Saturday, April 17, 2010

Backpack Purse: Trying to recreate the one that got away

Once upon a time I had an awesome purse.  It was made of some cute red white and blue fabric that kind of looked like patchwork.  It was that backpack style you see a lot these days, but most of the ones you see are made of ugly nylon and whoever is wearing it got it for free somewhere.  Mine had leather straps that were made of skinnier leather straps bound together.  It was lined with some other cute fabric too. I got that thing at Old Navy for five dollars on clearance. I used to look at this purse and think about its simple construction and how I could probably make something similar, but why would I need to since I already had this awesome thing premade?  I'm glad I did that wondering now, because at some point in my life I must have decided I didn't need this purse anymore and put it in some giveaway or squirrel away box, and now I have no idea where it is. I kept wanting that purse for things like hiking and any other activity where I needed a purse but wanted my hands free for something else, so I looked and looked and looked but never found the purse.  Then my honeymoon was coming up.  I knew we'd be out and about every single day on this trip so I knew it was time.  Time to re-create my most favorite backpack purse.

I found some fabric that I just LOVED at Jo-anns one day.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make out of it when I saw it, so I bought myself a yard of it.  I also bought some grommets, and some covered buttons, and some cotton yarn.

I did write down a "pattern" for this purse, so I could make it again if I needed to, but it's really just a bunch of drawings of rectangles and vague lists of what order to do things in.  If you know how to sew a little bit you could probably figure it out on your own, but if you're as desperate for a backpack purse as I was, I'll be happy to help you along using my quasi-pattern-thing.

Here are some pictures!!

I didn't take many pictures of making the purse, in fact, I didn't get any except for when I snuck up on Stephen and put it on his head.

This hat isn't very comfortable...

Now behold!  The completed bag!

I braided the straps with several strands of cotton yarn and strung them through the top drawstring and knotted them through the grommets I hammered into the bottom corners.

The purse also features a separate drawstring to tie the top closed, just in case anyone was determined to rob me they'd have an extra tie to undo.

Partway through taking these after pictures Stephen brought me some beets from the farm!


The purse also has a secret pocket inside of it, except now it's not a secret anymore.

And here are some action shots of me and my purse on our honeymoon!

Me and my purse taking in the view in Puerto Rico

Me and my purse having a banana daiquiri in St. Thomas

My purse holding all our important stuff when we snorkeled in Barbados

And me and my purse at the Brimstone Hill fortress in St. Kitts.

My purse and I are very happy now.  I think I may have to switch out the straps some day, but it is my favorite bag for vacations!  I hope you all have a purse that you know and love, and if you accidentally don't love it for a little while, I hope that you know how to make your own copy!


Laura Maurer said...

Hey! I had one of those from Old Navy too - I think we got them together! Mine is blue with stars and I know exactly where it is. Too bad I didn't think to bring it on my honeymoon. I guess I just had too many other bags...

Jenny said...

I'm SOOOOOO jealous!!!