Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Drawstring Backpacks

So I'm way into hockey - specifically Chicago Blackhawks - and I was going to a preseason game with Thing 2 recently.  I'm also very much into taking portable crochet projects wherever I'm going, because I don't sit still well.  I don't crochet *during* the game if I'm there, but on the train?  Sure!  And possibly during the intermissions....anyway, the arena had listed specific rules as to the maximum sizing of allowed bags, and my current drawstring backpack exceed the size limits.  Since I don't know how picky the arena would be on enforcing said rules, I didn't want to take chances.

In theory I could have made my own pattern for the drawstring bag, but I was having too much indecision regarding options, which wasn't helpful with my deadline.  I saw Green Pepper's String Bag pattern at JAF and decided to start with that.  Based on the finished measurements, I went with the size Small to fit the arena requirements.  And I wanted to go with the Blackhawks colors, so I bought a black rodeo twill from JAF. 

I made some changes.  The pattern is cut on the fold lengthwise, but my lining is directional.  So I cut front/back outer/lining not on the fold.  I also changed the pocket to be full front, rather than a standalone that was stitched onto the front.  To do that, I stitched the front pieces and zipper together, cut a lining piece the same size, and basted the front to the lining, then treated them as one.

And I have embroidered key fobs from a friend's Etsy shop (Babymoon) that I like to hang on my bags, so I added a D-ring to the center front to display my coordinating key fob. I like this and will do it on future bags!  (Got the idea from my zoo backpack - no idea what it was for, but it works for my purpose!)

The only thing I don't like is that I put the zipper the same direction as the pattern - pull from the bag's right side - and I would rather have it on the left, like the backpack I've been using for months.  Have to fix that on the next iteration....

Here you can see the D-ring more closely, as well as that lining peeking out.  This is official NHL fabric from JAF.  I've used it for hanging towels previously, and I think I'd bought this for a scrub shirt.  But it's not my favorite of the three I got for scrub shirts, so I sacrificed some for a bag lining.  (I think I also have boxers cut out for Thing 2, but I digress....)

You can also see the cording used for straps/closure.  I used a red cording that I found in the trim section at JAF.  It's a little thin for this, but it did work and was all I could find quickly.  I'd like thicker cords for the next ones, but this works.

And then the lining.  I added an inner pocket - I wanted a secure spot for whatever miscellaneous (keys, phone, cash, crochet hook, etc.).  I knew it would drive me nuts to try to line up that block print, and I wasn't sure I had enough left to match it.  Instead, I just put a solid black pocket inside.  It has the added benefit of being more obvious against the bright print.

 All in all, I like the end result!  It's a little smaller than my other backpack, which was of course the point.  I can easily carry two skeins of yarn inside, but any more would feel overstuffed.  It definitely worked well for my purposes, and I will continue to use it when I go to hockey games or am okay with a smaller bag.  I will say that between the smaller size and the zipper being the wrong direction for my reflexes, it probably won't be my favorite project bag.  But it works, and I will enjoy using it.  I will also take what I learned from this bag and make more!