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.
A pair of phone cases
Smartphone case with loop for tool belt
Smartphone case with belt clip and grommet for extra security
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
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 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.
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.
Dividers at the back.
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:
Last weekend we joined over 200 artists, designers and local food makers at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center’s East Hall for the 7th Annual San Francisco Bazaar (formerly known as Bazaar Bizarre). We saw a few old friends, made some new ones and sent a bunch of .retool. items off to new homes. Here’s a recap in photos.
Oh – and if you missed us, don’t despair! We’ll be back at the Concourse Exhibition Center (East Hall) next weekend (12/21 & 12/22) for the Renegade SF Holiday Show. Hours are 11-6 both days. Perfect for some last minute holiday shopping!
For more goodies from the other shops we mentioned, check out these links:
I recently finished up a new crop of M-7 messenger bags with tonal stripes. You can find the new bags in the Seat Belt Bags section of our Etsy shop here. To mark the occasion, we decided to do a special photo shoot. We got creative and went to a local park. Here are a few photos. Some of them are pretty cool; others are a bit weird. Enjoy!
We’re excited to announce that we are expanding our presence outside the SF Bay Area! We recently sent off bundles of wallets to a couple of really cool looking shops. We just wish we could have made the deliveries in person (did we mention the shops look cool?).
City Bird was founded by a pair of native Detroiters (and siblings). In addition to their line of Detroit-themed goods, they feature work by over 200 independent artists, designers, and makers. You can find them in the Cass Corridor in Midtown, Detroit.
Made is located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The store features an eclectic mix of art and handmade goods. They describe their aesthetic as ‘hip, functional, and unique.’ The owner is also an artist and makes glass belt buckles (awesome!).
We’re happy (and a bit proud) to be included in their collections.
Want to see which other retail stores carry.retool. products? Check out the full list here.