Grab yourself some sunglasses and turn the brightness setting down I used the garish VW tablecloth fabric to make a messenger bag, another thing from my ever expanding Christmas makes list, this time for a young woman who once foolishly told me that she likes camper vans.
It should have been a fairly straightforward make. I decided on some approximate dimensions, sketched a plan, nearly everything was rectangles and the fabric had big squares printed on it, what could go wrong?
It was the fabric. Cheap, cheerful, misaligned prints, non square squares, and it’s not strong. I thought I was being cleaver, marking it by folding it (it holds a finger crease), using selotape to hold it together, where necessary pinning in the seam allowance (pins/needles leave holes), but it simply wasn’t up for the task.
My first indication was when it tore slightly next to the corner at the bottom. At the time it was inside out, lining not inserted and I “mended” it with gaffer tape on the inside. Then, once I’d attached the lining and tried to turn it through the 5 1/4″ gap that I thought was generous, the fabric simply wasn’t flexible enough and it ripped.
More gaffer tape was applied on the inside, the mend was not too bad, I topstitched the top down and thought it would do. Then hubby tried it on and the strain from the strap (which I had attatched to just the outer fabric) ripped it there too. Arrgh.
That was harder to fix with gaffer tape and not as neat. I then restitched the tape for my d rings so it went through the lining fabric too, hopefully that will give it some strength. However, I’m not confident on the robustness of this bag nor the fact there are small patches of gaffer tape on the outseide I’m going to give it anyway, as I think the fabric will cause a smile, but I’ll add in my plan B present.
The lining is some random orange fabric that came in a pile of stuff a neighbour had rescued when her friend was having a clear out.
It has several pockets, 2 square ones in the waterproof fabric that sit under the flap and a large one (more of a compartment divider really) and a pen one on the inside that are made out of a shirt my husband was given but for some reason never wears.
The strap and fastenings are from my box of dead bag salvage bits and its adjustable, clips on and off and has a soft shoulder pad bit. It’s way classier than the rest of the bag.
So, experiment 1 in waterproof bag making – cheap table cloth fabric is not really very suitable. Hopefully lesson learnt.