To rephrase the title: Perfect for the weekend away (once everything is back to normal)!
Do you ever go away for a short weekend break and realise that you don’t have that perfect weekend bag? You know the one I am talking about. The one that is not too big nor too small. The perfect one that you can carry everything for the weekend in but small enough to hand carry it onto a train (alright Goldilocks!)? Also, don’t forget that it needs to be stylish as well (of course!). So where do you find this perfect weekend bag? Well, with much difficulty! Ok, so I can be extremely fussy but who isn’t? I’ve seen the perfect bag with the worst price and affordable ones with the worst materials. So what do you do in situations like these?
Make one yourself.
Making a bag is not as difficult as you think. If you think about it in the purest term, a bag is essentially a box. Well, I mean a box of varying shapes, so if you can get that shape right, then that is your pattern. Then you need to think about the material that you are going to work with and how you want to finish everything. Does it have a zip, lining, handles, shoulder strap or wheels so you can cart it around? Once all of these thoughts come together, then the bag can be produced.
This was exactly how I approached this weekend bag of mine. I wanted it to be simple (purely because I had to sew it on my domestic sewing machine. I thought about the two most important element of the bag: the shape and the handles.
For the shape, I knew that I wanted something squarish but thinnish at the same time. It had to be easy to slot between seats, my legs, up on the rack in the train or under the table at work. I need it to be able to fit my shoes, jacket, change of clothes, toiletries, chargers and everything else I needed for the weekend. Do you see where I am going regarding a perfect bag?
You must be wondering why handles came second in importance? Two reasons really. I’m not of model height so the length had to be perfect to prevent me from dragging the bag on the floor and the second reason is so that I can attach the handles without sewing layers and folds of fabric. Bad sewing or improper fixing of handles to the bag can result in the main carriage breaking off from the handles. Nobody wants to drop their bag in a muddy puddle or worse, in the river (that can happen!) so proper fixing of the handles is paramount.
With the shape decided, the pattern was made up in no time. It is just a square after all. When it came to deciding on the material, I’d realised that I have some really nice and supple leather that I salvaged from school. With all the components coming together, the bag was sewn up in no time. The sewing Gods must be looking down on me as I didn’t have any issues sewing on my domestic sewing machine.
To avoid sewing the handles to the bag, I opted for rivets instead. Take a closer look as these are the same rivets used in jeans.
To ensure that the bag was properly supported from the inside, I used some left over medium weight calico for the lining and pockets.
So is this the perfect bag? I think it is, as I used it early on in the year and it withstood the style (I had lots of positive comments about the design), durability (it didn’t fall apart) and functionality (everything for the weekend fit inside the bag).
Since I have scraps left, I think I’ll make coin purses.
It’s a good looking and useful looking bag. Though I tend to travel with a ton of toiletries so it might not suit me. Did you need to use a leather needle to sew it up?
I know what you mean about toiletries! The leather was supple enough for me to use a normal needle although anything firmer, I would use a leather needle and an industrial sewing machine.