Messenger Bag Inter… D’oh!

The Alexa inspired bag is almost done. I haven’t copied it exactly, but I think I’ve caught the feel of it. (For reference, I first saw the bag over at the Non-Blonde.)

At the heart of it, the Alexa bag is a brown faux-leather messenger bag with some sort of rattan/woven grass panel on the front flap.

Well, the faux-leather is gone on mine – I neither have the skills nor the sewing machine to handle anything resembling leather. I’m not terribly fond of craft store faux-leather anyway. The texture is always very wrong and it always looks cheap. I mean, I want to make a cheap bag, I just don’t want it to look cheap. Besides, faux-leather can be very heavy, particularly when it’s used in a bag as large as this one. My poor back has enough problems with my weight, I try not to stress it out too much with additional purse weight. So I’m replacing the faux-leather with black cotton fabric with a fusible fleece batting to give it some structure.

The woven panel had me stumped for some time. Do I try to find a flexible woven grass-like fabric? How about burlap or aida cloth? In the end, I think that the feel of the bag is more important than making an exact duplicate in cotton. I get an easy, semi-rustic, casual vibe from that bag. So I used fabric that I already own and love: a simple, pretty brown and almond paisley print.

I chose a dusty mid-tone green for the lining and matte black grommets for the strap. I am unsure of both of these choices.

The bag is still unfinished. I’m getting to that tonight hopefully. Here’s a picture of the progress thus far:

The Messenger Bag, As-Is

I think it’s a good bit more rectangular than the original – the radii on the corners aren’t nearly large enough and it’s a bit wider. But all in all, I’m happy with the progress and the on-the-fly pattern.

I’m not terribly happy with the state of my craft room. Oy. I didn’t really notice until I got a good look at that picture above. Pay no attention to the plastic poinsettias in front of the window or the wonkily placed chairs around the table. The scrappy garbage on the table? You’re imagining it. Paint… yes, please. Do they make paint that will camouflage a large-ish steel rolling cart full of fabric?

I really need to do something about the craft room. Clean it… certainly. But I am in desperate need of some organization. Oh, and I use the term “craft room” liberally. Some people occasionally refer to this room as the “dining room.” I have no idea why.