Friday, September 19, 2014

Bag a Week: Travel Bag

This post is the last of several which I scheduled to go up while we've been out of town, and with any luck, we'll be home before this one even appears on Paper Robot.

I realized that this is the first bag I've designed with the intention of giving it a real workout. I use some of my bags for a few days, maybe a week, but most of them are just prototypes, where I test out a technique or concept.

Normally I spend a day at most for one of my blag-a-bags, since I'm just using quilting cotton and maybe adding some stabilizer. But this is made with matte oilcloth, and is fully lined, with pockets, strap hardware, and a slip pocket, meant to go over a suitcase handle but with a flannel-lined pocket for my phone.

This bag is serious business.

Check it out; I wasn't kidding about the full pockets. I went a little overboard with the elastic, because it affected the final shape a bit, but it's OK. It's pretty damn good for three days' work.

You can really see how the elastic cinches in here. I have five loop tabs along the inside. With a bag this big, at least in theory, I like to have things attached to the top using carabiners and straps. I say "in theory" because the elastic pocket made everything a little more snug than I anticipated, and not nearly as cavernous.

My pattern dimensions were 17"W x 15"H x 8"D, but I'm actually not sure what the final product is; it's a little hard to measure because of the bunching. I'd say this is the only time I haven't over-measured, but I definitely cut the bottom panel 4" too long, and had to trim down the two-sided Peltex I ironed on in there. The only time when my lack of iron-on interfacing skills has come in handy! Though to be fair, I didn't want to iron too much because of the oilcloth.

Here it is with straps. I ran out of the kelly green cotton, and switched to some leftover grey twill from my grocery tote tutorial. Toteorial.

Look at that sexy slip pocket.

Many of the seams have several layers. The side seams, for example, have oilcloth + stabilizer + lining + pocket fabric + pocket stabilizer + other pocket fabric layer. Luckily I had very recently picked up a box of Clover fabric clips, because there's no way I could have gotten my pins through this.

I don't think I could have done it without my jeans foot and a fresh batch of needles (denim worked best for punching through those layers).

Halfway through this bag, I was out running some errands, and came across a bag which had many of the features I was building into this version. I could have spent the $100 for it, but this is more satisfying.

Besides, every traveller needs a bag that says "cute sheep" and "baaa baa" and "little lamb" all over, right?

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