The creation of the duffel bag













- Jehudah Design





Thanks to

Femina for making the canvas bag.
Europris for selling the canvas bag on discount.
PVC duksveis for giving me a free roll of gray PVC.
axc789456 for selling me the gray straps.
yourpatchstore for selling me the flag patch.
Robert-store2012 for selling me the plush facehugger and chestburster set.
Panduro for selling me other needed supplies.

Project duration

2 weeks, 5 days - between 26 August 2015 and 27 March 2017.

Costs spent

Femina canvas beach bag - 49,90 NOK
Promarker G457 Grass - 33 NOK
White nylon rope - 79,90 NOK
Gray nylon strap - 23,02 NOK
White elastic strap - 54 NOK
Fabric dressing buttons - 54 NOK
USA flag patch - 44,34 NOK
Gray PVC - 0 NOK - Donated material
Gray sewing thread - 40 NOK
Plush facehugger & chestburster set - 239,35 NOK

Total - 617,51 NOK / $72,41 USD

If you found this project tutorial helpful, please support my future projects on Patreon.








The eyelets I bought were a bit larger than the originals, but they
were made of soft aluminum that could be cut down with a pair of
scissors, so the flat rim around them was removed for the perfect
shape and size.


I own many clothes from a brand that is coincidentally also named
Ripley, so I thought the brand tags from these clothes would be
perfect to use as name tags on all of Ripley's apparel, including the
inside of the duffel bag.







I couldn't find an appropriate nylon strap in any of the local crafts
stores, so had to order a length from China that took about half a year
to arrive, but my robot inspected it to be perfect for the duffel bag, so
the wait was worthwhile.

Those who have played through Alien: Isolation might also recognize
a modified version of this robot from the beginning of the video game.

One of the crafts stores did at least have elastic straps with the right
width for making the knurls on the horizontal nylon straps.

Since the elastic straps were either black or white, I thought it would
be better to color the white ribbon to the same gray color as the nylon
straps.

The elastic strap had to be constantly stretched to its limit before
sewing the nylon strap onto it, so it wasn't that easy to get them both
aligned, but this method worked well enough to give the nylon straps
the right knurled look.

Since the excess sewing thread was sticking out from where I had
moved the stitching from one row to the next, it was hand-sewn down
to the back of the elastic strap.

Diluted black marker ink was used to color the white elastic straps to
the same gray color as the nylon straps, and they blended together
quite well in the end.

The four vertical straps would need no elastic knurling or other
details, and were simple enough to make with a pair of scissors.


I had bought a set of ten D-rings for Lara Croft's holster belt, and
conveniently had just enough D-rings left for Ripley's duffel bag,
though they had to be expanded slightly to the right size.





The PVC squares were sewn onto the strap junctions with a thick
white cotton thread that was later colored gray with more diluted
black marker ink.



The surface of the badge buttons got a bit more wrinkly than I liked
since they were not applied with a real badge button press, but they
would do.

It should also be noted that these graphics are my own interpretations
of what Ripley's constantly blurry badge buttons might look like, and
should not be copied as anything considered completely accurate.

The buttons came with a metal loop underneath that would have made
them dangle around too far from the duffel bag, so to get them as
close to the surface as possible, holes were drilled through the base
so they could be sewn right onto the surface of the fabric instead.

Since flag patches are usually somewhat large, it took a while to find
this one that had an absolutely perfect size.

After all the straps, badge buttons, and the patch were sewn onto the
surface of the duffel bag, I could seal off the inner lining by sewing on
a round bottom piece that was cut from the same fabric.


Since I needed something to fill out the shape of the duffel bag and
didn't want to just fill it with random junk, I decided to buy a plush
facehugger just to have something appropriate and fun inside it.

Though the plush chestburster won't fit inside the bag too, it was
somehow cheaper to buy the two in a set than just a single
facehugger.

With the facehugger snuggly planted inside its new surrogate egg, the
duffel bag was poofed out to the right shape, and ready to be carried
around on Ripley's back to store basically none of the large objects
she finds along the way.

The edge of the bottom piece was cut into smaller flaps to smooth out
the curve of the edge after it was hand-sewn onto the lower PVC
section.
I was told by the almighty Internet that Ripley's duffel bag was navy
blue, but my own navy blue bag didn't even remotely match the
original color that was more like prussian blue, but fortunately I
discovered that dyeing the fabric with a light green marker made its
color spot on.

This is why I like to do my own damn research!
The almighty Internet also told me the width of the straps on the
duffel bag should be 1 inch wide, so I started measuring out the parts
to this proportion, only to realize it would make the duffel bag way
bigger than what is seen in the video game.

After finding the appropriate strap width myself, it didn't take long to
scale down each part, and a couple of panels were made to this
correct proportion.

This is why I like to do my own damn research!
My slightly custom quilting pattern would still wrap around perfectly
along the circumference of the duffel bag, and still looks mostly the
same as the original pattern, mostly.
Wanting to make an accurate pull-string, I found a very similar
polyester rope that had an extra black thread woven into it that had to
be removed.

