I have a bit of a Thing about having stuff that matches. When it comes to projects, this normally comes out in the way of project bags, as evidenced by the improv pieces bag I made for my sunrise stripe sampler crochet blanket, to the detriment of my wedding outfit packing skills.
When we kicked off our latest challenge-slash-craftapalooza, one of the first things we discussed was the journal we would use to document our adventures. Very conveniently, we both had a Kikki.K 365 journal sitting on our shelves. Unused. Surprising exactly nobody, they were actually left over from a previous “genius idea” that never ended up eventuating. For those playing along at home, I am aware exactly how ridiculous that is. I actually have a whole other post percolating on craft, and especially serial WIP hoarding, as an expression of privilege. Between this journal, and my post move clear-out, and all the things that have been in storage since February and not missed, there’s a whole lot of self-awareness going down around here.
Friday afternoon over-thinking aside. We had co-ordinating journals. I happened to suggest “I reckon we need bags for these books”, which of course was met with a resounding agreeance. My go-to fabric in projects like this is my beloved patchwork Echino. You know the one. I use it on everything from diary covers, to tool pouches, to previous project bags to hand bound books. When I bought my last yard, my crafty partner in crime also bought a yard, but in the blue colour way, and so the obvious choice for bags for our coordinating but not matching journals is of course, our coordinating but not matching fabrics.
With fabric chosen, I had a bit of a poke around Pinterest for some inspiration. I took a bit from here and a bit from there, to create a bag that would not only hold my journal during the project, but also could be used as a small cross-body satchel outside of the project. Since I was using some of my treasured stash of my favourite fabric, I wanted to make the absolute most of the project. It also rubs the wrong way against my minimalist tendencies (which are, admittedly, a work in progress), to spend the time and supplies, and future storage space, on a single-use bag. So while it took a bit longer than a simple tote would have, the extra time was well worth it, in my mind.
I teamed it with denim accents (you guys know I’m a sucker for linen & denim!), along with the lining and the inside of the strap coming from a sweet cotton I had in my stash from wayyyyy back when, when I made my two big boys, just wee little preschoolers then, a suit each, and matching pants for Beetle Baby (then an actual baby), for a family wedding. Ideally I would have liked the strap to be adjustable, but the joy of living rurally is you can’t always buy the supplies you need for a project started on a whim. (Dear Amazon, can you hurry up with the creepy premonition ordering? Please and thank you). I would have loved a metal adjustment buckel, but my choices were a vest-sized buckle, or to shift up to bag sized required a change to plastic, and I would rather skip the adjustable strap than have a plastic buckle.
The finished bag has an open pocket and zip pocket on the front, and two open pockets inside. I accidentally mucked up the cutting and cut the front 1/4″ too narrow, so it only just fits my journal, which is a bit frustrating, but still workable. I also tested it as a general use satchel for pilates this week, with just my wallet, keys, phone and oils in it, and it worked a treat.
I am so happy with it. Like all projects, there are small niggles. The zip panels are slightly too wide, so when the journal is in, they actually pop up above the rim of the bag. And similarly, I mucked up the boxing of the bottom corner and forgot to allow for seam allowance (silly mistake, hey?), so it ended up wider than expected. But aren’t we all our own worst critics? Overall, it’s cute, it’s the perfect size for a casual weekend messenger bag, and I can see it getting lots of use. That’s enough to call it a win in my books.