Tuesday, July 8, 2014

a whole new bag

Where does a year go? I have no particular excuse for not blogging since May of last year, just a general impatience with sitting down at the computer these days.

Both boys are now in public school, C at the community college and S at an alternative charter high school. More time is going with the family here, and with friends, here.

The old freecycle fridge was moved and works just fine, save for a tendency for the tiny interior freezer compartment to frost over.
And there are always new projects.

Most recently, I decided to make myself a bag after looking fruitlessly for one that wasn't: a) huge or b) expensive. My old purse had fallen onto decidedly hard times—
—and I wanted something a little brighter for summer, anyway.

The dimensions were determined from the size of my iPad2 (with a little extra room on top, this was approximately 11"X9"), and wallet (about 4" deep).

Since it was cobbled together rather than planned, what I have here are a few notes, many of which come from the experience of making the Weekender bag.

The sides went together first, with pockets (one zippered, one gathered) and straps in place. The main material was a heavy home decor/canvas-y print I'd originally hoped to make the Weekender with, and the straps were from a remnant of aqua-colored vinyl. Every piece was backed with heavy duty fusible interfacing (Pellon 71F). The sides are approximately 14"X12" with 1/2" seam allowances. The finished straps 1"X48", with about an inch eventually disappearing into the seam.
Sides and bottom went on next. It would have been easier to do this as one 4"X29" strip, but I didn't have that option and instead pieced it all together from more vinyl scraps.
Right side out:
Finally, there was a lining (quilting cotton with a lighter interfacing, made to the same dimensions as the outer shell—no photos of this part, unfortunately) and a zippered top. I used this tutorial to make it and if I ever do this again, I hope I remember to leave the zipper open at one end so that the lining can be sewn to the bag by machine instead of by hand.
I'm liking this little tote more than I would have thought. By customizing it, I could put in just what I need and no more. It holds wallet, phone, hairbrush, keys, paper, pen, and hooray, my iPad in a barely noticeable zippered pocket. As simple as it is, it is my favorite feature.
All of which has me wondering what it is that makes a good bag. Do you have a favorite daily carrier and if so, what is it that you like about it?

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