Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Gift sewing for guys! (hint: it's a messenger bag)

After the Mythbusters Jacket, and the seriously lagging Sewlution/Matthew Williamson/Advent dress, I felt like I was losing my sew-jo and desperately needed a project at the end of the year to be proud of. 

Gift sewing is an odd place to look for this sort of gratification because everything needs to be perfect and the pressure is ramped way up. Still, I had an idea, some fabric and some fusible interfacing. So I pressed on.

Pressed on, geddit?
The fabric used was the brown stripe ticking used for some shorts and a luggage bag earlier in the year (there's still fabric left!), some heavy-weight crafting cotton, and some green/red silk scraps from the MW/Sewlution/Advent Dress.

Finished bag front
The pattern is Simplicity 2358, which came from the massive swap at Rachel's April Meetup in London. Thank you to whoever donated it! 

Finished bag back
I used the pattern as a general guide for proportion and shape but heavily modified the construction order and a few attachments. I think this is View B, with the front and side pockets removed. For reference, this size can probably hold a few A4-size books.

Zippered pocket on bag back

For the bag back, I wanted a zippered pocket so eyeballed an extra pattern piece and inserted the zip flat. I came up with some excess fabric on the flap and just folded it over to provide a bit of a guard over the zip.

There is an interior pocket, divided into a mobile phone and A5-size pocket.

Interior pocket in sandwashed silk with faux-leather binding

The webbing for the strap came from Raystitch, and the hardware from MaCulloch & Wallis. I eyeballed the sizes, which could have been a bit better but overall isn't a problem.

Look at that lovely topstitching!
Boy, am I proud of this bag! This was just the tonic after a few difficult projects: basically sticking rectangles together. It's by far the best bag I've made and I hope it gets a lot of use. It was reassuring to approach an unfamiliar project knowing it would work out, working through each tiny detail.

I really like it and am thinking of remaking it in a different colour scheme for myself too. With some personalised add-ons, of course.

Displayed on the whasijig

And now back to some more challenging projects, see you soon!



  1. It looks really professional, great work! I quite like the stripy fabric

    1. Thank you! Glad to see you got to Switzerland okay too!

  2. Seen it, felt it, and very impressed! One gorgeous bag! and I believe it's recipient was also duly impressed! And rightly so. Fab work, girlie! x

    1. Thanks :) Got another one in the works too (and thank you for the tea cosy!)

    2. My pleasure! Another tea- Jinny must be encouraged!