Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ode to 206

Here's a nice little piece about Tom Bihn's Consew 206RB, a great sewing machine for bagmaking and sewing heavy stuff:

A gift

I received a squishy package from The New Yorker the other day and thought, Oh cool! a canvas tote. I was wrong: It's the worst bag ever. Which is funny, since last year I got a canvas tote from Entertainment Weekly and it's real nice. Go figure.

Too big for its own good and made from stinky plastic, with the fixed shoulder strap sharing a seam with the zipper, my first reactions was, The New Yorker is just mailing junk to people! They should've saved their money, lit it on fire, taken a picture of the blaze and then emailed me a copy of that picture with a note saying "We were going to send you some shitty promo-merch gewgaw, but we did this instead to thank you for renewing your subscription." To which I would have replied: "I'm glad you did that, New Yorker — that's much better." But then I calmed down and thought, Hey, you know what, someone probably spent three or four minutes making this sad little bag. I should give it a chance.
So far, I've come up with these possible uses. If you also have a too-big-it's-bad plastic New Yorker magazine bag, maybe this will inspire you:

>Trashcan liner in the bathroom.
>A place to store my horded fabric scraps — I'm thinking for Sunbrella, as the NYer bag probably also contains formaldehyde.
>A place to keep dryer lint, 'cause, you know, that comes in handy sometimes.
>Pine cone bag. Sometimes it's fun to throw pine cones onto a campfire, hey. (Do not get bag too close to fire! It will melt.)
>For a one-time transfer of a large amount of money. (Do not use shoulder strap for this application! It will fail.)
>When donating unwanted clothing to the Goodwill.
>For a one-time transfer of a large amount of drugs. (Do not use shoulder strap for this application! It will fail.)
>Cat toy.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

17-inch shoulder bag

Working on some new build techniques and testing out some new buckles.
I'm trying to design a bag that's a li'l easier to sew but without any major compromises in function or durability. I think I'm off to a good start.

Trying out some magnetic buckles from Fidlock. They slide to open. See them in motion here. The magnets are pretty strong, so sometimes you can just get 'em nearby and they'll close on their own -- just like magic. Opening them with my left hand is still a little awkward, but I'm sure I'll master it soon.

On the shoulder strap I have the new GT Cobra from ITW and AustriAlpin, which is a plastic version of AA's classic aluminum buckle. Bomber. The slider mechanism is spring loaded, which keeps the slippery seat belt webbing in place. My next test bag will use ITW's new GTSR buckle, which also utilizes this feature.

The usual two-part front pocket, zippered and open, with pen pocket. This is acrylic-coated poly, like the liner.

Cleaner corner.

Floating liner.

Reinforcement webbing on the acute stitch angle.

Usual one-piece construction.

Trying out a curved seam on the bottom here. This makes the corners less pointy and should make them less prone to damage. The green fabric is cotton duck so this got a ballistic half boot. Looks pretty good, I think.

This looks a bit cluttered. I think the tape should probably go under the boot.

Tied a li'l button knot for the zipper pull. Super cute.

Fidlock buckle action

Here's Fidlock's Slider buckle in motion. Slide to release, mate to close. The magnetic wings on the female (right) end wrap around the male end (left), securing the buckle. Just like magic.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Made a mess of head-tube drink holders. Available in downtown CoMo at Maude Vintage.

Boone Dawdle Bag

I made a raffle prize bag for this year's True/False Film Fest Boone Dawdle. I got my Consew 104 chainstitcher up and running just in time to make the flap art.

Not bad for my first serious effort. Chains in chainstitch: that's funny, right?
The movie this year for the Boone Dawdle was An Honest Liar, a documentary about The Amazing Randi -- magician and escape artist ... hence the chains.
17" inches across the top -- nice medium-size bag in Cordura nylon with acrylic/poly liner.