The starting point for this bag was my huge stash of zippers. I wanted to create a bag that had zippers as the main feature and all of the zippers in the bag should be functional. After much deliberating I finally came up with a combination of red zippers, black canvas and red cotton fabric that matched the zippers. I must have changed my mind at least a dozen times on the exact design of the bag and which parts should be red and which should be black. This is why it took me more than a year to complete it. My original plan featured much more red fabric on the outside but as I was constructing it I found that it detracted from the zippers. In the end I even had to buy more black fabric because I didn’t have enough left to make the strap that was originally supposed to be completely red. On the inside I added a grey zipper and some grey quilting cotton for the lining of the pockets and I also used it to cover up a stupid cutting mistake.
The fashion fabric and lining are both interfaced with medium weight woven fusible interfacing. It gives the bag a lot of structure and as a result it can stand upright on its own and I quite like that.
The finished dimensions (l x w x h) are 20 x 7 x 35 cm (8” x 2 4/5” x 14”). It opens with a top zipper.
The front features 3 small zipper pockets and the back one large zipper pocket. (I love pockets!)
The lining has a zipper pocket on one side and a divided patch pocket on the other side. These are great for holding my phone, wallet and keys.
The adjustable shoulder strap is attached asymmetrically to the front and back. I really like this detail because it is a bit quirky. The D-rings that hold the strap are attached to the bag via fabric tabs. I took some pictures during the construction of the shoulder strap so a tutorial on how to make an adjustable strap is coming soon!
This bag is very much me and I suspect that I will use it often. If I want to bring a book or a newspaper on the train I can easily fit it in this bag. In my old bag I can only fit a small paperback. During the year it took me to construct it I often thought that it would have been nice if this bag had already been finished when my other bags were too small or way too big for what I wanted to take with me. I am happy this UFO is finally busted and I call the result a great success!
Love it! Glad you added a picture of you with it, as in the other photos it looks much smaller.
Looking forward to your tutorial – can you include how you inserted the inside zip – it’s so neat!! I’ve not attempted one like that yet.
Thank you! The inside zipper was inserted the same way as the 3 zippers on the front. First a window is created behind which the zipper is sewn. It’s not very difficult, I might make a tutorial at some point.
This is just great! What a very cool looking bag and so functional. As always, I’m in awe of the finish you achieve – so neat and professional. You do inspire!
Thank you! It’s instantly become my most favourite bag. I’m feeling rather silly that I waited so long to finish it.
Love it! Ahhh, zippers… ummm they are not my friend! LOL! The bag turned out lovely though!
Thank you! I used to be scared of zippers but with some practice and little tricks, like taping the zipper in place with Prym wonder tape prior to sewing, I find them not so difficult anymore.
This is very impressive–the whole plan to use up what you have and the implementation. That looks like a bag that will serve you well for a long time!
What a great bag. I like your decision to go more with black and just have the red as more of an accent. The size is wonderful! So attractive and so functional. Great finish! 🙂
Thank you! I was a bit hesitant at first when I realised I needed more black because I didn’t have enough fabric left but I am very glad I bought some extra black in the end. The visual impact would definitely have been less strong with more red.
What a great bag! Nice work!