Tuesday, 29 March 2016

the bag saga, part one

so, for anyone who has known me for very long, it's probably not a surprise that i destroy my bags relatively quickly. i'm tough on them, i put them through a lot, and i tend to use the same one every day until it dies a sad and sorry death. and in the early stages, i do make attempts to salvage them. i take them to get mended. as holes appear, i try to be more careful. inevitably though, the bags that i buy (and i buy ones that are actually designed and made well because i know i will put them through hell) have a 1-2 year shelf life, max. so here we are again, with a bag that is on its last legs and that i should really look at replacing before it, and its contents, explode all over the ground. 

this is what my bag looked like before i killed it. noujica from montreal is the maker.
here's the thing: i don't want to buy a new one. i mean, i know i could, and there are a lot of really fantastic small companies that i could support. i could even just get another of the exact same bag, because tara davis stocks them as well as a bunch of other really great bags. but i'm doing so much making these days, and i'm fully capable of sewing myself a new bag. and my parents have this huge bolt of soft leather that i could use, and there are some pretty great patterns out there that would just need the addition of a zipper to be what i want. but then there's the cost - a good bag is probably $100-200, but if i buy waxed canvas or duck canvas or heavy tweed and then all the leather straps and buckles and heavy duty zips and grommets and d-rings...i'm probably going to spend the same amount and potentially fuck it up. 

i mean, i could make colette's cooper cross-body version...but i think it's too big for what i want.
my current bag is made from a cotton canvas and quite a bit of leather. the leather is in great condition, it's the cotton canvas that's dying on me. so here's my potential plan. i'm going to salvage all the bag's hardware and leather - leather straps, zipper, pockets, and the bottom of the bag. the liner is still ok as well. and i have that leather at my parents', but also some heavy duty canvas from a dress that is too small now and that i was planning on recycling into a bag anyway. i will basically just rebuild the bag, and hope that my stitching is strong enough to keep everything in place. i think it could work. it's just a matter of getting around to it before i completely destroy my current bag and need to replace it quicker than i can get around to making it. or i could use the salvaged materials and use them to make either this bag or this bag from noodlehead. which would maybe help with reducing cost while simultaneously avoiding the whole probably-gonna-fuck-up-if-i-try-drafting issue. i think that's probably the smartest and most thrifty option.

my friend kristie makes these absolutely beautiful rope vessels with handdyed rope. i'd rather spend money on one of them.
in reality, i wish i had a life where i could just carry around baskets anytime i needed to go out. i love having a work basket full of knitting and a notebook and maybe a mason jar for drinks. but working downtown in an office 5 days a week doesn't really allow for that ease, and i would need the world's biggest and most organized basket to carry around all the shit i need during the week. so we'll try this, and see if it makes a difference. and then maybe i'll go on to sew more containers for my life. i mean, the portside travel set from grainline studios would cover basically every other thing i need - pouch for knitting notions and/or make it out of leather and something a little fancier for a clutch, dopp kit for toiletries (would you believe i don't actually have a toiletry bag? i killed the last few i had before my last move...), and a duffle bag for those few times a year i escape for a weekend away. or have to dog and house sit. although i think i'm safe on a duffle for a bit, because i just gave myself an early birthday present with this one (but in the bee print denim) from canadian maker jenna rose. and i'm determined to sew my stowe bag before the wolseley wool retreat. i will hang out by the pool with a basket and my stowe bag with a new project, damn it. 

portside travel set.

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