Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meet 'The Explorer Bag'

I made my first proper bag yesterday. A while back I purchased this pattern at our local fabric store and have been itching to get going on it. This fabulous lady, Nicole Mallalieu, the creator of the pattern, does some incredible work! I've been salivating for quite some time now. Quietly. In the sanctity my own home.

I just love the details and tips she shares. Very helpful! It might be a while before I reach a high level of expertise but I think I did a pretty good job first time around!

What I did for the Explorer Bag is reduce the size of the pattern, add a few extra pockets on the inside, and create a button loop. I figure buttoning is a good thing to practice if you are a 4 year old boy. I made the lining out of ripstop nylon (had it around the joint) so that it could be somewhat waterproof for all those wet sticks and squishy things that young explorers may wish to save. The straps are from an old bag I deconstructed. It's called 'upcycling' I hear. Sounds a little more fun and fashionable that 'recycling' don't you think?

The outer fabric is from my NYC stash.

The Bubster loves his bag. This is what he kept in it today:

I'm unsure as to how the pastry brush comes in handy when you are an explorer. But certainly, the felt daggers are essential and the plastic toast is necessary for when the munchies hit. I don't even have to explain the water pistol's position of importance in this collection, do I?

And we must not forget our map! Even if it is a map of Wellington, New Zealand!

I realized today, that the first time I tried to make a bag, I was in 9th grade. My teacher gave me a C- because she thought it was mostly made by my mother. Just goes to show you how powerful teachers can be!! And not always in a good way!

My impetus for making an Explorer Bag is the sad and lonely fact that young boys get the shaft when it comes to cool accessories. I'm sorry, but Thomas the Tank Engine bags are just not for us (me). So darn it, I guess I am required to take matters into my own hands, so to speak. I'm pleased though!

I'm hoping to make more of these in time. I'd love to give some away on my blog so I can get some feedback!


Kelly said...

that is just very very cute!! btw, my hubby really like the bag!

Tracy, mom2many said...

Cool cool cool. I'm loving the felt knives. And a gun??? *grin* I must send your blog to my MIL. She can sew really well, and maybe she could make me some of the knives. I love the fabric for the bag too.

My boys once used a map of Six Flags for their exploring in our back yard.

laura said...

What a perfect bag for a boy and I love the fabric print. I have many of Nicole's patterns and they really are the best!

Nikki said...

Thanks SO MUCH for kind words - and for having a go at the pattern and doing your own thing with it!

I hope it's the rebirth of your bag-making career! School sewing teachers really have a LOT to answer for!! I'm forever having to tidy up the mess they leave behind (in people's self-confidence).

Lisa said...

Awesome!! Oh, I really really want to learn to sew! If this solves a Thomas the Tank Engine obsession, I'll pay you anything for one!

CurlyPops said...

That bag is fabulous!
It's great that you've been able to customise it to suit your own purposes too. Bah humbug to sewing teachers!

niobe said...

Coolest. Bag. Ever.

Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

I love it. Especially the gorgeous fabric you chose. Clever, clever, clever. I'll be waiting for the giveaway eagerly.

Gee, the Bubster has grown.

Juddie said...

Lovely! You're very talented. I'm sure that bag will be greatly loved :-)

Lissy said...

Indiana Jones eat your heart out!
(Awesome Karin!!)

SandyR said...

Great! I think I need to get that sewing machine out of layby and remember how to use it. It doesn't look too hard??

kate said...

That's awesome!

wee-ve said...

What a lovely bag!! I surprised the Bubster's grown up a lot. and 'D' too. He started elementary school this spring.
I'm 8 months pregnant now.
The time passed by like a flash(+0+)

forward tumble said...

That is one brilliant bag!

I made bags with my nieces last year, it was a holiday project we had when they came to visit last spring. I'm sorry I never took any pictures.
The bags we made are for school days when there is no school, like for report card days so big enough to hold an A4 folder... the ones we made were bright pink heavy cotton with denim apparels... they had extra pockets... Laura chose buttons, Elena chose velcro... I did a biggish part of the sowing they had never used a sowing machine before... Our bags weren't lined like yours, wow!