I swear this is the last travel bag I’m making. Before I leave next Sunday.

DSCN0070

This time I mean it.  I have completed my travel bag journey.  This is the backpack I am using on my grand European tour.

DSCN0073

It is a super-sized version of the Dawn to Dusk backpack pattern by Chris W. Designs.  I left off the decorative straps on the pockets, just too fussy for my taste.  I wanted to let this glorious fabric shine.  It is a cotton voile by Robert Kaufman fabrics.

DSCN0074

This is the water bottle pocket.  Himself pointed out that it would actually hold two water bottles.  Yeah, because you know I’ll carry his water for him.  Not!  Since we are traveling to Britain and Ireland, I have decided to adopt the old custom and refer to the Mr. as Himself.  I shall be Herself.  Thanks, Carolann.

DSCN0075

I redrafted all the pattern pieces except for the front pocket and the straps.  We’ll be traveling for more than a day on the first leg of our journey, so I must have enough room for a book and some fresh undergarments.

DSCN0076

I love this lining fabric, it reminds me of alligator.

DSCN0080 DSCN0084

I had made one of these modified backpacks earlier this year.  The colors just were not grabbing me for my travel wardrobe.  I am much happier with this print.

DSCN0064

I am taking the advice of one of my friends, packing a wardrobe comprised of black and white with royal blue as my accent color.  Everything I am bringing plays well together.  This is a tough challenge for me since I am such a color girl.  I want to bring red, and pink, and all the colors of the rainbow.  But only blue is going in that bag with the black and white.

DSCN0086

I embroidered this awesome tree of life design on the front pocket.  The design is from Urban Threads, one of my fave embroidery websites.

With departure less than a week away, I can barely contain my excitement.  Will you miss me?  I’ll be gone almost 5 weeks.   I’m going to do some type of travelogue if you want to come along vicariously.  There will be lots of pubs involved.  Lots.  Probably some blurry photos.  And some castles.

The pack is back! And I’m not talking about Green Bay, Bubba!

Backpack number two, travel bag number four.  All in the New Year!

DSCN5390

The Shaka Hula Fork Chef wanted to get in on this one. Cheeky little guy.

To recap my obsession…I am determined to make the perfect travel bag.  One’s too small, one’s too heavy, one is ALMOST just right.  I’m living Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Maybe this one will be Baby Bear.

The pattern is the Dawn to Dusk backpack by Chris W. Designs.  This fabric is from the Lark Collection by Amy Butler.  I redrafted the pattern to add one inch to the width, two inches to the height, and two inches to the depth.  And, by golly, my laptop will definitely fit into this one!

DSCN5399

I had to redraft my redraft of the water bottle pocket to make it wider, and also added an inch in height.  I put in a 2″ gusset at the bottom of this pocket, so the water bottle will sit nicely and not squirt itself out of the pocket.  At this point, I’m pretty sure I could stash a liter bottle of vodka in this bad boy.  Not that I’d want to do that, but I could.

DSCN5400nt

The snappy pocket on the other side also got a makeover.  It’s 2″ taller and 2″ wider.  I could actually put something useful in here.  Like Junior Mints and a bottle of Ambien.

DSCN5401

Thankfully, I didn’t have to change the curvy strappy part.  I still have to add on the buckles, then the outside will be done.  Except for the fact that I forgot to put in the webbing at the top to make the hangy-uppy loop.  Rip-a-dee-doo-dah.  And I still have to make the lining.  Wait ’til you see that!

Now you have to sit back and suffer.  I’m going to leave you hanging for a day, unlike this backpack, which does not yet have it’s hanging loop.  We’re going into town, into civilization, to shop for new phones and a new phone plan.  I fully expect this to take all day, much to my chagrin.  So no progress in my sewing room expected today, and I am not planning on posting tomorrow.  Although, maybe an intermission…

Stay crafty, my friends.

Bigger, better, faster, stronger. And monogrammed with a giant C.

When last we spoke, I was contemplating the shortcoming of my gorgeous Dawn to Dusk backpack.  Just one shortcoming.  It wasn’t big enough for my laptop.

I spent the weekend drafting a larger version.  Lots of pieces to this baby, and most of them needed to be resized.  I added to all three dimensions; length, width, and height.

One of the hardest things about making a new version is the fabric choice.  I have to admit, I am in love with that Philip Jacobs Japanese Chrysanthemum fabric I used for the first one.  The good news is that I scored a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric at one of my local enablers.

I seem to spend lots of my time lately disproving my own operational tactics.  I really don’t like to make the same thing twice.  But here I go again.

DSCN5382

I decided it needed something.  Like a gigantic monogram.  Lucky me, my first and last names start with the same letter.  Then I went to the Urban Threads website.  They have the coolest, most unusual embroidery designs I have found.  And they are having a sale right now on alphabets!  So I bought a massive letter.

I did not want the monogram to be glaringly obvious, which is kinda counterintuitive when you are adding a humongous letter to your project.  I picked brighter versions of the colors that are in the fabric, so that it could be seen but would not overwhelm the gorgeous textile.

BTW, I also had to watch the Superbowl this weekend.  Well, at least the ads and the halftime show.  Katy Perry was awesome, especially riding in on the giant metal tiger.  With guys in black bodysuits moving the legs.  Of the tiger, not Katy Perry.  And the little lost Budweiser dog…let’s just say, tears were shed.

Now go make something pretty!

Oops, I did it again. Travel bag number two.

I guess they’re kinda like potato chips…can’t stop at one.  I made another travel bag this weekend.

DSCN5096

My lovely sewing assistant Tippy is performing his quality control functions.  You can tell by the pictures that this bag is big enough to carry a 20 pound cat.  I don’t know about you, but that is always one of my considerations when I choose a travel bag.

DSCN5095

Thank you, Tippy.

The pattern for this bag is the Cargo Duffle by Noodlehead, and it’s free on the Robert Kaufman website.  http://www.robertkaufman.com/quilting/quilts_patterns/Cargo_Duffle/  I’ve been saving this fabric for just the right project.  It is Charley Harper fabric by Birch Organic Fabrics.

DSCN5092 DSCN5090 DSCN5098

I plan to use the front pockets for my phone, earbuds, boarding passes, etc.  I used nice, sturdy snaps so they won’t randomly unfurl my goodies at the airport.  No magnetic snap disasters in my future.

I added an elastic pocket on one end for a water bottle, easily accessible so I can surrender it at the security checkpoint.

DSCN5093

I just love the fat little cardinals on this thing.  Did you know that the cardinal is the state bird of Missour-uh?  (And six other states.)  I figure that is why I have always loved cardinals.  There are also squirrels on the two pockets.  That makes me think of my dad, sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard, BB gun across his lap.  Just waiting for those fluffy-tailed rats to come into his yard, daring them to try.

DSCN5099 DSCN5100

Maybe this is the bag for my trip to Honolulu this weekend?  Ooh, there are choices.  First I have to name it.  Any ideas?

DSCN5088

Stay crafty, my friends.