I killed The Man... and made a prize of his suit!
Once upon a time, I said I'd do a tutorial. I finally got off my bum, stole my friend's digital camera, and got to it! Yay! Beware, its my first tutorial. Let me know if I can make any improvments.
The Man (In all his original glory...)
To, uh, boost popularity of my Man Bag, my friend the Dali Llama is helping... Mr.Llama is wearing a smaller version of the bag. The turorial makes a messenger sized bag.
Thank you, Mr. LlamaTutorial:
Part One: Matching Men's Clothes
Typically I suck at matching clothing, so I always hit the thrift stores with friends that have a flare for colors. For this project you will need a men's sports jacket, a men's undershirt (I will call a blouse, despite it's masculinity), scissors, a sewing maching, and a few pins (more if pins make you happy.) Here I have lined them up all pretty to make sure the lengths match. Notice the folding, this is how you're bag will look in the end.Part Two: Sewing the Butt Flap
Lots of men's jackets have openings at one or more points of the back, to allow movement for the wearer. You're bag doesn't need these, sew 'em up!Optional Part Three: The Zipper from Doom
Being a really bad seamstress, I never follow basic rules. Such as pinning before sewing, etc. I like to eyeball. Sure I moan and groan when I need to break out the seam ripper, but hey, if it doesn't kill you the first time... try try try again. Heh. Here I added the zipper. I bought a non-descript zipper from a discount store that appeared to be my desired length. I lucked out, and was correct. Attach the zipper to ONLY the jacket. Begin on the back of the suit, where the bottom of the jacket reaches the shoulders. Attach to the shoulders first, and then line up the seams of the back piece to ensure a straight zip. See picture below for alligning the seams of the back and front of the bag.Part Four: Blouse-y McBlousenton
Now set the jacket aside for a little while we attack the blouse. First, remove his arms. Neatness doesn't count, but you do want a semi-straight edge. Next sew the holes where his arms used to be.
No Holes...Part Five: Alligning Your Man
Now is the time to allign you're man. Insert the blouse into the jacket, and try to make the blouse lay flat. Tidy up the suit (closing all buttons and what-not), and once you have a picture of a clean cut man- pin his shoulders. You want at least one pin per shoulder, penetrating both the jacket and the blouse. Repeat this for the bottom of the jacket, with at least one pin on each side. This will keep your man from flailing around while you try to sew him together.Part Six: Holding Your Man Together, When All You Want is to Throw Him Out
Isn't you're man looking sexy? Won't he look sexier when you pop his collars? Go ahead and do it. Now making sure your man is at an asthetically desirable point, and relatively well-pressed, begin to sew near the collar. This part is slightly tricky. This seam will go through to what will be the inside of your bag, but will be hidden on the front by your man's lapel (aka jacket collar.) Try to follow near the crease of the lapel, without overstepping it. If you sew over the crease, the collar won't fold properly. Believe me, I've done this. Its not sexy. You don't have to have a complete seam here, just make sure you go as far as you can BENEATH the lapel. Make sure after securing both sides, that he looks okay when in the folded bag position. These seams hold the blouse and jacket in place, and also allow for a nice CD player pocket.
Notice the pins from Step 5, VERY IMPORTANT!Part 6, part 2: Holding His Butt In Place
Fold your man into the bag position for a second, and hold him facing away by his shoulders/coat bottom. See how the center of the back falls out of place? I normally leave the suit part alone, if only because I can't secure it without a visable stitch. I do prefer, however, to attach the blouse to the back of the jacket. Unbutton the jacket and in an area the jacket covers, make a straight stitch simply to hold the blouse down. I do this once on either side of the jacket flaps. Step Seven: Your Man is secure, so now its time to bag 'em.
At this point you have sewn beneath the jacket collar of both sides, hopefully without a massive catastrophie (I've broken blouse buttons before from not sewing straightly.) Now its time to actually start forming the bag. This isn't the easiest to write about, but hopefully I can explain it decently with the aid of my pictures. Fold the jacket into the bag position (if you attached a zipper earlier, it might help to zip it together.) Look at how the jacket sleeves hang from the ends of your bag- not pretty. Now envision the sleeves flat against the bag sides- as if someone were wearing it. The sleeves should naturally want to fold this way. See how little sewing is required to attach the sleeve to the bottom front of the bag? Turn the bag inside out, and mark the bottom with a pin (I just use my finger.) Sew from the sleeve pit to the marker. Do this on both sides of the bag. Now when the bag is folded right side out, the sleeves are attached straight to the bottom. Now flip the bag back inside out. Here is where you'll have to try to envision something that may seem difficult (It could be fairly simple to people who sew more often than me.) Beginning at the back of the bag visualize how you would attach the sleeve. Pull the sleeve towards the back of the bag so the inside-side is fairly taught. Allign the sleeve to the back of the jacket, and sew before you loose your vision. If its wrong, you'll see it and be able to back track with a handy seam ripper. As you near the bottom you'll have to go over the sleeve to attach securly to the bottom. I suggest being on a heavy-duty level of your sewing machine- just to make sure you penetrate all layers of jacket.
Here are some pictures of finished seams...
Imagine the blue being the seam from the pit to the bottom, and the green being the seam from the back- across the bottom. You may have a desire to detach the sleeve prior to sewing, I suggest against that. My first bag had a hole because I cut the sleeve to short before sewing. After sewing, feel free to detach the sleeves, getting to within an inch of your stitch. In the pic, mine still has a stub. Oh and say hi to my mom!
This is how the corner looks on the outside of the bag...
Repeat step seven for both sleeves.Step Eight: Strapping Your Man, because you need to hold on to him somehow.
Right now I haven't finished making the strap, as I will face impending doom if I don't do my French homework. I will update this part once I get the time- and don't worry it won't be another half year wait.
Here is what I have of The Man II so far...
His lack of strap means he isn't usable yet, which saddens me greatly. I also have no knowledge of how to knot a man's tie... So I have to wait to get a friend to do it. The Man can wear any type of necktie/bowtie you wish. On my original I had a tie, with a small string of fake pearls beneath his blouse collar. I told my friends it was his "Night-time" preferred dress style.
I first thought of the Man while trying to make a bag themed for The Godfather. It was going to be a pin-stripe suit with bullet holes, and a bullet casing strap. I'm actually still thinking of doing it when I find the time. In fact I've been toying with the possibility of a multi-themed Man line.
Please let me know what you think of my Man. If anyone dares try my first tutorial, let me know how it goes. If you have any problems with it, feel free to pm me or leave a question in a review/comment thingy.
What do you say Mr.Llama?
FIGHT THE MAN!