Glenn’s Bag

Last week I wrote about the bag I made as a holiday gift for my friend, Pam.  This week I’m back with details on the bag I made for Pam’s husband, Glenn.

Glenn wanted a messenger bag around 12″ x 12″ x 4″ with two 5-6″ interior slip pockets and one exterior zippered pocket.


The body of the bag is made of 1000D Cordura® nylon.  The print used for the flap is cotton.  It reminds me of brushstrokes, which is especially cool since Glenn is a painter. DSC_0003
The flap pocket is lined with nylon made from recycled plastic bottles.  DSC_0005
As requested, the inside has two slip pockets to help keep things organized.  DSC_0006
 The flap closes with a side release buckle.  DSC_0004

I was pleased with how the bag turned out. I decided to make a few tweaks to the design and add it to the shop. More on that later!

Pam’s Bag

Late last year I was making a lot of wallets in preparation for a couple of holiday shows as well as stocking the online shop and local shops that carry .retool. products.  I decided I needed a break, so I got in touch with my friend Pam and offered to make her and her husband Glenn each a bag as a gift.

I suggested a new design I was testing out, but she threw me a curve.  For her bag, she countered with a list of features that bore little resemblance to my initial offer. This gave me the opportunity to try something different that I would not have come up with on my own.  It also sparked some ideas for some new designs, so it was well worth it!

Pam wanted something similar to this toiletry case I made for her a couple of years ago. She loved the size, but wanted some more depth, instead of a flat pouch. She wanted a black print, a 1 inch strap, and an interior pocket. So, basically she wanted something more purse-like. boris-pouch


Here’s what I came up with:

Pam’s a cat person, so I decided on this adorable CoCoLand print from Kokka.  I moved the zipper to the top of the bag.  The bag is about 1 and half inches deep. pam's-bag-front
Back view.  The 1 inch wide strap is adjustable and clips on to the bag. pam's bag-back
The grey lining is made from recycled plastic bottles.  My favorite part is the lining of the interior pocket. Pam's-bag-interior

I’ll write more about Glenn’s bag next time.

What’s New?

Jacob recently took a break from making wallets to work on some new products (just in time for the holidays!).

A small selection of the newest  items are posted in the shop already, but most will be making their debut at a couple of local holiday shows – the SF Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium on November 29/30 and San Francisco Bazaar on December 13/14.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Tote Bags

We’ve updated our Tote Bag to include a zipper top closure.  The new batch features eye-catching prints paired with durable nylon. The bags have one exterior zipper pocket, two side pockets and a small interior zipper pocket.

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Laptop Cases

We’ve got a fresh batch of laptop cases ready, too.  They have an exterior zipper pocket and a layer of 1/8″ closed cell foam.

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Yoga Mat Straps

We’ve been planning to make a batch of yoga mat straps for ages and finally got around to it!  The straps are available in three sizes to fit mats ranging from 1/16″ to 1/4″.  The straps can be worn crossbody or over one shoulder and can even be used during class to assist with various stretches.  Check them out in the shop here.

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Seatbelt Webbing Pouches

Our new seatbelt webbing pouch is great for everything from pencils and pens to makeup.  It even has a d-ring so you can clip it to a bag or attach keys or a strap.

Seatbelt pouch front seatbelt pouch open seatbelt pouch back

Urban Air Market – Lower Haight Edition – Saturday, October 11

It’s Urban Air Market‘s 10th Birthday and last show of the year. Join us and over 100 other designers and artists for a block party full of fashion, art, and music with an emphasis on sustainable design.

The fair runs from 11am – 6pm on October 11. Don’t forget to drop by the .retool. booth and say hello!  We’ll be on Haight Street, near Fillmore.



New in the Shop – the .retool. Mini Wallet

Our new mini wallet is now in stock in the shop! It’s geared towards the minimalist who wants quick access to a few cards and some cash. Each of the card slots will hold 2-3 cards. The center slot is perfect for holding cash that is folded in half or for some extra cards. It’s currently available in all black, black with a silver racing stripe, and black with a red racing stripe. Click on the photos below for a larger view.

Getting ready for a show! – Urban Air Market, Dogpatch (Aug. 17)

Urban Air Market is in Dogpatch (Esprit Park) on Sunday in SF and that means that there’s been an additional buzz of excitement chez .retool. We’re excited to present a few new items, some of which are pictured here to whet your appetite! UAM focuses on sustainable design, which we really appreciate. We’ll be participating in their Lower Haight show on October 11!

As much as we love creating and presenting new items that we hope you’d like to make your very own, we are equally engaged in an evergreen process of making our booth and tables an inviting and visually appealing place for you to peruse our wares. 

So come by and check us out! (Booth #37, on 19th St, near Indiana) Sunday Aug 17,  Minnesota Free to attend.

P.S. You can find UAM here: Urban Air Market, Twitter: @urbanairmarket

Custom Order Roundup

Here’s a look at some of our latest custom work.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

Laura wanted one of our coin pocket wallets in a custom color combination and with an added grommet hole. We loved the colors so much we’ve made several more of them. custom-wallet-Laura-ext custom-wallet-Laura-int
Mark wanted a keychain made of webbing. Here’s what we came up with.  webbing-keychain
Pete wanted a matching travel set all in black – a wallet with grommet hole, a passport case, and a pouch to hold computer cables, chargers, etc. Happy travels!  custom-wallet-set-Pete  pyramid pouch
Jessica wanted one of our ID wallets with an added elastic closure. Not surprisingly, we are especially fond of the orange pocket.  custom-id-wallet-jessica-ext  custom-id-wallet-jessica
Drey saw our new triple stripe seatbelt wallet on facebook and wanted one for herself in custom colors. We love the extra bit of color on the inside. custom-wallet-Drey custom-wallet-Drey-int
Bess wanted a new phone case and laptop case. The laptop case is one of our favorites.  bess-phone-case bess-laptop-case

That’s it for now. Keep those custom orders coming! 🙂