Central Coast Widestrap Shoulder Bag

Warning: this post is photo intensive…

bag month In honor of Bag Month!

Introducing, the Central Coast Widestrap Shoulder Bag. I finished it just in time for my trip with Dickson to Central California this past weekend (will post on that later, once I sort out my photos!). So here it is:

What I love love love about this bag is that it’s REVERSIBLE! I found the brown fabric fabric at Joann’s awhile back. I originally was going to make a shirt out of it, but never got around to it. I wanted to make this bag for a LONG time, so with bag month going on right now, I thought the fabric would make a great bag. And it did 🙂 When I decided to make this bag, I headed down to Joann’s again to find a matching blue fabric. I LOVE this fabric I found. And the two go really well together.

So, now that you’ve been introduced to CCWSB, here are the little details:

The bag is about 16×16 inches. Its length with the strap is about 34 inches. The strap is 4.5 inches wide.

My main inspriation for this bag was from this bag by Keen. I saw it at REI before we left for Yosemite, but I decided I didn’t want to pay $40 for it! I guess it’s the curse of sewing…you always judge if you could make yourself one that’s cooler, ideally cheaper, and much more unique! When Dickson and I went to REI to buy some camping stuff for him, I checked out the bag to figure out how I wanted to draft my pattern.

But, turns out, I couldn’t really get my head around how I wanted to do…but then I found this tutorial from Tinyhappy. Using the basic idea, I made the pattern longer, wider, added two pockets (that’s right, when you reverse it, the pockets function identically!) and bought tons of interfacing.

Each pocket is lined with the contrasting fabric. When you flip the bag to the other side, the original outside pocket functions as the inner pocket (I like to put things I hardly access…iPod, headset, keys, etc), and the original inner pocket becomes the outer pocket (I put things like my cell phone, my chapstick in there). You can see how the zippers work together to make this bag ooooberly awesome.

Actually, the pockets were the most difficult part when making the bag. Most tutorials online had zippered pockets for linings, and the pocket extended downwards from the zipper. I wanted the zipper to be in the middle of the bag and go vertically instead of horizontally. Took some thinkin, but it worked out 🙂
My next inspiration for this bag was my mom. She’s taught me a lot of sewing and arts and crafts in general over the years, and so when I was trying to figure out how to do a closure but keep the bag elegantly (ruled out ribbon) reversible (that ruled out magnetic snaps), we thought of some Chinese knots. Actually they’re balls. Each one has a tiny marble inside to help keep its shape:

You slip one through the loop of the other, and voila! Simple, but cute closure.

I LOVE this bag. I loved it even more after taking it on my trip. It’s a GREAT vacation bag. The widestrap made it very comfortable, and the size made it very useful! I was able to fit a light jacket/long sleeve, my wallet, phone, keys, my GPS device (we totally would’ve gotten lost without it), iPod, AAA tour book, compact digital camera, and some brochures without any difficulty. On Saturday, I used the brown side, and on Sunday, I used the blue side. Even Dickson approves of the colors (I think haha….he hasn’t complained).

So last but definitely not least (the most important actually!) here are two in-action shots 🙂 These pictures will also give you another sneak peak at our weekend trip, which I’ll post photos of in the next couple days.

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2 Responses to Central Coast Widestrap Shoulder Bag

  1. Kristin says:

    Beautiful bag. Love the details of the zipper and the Chinese knots.

  2. Lynn says:

    Oh super cute! Good job cousin!

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