I used a heavy denim for the main fabric, a checked canvas for the contrast and lined the bag in plain white twill, all purchased locally (from Calico in Bristol). The shop has a great range of fabric, the only problem I had was being frustrated that I couldn't buy all of the pretty prints that I'd usually be drawn to because this was for my Dad! The metal hardware (D rings and swivel hooks) was from U-Handbag, and I got the webbing and zip on Ebay.
The pattern is really well drafted and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. The bag came together much quicker than I thought it might (possibly due to the lack of need to make a muslin or adjust fit being as this was a bag rather than clothing!), and I think the finish looks quite professional - my Dad did have to check that I'd made it rather than bought it for him so it must look good! I got slightly confused about attaching the main strap through the D rings (I can't remember how exactly now because it was a while ago!), but soon realised what I was doing wrong when I enlarged the photos of the finished bag on my computer.
I didn't make any changes to the pattern or to the recommendations in the instructions - why would I when they all worked so well? I considered machine stitching the lining to the main bag instead of hand stitching as stated in the instructions, but in the end I stuck with hand stitching and I think I've ended up with a much tidier finish than I would have got with my machine and it's perfectly sturdy.
I tried to do some pattern matching on the checked canvas - as you can see from the photo above this didn't quite work out on the curved edges at the ends of the bag, but I think I did quite a good job of making sure the pattern matched along either side of the zip.
The bag is quite roomy (I managed to fit 5 cushions in it to fill it up when I was taking these photos!) and would be perfect for a weekend away, or longer if you pack lighter than I do! The pattern also includes a toiletries bag and a travel pouch which I'm looking forward to making at some point - if they're as good as the duffle bag then it'd be silly not to!
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