Mary Poppins' Carpet Bag

 I've been wanting a new messenger bag for awhile. In DC I just used my Marmot waist pack that has an over-the-shoulder strap, but it just doesn't quite seem classy enough for el manzana grande.  One can get away with being a little more out-doorsy down there. However, this new bag needed to fit a few requirements: 1) lighter weight than leather, 2) big enough to hold commuting essentials + lunch + gym cloths when necessary, and 3) be inexpensive--I didn't want to blow a whole month's fun money on a bag. Read on for my solution.

Some day I will have a craft room where my lovelies can stay out all the time. Until then, the straight stitch lives under an extra dining room chair in the corner and the serger lives in my closet. Per the Captain's request, they can only come out while I'm working on a project and have to be put away at the end of the day, whether or not the project is finished. I have come to appreciate this rule, since I seem to always be working on a project and it is nice to see our table top every now and then.

I'm sorry I didn't start taking pictures until I was well into this project. The guy at Dayton Trimming (oh gloriousness) cut almost a full extra yard of the green webbing I chose for the strap, so I decided to stitch it down all the way around the bottom of the bag. I figure it will give extra support since the strap will not be pulling directly on the fabric this way. 

I've been looking for the right fabric for months and finally found this fabulous brocade at a new-to-me shop here in Brooklyn--Fulton Fabrics. I also purchased 2 yards of another fabric that I ended up using for one of the interior pockets and will save the rest for another idea. I purchase the contrasting fabric at Bay Ridge's only fabric store from their $.50 barrel (same place I found some fantastic red velvet that I used for our Christmas stockings). One day, I will turn my projects into DIY tutorials, but for now I'll just explain what the photos are of. 

I basically made two identical bag bodies, one for the exterior and one for the lining (though I did end up cutting the lining a bit shorter so that the exterior fabric rolls down around the edge, you can kind of see this on the photo of the zipper tail). I ironed on fusible interfacing to the lining, cut out the size pockets I wanted, ironed interfacing to those and then top stitched them in place to the lining. After I had already sewn the pockets and zipper in, which was quite a lot of fun to figure out--using a bag from Banana Republic that I've had for years as a model--I put the two bags right sides together and serged around the mouth of the bag, leaving about 8 inches unsewn so I could easily turn it right side out (see above).  

You can see the opening that is ready to be pressed and top-stitched. 

The zipper tail, which will be tucked into the bag. Don't look too close, my machine doesn't do so well with a lot of layers. it zips near the top, but I attached the strap so that the whole top folds over, making it somewhat expandable. 

A look inside. Finally, I'll have enough space to commute without having to tote multiple bags. There is one big pocket on the left and the pocket on the right is stitched into three compartments, measured to fit my phone and other necessities like my metro card and security pass for work. 

Don't judge my outfit or the dishes on the counter in the background. I'm home with a nasty sinus thing today. One productive sick day for the year gone. Now it's time for a nap. 

1 comment:

Emily Frame said...

So cool! Good work as always.

Also, the car seat is orbit.