Sunday, January 10, 2010

brown baggin' it

Here's the messenger bag I made last night. (A few of you asked if I would post the pattern or instructions.) I didn't use a pattern though, just some basic outlines in a book called Sew What! Bags By Lexie Barnes. The book has instructions for everything from wine bottle covers to advanced carrying cases. (My favorite is the DJ bag - made for carrying your records.) I used a basic personal purse guideline and figured it out from there. The book is big on common sense and easy instructions, so it made it easy even for a beginner like me. I bought the fabric online: a thick corduroy for the outside and a pattern with birds and antlers for the inside. (I lifted the flap there so you could see the pattern better, but you get the idea that it just covers the front of the bag.) It also has little pockets on the side panels for my phone and a granola bar. I took it out on the town today for a test run and it carried my life around just fine. The bottom worked and no one asked me to remove it—so I think it passes!


Blogger The Green Cat said...

I haven't explored that book yet but I love "Sew What! Skirts". I don't usually make clothing but I made a great 6 gore skirt (with a zipper!) from that book that I get compliments on every time I wear it. Thanks for sharing your bag--it looks great!

January 10, 2010 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Jen ( said...

Very cool. I want to learn to sew, but when I look at patterns my brain seems to have a seizure.

I'll see if I can find any of the Sew What! books through my library.

January 10, 2010 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger bookjunky said...

Very pretty and practical. The only thing I would do is top stitch the strap for added stability and life. I always top stich everything though.

Love the fabric. I saw some olive green cord in the store a couple of days ago...I might have to make something like this for myself.

January 10, 2010 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

Nice job!
I tend to make my own patterns for bags. I need to make a few market bags for friends.

January 10, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Abi said...

love it! i have that same joel dewberry fabric in terracotta. but i love it so much i think i am just going to put it into a large old quilting hoop i have and hang it on the wall like i do all the fabric i have a hard time cutting into :)

January 10, 2010 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

Dude, you know that you should totally sell those. The Silverlake hipsters here in L.A. would eat them up like candy.

January 10, 2010 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

jenom - if you want me to make you one, send me an email! It only takes about 6 bucks of fabric and two hours in front of the sewing machine. I'd do one for a donation.

You're in L.A?!

(I can't believe people in L.A. read this.)

January 10, 2010 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I feel like I should know who Dewberry is, and I don't. I'm not with it. I just went to and searched for "deer." I feel kinda lame now since two people dropped the name.

Abi, got your email. But I feel like I have 35 seconds of email time a day. Good to hear the big S is okay! I was all nerves.

January 10, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Dahlia ChanTang said...

Snazzy bag Jenna!

January 10, 2010 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Abi said...

lol! it's good stuff, that fabric. it doesn't really matter who designs it. some of us have an *ahem* problem/obsession with 'supplies' such as these. (i haven't showed you my craft room yet, it's a bit embarrassing. if you ever need yarn please come here first!)

don't worry about email! simonne is a tough cookie but she keeps us on our toes ;)

January 10, 2010 at 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very happnin' bag gf!

January 10, 2010 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger bookjunky said...

Jenna, be grateful you are not into designer fabric. Someone got me started and it is just another expensive hobby. Just what you don't need!

What kills me is that our great-grandmothers quilted because they were creatively and thriftily using up old bits and pieces of fabric and now we are the opposite - we buy pre-cut designer fabrics at exorbitant prices and follow someone else's pattern. Kind of twisted, really.

January 10, 2010 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

Yes, I'm in L.A. I do a minimal amount of homesteading, if you can call it that - I compost and have a little wine-barrel garden that's not doing too well. I'm city girl who longs for the country. *sigh*

In any case, I was thinking of a couple shops that could carry your bags - if you're interested and have the time to sew a pile of them, I'd be happy to inquire.

January 11, 2010 at 3:13 AM  
Blogger dreamer said...

Love the fabric inside your bag, I'm just starting on small sewing projects so this is another idea for me to try out.
Loving your blog,it's a universal dream- we are in the UK and aiming for backyard self sufficiency.

January 11, 2010 at 3:46 AM  
Blogger The pale observer said...

Very creative! I like that :)

January 11, 2010 at 4:35 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Gorgeous bag!

January 11, 2010 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann said...

That's a great bag. Love the liner fabric.

January 11, 2010 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Tuliegirl said...

Hi Jenna-Just read your book this weekend and must return it to library today. I live in Southern N.M. and have been having my own attempts at farmsteading since 1981. And- usually by myself. I am so happy to see that there is still an intrest out there! I hope you get your cabin! Great bag, btw!

January 11, 2010 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

My sister (along with myself) would love this bag....along with knitting I want to learn how to sew with a machine. I can sew a little bit by hand, but obviously that takes a little bit longer. I'll have to check out those "Sew What" books at the library if they have them!

January 18, 2010 at 11:23 AM  
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