Here’s a sneak peek at the latest bag design. It’s a small shoulder/crossbody bag with an awesomely cool magnetic buckle (it slides sideways to open). The prototype is unlined with an exterior zippered pocket. I’m thinking of adding a partial lining and additional zippered pocket in the lining.
I’m working on a new backpack design. I finished up the prototype a few days ago. I have a few changes to make and hope to have one or two with me at next weekend’s SF Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium at Pier 35. They should make it into the shop by early to mid-December.
The backpack is sleek and simple with a lined zipper pocket on the outside front. The flap closure is secured by two side release buckles. The main compartment is unlined. The bag is big enough for a 13″ laptop.
Here’s a sneak peek:
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.
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:
We’ve been mentioning custom orders a bit on the blog lately, so we thought we’d show you some of the custom work we’ve done over the past couple of years.
The pieces include custom color combinations of our standard wallets as well as one-off designs with special features.
|Adam R. liked our classic card holder, but wanted a version in black, brown, and blue. We were pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out…|
Adam Z. wanted a long wallet. with a bunch of credit card slots, an ID window, and multiple pockets for checks/cash/receipts.
Donald likes large smartphones. He wanted a phone case that he could wear on his belt. We came up with this one – the flap wraps around the phone. To get the phone out, you just pull on the flap. Donald’s been back a few times for more cases, most recently when he upgraded to a larger phone.
This design eventually spawned our C-series device cases (no, they don’t have belt loops…).
Lauren really liked our Messenger Bags, but wanted an extra feature – a tab and o-ring attached to the inside of the bag. She was getting ready for a trip abroad and wanted to clip one of our seatbelt wallets to her bag for a little extra security.
Nick wanted one of our seatbelt wallets with a matching zipper pouch made out of seatbelt webbing. He also wanted a keyring inside the pouch. I keep meaning to make more seatbelt zipper pouches…
Ben wanted a very colorful wallet. The outside is gold and orange. The inside is red, gray, and silver. It looks really sharp!
Matt wanted one of our Billfold Wallets with a Zipper Coin Pocket. But wait, there’s a twist. He wanted 2 additional card slots on the outside of the wallet. Voila!
|Sergio wanted a wallet with an ID window, side load pockets, a grommet hole for a chain, and an elastic band closure.|
And there you have it – a small sample of some of our custom work.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a custom project you’ld like us to take on!