Duffle Bags!

This week’s post features a couple of duffle bags I made over the past few weeks.

The first was a modification of a custom bag I made a while back.  Here’s the original version:

joe-bag joe3 joe-2

It’s difficult to tell from these photos, but the bag has a sort of teardrop cross-section.  The bottom is rounded and the sides taper as they go up. The top of the bag folds down and clips to the sides to create a more typical duffle bag shape.  This version had one external side pocket and one interior zipper pocket.

After several months of use, the owner asked for a wider mouth to make it easier to pack and unpack the bag.  In order to make the mouth wider, I had to make a bunch of other changes as well. I ended up changing the profile completely.  I replaced the sides and the lining, added a second zipper to the top of the bag and a second external  pocket. Here are some photos of the modified bag:

 DSC_0012joe-duffle-v2-opening joe-duffle-v2-lining-pocket joe-duffle-v2-top-b
 joe-duffle-v2-front  joe-duffle-v2-side-a joe-duffle-v2-side-b

I was pleased with how the bag turned out and wanted to make another one. Fortunately, my vacation trip to Kauai was rapidly approaching – the perfect excuse to try my hand at making a carry-on sized version.  Here are a few photos:

 carry-on-top carry-on-side  carry-on-open

This bag has a zippered pocket on each end and two interior zippered pockets in the lining.  The outside is made of 1000D CORDURA® nylon and the lining is 4 oz. pack cloth.

I scavenged the shoulder strap from an old laptop bag – it’s way too long for me and needs to be replaced.  I just haven’t had a chance to make a new one yet.

The bag performed well on its inaugural trip. It held all of my stuff with room to spare. It was comfortable to carry and fit easily in the overhead compartment.  I used one of the outside pockets for a pair of water shoes and the other for snacks. The inside pockets worked well for small stuff like my camera battery charger and more snacks.

The new bag will get its second test this Sunday, hauling wallets to and from the 16th Annual Glen Park Festival in San Francisco.  If you are in the area, stop by and see it (and us!) in person. Here are the details:

Date: Sunday, April 27, 2014
Time: 10am – 4:30pm
Location: Diamond St b/t Chenery and Bosworth; also extending down Wilder St

Note – Our booth will be on Wilder St.

Hope to see you there!

Sneak Preview

We’ve got some new products in development that we are planning to unveil in the next couple of months and wanted to share them with you first.

We’re branching out of our bag/wallet/case niche and expanding into belts and straps (it’s about time, really – we’ve got lots of seatbelt webbing around the studio).

Here are some photos of the prototypes:

The seatbelt belt.

We picked up a small batch of airplane seat belt buckles and metal end caps for our belts.

seatbelt-belt seatbelt-belt-closed

The camera strap.

The strap is adjustable, durable, and it looks great, too!

camera-strap

Weekend Bag v2.0

One of the first bags we made for .retool. was our vegan Weekend Tote Bag. It’s made of 1000D nylon and has interior and exterior slip pockets and a magnetic snap closure. It works great for a quick weekend getaway, a trip to the store, or even for carrying your daily essentials Here are a couple of photos (click to enlarge).

Our original Weekend Bag.

Our original Weekend Bag.

Fully loaded.

Fully loaded.

We’ve tweaked the design and are working on a small batch of them to bring along to upcoming shows. Next up are the Glen Park Festival in April and Maker Faire in May.

Here’s a rundown of the changes.

New lining material: We’re now using 4oz. pack cloth (commonly used in backpacks) for the lining.  It’s light and durable, two things we like.

WB-navy-lining-zippers

 

Pockets: We replaced the interior slip pocket with a  zipper pocket in the lining.  We added a zipper to the pocket on the front of the bag as well.

WB-v2-red-int-pocket

 

Hardware: We switched over to hidden magnetic snaps (they are strong!), changed the hardware from plastic to metal, and added a clip for keys.

WB-vw-red-key-clip

 

It probably would have easier to list what we haven’t changed!

At any rate, we’re having fun with new color combinations and are looking forward to debuting the bags at San Francisco’s Glen Park Festival on Sunday, April 27 from 10 – 4:30pm.

WB-v2-red-extWB-v2-navy-ext

 

Custom Order Round Up

Over the past 6 weeks or so we’ve had several custom orders come through. They’ve included  custom color/fabric requests as well as tweaks to our standard designs. Here’s a recap (click on the photos to make them bigger):

M-8 Messenger Bag

ImageAt the SF Bazaar Holiday Show, we had a customer who was interested in one of our seatbelt messenger bags. He needed a larger size than we had with us at the show and had one more special request – no velcro!  So we made him an M-8 messenger bag with an inside pocket and no closure for the flap.  The flap is heavy enough to stay closed on its own and we were pretty happy with how the bag turned out.

