craft : messenger bag + survey



Lotta Jansdotter Fabric

Hi Everyone -

I love messenger bags and have been seeking the perfect one for years. A bag that is just the right size and designed with a feminine touch. I'm not an advanced sewer, but I've even tried making up my own patterns and sewing them myself. They're usually ok, but not quite right. In fact, it's not unusual for sewing to turn into a contact sport involving bouts of arm wrestling with the sewing machine in tandem with frequent uses of the seam ripper. Ugh!

After seeing the great tote Michelle made in her wonderful new Mod Quad fabric, I was inspired to give another one a try. This bag is made with some Lotta Jansdotter linen fabric I had and is lined in canvas. I love pockets, so it has two on the front and one inside. I really wanted to have a nylon strap and purchased a used messenger bag at thrift store for $4 and cut off the strap. I don't have a tutorial, but found a great one on Craftster in case you'd like to give it a try, too.

Now, I work part-time with an accessories company, Tusk, and haven't been able to convince the owner to make a messenger bag that I think is ideal for women. Assuming I'm not alone in this quest, it might help if I had some feedback from others to make the case. If we can convince him, we might also be able to come up with a name for the bag and see a little bit of the design & manufacturing process.

So, here are the questions for the survey -
  1. Do you like to use messenger or cross the body bags?
  2. If yes, what would you like to see in the perfect bag?
  3. Have you found one that suits your needs?
xo & thanks, Cindy

26 comments:

Tartelette said...

I love messenger bags and I love the one you made!!
1/ YES!!
2/ I'd like one that has a couple of pockets inside for lenses. I take my camera in hand and the messenger bag I have to carry an extra lens but I am never happy of the padding. It'd be cool to have targeted bags: laptop girl, writing girl, photo girl, snack girl, etc...
3/ pretty close but see above, not quite there yet!

Julia said...

You made that? Incredible! I'm so impressed!

YES, I love messenger bags
I love accessible pockets for pens, keys and phone.
I have yet to find a favorite bag!

please sir said...

I don't use messenger bags much, more of a tote thing is what I carry. But, I still think messenger bags are cool - even for guys. Something big enough to hold papers, magazines and other small items. I think it's a great idea!

cindy : quaint said...

this is great! we might figure out the perfect design for a tote, too!

Cicada Studio said...

Your bag looks great! I like a messenger bag that has a long enough strap to cross the body (adjustable is best). I like the pockets you have in front- not deep- easy access. I like a little slot for a few pens, too. And a pocket inside for smaller items. Then just a big old cavernous space where I can toss all my junk in. Magnetic closures for me please...

Sometimes I feel the typical mess. bag is a little large- I just need it big enough for letter-sized items - or maybe a magazine... but not so long for legal, if you know what I mean.

Great job on your bag- gorgeous fabric choice, too- will go with so many things.

Glad I could inspire you :) Thanks of the shout out.

Bonbon Oiseau said...

i like messenger bags! my list of demands:
i like one that isn't so squarish, snaps in one spot in the front, looks elegant, and has a small slot for my metrocard somewhere gettable--you know without opening the whole bag..something for grownups would be perfect.

p.s. although the one your showing is pretty cute!

hmstrjam said...

i hate bags that cross your chest and pull your back! lately it's all about totes, over the shoulder or hand carried- fun, simple, functional! Your bag looks great!

cindy : quaint said...

jamie - sometimes i feel like carrying a tote, too. a small bag and a tote are great, plus there are so many choices. on the subway and out with my camera, i just love the freedom a messenger bag gives me. both hands are free.

deb & michelle - i think we're on the same page. often, messenger bags are just a little bit too large. i also really like my stuff to stay put - ocd. the bag i made has easy access to the outside pocket for the metro card, phone, etc. i don't have to open it to get to a pocket. some pen slots would have been cool.

this great!

blue moss said...

i don't really use a messenger bag....but i love yours
and i love that your used the strap from a bag found at a thrift store....i think of a thrift store as my fabric store...always the first stop when looking for something :)

lotta said...

This bag is so nice. I love messenger bags and have several, one is from HER it is large bright green and made from organic wool - just delicious. My everyday bag is from Hobo and is only 9" x 9" with just the right amount of pockets and a long strap. It's made from the synthetic material they use for all their bags. Maybe not eco friendly, but easy to care for. I have made a few messenger bags too, but I find it difficult to make them sturdy/stiff enough. I don't like them when the are flimsy and floppy. Suggestions?

cindy : quaint said...

michelle, thrift stores are great and so eco-friendly.

lotta, thank you! i will check out HER, i'm familiar with hobo. the floppiness has been my greatest problem. i used a canvas lining in this bag and it has helped. you can also use a heavy interfacing like timetex, which is very stiff. amy butler uses in all of her bag patterns. i used it once, and it was ok, but still a bit floppy.

