It’s winter and my mom is here to see how cold it is and hoping she will lucky enough to see some snow. She’s from the equator, where the only two seasons they have are ‘wet’ and ‘dry’, so coming to a cold country is a novelty for her.
While she is here, we have been around some places but what I noticed is her struggling with her big handbag. Sometimes I offer to help her carry it and boy is it heavy. When I asked her about the contents, she said she has everything in there. I was a bit surprised that she was carrying around so much stuff, but most of it is never used for the duration that she is out. So I decided that she needed a smaller bag: big enough to carry her essentials on her day out and to lighten her load a bit.
She has wanted me to make her a cross-body bag for a while now, as the old one she usually uses at home is near the end of its lifespan. So we rummaged though the pieces of leather I have up in the attic and she couldn’t decide between an electric blue and a brown piece. Seeing that the two pieces of leather were quite small, I decided that both could be used, and the idea of a two toned bag emerged.
The pattern for the bag was extremely simple. I based the size on an A4 sheet of paper and my mom kept reminding me that the bag needs to be big enough for her water bottle, umbrella, purse and other ‘essentials’. I begrudgingly conformed but insisted that it should be smaller than the one she currently uses.
The front of the bag has a flap with magnetic clasp to provide it with some closure. Mom is always paranoid that there are pickpockets everywhere so this was a great addition.
It was great to use a softer leather as it sews very easily on a domestic machine. I did, however, use some iron-on fusing to ensure that the leather did not over-stretch.
There is nothing like having feedback from a person that uses this type of bag. They can tell you if the strap is too long or too short and which part usually fails/breaks. Mom advised me that it is usually the connection bit between the strap and the bag. To ensure that this does not happen, I inserted a piece of webbing between the leather straps and ‘D-ring’. Everything else was held together with rivets.
When deciding on the lining, my mom chose a remnant piece of Liberty fabric with sweets as the motif.
This actually shows the fun side of mom that people don’t usually notice and, as ever, she also advised that it is good to have a zipped compartment for her more valuable stuff.
This has been a very interesting project as it was a joint endeavour with my mom. She consulted me on how she wanted the details and I consulted her on how the design should look. The result is a collaboration project that we are both very happy with. Hopefully, it will also mean that she is no longer carrying a really heavy bag around with things that are hardly used, but knowing mom she will have more to say once she tries this bag out.