April 22, 2011

bohemian soul laptop bags

I was contacted recently via my etsy shop by an old classmate from high school who wondered if I would be willing to make her a cute and functional laptop bag. I've never made one, but I had no reason to suspect that I wouldn't be able to, so I told her sure and we set to work picking fabric and making a plan.

My shipment of Bohemian Soul from Art Gallery Fabrics arrived the next day, and I was absolutely dying to cut into the bolts and make something from this gorgeous stuff. I don't like for my first attempt at anything to be a customer's product, as I'm always learning through trial and error, so I decided that the reasonable thing to do would be to make myself a laptop bag first. You know, in the name of research.

I love this goldenrod print in the collection called Twirls in the Sun, and since I can't wear yellow, I decided making a bag from it would be a great way to use it. There are definitely a couple of prints in there that I have my eye on for spring tops, but this is not one of them.

After a bit of experimenting, I came up with this simple envelope style bag. Originally, it had a flap closure like an envelope too, but the open edges were bugging me so I decided the narrow flap was a better choice. The narrow flap also fits just right between the handles, so I'm glad I decided to go this way.

I added a zip pocket at the back for the power cord, and called it a day. I'm a simple girl, and I don't need too many bells and whistles on my laptop bag. Especially considering that I never really take my laptop anywhere. Unless you count upstairs...

Besides, this was really just a practice run for this:

My customer wanted Ditsy Bright to be the star of her show, and I chose the other stripe from the collection called Destiny Road Palm for her lining and handles, which is a more subtle color than the stripe that I used on mine. Her handles have the bonus keep-shut feature too- with the flap that velcros around to keep them together.

She got a leafier green for the zipper, and matching topstitching. Her bag is larger, and I styled hers differently- including a gusset instead of just squaring off the corners like I did on my bag. It gives it a more polished and boxy profile. Her bag also got the addition of a heavy weight interfacing on the bottom to give it strength, in addition to the multiple layers of fleece interfacing that I used on both bags to provide cushion and protection for the delicate contents inside.

Finally, I added an additional flap to her bag that secures inside with two magnetic snaps. It covers the laptop and any additional items she may stuff inside, and disguises the contents just enough. I prefer the interior flap on hers to the exterior one I tried on my own initially, because it solves the gaping problem that I encountered.

She's happy. I'm happy! Success. Anyone else want something that I've never made before? You never know, I might need one too!