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Topic: My first messenger style bag (lots of pics and words) - LONG detailed tute!  (Read 5661 times)
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chineseathena
« on: May 13, 2010 04:14:13 PM »

So I am unbelievably proud of this bag  Cheesy, despite the zillion things I would have done differently. It's an original pattern (maybe design is a better word for it), and every bit of it was hand-sewn or crocheted, so it kind of took a month and a half to complete.

The outside is crocheted with gray yarn using a shell stitch. The inside and strap used this super-sweet fabric that I thought popped nicely next to the gray. Also, I added 2 layers of fleece around the sides and 4 layers at the bottom for padding.



Here's a close-up of the closure. I took a basic charm bracelet and took it apart. I added some charms to the chain, which hangs from the flap, and the other part of the closure (the circle) is attached to the body of the bag. I love that pendant in the center, it goes PERFECTLY with the fabric.



Here's a look at the strap. You can't really see it, but it's uber-thick and poofy because I used some light-weight interfacing and just decided to fold it into a long strip. Note: not a good idea. I broke a needle (again, handsewing!) on the box that I used to attach the D-ring. BTW, super proud of the boxes, each one took over an hour because the strap is so crazy thick.



A look at the inside. The part where the folders are is for my laptop, the divider is a pocket I use for things like my wallet, plus there's a front pocket (for the cord, folders, notebooks, etc), a smaller pocket for other things like my mp3 player, and a cell phone pocket. Kind of wishing I had put in a key fob.



You can't see it, but when I was cutting fabric I forgot to cut a front and back section for the bottom piece, so the divider isn't attached to the bottom. Because the bag is so saggy (no interfacing), I'm afraid the things in the front will slide around and scratch my laptop. Should I add a stiff insert at the bottom? Or should I use some extra fabric to cover the gap and attach the divider to the bottom piece?

You may be wondering why I used two clasps for each end of the strap. I got so paranoid about their strength that I decided to put two on each side. Also, with those clasps, the bag is adjustable, so it can go across the body or over the shoulder!



And a close-up of the fabric, because I adore it.



Thanks for looking! Comments, criticism, and opinions (especially about the divider pocket) are appreciated!  Grin

EDIT: TUTORIAL
Bag dimensions: 14.5"x4"x10.5"

If you want to crochet the outside, I used an F hook and Caron Simply Soft yarn.
The shell stitch: Foundation chain should be a multiple of 6 plus one.
R1: chain 1 for turning chain. Sc into second ch from hook. *Skip two ch. Dc 5 into one ch. Skip two ch. Sc into ch.* Repeat.
R2: chain 2 (or 3 if you prefer). Dc 2 into sc of prev row. *Skip two st. Sc 1 (middle dc of shell of prev row). Skip two st. Dc 5 into sc of prev row.* Repeat. After sc 1 in last shell of prev row, skip two, dc 3 into sc of prev row.
R3: chain 1. Sc into last dc of prev row. *Skip two st. Dc 5 into 1 sc. Skip two st. Sc 1.* Repeat.
Repeat R2-3.

For the sides (make 2), ch 19, plus another one for turning chain. Crochet 31 rows.
For the front, ch 67, plus one for turning chain. Crochet 31 rows.
For the back + flap, ch 67, plus one for turning chain. Crochet as instructed above for 49 rows. Continue as above for a rectangular flap. To make a pointed flap, on row 50, instead of starting with a half-shell, sl st in the first two dcs of the previous row, then sc in the middle dc of the first shell. Continue from * of R3 above until you sc in the last shell. Repeat instructions for R50 through row 58 (you should have three shells).
For the bottom, ch 19, plus one for turning chain. Sc across. Crochet 67 rows.
Construction: Hold pieces wrong sides together. Sc along seam. I put together the sides, front, and back first, then added the bottom. Sc around the free edges of the flap, for the last row, ch 2 between sc in the very tip of each shell.

The lining:


Remember, I did not attach my divider pocket to the bottom. If you wish to do the same, the relevant instructions are italicized. Those who want the divider pocket attached to the bottom, ignore the italicized and read the instruction in brackets instead.