I thought I would have to fill in the gaps where the black thread had
been removed with white thread, but the gaps were barely noticeable
in the end, so I just let them be.
Only one end of the pull-string was attached to the fabric tubes I had
made earlier so the length of the pull-string could still be adjusted
before attaching the other end.
I asked a local PVC workshop if I could buy a roll of gray PVC for my
project, and I was just given a decently sized roll for free, so that was
a fairly good deal.

The upper and lower PVC sections of the duffel bag would barely even
use any of the roll after being drawn up.
I decided to make the inner lining from an old couch that someone left
behind in my house since it already had a neatly worn edge that I
could place at the opening of the duffel bag to make it appear more
realistically weathered.
The two panels were sewn together with a flat seam that would
eventually be covered by one of the vertical straps.
A lonely blue canvas bag was waiting around in a store's discount bin
for me to buy and transform it into a different type of bag.
The panels were sewn onto sheets of fleece padding and satin lining to
recreate the same quilted look as on the original fabric.
Trying to make sense of the quilted pattern of the original fabric, I
noticed when tracing in the lines from one side of the duffel bag that
the order of lines wouldn't match up with the side next to it, so the
quilting probably never followed a specific pattern, and was made
more uniformed on my duffel bag to make it look more factory-made.
The other ends of the panels were sewn together with an internal
seam that would also be covered by one of the vertical straps later on.
While most of the excess fabric was removed from the internal seams,
a bit of the fabric was turned into tubes that I could attach the
pull-string into.
After cutting out the lower PVC section, the edges were sewn together
with extra horizontal seams at each end to make the center seam lay
more flat without having to sew it down to the visible surface.
The PVC section was sewn onto the bottom edge of the fabric with an
internal seam, except around the area where I still had to attach the
pull-string.
A taller strip of PVC was also made for the top of the duffel bag, and
was sewn onto the edge of the fabric the same way as the other strip,
but all the way around.
After pulling each PVC strip out from the inside of the fabric,
everything was starting to look more familiar.
After finding the right length for the pull-string, the other end was
attached to the inside of the duffel bag, and the excess rope was cut
off.
Several rounds of thick thread would make sure the pull-string was
securely attached to where it should be.

While it is unclear where the pull-string is attached to the original
duffel bag, I thought the most logical place would be in between the
lower PVC section and the fabric.
The strip of loops on the lower PVC section was made from another
strip of PVC, and all the stitch holes were pre-made so I could
hand-sewn it on more accurately than a sewing machine could.
The various straps were sewn together with a sewing machine where
the seams would later be covered by squares of PVC.

Since I didn't really need the snap buttons on the flaps to work, I
decided to only attach a top piece onto them so the flaps wouldn't
stick out so far from the thickness of a snap button.
After some more sewing, the whole strap harness with all its many
knurls was ready to be attached to the duffel bag.

While the original strap harness had different amounts of knurls to
make the straps longer or shorter, I decided to give mine the same
amount of knurls all over to make it look more factory-made.
Each of the strap junctions were roughly sewn onto the duffel bag
with a thick black thread since they would be further sewn down with
the PVC squares anyway.
I decided to use the rough side of the PVC surface for the squares
since their grid-like texture matched more with the look of the straps.

Stitch holes were made through the PVC squares with a stitch roller so
they could be hand-sewn onto the strap junctions.
After scaling down the whole duffel bag to the accurate size earlier, I
realized the smallest badge buttons I had were now too big, so I had
to buy some smaller buttons that were meant to be covered in fabric,
or in this case badge button graphics.
After ripping each cutscene from the video game and staring at them
about half a million times with various sharpening filters, I more or
less got a vague idea what the four badge buttons should look like.

At least I'm fairly sure this is what the green one should look like, but
every other badge button were just too blurry for making out a solid
image of them.
The bottom piece was sewn onto the inner lining by hand to hide the
edges of the fabric on the inside to never be seen again.
I had not sewn anything for a long time when I started this project, so I'm just glad I managed to pull it off in the end, and it refreshed my
sewing skills again for all the thousands of other things I have to sew. Holding this duffel bag in my hands also reminded me why I even bother
doing this after all my bad luck with costumes, because holding a screen accurate prop replica from a video game I really like just feels great.
The worn edge of the inner lining was sewn onto the upper PVC
section with an internal seam.
The eyelets were placed at the same locations as on the original duffel
bag since that just made sense.

I also removed the inner rope of the pull-string to make it more
flexible and easier to pull to close the opening.
And just like I said I would, the loop strip was sewn onto the lower
PVC section by hand.

I also took care to replicate where this strip should be located against
the other details of the duffel bag.
A round piece of PVC was cut out for the bottom of the duffel bag,
even if I am aware that the original bottom seems a bit more oval that
I imagine was just caused by deformation from wear and tear.

Pre-made stitch holes were also added through the bottom piece so it
could be attached by hand.
The three flaps for the strap harness were made by cutting one end
round and melting the edge fibers together with a lighter to prevent
them from fraying.
Before I could make Ripley's apparel on a custom mannequin that was not yet completed, I could at least make her duffel bag that was a
separate piece of its own, and that I was already looking forward to making after studying reference pictures of it for a long time to get it
looking just right.

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