Monday, November 12, 2012

Overnight bag.

On Wednesday I arranged for a full day spent meandering around Kalamazoo, Michigan, as well as an overnight at my inlaws' place. Only 3 days to prepare! While only 40 miles away, this journey would be accomplished by public transit and Greyhound - no car. Urban gypsy-ing supreme. I really hate wandering around with an obviously overfull backpack (nearly got mugged once in Hartford, Connecticut), and yet my regular messenger bag is too small to fit everything I needed. Tote bags? Egh. Nothing was looking good. So I hurried to my sewing table to make something juuust right.

It's a take on my original super-easy design of a one-piece bag. But because it was so big, the material was so thick, and I wanted that "box" bottom... I had to make some adjustments.

Oh yes. It's a lovely size.

 I used 6-ply embroidery thread to hand sew the D-ring loops because it was somewhere between 8-12 layers of duck cloth, denim, and upholstery fabric. It'd be easier if I had a serger - instead of folding over all that fabric - but I loathe ever seeing edges and I wanted ├╝ber strength. I push my poor machine so hard; the needle bent so badly it was out of alignment with the bobbin needle and wouldn't even enter the underbelly of the machine. So I fought and fought (ever tried to push a needle through a cutting board with your hands?) and eventually got those crazy thick segments stitched.


The strap is from a duffel bag I never use, attached with metal clasp thingies. After all, you gotta have a nicely padded shoulder strap if you're going to be carrying 10 pounds of stuff all day.

The keys and felt coin purse are attached to the D-rings with a ball chain. You may notice the ties there at the bottom of the bag; if you bring them up to the black loop just above and knot 'em, you end up with a "squared" bottom. Again, this was something I kinda came up with because it was all one piece and I needed a solution. It works! And if I want to carry flat stuff, I can just leave the ties alone.

In this thing, I carried:
• One spare outfit (2 shirts, pants, socks, underwear)
• Toothbrush, comb, pill case
• 2 comic books
• Journal and small pencil tube
• Water bottle, juice box, 5 oz can of V8, apple, 2 granola bars
• And a travel mug that I bought while I was out.

In its natural habitat, outside the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.
I added a carabiner to pull the straps as taut as they'd go so it would sit higher up on my back, bike messenger style. It worked really well!

Let's hear it for making it up as you go along!

No comments:

Post a Comment