I’ve been wanting a new bag for a while, but haven’t had the chance to get it sewn up… so last night I sat down and made it. I was quite impressed with it actually… So I wanted to brag haha Well it’s my first ever made bag, and I made the design and pattern myself and it actually works and looks good!
The bag I normally use is lovely….. purple velvet, satchel style… strap that goes over the neck and shoulder (I have coathanger shoulders and shoulder bags always slip off)… but it’s also now about 10 years old, so looking a bit worn….. and it’s just not as practical as I’d like. It has only a pocket on the front, the main inner space of the bag and another small pocket at the back… and I’m forever having to rummage around for stuff, and because it hangs low and my arms are short, trying to get my keys out is always challenging…. and I can never hear my mobile ringing through a couple of layers of velvet…. I’d been looking to replace it with something similar but couldn’t find a bag I liked… and I also wanted a nice hippy style backpack but couldn’t find one. So I decided I’d have to make myself a bag.
The new bag had to be/have:
* Neck & Shoulder length Strap
* Pockets on the outside side (gusset) for mobile and for keys
* Several compartments on the inside for separating my crap nicely
* A thin compartment thingie to nicely hold a pen so I don’t draw on myself every time I rummage in the bag
* Preferably be able to convert into a backpack by cliping on different straps
* Large enough to hold what I need without looking like a suitcase
I think I’ve achieved all my goals, and ended up with a nice looking bag that is very *me*
It looks like it’s velvet, but it’s actually a velvet corduroy… it’s soft and silky and shiny like a panne velvet but it’s actually a pinwale corduroy…. I saw it at Lincraft and I’ve gone “YES! perfect!!”, and there is a sort of pale lime green and purple paisley pinwale cord as the pockets and inner lining (looks yellow in the pics, but it’s really a bit more green)
I’ve done some machine embroidery around the edge of the flap/back pannel and down the sides of the strap in a sort of goldish green colour, to match the paisley…. and you can see the pockets on the sides that will hold my mobile and keys. After much deliberation on how to close the pockets so things don’t fall out, I decided to make the top of the pocket elasticated…. Easy to use, and I was originally planning to use my star shaped snaps, but hubby pointed out that I’d need to push the snap against my phone to do it up…. and the bag it is replacing used velcro on the front flap and I got sick of it sticking to things. So elastic may not be sophisticated but it will keep the pocket closed, be easy to get things out of, so does what it needs to do (plus since it’s a gathered pocket, the top is then gathered too, so it fits well)
The inside…. The bottom is the same velvety cord, and on the sides are 2 small pockets like on the outside (infact they were originally for the outside until I realised they were too short for my mobile, so I decided not to waste the panels and use them inside)… on the front and back are sections of the paisley cord that is gathered on and also has elastic top, and is separated into 5 compartments plus a pen holder one.
The only thing I’d change in the whole thing is that I’d done the back/flap panel with the paisley lining, but I think the paisley pocket on the paisley lining is too much (yes, there is such thing as too much paisley)… so if doing it again I’d put a seam in so the inside of the bag could be all purple with paisley only for the pockets.
Its not particularly neatly sewn up…. I couldn’t work out how to do the flap if I’d made an outer and lining as separate pieces…. so I Turned and topstitched the flap panel, and then just sewed and zigzagged the other seams together, so there are raw seams inside the bag… which don’t bother me at all, but obviously they give a more handmade look.
But one of the coolest aspects I think, is that it can convert into a backpack!
Yes… in the immortal words of Homer Simpson
“I am so smart… I am so smart… S.M.R.T….. I mean S.M.A.R.T”
I’ve attached some D rings (antique gold to match the dark greenish gold type theme going) to the back down the bottom, and there are also D rings on the top of the gusset/sides that the strap attaches to for the normal bag wearing position… But to wear it as a backpack I can just thread the strap through the D rings to make 2 loops to wear as a backpack. Originally I thought I’d have to make 2 shorter straps for the backpack wearing. Had I known it would work with the one strap I’d have used larger D rings to make it a bit easier to thread the strap through, but the straps do go through ok. So it means I don’t need to carry extra straps around with me.
I love it! My new bag!!