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[feel free to hum strains of the song from Les Mis as you read*]

Christmas is over. People are away. Everything’s quietening down. So that means – time free to sew without procrastinatory guilt!

My favourite colour combo at present is a bold black and white IKEA print with a plain red for contrast (though they don’t seem to have the print I’ve used on their website anymore). I love their fabrics for bag making, as the prints appeal to me, the weight of the cotton fabric is heavy but not upholstery-fabric-heavy, and the fabric is reasonably cheap.

I’ve made two tote bags out of this combo, and two cushion covers that Karen commissioned. I had just enough left to make a camera tote bag for my new Canon 60D!

I don’t much like having to deal with zips or velcro when carrying a camera about. I like to just be able to pull the camera out at whim, shoot, and put it away with a minimum of fuss. Of course that means that the bag isn’t so great from a security perspective, but with the short straps it will always be close to my body so I’m not bothered by that so much.

I also used the padded, velcroed inserts from an old camera bag to create the partition, which can be removed if I need to use the bag for bigger things. The red lining is some old fat stripe corduroy that gives the whole thing a nice, cushiony feel.

This is probably the first successful bag I’ve made up completely out of my head. Woo hoo! Seems the skills I have learned from other bag making patterns have stuck!

It’s not the first total original I have attempted – I still have a bag for Little that’s 3/4 finished and a bag for Hendry that is pretty much done. I made both of those up, but I’m not completely satisfied with them…they’re kind of prototypes I guess, but since I don’t really do factory-line assembly I guess every bag is unique, so to call them prototypes wouldn’t be quite correct. I think it was more that both Little and Hendry commissioned me to make them, and I felt like the workmanship needed to be better than my usual efforts if money was actually going to change hands (cushion covers are a little simpler!).

But I am very happy with my camera bag. So maybe it’s time to finish these other bags and release them to their owners!




* I remember seeing this in London, and previously I had overlooked this song, much preferring the twittering of the female roles** to the militant dude songs, but on this occasion was particularly captivated by Marius’s verse: “Had you been there tonight you might know how it feels / to be struck to the bone in a moment of breathless delight”. I was such a romantic, swoony teenager.

** though Cosette always was a pain.