Adventure Bag

When my husband and I went on a beach vacation earlier this year, I decided to make a summer tote bag to take along (here’s my blog post about that summer tote bag, part 1 and part 2). Now at the end of this month, we’re fortunate to be going on another significant adventure: an Alaskan cruise. And I decided to make a bag for this trip, too. An adventure bag!

Well, it’s really pretty much just a messenger bag, but I did add a lot of pockets. I got the measurements from this tutorial from Cold Hands Warm Heart. She also includes instructions for making the bag that I followed to some extent, but for the zippers, pockets, closure and strap, I turned to my trusted source, The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam. I tell you, I use this book all the time.

I added two zippered pockets to the bag (one on the interior and one on the exterior, under the flap) and one sectioned pocket on the interior.

For this bag, I used a magnetic closure for the first time. Again, I turned to The Bag Making Bible for instructions, and it really was easy to install, although getting it lined up on the bag was a little tough. I ended up kind of guessing, and I see in the picture above that not everything is exactly center. Oh, well.

I guessed, too, on the length of the strap, and I ended up getting the whole bag together before I realized it was  way too long. So I took it apart as much as I needed to remove the strap and shortened it by a full 7 inches (OK, it was a bad guess). My strap ended up being about 42 inches. While I had the strap off, I topstitched the long edges, something I had planned on doing but forgot. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in moving forward that I forget to pay attention to the details.

The exterior fabric was one that I found while I was in Wisconsin. My mother and I went to the Herrschners warehouse sale. (Here’s the blog post I wrote about my mom, Rose Doyle, including some of her quilts.) Herrschners is a catalog company headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and each year, they open their warehouse to the public for a tremendous sale. Tons of yarn, puzzles, needlepoint…and fabric. This is an Anna Maria Horner decorator weight fabric that I got for less than $4.00 per yard. Needless to say, I bought a lot of this and other fabrics, too. Plus a few skeins of yarn, just for fun.

I like the bag quite a bit. I have to say, though, that I would re-engineer the way the strap is attached, should I make this bag again. Right now, the strap and the flap are in each others’ way, so the ends of the strap don’t lay smooth. I would either rework the width of the flap or use a bag body that has the strap attached to the bag exterior rather than between the exterior and the lining.

But, again, I think this bag will work great for the trip. I love that it fits comfortably across my chest, so my hands will be free for adventure. And it’s really roomy. I’ll share photos of the bag in action a few weeks!

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  1. This is a really cute bag. I love the fabric you used.

    • Thanks, Rachael! I can tell already that it’s going to be fun finding projects for the rest of the fabric. Right now I’m thinking kitchen curtains.

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