9 March 2012

Duffle Rucksack - part 1

Last summer I went out to the States with my friend whose parents live in Mexico and who travel around the West Coast of America. One of the most exciting bits (minus going to a drive-in movie!) was using her mum's heavy duty sewing machine to make a leather satchel. Her mum used to make and sell one-off leather pieces and my friend still uses a black leather duffel bag her mum made during her punk days. I couldn't wait to pick her brains about working with leather and making bags, two things I had no idea about. After realising that making a bag is not as daunting as it seems (I could make a sewing gag here on seams, but I'll restrain myself - too late!) I'd been thinking about projects I could have a crack at and that my normal sewing machine can handle. Then I started noticing that duffle bags are all the rage... Check out Asos's 'Day of the Dead' style backpack, for example. By duffle bags, I mean the backpacks that open at the top, and that close by tightening a cord, covered by a simple flap. I mentioned this to the project sounding board (also known as my boyfriend) who was as enthusiastic as I was, if not more. Now the plan has extended to two duffle bags.

Every time I see a duffle bag I go and have a good nosey. A friend of mine has a nice canvas one and I have spent whole conversations with her without looking up, my eyes and hands fixed firmly on her bag, turning it upside down, inside out to have a look at how it's made. Feeling inspired, I went to the fabric shop and found that I could only get canvas in white. 'But I want you in pink and red,' I say imploringly to the canvas. So then I tried something else new: Dylon. The fabrics have come up in really nice colours, thankfully. All I need to do is finalise my designs, find the components and find some time to make them!

I was very distracted in the library the other day and sketched this--



Sorry about the faint black letters, I did the drawing on the back of a receipt! I want to do something more pizazz with the pockets, but can't decide what. Recently I picked up some free leather (offcuts from the local leather shop) and would like to incorporate it somewhere, as a contrast trim, on the straps and maybe to secure the tog. The mini version is something I want to make for my sisters if I have any leftover fabric.

Next time I'll get on to making them, rather than just lusting after duffley goodness.

Alix xxx

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