Another Holiday, Another Surprise

Hello there!

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. Here in the US we’ve had one holiday already–Thanksgiving, aka “EAT ALL THE THINGS” Day–and shopping for xmas is in full swing as December advances. For the most part, we “Mads” house residents tend to buy our gifts for everyone rather than make things. I even bought most of the things I’m giving to Tom rather than go to the trouble (and stress, and time) of making something. Well, earlier this week I got a bright (read: fucking stupid) idea: I should make Tom a thing!

What “thing” have I decided upon for my husband? The Cooper bag from Colette Patterns! I have never made a bag before, but this one seems simple enough for a newbie like me with the instructions and sew-along. I ordered 2 colors of cotton canvas–orange and gray–for the body, magnetic snaps, strap sliders, webbing, and rivets, and now I’m just waiting. But rather than just sit on my ass and think about this bag (and agonize over whether or not to order Otter Wax and wax it), I decided to go ahead and make the lining. I figured it would be good practice for the real thing and save me some work as the holiday approaches and I run out of time. Here it is:

Lining!!! With pockets!!!!!!

Lining!!! With pockets!!!!!!

So I opted to make the lining out of muslin. The pattern recommends ripstop of some sort, or general waterproof fabric. I’m not really worried about this being waterproof particularly, though I am considering getting Scotchguard or something and spraying the lining down if I opt to wax the outside. The idea behind this bag is that it will be something Tom can take with him when he and Mulder (dog) go for their nature-y walks, or if he takes a trip to the store for something small and portable. It’s not like I expect him to take this on outdoor camping trips or anything! I just didn’t see the need to go out and get ripstop when I had this suitable (for my purposes) material at home. Plus I can press and manipulate this stuff without trouble; I can’t feel as confident about ripstop!

The lining is turned inside-out for this photo (which I took before I pressed anything, in typical Mads fashion), as the pockets will need to be inside the bag rather than sewn up against the inside of the shell. I admit to having a moment of panic once I finished squaring the bottom of the lining–a point of no return, since you cut stuff–and doing what I usually do, which is to turn the seam allowances to the side that isn’t facing me to have a look at my results. I had to wrap my head around this whole bag thing and remember that the ugly side of my lining would be up against the ugly side of my shell, and the pockets would end up where they should be: facing into the cavernous interior of the finished bag. A big sigh of relief was heaved, let me tell you!! The actual shell is more involved, what with the straps and hardware, but I feel prepared for it now that the lining is done and looks good. The squaring of the bottom was the scariest part, and I was able to accomplish that successfully. Attaching the bottom gusset was confusing at first, but I took my time and figured it out. Bring on the shell (as soon as all my shit arrives)!!

Are you making any gifts for xmas?

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16 thoughts on “Another Holiday, Another Surprise

  1. Can’t wait to see the finished product! I hear ya about the stress of making stuff for the holidays. I’m sticking to small and few handmade ornaments this year and doing that cool wood transfer/picture thing that’s all over Pinterest for my parents. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NjYbAAQ4vw) It actually works!

    Good luck with your handmade gift… may your stress be minimal!

    • Aw, thanks! Hopefully I can make a passable, usable bag on my first attempt. I’m with you about the stress of the holidays: it always seems like there is too much to do, too many people to see/gift, etc. One of these years, I’m going to exempt myself entirely! =)

  2. Ooh nice.. good job and great idea.. ..just get in there. You would be surprised at whata NEWBIE can do…:) I sure am making gifts. a bunch .. probably most of my gifts are DIYs.. I have started. I keep looking at the days go by and think..ooh my …

    • I hope you’re right about secret newbie abilities–I want my husband to have something handmade AND nice! =) I love that you DIY your gifts; I admire people who can plan and be so creative during such a hectic time of year!

    • Haha, that may be one of the only instances of someone using “energetic” to describe me, but thank you very much! I can handle one handmade gift, but doubt I could ever manage more than that. I’m just hoping the fabric arrives this coming week so I can really get going!!

  3. I’m super dooper excited that you are making this: I really want to make one for myself, so I will enjoy learning from you: trailblazer! You are a better woman than I: I have had quite enough of sewing for other people and am making nothing for Christmas apart from things for meeee!

    • Well I can say that the lining is easy, LOL. My canvas STILL has not arrived, so Tom may be getting a New Year’s gift instead. =) The sewalong from Colette is really helpful with lots of photos, so I’m feeling good about being able to execute this whole thing successfully–you should totally try it!!!! Hell, I’m already planning one for myself (because duh) and I’m not even finished with the first one!

      • I didn’t have too much trouble, actually, but you know how America is–stuff is everywhere and we are catered to extensively in terms of online resources. =/ Colette had posted a list of places to get hardware and accessories and listed one UK-centered website for the webbing (for straps), but everything else seemed decidedly US-centric. I got my webbing from an Etsy seller (AGraffSupplies) and Strapworks (long story; both sources are good, though!), my magnetic snaps and canvas from Fabric.com (still waiting!), and the hardware (rivets and the slides for adjustable straps) from HardwareElf.com. I used muslin for lining so I can’t vouch for the ripstop sources they list, but I’m happy with my hardware and webbing for sure. My guess is you could find the shell fabric very easily, at least, and I’m sure there are sites in the UK that are good (or these US shops offer int’l shipping) for the actual hardware or webbing. Wish I could be of more help!!

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