She gave me a list and I gave her a bag

photo and editing credit: Krusheska Quiros

...or how I finally had the opportunity to design and sew a custom bag for my mom.

About three weeks ago my mom commissioned me to design and sew a bag for her. She said that she wanted something like "la de dos" or "la de cuatro" however, I knew that what she really wanted was a bag just for her. One made to her specifications. 
This is where I smile and point out that just like my mom, I have been on the look out for "the ultimate bag" for a really long time. That is one of the reasons why I started designing and sewing bags. I enjoy getting people (and myself) to think about what they really want in a bag. Plus it challenges me to figure out how to mix all the details into a visually stunning piece of usable art. 
Why settle for a bag with not enough pockets? Why continue fighting with that zipper when you really just want magnets to close your bag?
So I asked my mom again and again to think about the bag that she wanted and here is the short version of the list of specs:
  • a bag with a similar spiral design to the one on "la de dos" and "la de cuatro"
  • a small outside pocket for a lipstick
  • two pockets inside
  • neutral colours (we agreed on olive green and grey)
  • large enough for several books (she wants this to be her "library" bag... I love my mom!)
  • a wide design rather than a long one (mom is not that tall hence, a wide and short bag looks and fits her better)
  • magnetic snaps for closing the bag (velcro makes too much noise and she did not want a zipper)
With the list on hand I got to work and here is the result...
For her bag, I wanted to play with angles and triangles within a rectangular bag. This in turn brought about some funky dilemmas like how to make angled pockets.
Pockets can make bags quite bulky so I decided to make a "hidden" zippered pocket and a visible one inside her bag. Since she wanted neutral colours yet she is at her best times a bubbly extrovert, I decided to use bright orange fabric with white dots for the zippered pocket. I know that it will make her smile, and that is part of the fun of designing bags for people.
I made this bag with roll end pieces of fabric. Doing so brings interesting challenges when cutting the fabric and forces me to make the bag I want to make with what is available. Plus, there is very little if any waste of materials which is one of our goals at Meandering Design.
-KQ
Note: photos and photo editing credits: Krusheska Quiros

Originally published 5/15/14

Sign Up For the Monthly Newsletter

Full of DIY Tutorials. Design Tips. And More, but never spam