Thursday, 23 June 2016

The 'face-lifted' Laptop Bag

A few days ago, I was presented with an old laptop bag and asked if I could re-produce something similar to this. Hhmm....well...kinda tricky, don't you think?? In the current state that it's in?!

Anyways, the thing is, my bags have been successful in their constructions recently and it turned me into something i've never been before - COCKY! So naturally, I said yes. Of course I can do it. How hard can it be. I can even picture the finished product in my head - two pieces of material sewn on each side, triangulate the bottom, add a flap, a carry strap and voila! All done. Well well well Fely.....weren't you proven wrong. In all my confidence, I have overlooked the fact that:
1) The bag is not for a woman, so the construction has to be more 'masculine' - I don't even know how to explain this. 
2) I cannot make this bag and make the finished product looks like it costs a fiver from a charity shop because this is for our family's Osteo, which I guess, with a profession like that, will need something that looks more professional. (Oh Lordy, please understand what I'm trying to say here).
3) This is a laptop bag, which means it needs to be sturdy and robust. Nothing worse than a laptop bag that falls apart when you carry it. With your laptop inside. Heavens forbid!!

And so, I went on a design journey, which took me down the path of pattern making, pattern adjusting, making a mock design, perfecting the pattern based on the mock design, doing it again, un-doing it again, sewing another perfected pattern, un-picking the stitchings on the edited pattern .... and this went on for at least 3 bars of Dairy Milk (not the fun bar size either). 

So finally, here is the laptop bag. I kept to the original finished size of approximately 14.5 inches wide x 11.5 inches tall and 2.5 inches deep.  The bag is made with a combination of dark brown and tan leatherette with  beige leather piping. I wanted to stick to the original features as much as I can so I kept the two front slip pockets and a flap that secures with two twist turn locks. The carry handle and the long detachable strap are made with dark brown strap with tan leather as trim. I chose antique brass as the metal hardware to co-ordinate with the theme and colours of the finished article. Inside, the bag is lined with waterproof material with two internal pockets for storing things like chargers, USB drive and possibly additional memory cards. The bag can comfortably fit a 13 inch (or smaller)  laptop or Macbook. 

Admittedly, I did come out on this side of victory, thank heavens, but I shall never be overly confident with my response and ability ever again. And it will take a while for me to attempt another one of these because I am still recovering from the last one. But these just came in this morning!! Hhhmmm, maybe i'll just sample a couple of combinations...

Have a lovely day ahead everyone. And stay dry from this continuous rain. Unless you're in Glastonbury. 

Fely xxx

Friday, 10 June 2016

In which I made MY perfect bag

I KonMari-ed my fabric stash recently and unearthed the most beautiful linen fabric I bought a long long time ago. I honestly cannot believe this beautiful piece of floral linen has been sitting there all this while, waiting to be transformed into something lovely. Naturally, I decided to make myself a bag to co-ordinate an  accidental hoard of nautical collection in my wardrobe this season (blame those Breton tops that you can find everywhere!). I don't usually carry a lot of things so I was thinking along the lines of a small-ish bag that can fit my phone, keys and wallet. Ok, maybe a room for one Dairy Milk too.  And an iPad. 

In this day of mass produced consumer goods, I find bespoke bags a very welcome change to save myself bumping into someone else with the same bag. It's the one situation I always like to avoid because I love being different, to be able to stand out from the crowd. And the thing is, there are a lot of bags that I like in the shops but there are also million others out there liking the exact same, readily, available items. So it's always a good excuse to work on a personal project especially when presented with a chance to work with a material as beautiful as this.

I have a perfect pattern for the bag already but I thought I'd tweak it a tiny bit for a more professional finish to combine the linen with a leatherette material I have in stock. It took a while but when it was all finished, I was very pleased with the way it turned out.
The finished bag measures approximately 7 inches tall, 12 inches wide and 4 inches deep.

The red leatherette compliments the flowers on the fabric.

The carry handles adds to the versatility of the design so it can be carried in the crook of my arms (always handy when you want to show off your new bracelets - hah!) 

I always love bags with zip tops for that added security.  Nobody is taking my Dairy Milk away from me!!!

All the pieces of the bag were handmade, including the handles, the strap and the piping around the bag.

And a detachable shoulder strap so I can take it off when it's not needed.  

Think the combination will end up something like this. But Houston, we have a problem - I've got no shoes to match this whole outfit combination. Guess what i'll be doing tomorrow?! Have a lovely weekend ahead everyone.

Fely xxx