Here are some of the latest custom .retool. creations:
I’ve been working on a new batch of bags just in time for Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason Center on July 18 & 19.
Here’s the low down:
The bags are made of nylon pack cloth, so they are lightweight, water resistant and sturdy. The interior and pocket linings feature a recycled nylon fabric made entirely from post-consumer materials.
There are two zippered pockets – one on the flap for easy access without having to open the bag and one interior lining pocket. The adjustable strap can be worn crossbody or over one shoulder.
The flap closes with a magnetic snap. Flap fronts come in solids and stripes. As an added bonus, the small pieces that make up the stripes give me a way to use scrap pieces of fabric left over from other projects.
There are two sizes. The small version is approximately 7″ X 10″ X 1.5″. The standard version version is approximately 9″ X 12″ X 3″.
Come see them (and me!) in person July 18 & 19 at the Renegade Craft Fair. The .retool. booth will be in the Herbst Pavilion.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here at .retool. headquarters, we love a good outdoor photo shoot. Here’s a behind the scenes look at our most recent one.
Location: Tank Hill (San Francisco)
We chose Tank Hill because it has great views, the rocks make a good background texture, and it’s a pleasant walk from the .retool. workshop.
We wanted to get some action shots of our seatbelt webbing belts. We took five of them with us – black, dark blue, orange, lime green, and grey.
Yup, that’s us in front of the camera. Jacob is in the grey jeans and Jamye is in the dark blue jeans.
Photographers: Us again
We do it all ourselves – it’s more fun that way!
Weather Conditions: Windy!
At times, we were concerned we might actually be blown off the hill. Don’t be fooled by the bright, sunny June day – It was quite chilly here in San Francisco.
Here are a few photos we didn’t end up using. Click on the photos for a closer view. Enjoy!
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.
The camera strap.
The strap is adjustable, durable, and it looks great, too!
It’s been a while since our last roundup post and we’ve had a bunch of custom orders lately – everything from credit card wallets to messenger bags. Have a look:
|The simplest custom job we’ve had in the last few months was a custom color combination for our Classic Credit Card Wallet – black and foliage green.|
|Jim contacted us about making a variation of our slim mini credit wallet. You can see an example of our standard version here. He wanted an extra row of pockets and a strip of velcro running the full width of the wallet.|
|We posted photos of Jim’s wallet on our Facebook page and one of our customers saw it and wanted one for himself in red and black.|
We have had a couple of recent requests for variations on our ID wallet.
|Donald wanted our standard billfold wallet with a twist – no velcro. All black, with just a hint of grey in the inside. Nice.|
|Yes wanted a custom M-8 messenger bag in black with a red inside pocket and no velcro. We were happy to oblige.|
That’s it for now. Keep those custom orders coming!
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).
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.
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.
Hardware: We switched over to hidden magnetic snaps (they are strong!), changed the hardware from plastic to metal, and added a clip for keys.
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.
Yesterday I finished up a small batch of nylon billfold wallets in black and red Cordura® nylon. Each wallet has four credit card slots and one pocket for bills.
Here are a few behind the scenes photos (click to enlarge):
And all finished…
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
At 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.
This 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.
What better way to work through some new bag ideas than to make bags for friends and family. Awesome holiday gifts? Check!
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 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.
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!
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.
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: