Dear Kelli and Finny,
So I’m participating in your One Yard Wonders sew along—only it’s almost March and I have yet to make one of the selected sewing projects.
I was all excited about February because I’d whispered in Kelli’s ear about how much I wanted to make the Folklore Bag because Feb 9th is my wedding anniversary and, oh my goodness, does that man Dave ever need a bag to haul his clothes and crap to work on non-cycling days so that he has something to wear when he gets to work on the days he does cycle.
And the Folklore bag? The Folklore bag would be the PERFECT gift for me to make. The PERFECT handmade (the devotion!) nineteenth wedding anniversary gift, thoughtful winner wife that I am.
Until I realized that the Folklore Bag in my mind’s eye was not the Folklore Bag at all. Which immediately destroyed my brilliant kill-two-projects-with-one-bag plan. February One Yard Wonders Project PLUS Anniversary Gift, all in one = BAM! And my husband will tell you how well I deal with last-minute changes to my brilliant plans. Breathing, honey, I’m breathing …
No, the bag I had in mind was in fact Matt’s Map Bag, a nifty little messenger bag with a clear pocket on the outside for stuffing maps, receipts and what have you. Ingenious!
But when I finally took the time to look at the measurements for Matt’s Map Bag, I realized that it wouldn’t do either. Because there was no way in the name of anything worthy that Dave would fit a pair of size 10 Merrels, jeans, leather belt, shirt, undershirt, undies, water bottle, lunch box, toiletries, etc. into Matt’s very lovely but only 9″ x 12″ x 3″ map bag.
So I created Dave’s Messenger Bag, the larger, more-tricked-out cousin to Matt’s bag. I used the pattern-piece shapes and most of the instructions on page 115 but I added a full, plasticized compartment for damp, sweaty bike gear to the inside (not the outside) of the bag, an adjustable D-ring tie for keeping water bottles upright, a pocket for Dave’s wallet, and a lanyard clip for his car keys.
The fabric I chose was a dark charcoal pebble-print cotton—easy to work with but horrible to photograph. Ever tried taking pictures of a near-black bag late at night by the light of one uplighter because you don’t want your husband to see it yet?
Dave wears a lot of black and charcoal, and I knew he’d like the fabric. It’s subtle and slick enough that he wouldn’t mind walking across the office parking lot with it slung over his shoulder, even after one of the girls at work called it his “man purse.”
Things I’d do differently next time around?
- With the larger size, I should probably have used a heavier interfacing. The bag could do with a bit more firmness.
- I’d also take the extra time to make the strap adjustable, which I didn’t, even thought the instructions said to do so. Turns out, I made it a couple inches too long, so I had to shorten the strap to fit. A stitch in time saves nine, yes?
In all, I’m thrilled with the Folklore Bag / Matt’s Map Bag / Dave’s Messenger Bag, considering it is the first bag I’ve ever made. I found the bag construction steps easy to follow … and the bag even easier, on the whole, to customize!
Looking forward to the March project!