(Dimensions: width/flap length, height, thickness)
This is the first bag I ever made. I think it took me about a year to design and sew—using a sewing awl. Ha. It’s more comfortable than my TimTim…but big messenger bags really only make sense on the bike. I think I was starting to get scoliosis walking to class wearing this. Maybe I should’ve put a waist strap on it…I think I made loops for one… Features: three-layer construction (1680d luggage-grade ballistic-weave nylon, 14oz vinyl-coated polyester (your messenger-mandatory “truck tarp”), 500d Cordura Natural), half-suspension split strap with Kevlar reinforcing…blah, blah…
This is my first backpack…also made using a sewing awl…god… I wanted to capture the easy-in/easy-out qualities of a messenger bag but with the load distribution of a backpack. It has this goofy feature where you can hook the shoulder straps up diagonally and swing the bag around to get into it. It looked good on paper, but it’s way too cumbersome for practical use. I don’t know what I was thinking. Ha!
Let’s see, this is my fourth—no, my fifth backpack. It’s pretty cute. And I like how it hangs. I made the straps way too fat, though…and the adjustability feature is unnecessary. And I screwed up the compression strap angles. And the opening is too small… Oh well, it’s just a prototype…I’ll still use it.
I got the itch to make a big messenger bag while I was designing the Bike Pack, and here’s what I came up with. There are a million little things that need to be adjusted, but I’m really happy with the overall shape of the bag. Messenger bags are worn asymmetrically, so why shouldn’t they be asymmetrical in shape. This bag really stays put when I’m riding—I don’t even need a cross strap—and I think it’s because the bottom of the bag is more perpendicular to my spine. It’s made out of this acrylic-coated polyester marine fabric called Top Gun (ha), which is used for boat covers ’n’ stuff, and it’s been really water resistant so far. I don’t know how it’s going to hold up to abrasion, though. The fabric core is white, and the corners of the bag are starting to look a little hoary…so we shall see.
Mini Mess 3
My friend got married. This was a wedding present. One of a pair. I’m more of an embroidery kind of guy, but I figured I’d do some appliqué for mah pal. 1000d Cordura.
Who likes to ride in the winter? I do, I do. This is my first pair of mittens. Gore-Tex shell, neoprene liner, Thinsulate (which needs to be lined or it falls apart—woops). It’s a pretty unconventional design (read: dumb). I wanted the mitts to be in the shape of a hand gripping a handle bar…not so good. People have been making mittens for centuries…I should’ve gone with a tried-and-true design.
I was gonna make some Bullwinkles [these are over-the-handlebar finger warmers. You see them on motorcycles and bicycles in the Ididabike race. They look like moose antlers] but I made some over-the-mitten mittens instead. Ha. 500d Cordura, 1000-weight fleece (I think).
This was for my sis. Corduroy, 500d Cordura, nylon pack cloth.
This is my first framed pack. I made it for my trip to Spain, where I walked a third of the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. (Leon to Santiago.) I learned a lot about what not to do when making an internal-frame pack—most of it when I got to Spain. Ha. It took a couple of days to break in (or for my body to break in), but there were magic moments when it felt like I was carrying nothing. It’s a pretty simple design: Roll-top, removable side bags, nylon pack cloth with ballistic bottom, two-buckle removable waist belt, water bladder…
One time I came across this Australian packmaker’s website and it was like, Our bags are long enough to be used as emergency bivy sacks. No way! I’m doing that. Ha ha… I’ll have to find that site again…they make nice bags…
This is a record-haulin’ bag I made for my pals at
Permanent Records 1914 W. Chicago Ave.
Neat-o. Top Gun polyester, untreated Sunbrella lining.
Everyone has a laptop sleeve. I wanted one, too.
I used cheap-o camp pad foam.
I made this for my dear friend Brianne. This is the first bag I made on my Sailrite machine. And my first small shoulder bag. Pretty nice. It’s lasted two years so far.
Trying out a new corner design. It’s very purse-like…