Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bags Bags Bags










I've been making waxed canvas and leather bags for the last couple of years. For the most part they are made to be used for cycling, although there are few other types here and there.

My original inspiration came when I borrowed my cousin Elizabeth's Rivendell "Hobo" bag for a three day tour Nancy and I did around Lake Champlain. The bag proved to be quite useful. At the end of the trip I decided I wanted a Hobo bag for myself. Alas, due to manufacturing issues, they were no longer available. This being the case, I decided to make one myself. I used the borrowed bag as a model and made a crude but serviceable one for myself. In fact, I'm still using it. I keep thinking I should make myself a new one because I do a better job now that I've refined my skills a bit and am better equipped.

The cool thing about the first bag-making experience was realizing how much I enjoyed the process. It set of a little light for me and I've been plugging away ever since. Over time I've made a bunch of bags, mostly as gifts for friends.

I enjoy the ruggedness of the materials; they age well and speak to me of old-world exploration and adventure. The texture and colors are in keeping with the natural world, rather then in contrast to it.

Here are a few bags I've made. In order of appearance:

~Deceptively small saddlebag for Randy. It has an inner gusset that pulls out to double the size of the bag. ~Handlebar bag for Parker.
~A small handlebar / saddlebag for Maia's birthday bike.
~Saddlebag for Randy's sister Kirsten.
~Pannier for Nancy.
~Handlebar bag for me (the infamous first bag).
~Cape roll for myself. It holds my Carridice rain cape.
~Peterson's Field Guide bag for Nancy
~And finally, Tom's shoulder bag.


8 comments:

Schorsch said...

If you can reveal your sources, where do you get your waxed canvas and leather bits? Also, do you use a commercial sewing machine, and and if so, what kind? I'd like to get into this art, but only if I can justify saving money on the number of bags I'd like to make over having them made. If I need an industrial machine, that makes it uneconomical.

bmike said...

Nice Work! I too have been thinking about making bags... but haven't found the time (nor the discipline) to teach myself to sew. Well done!

ackja1982 said...

Hi,

I am searching for waxed cotton since a while and it's hard to find any supplier... I already contacted Barbour themselves, but didn't get any answer yet. Maybe you can help me further?? Would be great! Greetings

Philip said...

Hello! Those are nice bags. Would you be willing to share/sell your patterns for them?

Dave said...

Hello Philip,

The patterns taken from a couple of older style Rivendell bags and then various other sources. I suggest finding something close to what you'd like to make and modify it a bit. I've worked from photographs, actual bags, or just come up with creations based on a sense of what I want it to be.

Dave said...

Hello Philip,

The patterns taken from a couple of older style Rivendell bags and then various other sources. I suggest finding something close to what you'd like to make and modify it a bit. I've worked from photographs, actual bags, or just come up with creations based on a sense of what I want it to be.

Nick said...

Dave, I'm in the same camp as Schorsch and ackja1982, and am looking to get back into sewing (used to sew my own fleece back in high school). I've completely fallen in love with Filson and Frost River style luggage and totes/bags, and am beginning my research into where I can start sourcing materials. Any lessons learned and material sources would be greatly appreciated. Job well done on your bags, and a million thanks.

ekr said...

Wonderful work, really beautiful style and ideas. I've posted a list of sources for fabric and materials on my blog. Fairfield Textiles has waxed canvas. It ain't cheap! http://ruthworkssf.blogspot.com/