Wednesday, January 02, 2008

High Street Messenger Bag (the craftoholic edition)

What happened?? Wasn't it just the middle of December a few days ago? Well, happy New Year then, I hope you all survived the holidays as well as I did. There was lots of crafting, albeit little blogging, but I'll make it up to you. I've got quite a few fo's to show you, but it's gonna be bit by bit.
On my last trip to Europe I realized that I needed a new purse/bag, one that could hold my camera, maybe a laptop, and all the other stuff I like to drag around, and still have enough room for me to squish in an extra jacket or sweater. Regular purse and tote doesn't work when you're transiting Heathrow, trying to shove the former into the latter because you're allowed only one thing to take onto the plane. Which I'm not really complaining about, it's much easier now getting on and off the plane without everyone wrestling loads of plastic and shopping bags.
I didn't feel up to creating my own pattern, so I used this one by Amy Butler, adding lots of mods to turn it into the bag I need and actually use.
Here's the action shot, taken on a hike around Bodega Bay:
Messenger1
here you can sort of see the inside:
Messenger5
the back:
Messenger6
and one more, just so:
Messenger7

Pattern: parts of High Street Messenger Bag by Amy Butler, plus my own
Fabric: Denim for the exterior, heavy cotton twill for the lining
Changes:
I made the bag twice as wide, it now measures 6" instead of 3".
I eliminated the pocket on the inside flap (I didn't think I'd really use it, besides, it seemed awkward to access), instead, I put a pocket on the outside flap.
Instead of making an exposed the zipper on the outside back of the bag, I opted for a lapped one.
I changed the tool pocket in the inside to my specs (special compartments for lipbalm, phone and iPod) and attached it to the body side (not the opposite side as the pattern states). I also added an adjustable water bottle holder.
Didn't use canvas as an interlining, as my fabric for the bag and lining is already heavy enough. I just ironed medium interfacing onto some parts I wanted to have a little more structure (front and back main panel, outside pockets).
It made no sense to me to have a messenger bag with a strap you can't adjust (if I do ride a bike with this bag, I want it snug against my back!), so I used the hardware from an old bag to make an adjustable strap.
I'm really happy with how this bag turned out, I'm using it all the time.

My Jana tunic (from Rowan Studio 3), hasn't been going quite as well. I've reknit it now for the second time, and I'm still not happy. It just seems so....big. It'll hibernate for a little until I can look at it with semi fresh eyes.

28 comments:

yaiAnn said...

Gosh, as many times as you've had this bag when we've hung out, I still haven't really looked at it! Bring it again next time!

opportunityknits said...

This is the coolest messenger bag!

WendyM said...

Just like everything else I have seen on your site, beautifully finished and usable. It is a great looking, functional bag and if it was for sale somewhere I'd buy it.

maitai said...

what a beautiful bag! i love it!

Risa said...

As always, your mods are really well thought out. Beautiful work, lady!

seedless grape said...

Looks like a beautiful but durable and useful bag. I always love looking at your FOs--they always look professional and lovingly crafted!

Kara said...

This bag is so unbelievably chic. And it is functional to boot. Fabulous job. I can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve.

Katie said...

this is great! i love the color you choose, i love how it is so roomy too! really, i just love it!

tiennieknits said...

Beautifully done! So useful and classy.

pen and paper said...

Gorgeous. I love that it's utilitarian and elegant.

Veronique said...

Very well-crafted! And sleek :)

maritza said...

Happy new year Steph! The bag is fabulous. You did such an excellent job with it!

gleek said...

wow, it looks awesome! like something you would buy in a store :) i never would guess that it was hand crafted. nice job!

Queen of the froggers said...

I love that bag. If I could sew in a straight line I would make one but alas I don't have good sewing skills! It looks so nice on.

twigletqueen said...

That's a really great bag, it looks so professional!

k said...

Very stylish but useful - fashion and function - and so well done. Always satisfying to make something you will get lots of use out of!

claudine said...

Wow! Very chic indeed. I love all the mods that you did, very clever!

Emily said...

I love your version, what a great bag!

peacockchic said...

great job on the mods. Looks like it will serve you well!

Trish Austin said...

I have just discovered your site and a new Amy Butler fan. Really Well Done!!!! It looks awesome. I might have to "borrow" some of your specifications!

Oiyi said...

It's a gorgeous bag!

Anonymous said...

Perfect, absolutely perfect!

diana
bestitched.typepad.com

Coolpinkone said...

You know... I am a lurker.. I visit you blog often...and yes... I guess I am going to sound shallow... very very jealous that you get to live in SF...and then I see project after great project...that last sweaters I just drool over...and all of the projects.... this bag is just so drool worthy.... and you write a good blog too.... hum.... not supposed to want a strangers life but........... :).... ha... okay I know better than that....but couldn't some Freaky Friday thing happen where I could have your knitting brain and hands for a week or two????

Lori Barker said...

I am just beginning the bag. I purchased the heavy home decorator fabric and the end of the fabric bolt said dry clean only. Just curious if you used this type of fabric and did you wash?
Your bag turned out beautifully.

Steph said...

Lori:
I've never used heavy home decorator fabric, but I have successfully washed 'dry-clean only' fabric. Maybe you could cut a swatch and handwash it gently to see how the fabric will react? I usually soak 'd-c o' fabrics with some shampoo in cool water for a few minutes, then rinse until water is clear, and hang to dry. Good luck! Steph

Carrie said...

I really like your modifications--I sewed the strap as-is, and it's incredibly annoying that I can't adjust it. I carried my bag for about 6 months before switching to a winter bag, and I never once used the pocket inside the front flap.

I'm now about to start the weekender bag, so let me know if you have any tips!

Froucke said...

Hi!

I love the bag you made! I would really like to make it myself in purple... Do you perhaps have a pattern/how to with all the mods you have made?

Greetz,
Froucke

craftoholic said...

Hi Froucke,

I made the mods as I went along, sorry!