Sunday, December 31, 2006

Messenger bags

I have decided to make a third High street messenger bag from the Amy Butler pattern but I thought I would post a picture of the two I made when the original Messenger bag pattern came out. I actually made 3 but one was a gift. Why would a person need so many messenger bags you ask?
Well, for thoes of you who don't know, I am a substitute teacher and I find that this type of bag is perfect for the things I need to carry to school. I also like my bags to at least sorta match my clothes. I have two other bags that I made before these that are also in this style but I dont' use them as often. They don't have pockets and they are smaller but the colors are good so they still get used now and then.

Anyway, if you look at the picture with the two bags: the red one was done following the Original pattern and the green and brown onw I made several changes. I made tabs so that the outside pocket could be taken off. (see picture above) My thinking was that if you were running into the store for something you could just take that flap off and not have to haul the full bag in. I also added lots of pockets.

The front and back each have a large pocket and I added two zippered pockets on the inside. The problem with both of these bags is that once you fill up the outside pocket with your keys, cell phone and wallet the pocket is to heavy for the bag and it pulls down the top of the bag. It's ok when the bag is full but not if you only have a few items in it. Other problems are that the original pattern doesn't have enough pockets but when I added pockets to the inside of the bag the bag wasn't really wide enogh to allow for the pockets to have much in them and still have room for the bag to hold things. The bag was also not sturdy enough to carry much I made both bags out od decorator weight fabrics but they needed a firmer fondation.

The new pattern is a much better design. The pocket problem is gone and the bag is wider so I can fill up my pockets and still put things in the bag. These new bags also are sturdy enough to stand up be themselves because they use canvas as a fondation. I'm also very happy with the wider strap I hadn't thought about it originally but the strap wasn't really wide enough for the weight of the bag, this one is much better.

Things I might change or did change on the new pattern: Bag #1 I followed the directions exactly except that I used wonder under to hold my canvas in place instead of basting. I also added a a piece of plastic needle point canvas and timtex in the bottompiece. This helps the bottom stay flat. This bag is HEAVY when its empty. This is because I used scraps of fabric that I already had and the majority of the bag was made out of a really nice heavy cordoroy and then theres the canvas in the fondation. so before you even add the pockets or flap you have alot of weight.

Bag #2 This time I used a regular cotton for the bag so that i wouldn't have all the weight. I used a Black and white print, strip and poka dot then for fun I used a magenta linning and zippers. I also added a funky button on the flap because I liked it. I eliminated the zipper on the zippered pocket on the inside tool flap. I also did not use wonder under on this bag I instead followed the directions and basted everything BLECK!! I will use wonder under again for the next one. I also wanted to have the magenta and the Black and white print on the strap so I made the strap in two narrower pieces rather then folding a wide strip. I also used 14 inch zippers not 12 on this one

Bag #3 I found another print that I love. It's another Alexander Henry cotton. I will dig into my stash and look for something to go with it this afternoon. Fo this bag I will use a rotary cutter for the cutting, Wonder under instead of basting, I will put the zippers in my way instead of the patterns way and buy 14 inch zippers again. I will probably add a button. I want to add a cell phone pocket on the inside I might eliminate the zippered pocket on the flap, not sure yet but I think that pocket is going to be hard to use.

I will probably be tired of making these after bag 3 but I should make a brown and teal bag to match my SWAP wardrobe.

(The picture of my 2nd new messenger bag insn't loading will try again later.)


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