Tag Archives: bag




I’ve been swamped at work, mostly on upholstery projects, but I managed to find some downtime to make something for myself.

I can wear this bag as a backpack or as a messenger bag. The latter will be perfect for keeping my back cool and having access to my stuff while riding my bike, and it will be great to be able to carry my load on both my shoulders. Of course another essential factor is that the bag looks good.

red messenger bag red backpack red messenger bag back

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It measures 11″ wide and 14″ tall. Not too big, but my laptop will fit in if I ever need to carry it around… or a 6-pack of beer. The bag has one long strap that runs through two loops at the top. If I pull the strap in the center, it’s a messenger bag. If I pull the strap through the underside of the loops I can wear it on my back. There are snaps on the straps to keep them in place.

It’s made out of a durable red twill and lined with a grey and white floral cotton I got at Fabric Planet. I think the twill will age really well, so it will keep getting cooler the more I use it.

red bag lining red bag interior red bag pocket

I’m really pleased with the 2-way zipper top. I can close it up securely or leave it open if I need to keep getting in the bag. There’s also a pocket at the front of the bag and another on the inside, and the zippers on those compartments are oriented so that I can easily get in them while riding my bike.

I try not to amass things, particularly of the fashion nature, but this bag is just what I needed. I’m looking forward to carting it around on plenty of adventures.




I’ve always loved the colorful market baskets sold at certain expensive stores for way more money than I can justify spending, but I recently realized that I could make my own using the same technique as the coiled fabric bowls.

coiled fabric basket coiled fabric basket

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This basket is huge (about 16″ diameter), and the stitching is so strong that I never worry about loading it up with whatever needs to be hauled. Conveniently it fits pretty well in the front bicycle basket I have and is easy to strap down to my rear rack, making it great for a trip to the grocery store, or for carry towels to the beach. Of course I love the comments I get from strangers!

coiled fabric basket coiled fabric basket

It’s really to same process as the smaller bowls, just on a larger scale. It did get a little unwieldy on my machine, but nothing that a little patience and determination couldn’t conquer. The project took about 6 hours, and I think it’s about 30 yards of rope, although unfortunately I’m not positive about the exact length.


embroidered hamsa


In October I noticed that my trusty old purse was falling apart. It was linen with a tree embroidered on it, and I wound up selling a replica to a friend. Oh well, out with the old and in with the new!

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I thought about sewing another tree, but instead I went with a hamsa. I’ve always been fond of hand designs, because they are full of positive connotations to me. First, I use my hands in all the wonderful things I like to make. I also like an open hand as a representation of sincerity and honesty. Also it is a Jewish and Muslim symbol of fertility. When I was in Barcelona in April 2009 I bought a little silver hamsa pendant that always draws comments.

This was originally white linen. I painted the hand silhouette a light yellow and then color the rest of the fabric with a pthalo blue. I like using paint to dye fabric sometimes because it doesn’t bleed. It took me a few hours to add in all the embroidered details. The purse is lined with a blue floral scrap and has one inside pocket.  I’ve had that single brass button for years and I feel like this is the perfect use for it. All of the sewing was done by hand.

I’m really happy with the design and colors, and so far the bag has held up wonderfully.

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