Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Christmas Gifts :: The bags!

This post could have any number of titles ::

a. I FINALLY finished the bags...
b. The bags :: Same same, but different
c. The Bag Photo Shoot :: Duck for cover
d. Christmas was a month ago, drop it.

After seeing the pattern on Design Sponge, I started these bags two years ago with the best of intentions to give them for Christmas 2010.

Design Sponge's pattern is accompanied by one of the most helpful step-by-step tutorials for sewing all of the pieces together. With that help and my assembly-line production, making six bags was moving along smoothly until it was time to install the eyelets. I've installed many eyelets in my time without trouble, but this time, either due to the heavy duty size of the rivets or the industrial setting tool I was using, I could not instal them cleanly. After an hour+ of frustration and a bag with rivets that looked so-so, I put the bags aside... and there they sat for two years. Finally, this summer it hit me that I could make some sort of fun button hole and toss the eyelets.

Armed with green thread, I just sewed and sewed around a slit I made for the bag's straps. I think this worked out really well, and possibly even better than the eyelets as it made the bag less top heavy.

Swapping out the hardware was my first change, I also attached the leather straps in a different way than was intended. This was unintentional on the first bag, but then I realized that I liked my way well enough, so I went with it. The only problem with not using the eyelets and the alternate handle layout is that these bags don't automatically close like the designer had intended.... on the other hand, I like that the strap isn't in the way when you're rustling around looking for lost change in the bottom of the bag.

Speaking of the bottoms of the bags. I liked the look of the original bags with the light canvas and black bottoms and linings, but I didn't want to use two solids for these. I ended up using an old black and grey tapestry that I bought years {and years, like 10} ago at Urban Outfitters. It had served me well and was made from a really thick, heavy-duty weave, not your traditional thin tapestry fabric, so I know it will hold up well as the base for these bags.

At Christmas #3 {Saxmas}, we took the bags out for a little photo shoot. The photo on the right gives you a good sense of the size of the bags ~ just a small tote, but with a handle long enough to let you search for change without taking it off your shoulder.

And now, give us your best caption::

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