This is not the first time that I've felt the need for a new bag just in time for a trip to New York. I'm not entirely sure what it is about a trip that makes me feel like I need a new bag, but wherever the inspiration came from, I'm pretty happy about it. This bag turned out better than I could have expected and I can tell it's going to get a lot of use. It's sturdy, big enough for a few projects (I'm thinking I could fit a book, a snack, a knitting project, a journal, and even a few cameras in there no problem), and can be worn while biking!
I'm also very excited about the fabric choices. The main fabric is some kind of cotton/linen blend that I thrifted sometime last year. I was saving it to make a dress (which really would have been great), but I have so many fabrics waiting to be made into a dress that I sacrificed this one, in my continuing effort to use up my insanely large stash (plus, there's still enough left over for a skirt, a good compromise I think). The blue patterned fabric is one that I picked up at an antique mall last summer. I almost didn't get it because it was a little pricey, but I'm really glad I did, I just fell in love with the pattern and I think it works perfectly here. Oh yeah, and contrasting orange stitching, again :). This is definitely the kind of bag that could be dressed up or used on an everyday basis (which it will be!), can you tell I'm all about the versatility?
I used the Pleated Beauty pattern from Bend The Rules Sewing, with a few modifications. I bought this book soon after it came out (almost two years ago) and have only made a few of the awesome projects in here. I'm suddenly wondering why I haven't made more! The main change is that there is one strap instead of two. I spend most of the spring/summer/fall on my bike, so I really wanted something that could be worn messenger style. I was inspired by this moop bag (which I *love*) and I almost made an adjustable handle, but didn't have the proper hardware and was feeling impatient. The finished strap is 2 1/4" wide and 27 1/2" long- it's not too long to be worn on one shoulder, but long enough that it won't choke me messenger style! Oh, and I also added a magnetic snap closure, for a little bit of security.
I really loved making this bag, and can already see some things inspired by this pattern making their way into the shop. Maybe even a pleated clutch...oh the possibilities! Seriously, I'm feeling inspiration coming at me from all sides these days. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that I'll be on vacation in just four days, and Jared and I have begun to talk about fun summer plans. Exciting things like road trips and extended time off from work are always good for the creative process, don't you think?
Finally, a couple of fun links for today...
::the light collectors (pure beauty)
::bench monday (just because)
::peanut butter chocolate pillows (haven't tried these yet, but they look amazing!)