Credit Card Wallet

We brought a wide selection of our Slim Mini Credit Card Holders to the Renegade Holiday show.  Not quite wide enough, as it turns out.  We had a special request for a credit card wallet in orange and silver seatbelt webbing with dark gray nylon card pockets.

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Toiletry Case

ImageThis one was a special request for my good friend and awesome art teacher, Pam.  A year or so ago, I gave her a toiletry case with a print I knew she would love.  It turns out that her daughter also loves it and keeps trying to run off with it. So Pam ordered a second one for her daughter’s birthday. This one features a flashy red interior and zipper.

Custom smartphone cases

We have a longtime customer who has an unfortunate habit of losing smartphones (and their cases). So far he’s dropped one in the bay and left another on a plane.  Last time he ordered from us, he got two custom phone cases, just to have a backup. They are still going strong and now that his partner needs a smartphone for her work, she’s come to us as well. She’s a stagehand and a ranch hand so she needed a case that will stand up to some rough treatment. She decided to get a pair of cases – one to attach to her toolbelt and another that can clip to her pocket.

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A pair of phone cases

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Smartphone case with loop for tool belt

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Smartphone case with belt clip and grommet for extra security

What’s New?

We’ve started on some new wallet and bag models and thought we’d share a couple with you.

During last month’s holiday show season we got several requests for a coin pocket wallet with a grommet for attaching a wallet chain.  We already had coin pocket wallets and wallets with grommets, but hadn’t gotten around to making wallets with both features. It’s something we had planned on doing, but just hadn’t found the time for. The good news is that we’ve worked them into the production schedule and have already added a couple to the shop. You can see them here.

We’re also updating our Weekend Bag. We’ve added zippered pockets to the outside and inside and changed the interior fabric to 4 oz. pack cloth. The new version has a hidden magnetic snap closure.  Here are some photos of a prototype. Enjoy!

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We love the midnight blue/black color combo.

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We’ve added a zippered pocket to the lining.

Bags For All

What better way to work through some new bag ideas than to make bags for friends and family. Awesome holiday gifts? Check!

Our standard M-7 messenger bag in Ocean

Our standard M-7 messenger bag in Ocean

In our standard seatbelt messenger bag, the strap runs completely around the bag and forms the sides of the bag. Most of our bags have a single interior zippered pocket.

I wanted to see what would happen if I beefed up the design, so I made the bag deeper and added pockets to the inside and outside.

The experiment turned out pretty well and there is a good chance the new version will turn up in the shop in a few months.

Will’s bag

Will's big bag.

Will’s big bag.

Will likes a big bag. He uses his bag to haul around large amounts of library books, and random stuff he needs throughout the day. I made Will an M-9 (nine strips wide) in Fire aka black with oxblood and cranberry red stripes.  It’s actually a little too big of a bag for the  current .retool. sewing machines – there was much rolling and folding of the excess material. There may have also been some minor cursing at times.

Side view.

Side view.

The sides of the bag are two webbing strips wide (a little under 4 inches). I used a contrasting color for the side panels, red for Will’s bag. The shoulder strap wraps all the way around the bag and is stitched securely to the bottom of the bag.  I really like the black strip of webbing against the flashier red webbing. And no matter how many heavy books he throws in there, I’m pretty confident that strap isn’t going anywhere!

Pockets!

Pockets!

Under the flap, I added two pockets for carrying smaller items because, really, it’s hard to have too many pockets. I wanted the pockets to be easy to access, yet still secure so I went with a flap closure without an additional fastener. The outside of the pockets is 1000D Cordura® nylon. The pockets are fully lined in contrasting burgundy pack cloth. One of the pockets is just about square, the other is rectangular.

Onto the interior. The inside of the bag has a zippered pocket in burgundy pack cloth. It also has 2 slip pocket dividers attached to the back of the bag – perfect for papers or gym clothes. You can’t see it in the photos, but the interior bottom of the bag is the same red webbing as the side panels (it’s one long continuous strip). The red makes it easier to see what’s in the bottom of the bag. Plus, it looks sharp.

Zipper pocket.

Zipper pocket.

Dividers at the back.

Dividers at the back.

Jamye’s Bag

I made Jamye a smaller bag, an M-7, which is still large enough to hold a 13″ MacBook.  His bag is in our newest colorway, Venom. It’s black with foliage green and lime green.  The side panel is in the foliage green webbing. I used a grayish-green pack cloth for the pocket lining and interior pockets. It’s a pleasingly close match to the foliage green webbing. Here are some photos of his bag: