I have a bit of a crafty post that I’ve been meaning to share for a while.
Last fall I got a Stay Home Club bag at Renegade and immediately LOVED it. I had wanted one for a long time but had no idea how LARGE it was. I loved how big it was. I always carry large bags, big enough to fit sketchbooks in it. I have to also thank my friend Courtney for the inspiration of carrying and using what I had previously dismissed as only a grocery-style-tote-bag, as regular everyday-type-bags. It can hold, not only my sketchbook, my wallet, sunglasses, tons of pens and various art sundries, BUT ALSO when I go to the grocery store, it can also hold a few items from there too, lol.
I love it so much, but using it every day I was so afraid I was going to ruin it, or get it dirty, since it’s mostly all white. Normally I don’t care about such things, but I LOVE this bag that much. I decided the size and shape was simple enough, and the handle was furniture webbing that I’ve bought and used for a bajillion other projects, I should be able to make another bag to switch it up. I went to the fabric store and found a perfect material for an alternate bag.
You got it, black and off white stripes. But then, the fabric sat forever. Originally I was going to wing it and just sew without thinking too much, which is my usual approach to making things. I don’t follow patterns. But then my SIL had asked my mom to sew library book bags for my niece and nephew. My mom found this video pattern online, by the Crafty Gemini*. I still didn’t want to follow the pattern, but then after I saw how it worked I realized it was easy enough and would hold up better than I had planned. The thing that is great about this bag, even better than the original SHC bag is that it has a flexible base, so it holds it’s structure even better. After the first bag I sewed, I was obsessed and knew I wanted to make a ton more for friends for Christmas presents.
It was fun looking for patterns that suited each friend. At first I was just selecting from the canvas in the regular section, but then I wandered into the upholstery section at JoAnn’s and my world opened up! The fabric may seem expensive, but the amount I’m buying, along with coupons or sales is about the same as the regular canvas.
I’ve made so many bags and still have more fabric to make more.
*The pattern I based my bags off was slightly different. It has a strap that is a bit more complex, but looks really nice with the fabric and a contrasting/corresponding colored ribbon, where I just simply bought cotton webbing straps. I made my strap longer, as well as the whole bag wider and longer, to suit my needs, easily. Each bag is also double stitched for reinforcement and again on some of the bags where the handle is sewn into the opening of the bag.