Friday, 26 January 2018

Simplicity 2358 Messenger Bag

Hopefully my last post about 2017 projects. Coming soon: a roundup and setting the scene for 2018.

The D9P quilt for Christmas had some deep meanings rooted in musical cross-phrasing and cubist fantasies...but I really can't bear to talk about quilting anymore. Instead, we move on to something a lot more superficial: a messenger bag. The one I forgot to photograph before my Christmas post.


You remember the bag I made for B back in 2013? That one has been so well used and abused that it has gone through a few rounds of repairs and finally needed replacing. So, that was my mission for Christmas gift sewing.

A handmade cross-body bag hanging from a mannequin

The Pattern

This is my 4th variation on Simplicity 2358. It's a good pattern and produces a good-size bag but I always spend a lot of mental energy trying to re-familiarise myself with the pattern pieces. As a garment sewer, being presented with a bunch of rectangles with similar names is not my idea of an easy time.

I generally add pockets to suit.

My one major gripe with the pattern is that the final construction steps lead to very bulky joints where the flap and the body of the bag meet, and there doesn't seem to be enough fabric to cover the gap at the inside of the flap. The next time I make this bag, I'll try to make the flap facing longer for a better finish. Otherwise, I think it's a great base pattern for a bag which you can customise.

The same handmade bag, with strap, leather patches and metal rings

The Fabric

The outer is some sort of herringbone, picked up from A-One Fabrics on Goldhawk Road. B picked it out himself, and while I do like it, I do have a couple of reservations. Firstly, I can't gauge its longevity. I've improved the quality of the interfacing (my go-to from M&W) and have also made improvements to the heavily stressed areas. So we'll see how it holds up. My second reservation about the fabric is that it makes my eyes jump. So cutting out was literally a headache.

I tried to salvage parts of the original bag to give it a sense of continuity. The lining is salvaged from the original, and I've used some of the original straps on each of the sides. The leather came from my stash. I trialed all my leathers and this one came out nicest with the available threads.

The strap and buckle are from MacCulloch & Wallis, I just fell in love with them so will admit that I paid a shamefully high price for them. The D-rings and sliders were from B's stash (souvenirs he brought back from South America a few years ago). I really struggle to find fixings for bags, especially ones that fit the slightly chunkier webbing styles. If you know a good supplier, let me know!


Oh, I don't know anymore. The machine struggled in a few areas and it becomes a pain to maneuver. I ended up hand-finishing a couple of spots. That's about it really.


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