Blog Artists said...

Great question...Lotta Jansdotter being one of my fave fabric designers right now...
The cross over messenger is a much better solution because it fits your body and hangs so you can still move around with kids attached to each hand...or grocery bags etc...
I would like to see one made in a fabric which is almost waterproof...in an oil cloth fabric.
Lots of zips inside...bright and cheerful colours...and a hook clasp for your keys...because they ALWAYS get lost in your bag...
And an ajustable strap...because everyone's different!
Love your Blog am a new follower as of today!

cindy : quaint said...

hello blog artists! the oilcloth is a very interesting idea! i also like waxed cotton, which i've never considered before. the hook for the keys is a great idea and a nice pop of color inside would be wonderful. tusk is known for color so that should not be a problem. this is so great! i can't wait to show the owner everyone's comments. the more the merrier! i'm going to visit you now.

aimee said...

beautiful work, cindy! my vote is for oilcloth, too - i am crazy for it!

Cat said...

Messenger bags are my favourite!!
I have about 5 or 6 of them.

my fav 'everyday' messenger bags are large enough to hold a laptop and are made out of sturdy fabric. Compartments are nice, but I'm also a fan of 'hobo' bags, so I don't mind it if the messenger bag has only 2 large pockets.

I also have a few 'cross-body' bags that have adjustable straps. These I think are my favourite because of the versatility of being able to wear it however I want...

hope that helps!

Kelly C. said...

CUTE!!!! love it!

1. yes.
2. i am desperately seeking one that will hold a yoga mat.
3. i had a timbuktu a million years ago and liked it, but want something cuter!!

a print a day said...

1. yes i do. i use them to travel as i always bring my work with me.
2. i'd like one big enough to accommodate a 15" laptop and my iphone.
3.i LOVE filson bags. they're made in the usa, and built to last.

:)

Michelle Brunner said...

I just love this bag! The fabric is great and so is the design! I am so impressed with people who can sew...I never learned how and think it is the coolest!

I think your bag would be great! Good luck with it! I personally love bags that go with everything and that are medium size so that they will hold basic belongings. I bought an amazing purse when I was in Italy that is a deep green with a really rich, burnt umber handle. It somehow goes with both black and brown and has become the only bag I use!

Maggie said...

1. I like the combination of both. What's essential is an adjustable strap, with enough length to accommodate a tall user. Nothing is more awkward than a strap that is too short. It throws off the proportion of the purse to the user's body.

2. Love outside pockets and a long enough external flap so the purse can be closed (without velcro--too noisy and a lint catcher, too) without having to always zip it up.

3. Still looking for the perfect one, but one that comes close is a brown nylon version by Milano/Series. Love it's chartreuse decorative stitching and straps. Functional and fun.

jennifer said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence by the way, cindy! And love that fabric, nice job!

I've been on a personal quest for a long time to find a slouchy,not too heavy, worn-in leather messenger bag with a vintage feel in a lovely cognac shade and a ton of pockets for toting things around the city (i'm sure you know how that goes)! No luck so far.
I used to have parcel's coated canvas bag which was great when it rained but eventually the coating turned yellow:(

cindy : quaint said...

i will be compiling all of these comments into a wish list (spreadsheet) next week. the owner is game and enthusiastic about all of your feedback. phew, i'm relieved because it didn't check with him before posting!

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE the messenger bag!

Anonymous said...

the perfect messenger bag in my humble, candaian opinion, was purchased at roots.com. perfect distressed leather in a beatiful tobacco brown, for about $199. i have had mine for about 3-4 years now, it still looks brand new and i wear it everyday.

cindy : quaint said...

from erin, design for mankind

you're so cute, cindy!!!

i have to admit, i'm not a big fan of messenger bags, b/c when i ride my bike, they make me sway to far to one side and always hit my left leg when i pedal. annoying.

with that said, this is my perfect bag:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20304158

it's just different enough to be functional, but still have people stop you at the coffee shop and say you have the coolest bag ever.

yes, i like my bags to come packed full of built-in compliments. ;)

kat78 said...

I definitely wear it cross-shoulder and I LOVE MY CRUMPLER-BAG! MacBook-perfect! (;

cindy : quaint said...

hey kat78 - adding it to the list! thanks!