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Topic: Messenger style Art bag question...  (Read 708 times)
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jobows
« on: March 25, 2012 09:58:27 PM »

My daughter's birthday is coming up and I want to make her a bag for her art supplies.  She likes messenger bags-- My questions:

1) I talked to her art teacher and she said that a 16x18" bag would fit all of her big boards... Is that TOO big to make a messenger style bag out of?

2) I want to use laminated fabrics-- would you recommend this?   I want it to stay looking fresh and easily cleaned, regardless of the type of medium she may be using-- charcoal, paints, chalk.

3) I was going to make a 2 compartment bag (divide the lining with a zipper pouch) and have 2" on each side-- do you think this is large enough or should I make it 3" on each side? 

Thanks!  I can't get a grasp on this in my brain!  To me-- it seems large, but she needs that.... At this size-- if you wouldn't do a messenger type bag, what would you suggest? 

Thank you for your experienced input!  Cheesy
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SewMantra
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012 04:09:40 AM »

As a person with an education in art, I can attest to lugging things around (across campuses as of late) and I know that having a bag similar to what you are describing would have been a dream! Not only do art bags tend to collect things in the bottom of them like pencils, or what have you, which mark up the sides of the inside of the bag. (Things will fall out of their cases from time to time.) But also having compartments to store canvases, paper, or other vertically oriented things and be able to carry them easily is always nice.

The size of the bag may seem big, but for an artist, it really isn't that large. My case is 48" wide x 36" tall. (I am also 6'3" tall)  Smiley While most of my projects don't come close to fitting in that space, I had a few that did which is why I bought that size. Thus, if she needs a 16"x18" bag, go ahead and do it. You may even want to round it up and make it a 20"x 24" so she can grow into it (that is if she is really into art and you think she will stick with it for a long time.)

So, to answer your questions directly:

1: Yes, I think a messenger type bag would work perfectly for a budding artist and of the size you mentioned (maybe even a little larger if you wanted).

2: Instead of using laminated fabrics, I'd use something like canvas or another ultra durable material. It washes easy, lasts for forever and will withstand the wear and tear of the artist's life. (I know my case is made of canvas and I've had it for 10 years. Still working great!) Plus, it is super eco-friendly. The final bonus, it doesn't really snag or tear. The laminated fabric looks good for a while but with sun exposure it becomes brittle over time and seems to break down faster making it crack and thus easy to snag. Then you may just want to chuck it. I'd go with canvas; she'll likely have that bag for the rest of her life.

3: The conundrum of 2" vs. 3" - when in doubt - more room is better than not enough. Plus if you made it with Canvas, it will be soft. So it will expand to its full capacity as she puts things in there.

Good luck with your project, hope this helps.

Best,
Martiel


PS: If you want to make your bag extra durable, you can put leather or vinyl on the bottom of the bag so that when she sets it down at school or other places it doesn't tear up the bottom.
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Martiel B.

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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012 06:21:46 AM »

I would also make optional short handles for the top in case banging around the bag over the shoulder become undesirable - on a windy day that bag could go flying everywhere. And if you wanted laminates, you could make a few vinyl sleeves to slip individual art into, couldn't hurt.
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012 06:43:34 AM »

Messenger beg style sounds good. I agree with "sewmantra" canvas would be best. My advice: be sure to zig-zag all seams, even before sewing. I made one for my art-college daughter. I didn't finish the seams: it unravelled on her.
I'd admit that 16X18" sounds HUGE, but I've made shopping bags that big. And, depending on your offsprings' major, it really isn't that big.
Separating sections with a zipper pocket sounds like a good idea. It would prob'ly work great. Making several pencil-cases would likely also be appreciated. A brush roll (if painting) would be a good idea.
My recommendation is Kwik-Sew #3133. It has a messenger-style bag that would be easier to widen. (It starts out at 11 1/2" X 14".)
Oh, and whether you choose canvas or Denim, or whichever fabric, be sure to prewash! (Before cutting)  Wink maybe buy 10% extra to account for shrinkage. (With Canvas, iron right out of the washing machine: hot iron. Seriously wrinkly fabric.)
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A.T. Morel
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