Happy New Year everyone!
Like most people at this time of the year, I'm re-evaluating how I do a lot of things, and this involves some organisation.
Specifically the processes of how I use things, and whether some of those systems can be improved.
One of those things that was pretty overdue was a handbag overhaul.
I'm a fairly low maintenance girl (if I do say so myself) and only have one handbag.
Yes, as in only one.
The one I've been currently using is a Colorado leather bag which is pretty large and heavy, even when empty.
It's recently started to fall apart, and while I still love how it looks, the way I go shopping now has really changed.
It's a lot more online and when I go in person I generally want to travel light and hands free.
So I started to research backpack patterns, and started planning to make myself a whole new set up.
I knew that I wanted to use the canvas that I waxed all the way back at the beginning of last year.
If you're not familiar with waxed canvas, it's fabric that's coated with a wax and paraffin combination to make it waterproof and more durable. It's delightful because it adds a leather like cracked texture to the fabric, without all the hassle of sewing with leather.
You can buy this ready waxed, but I had a go doing my own because there were way more colour choices that way.
I made sure to wax a huge amount of fabric, because waxing it was a huge job and I was pretty sure I'd never want to do it again!
It was exactly the smaller size bag that I was after, and looked so cool to boot.
I had to wait patiently all year to have a couple of spare days, and all the hardware on hand to make myself a new bag.
I've always loved Anna's patterns.
They're extremely straight forward and well thought out and I love all the little extra notes she adds in to help you get the best results.
If you're familiar with the original pattern, you might have noticed I've added a few extra features of my own.
I've made my fair share of bags and pouches in my sewing time and am pretty familiar with how to add features I like.
And after all, if you're going to go to all the trouble of making yourself a bag, then make it exactly how you want!
This inset pocket on the front is one of the changes that I made.
I'm a girl who loves her compartments and being able to easily reach what I need. This little extra pocket is perfect for my keys, and means no fishing around in the main compartment.
I also seriously enjoy top stitching!
When I first learned to sew, and then learned to sew straight (probably when I was a teenager) I loved how adding beautiful top stitching to a garment or item just took it to the next level.
Since then, I love adding top stitching every chance I get.
So I added an extra vertical seam down the front of the bag, just so I could add in even more.
Inside the pocket you can see the first of the pretty Liberty lining peeking through.
It was a given that this bag was going to be lined with Liberty!
Seeing little flashes of tiny floral chic inside is so satisfying. I love being able to add that!
Another fabulous discovery several years ago was zipper-by-the-yard (or metre!)
This means that you can coordinate all of the zips on your bag exactly without the need to buy various lengths. You can also choose from a large range of pulls, from elegant to trendy. It's another way you can add a professional touch.
I chose the hardware for this bag to be the antique brass finish, and love the grungy look it adds.
The top of the bag is a double zipper, giving you the option of only opening half the bag if you wish.
I added side tabs to each side so there's something to hold onto when closing. These are always a must in my opinion.
Are you ready to see inside??
This makes me sooo happy!
Some favourite Liberty Wiltshire, in a feminine-but-not-too-feminine shade that matches the canvas perfectly.
I've also switched out the elastic back pocket that was in the pattern and put in another inset pocket.
I just thought the way I'd be using this bag, the extra zip would be more useful.
I also interfaced all the lining (SF-101), and am so glad I took the extra time to do this. The little bit of added structure is great!
I also chose to add a D-ring on each side, making it doubly functional as you can switch the strap to wear on either shoulder.
In short, I'm just stoked with how this turned out! The waxed canvas has exactly that feminine grunge that I love, and it's super easy to use.
The bag had its first outing today (to Ikea!) and I wore it cross-body as it's designed, and it passed with flying colours!
So comfortable, so easy to to grab everything, and just looks awesome!
I hope you give this bag a go - I highly recommend!