and one set can be used as a lining.

· If you are using reclaimed or vintage sheets, be sure to inspect for worn areas and\or holes prior to cutting. Clearly mark these areas so you don’t inadvertently cut out a pattern piece from these areas.

· Depending on the print or areas of wear, it may be necessary to ‘fussy cut’ your sheets. The easiest way to do this is to create a template from a clear\sheer material in the size needed and place over your fabric.


exterior pocket Road Tripper Duffle


As for construction, I made one slight change to my bag: Because the scale of my print, I opted not to use the pocket template to round out the exterior pocket pieces as it would cut into the design of the fabric. Here’s how I did it:

· First off, I should note that I wound up using the same material for the lower panels as what I did in the lining. I did this because it was the perfect size and created a fun, ‘peek-a-boo’ face to the inside of the pocket when he would open it up.

· After decided my lower panel material, I marked my template (as mentioned above) with seam allowances and indicated where the pocket templates would be if sewing it onto the fabric.

· Then I added ¼” around the pocket template markings and then drew in lines for where the straps would be placed.


Road Tripper Duffle


· I placed the template on top of my lower panel and pinned the straps in place (see photo above), then stitched the upper and lower panels together.




· After topstitching the panel, I placed the outer pocket on top of the lower panel, lining up the top edges so that they are even, slid the rectangular ring through the strap, then sewed the strap into place through all the thickness (see photo above).


Road Tripper Duffle


Then end result? One very happy little boy who’s ready to head out for a weekend at grandma’s or be the coolest dude at his next sleepover! I foresee that we’ll get a lot of use out of this bag this summer!



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This post is part of the Betz White Sewing Collective series. Content is written by compensated contributors expressing their own views and opinions.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Veronica

    This is Awesome! You knew someone had to make that comment, right? But seriously, I love it and know a couple of kids in my house that would love one just like it. Great idea and tips on using novelty sheets for the fabric.

  • Rebekah

    That IS awesome! How much interfacing do you think you had to add on in addition to the pattern requirements? Fussy cutting is so, fussy, but well worth it :)

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