Pattern pieces (remember to add seam allowances!):
Front and back (2): 14.5"x10.5"
Side-front (2): 2.5"x10.5"
Side-back (2): 1.5"x10.5"
Divider (4): 14.5"x10"
Bottom (1): 4"x14.5"
[Bottom-front (1): 2.5"x14.5"
Bottom-back (1): 1.5"x14.5"]
Cell phone pocket (1): 4"x8"
Pocket (1): 8"x8"
Side for optional interfacing: 4"x10.5"

To make the divider pocket, take two pieces and lay them together right sides facing together. Sew along both long edges. [Sew along one long edge.] Repeat for the other two, and flip both open so right sides face out. Lay these two pieces on top of each other and sew together along one long edge to create the pocket. Now take a SB piece and lay it right side up. Place the divider pieces on top, one on top of the other, lining up the SHORT edge of the divider with the LONG edge of the SB piece. Place the bottom of the divider pocket so it is just above the line where the bottom will be sewn on. [Line up the bottom of the dividers (the unsewn long edges) with the bottom of the SB piece, including seam allowance of both.] Place the SF piece on top, wrong side up, lining up its long edge with the long edge of the SB piece and the short edges of the dividers. Sew all the way along this edge (where all of them are lined up), marked in green in the picture. Repeat for the other side, making sure to keep the bottom and top on the same sides!

(Note: in the diagram, which, I apologize, is a bit fuzzy, I mistakenly made the side-back pieces wider than the side-front pieces. They should be thinner)

Sew front and back to SB and SF pieces. I added a hem all the way around the top to make it easier to attach to the outer part of the bag, but you don't have to do that if you pin carefully.

Attach the bottom by sewing all the way around. [Place BB piece right side up, then bottom of divider pocket, then BF piece wrong side up. Line up along edge marked in red and sew. Then sew bottom pieces to sides, front, and back by sewing all the way around]

(Note: I mislabeled the bottom pieces as SB and SF instead of BB and BF. Also, the back piece should be narrower than the front piece; I drew it wrong.)

To make the pockets, fold the pocket piece in half, wrong sides together, to make a rectangle 4" tall (8" wide for the larger pocket, 4" wide for the cell phone pocket). Orient it so the fold you just made is at the top. Fold in the bottom corners to make a trapezoid as in the picture. Make sure that you are "collapsing" the corners in so that on both the front and back of this piece, you only see the right side. The bottom of the trapezoid only needs to be about an inch shorter than the top (1/2" shorter on each side). Pin the pocket to the inside of the front piece so that the two slanting sides are going straight up and down. This makes the top edge, the longer edge, bulge out a bit. If you want flat pocket without this bulge, just turn the edge in to give a clean hem, keeping the rectangular shape. Sew the bottom and sides of the pockets.

Cut four "hourglass" shapes. The wider edge should be 4", and the "dip" in the middle should be the width of your D-ring. Place two right sides together and sew along the bent edges, marked in orange. Flip right side out and thread through the D ring, then fold in half so it looks something like a trapezoid. Sew just under the D-ring to prevent sliding (line of white dots). Sew this to the side of the bag, on the wrong side of the lining. Repeat for the other two pieces.

Now is the time to add interfacing if you wish. Use two of the front/back pieces, two full side pieces (the 4" one), and one full bottom piece.

Place the lining inside the outer yarn "shell" and sew through both layers around the top edge.

Strap:
Cut a long strip of your lining fabric and add heavyweight interfacing inside. Stitch along both long edges, very close to the edge.

Get your clasps onto your other two D-rings. Thread the strap through a D-ring and sew down the end securely with a box with an X through it. Connect this to your bag and use this to figure out where on your strap the other D-ring should be placed. Once decided, trim your strap as needed, add on the D-ring, and sew down the end.

Choose any closure you like! A button, a tie, a loop, anything! And you're done! WHEW! I apologize for any mistakes, especially the mistakes in the diagram, but it's 3 am and I'm exhausted! Enjoy!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010 01:11:41 AM by chineseathena » THIS ROCKS   Logged

village_diva
I didn't decide to be a photographer; I just happened to fall into it. - Berenice Abbott
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010 04:58:47 PM »

Does this come with a tute?  Grin
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ninjanator
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010 08:30:48 PM »

that looks fantastic Smiley

I think using the 2 clasps is a good idea (i'm pretty paranoid about the strength of my messenger as well) and for the divider, I'd probably go the use extra fabric to attach to the bottom gap method.
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when I'm wearing my crafty pants: etsy
...when I'm a pack rat: blog
...and when I feel like sharing: tutorials
chineseathena
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010 08:30:57 PM »

@village_diva: Hm, I'm not sure how good of a tute I can give. I'm pretty much the furthest thing from professional that you can get. But I'll try to get some kind of instructions up in the near future, once I round up the notes I jotted down while making this.

@ninjanator: Thanks! I was leaning toward that option myself...easier to wash, plus I won't have to worry about the bottom piece getting out of whack or things sliding under it.

Thanks for the feedback guys! Smiley
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Kristy_n_kritters
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So freggin' fabulous, she spits glitter!


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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2010 11:30:28 PM »

Wow! Beautiful, I love everything about it... the colors, the charms, the shell stitch. I also agree with ninjanator... I would use fabric to close up the gap at the bottom.
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What is this "normal" you talk about? Is it contagious? OMG! Stay away! Don't touch me! I might catch your normal!
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