05 October, 2010

Le Sac!

... aka More Sewing But Not For Me.

Secure in her knowledge that Things Can Be Dyed, Kimono Girl arrived on my doorstep with a large 100% cotton - according to the label - carpetbagger style bag and a packet of fiber reactive black dye. We both agreed the purple bag could do with a makeover. After a lazy afternoon in a hot and salty dye bath, a rinse, and a dry, the bag was still  purple (!) but, if possible, even uglier.  The dye didn't take!  Could it have had some sort of surface treatment?  Any ideas?

Being a cheerful and creative sort of Girl, KG proceeded to diss the purple object as too small, too ugly, too wrong a colour, too poorly proportioned, lacking in this'n that...altogether too objectionable. Then suggested that we (cough, cough) should make a replacement that'll cure all of the aforementioned pitiful purple's ailments.

Out of my ginormous stash, we picked out suitable fabrics: a dark olive micro-suede for the outside, and a tight-weave light grey cotton poly for the lining (her pick, not mine - I'd have used a gorgeous green-grey-black poly tie silk that matched the outer fabric beautifully, but alas, it was much too grown up for the young milady).

Then, leaving me the photo above, along with a 24" brass-coloured zipper and instructions to "Make it BEEEEG!", KG left town and "we" (cough, cough) proceeded to design and sew Le Sac.

Interestingly, the inspiration bag's upper width is in a golden ratio (1.6) to its vertical height (not counting the handles) and bottom width.  I first modeled it using two 24 cm paper napkins, sewed together along three sides, and then mitered on the two bottom corners to make a rectangular base 8 x 16 cm.  That convinced me that this simple approach created a trapezoid just like the inspiration bag.  A separate bottom piece simply wasn't needed

In reality, to create the illusion of a 24" width at the top, the bag had to be wider along its upper edge by at least 3", to allow for the width of the zipper and its attachment to the bag's body.  

The pic above shows the apparent trapezoidal body shape of the bag at left, a side view with the side seam and the mitered bottom seam at centre, and the actual pattern piece at right.  I cut both sides as one - the "join" is indicated by the red line - and each "half" is 24" high, 24" wide across the red line, and 28" wide at the top.  The grey rectangle, 8 x 16",  indicates extra interfacing (2 layers fusible + 1 layer hair canvas) which was also stitched down to the fashion fabric.The entire bag is interfaced. 

In addition to two short handles, Le Sac has a long, adjustable shoulder strap for secure cross-body wear while biking..

and two external zipped pockets for  the miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam that students routinely accumulate....

The lining holds another zipped pocket, and two open pockets - for the cell phone and house keys, readily accessible.

As ordered requested, Le Sac is big! It'll do a good job as KG's weekender bag for intercity commuting.  

(le sac is also truly olive green, not grey:  blame the evils of this camera chip's photoresponse properties).

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