Bags. Handmade!, From scratch

The Barcelona Bag

Please welcome the Barcelona Bag. This is the last in my unintentional travel (and other) bag series. 🙂

The Barcelona Bag

TheSecretCostumier - The Barcelona Bag3

As you know already, I’ve spent a few days in the Spanish capital recently. I knew I would be taking one of my other backpacks as my carry on luggage, but last time I was sight-seeing in Marseille, I realized that carrying a shoulder bag is just a pain in the (quite literally) back. So I came up with the idea of using up the leftover leather from Morocco that I used for that Berlin Bag, and making a small backpack, that can be turned into a regular bucket bag.

TheSecretCostumier - The Barcelona Bag5

I did not take pictures of it acting like a bucket bag, so you will have to take my word for it, but on the picture below you can kind of see how it works. There are two clamps at the bottom of the bag that click onto the rings on the one long strap to turn it into a backpack.

TheSecretCostumier - The Barcelona Bag

TheSecretCostumier - The Barcelona Bag1

I have lined it with the same material I used for the Bangkok Bag and the camera cover, and put in a zippered pocket which turned out beautifully this time.

TheSecretCostumier - The Barcelona Bag4

I used double cap rivets for the first time, and while it was pretty easy to insert them, 2 fell out in the middle of the trip. If anyone knows a surefire way of inserting them, please do let me know, as I’m not sure if it was me, or if they were too small to start with, or simply the quality is not what I was after…

TheSecretCostumier - The Barcelona Bag6

The design of the bag was kind of random, as I just tried to use as much of the leather I had as possible. I had to buy some leather scraps from one of my favorite fabric shops in Brixton for £5/piece. The front pocket is made of one of those pieces and was left raw on the edges. Unfortunately it did not stay closed, so I had to superglue a magnetic closure thing on it. It’s not exactly how I imagined, but it works. All in all, I’m in looove with the bag! 🙂

TheSecretCostumier - The Barcelona Bag7

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Bags. Handmade!, From scratch

The Bangkok Bag

Like I mentioned before, we went on our very first backpacking trip with my sister to South East Asia. It was not backpacking in it’s traditional meaning as we stayed in the nicest hotels we could afford and had our whole 3 weeks planned out, but all our luggage consisted of a smallish backpack (well, one for me and one for her of course).

Since the Berlin bag is quite heavy without any load, I had to look for another one. I looked online for a nice and practical one, but for some reason this combo is not popular in my price range: you can either get one that’s useful or one that’s pretty. I have already made a backpack earlier this year, so I didn’t see a reason why I could not give it a go again. Please welcome the Bangkok bag! 🙂

The Secret Costumier -The Bangkok bag

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

I must have spent the same amount of time researching backpacks again, now looking for some lightweight options as well as checking the details that make a bag sturdy. Since I’ve spent so much time on trying to find new solutions, while sewing bikinis and dresses for the trip, I decided to stick with the same shape that I chose for the Berlin bag.

I used the black cotton drill for the main body that was meant to be used for the Berlin bag; the gold fabric on top and the lining are leftovers from the military jacket’s lining, and the tie-dye fabric is an African waxprint cotton that my Dad brought from Nigeria years ago. I bought some D-rings and reused some from an old bag, so I managed to only spend about £3 on this bag in total.

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

The only new function on the backpack is the outside pocket on the back panel. Unfortunately the zip broke, but it would have been a great solution for keeping money safe during those hours spent on airports, trying to catch some sleep between the flights.

I made a silly mistake and sewed the closing strap to the bag the wrong way around, but I will have to remove that black webbing that goes across it anyway, as it is not long enough to go from edge to edge. By the way, this is why the stitching came loose on one of the straps on day 4. Not cool. Even though the bag only weighed about 9 kilos by the end of the trip, I had to be very careful with putting it on and taking it off to avoid having to carry my stuff around in a plastic bag. 🙂

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

I also made a cover for my first DSLR from the same material. I could not fit a full camera bag into the backpack, so I decided to copy this brilliant idea I’ve found on Pinterest. It was a last minute make, so it’s a bit wonky, but it does the job!

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

I think my favourite thing about sewing must be knowing that I can fix most things. Knowing how the pieces go together and become something functional, and if something needs to be changed not being afraid to take it apart and put it back together – better.

After carrying the bag around Asia for 3 weeks I now know that I can make something pretty (if I say so) and useful. I also know that it has some flaws, but (luckily) I also know how to fix them.

The Secret Costumier - The Bangkok bag

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