Friday, July 1, 2016

Manchester Metallics challenge

I'm so thrilled to be participating in the Manchester Metallics Summer Bag Challenge hosted by Sew Mama Sew and Robert Kaufman! The challenge is to make a bag featuring the new Manchester Metallics fabric and any other Robert Kaufman solids or textured solids.

I made a Cargo Duffle - a free pattern from Robert Kaufman by Noodlehead - with my summer roadtrips in mind. I need a moderately structured bag that can fit on the floor behind the passenger seat, under my toddler's kicking feet. And I need a lot of pockets.


All photo credits go to my husband, Joel. 

For my fabric pull I chose:

  • Manchester Metallic Evening: 1 yard

  • Essex Yarn Dyed Nautical: 1 yard

  • Outback Canvas Navy: 1 yard

  • Kona Cotton Berry: 3/4 yard

  • Kona Cotton Wasabi: 3/4 yard

 Disclaimer: the fabric was provided by Robert Kaufman. 

Look at how sparkly this fabric is in the sun! I love it. The Manchester Metallics fabric is soft and has a very nice drape. For this project I wanted more structure and less drape, so I fused medium-weight interfacing to the back of the Manchester Metallics fabric. As an added bonus, the interfacing prevented the lovely weave of the fabric from being distorted by the dense quilting. I cut the interfacing the same size as the quilt batting.

I added a card pocket to one of the exterior pockets. I also substituted magnets for snaps.

I added another card pocket and a large pleated pocket on the interior. The interior pocket will hold a couple road maps.
I attached the extra pockets with a minimum of hand-sewing, and no seams are visible on the exterior. (The seams are visible inside the exterior flap pockets.) Here's how I did it:

1. Sew the center seam of the exterior pocket.

2. Glue-baste and sew the interior and exterior card pockets, pinning the exterior pocket out of the way.

3. Glue-baste the interior pocket so the top of both the interior and exterior pockets line up. Partially sew the side seams of the interior pocket - start at the top and sew down to where the exterior pockets end.

4. Fold the unsewn bottom inch(s) of the interior pocket up, and pin it out of the way.

5. Attach the contrast bottom on the exterior, completing the exterior pockets.

6. Finish quilting the panel.

7. Unpin and unfold the interior pocket. Glue-baste the bottom of the interior pocket to the canvas. Mark with pins on the outside of the bag where the interior pocket starts and stops.

8. With the exterior facing up, sew along the quilting line that overlaps the bottom of the interior pocket between the pins.

9. Hand-sew the bottom inch(s) of the interior pocket sides.

I added a place to clip my keychain. No more fishing around in the bottom of my bag for my keys!

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

One of my favorite added details is the contrast flange on the handles - progress shot above. I cut a 3/4" x WOF strip of the Kona Cotton Berry and folded it in half. I cut the handle accent piece 1/4" thinner than called for in the pattern and glue-basted the flange in place before topstitching.

If you're making a Cargo Duffle I highly recommend glue-basting. It's so much easier on your sewing machine than pinning thick layers (in some places there are 10+ layers of fabric, and interface, and batting) and does wonders for accuracy.

I can't wait to pack my new bag and hit the road this summer! Big thanks to Sew Mama Sew and Robert Kaufman for this opportunity!

Here's the full list of talented bloggers that participated in the challenge:

Mo Bedell
Sandy Whitelaw of UpStairs Hobby Room
Michelle Morris of That Black Chic
Kathy Green of Designs by KTGreen
Carrie Federer of carrie bee
Anne Zeitler of AnneZPlace
Sanchia Gair of Red Brolly
Natalie Strand of Vegetablog
Devida Bushrod of The Driftwood Thimble
Sara Johansen of The Sara Project
Sarah Sharp of No Hats in the House
Michelle Webster of michellepatterns
Marni Weaver of Haberdashery Fun
Jenny of My Handmade Home


  1. Its stunning...the colour combos, the accurate sewing...amazing! Dee x

  2. This a super cute bag I love the flange detail and that Kona Berry color is awesome!

  3. Lovely bag and very handy. I could use that in the back seat of my SUV on our road trips.

  4. Wow! This is an amazing bag. I love all of the details-- the customized pockets, the contrast on the handle... everything! It's fantastic!

  5. […] Now we have Jenny of My Handmade Home, Michelle Morris of Thait Black Chic and Carrie Federer of carrie bee! We love the variety in these beautiful bags, and we hope you do […]

  6. Thank you for an enjoyable blog, I look forward to more of the same in 2017.

  7. wow, amazing bag.
    More material can be stored in this bag.
    click on this .