Saturday, September 18, 2010

The "otagaroo" bag.


This bag is a great "pick-me-up" in every sense of the phrase - it lifts the spirits and being a carry bag it needs to be, well, picked up.

We have moved from cold grey wet days to warm wet grey days so a little colour is just what the doctor ordered.

I made it with the last scraps of my Otago tartan (my hometowm province) and some leather I got from Nicks. Australian readers may wish to skip the rest of this paragraph. When I got the leather I was super impressed by its thick even skin and evenly tanned hide. I looked at the skins a few times, and I know this sounds macarbre, I couldn't work out what animal it had once been by looking at the shape. (I don't look at meat in the supermarket the same way, you'll be pleased to know, but I have been inured to the origins of meat and I am still somewhat hesitant (guilty?) about the origins of leather). It turns out my piece of leather had once been a kangaroo. I find this a little disconcerting. Any Aussie friends who read this far may share this unease. I'll say one thing for it though- it sews up a dream and is great to work with.

I made up the bag in this Burda pattern (Burda 7684). It has some really nice features but I did change construction somewhat since their bag is not strong enough to hold its own weight and I wanted it to be self-supporting. This meant that I interfaced it with bag interfacing and then interlined it with canvas, before sewing in super strong nylon lining. I was grateful that I'd sewed my Amy Butler weekender bag earlier because I stole a lot of her construction techniques in favour of the Burda ones. Burda is still great on detail, not always so hot on instructions.

Speaking of great detail I put on the tab as instructed but I have no idea if I put in on the right end or even the right place. I couldn't figure out its function still being rather innocent in the ways of bag making. The way I've put it on makes it look like a tail hiding a butt hole.




I'm not really an accessory gal and about bags I am especially lazy since it means shifting everything out of one bag and into another. This bag will either get used to death or never at all. I managed to get one shot in before the rain started again harumph! So here it is debuting as wet weather stalwart:

20 comments:

  1. It looks great! Love the bright peppy colours. Its perfectly sewn, when I first saw the picture I thought your post was going to be about the new bag you'd BOUGHT.
    As to it being trimmed in kangaroo leather... if we are to eat meat and use leather products, kangaroo is actually about the most environmentally sustainable source going. It's also the least cruel as it isn't farmed, and they are not slaughtered in abbatoirs.

    http://www.ecosmagazine.com/?act=view_file&file_id=EC145p26.pdf

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  2. Wow! There is nothing home-made looking about this bag. The construction looks impeccable. I hope it does get used to death. Enjoy summer (we are descending into England's dark, wet, cold period, boo.)

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  3. Beatiful!!! And I think kangaroo leather is cool, but then I live in cattle country, and highly approve of that sort of leather.

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  4. Wow, when I saw the photo I thought maybe you had BOUGHT a new purse. That is some serious sewing going on there. It's fab!

    I've never heard of kangaroo leather, but then I also didn't think kangaroos had thick enough hide to make leather out of... although if I think about it I suppose they do. I liked EmilyKate's comment.

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  5. Your bag is very cool. It looks amazingly sewn. Where are your seam wobbles around the tricky bits? I am not showing you my bag.
    Kangaroo leather is not a bad thing IMO, I think kangaroo management is pretty well done, and the export arrangements for leather, fur and meat products are quite stringent. If they weren't culled there would be an awful lot of them!

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  6. Gorgeous bag. So happy. I hope you get lots of enjoyment out of it.

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  7. I am impressed with that bag. The tartan is beautiful and looks great with this pattern.

    I share your reluctant feeling about the leather, but glad it sewed up easily. I guess all leather is a little iffy, if I let myself think about it too much.

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  8. wow, kangaroo! I'm trying to think of a NAmerican equivalent that would make me feel the same way ...maybe a bison purse? Although bison aren't cute.

    It's very cool, though, especially in that plaid.

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  9. You made that bag. Awesome!
    Thanks for being worried about Aussies like myself being squeamish that you used kangaroo but you forget we are a nation that EATS its coat of arms (the kangaroo and emu)lol

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  10. I am coming to New Zealand to steal your bag! I love it. I am a sucker for tartan of any kind! So well made, it looks terrific. I'm a kangaroo eater, so I have no problems with using the leather!

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  11. I think the bag is super cute and it really looks like a nana bag too. I mean if I were a (much )older person than I am now I would be kicking up my heels with this bag.

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  12. Fab bag - I am with the other commenters - it doesn't look home sewn at all(meant in the best way!)

    Kangaroos - geez they hop don't the streets here - we can afford to use a few for bags!

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  13. This bag is one of my all time MA-sewn favourites. It's the perfect combination of style, humour, subtle meaning, craftsmanship, and practicality.

    Now hurry up and send me my pattern.

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  14. That bag is hilarious. Somehow its Kanga origins serve to give it a bit more...bounce, but you'll be getting sick of the jokes. It looks like an amazing feat of sewing to me, especially the straps.

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  15. What a fantastic bag. Interesting about the kangaroo leather....One way or another, it made a great bag!

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  16. fispliaI love it . I know what you meen about bags I am the smae . I have alot of bags which my very generous mother in law has given me over the years and they all get so used that they end up really sad looking . I need to sew a weekend bag and really a few for the different members of the family so that we can avoid having to go to luggage carousels at airports for w eekends away. You have inspired me A Kangaroo Lover.

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  17. Really cute! You're right to make it as strong as possible, as you never know what you may end up carrying, in my own experience. And the tab at the end of the zipper I've seen many times, particularly in Europe I think, it's very useful to close a recalcitrant zipper. When the bag's fully loaded..
    I can see the eeck factor in kangaroo leather. Most Americans I know won't eat rabbit for the same reasons (Thumper!).

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  18. Awesome, the finish is really pro and as someone who has struggled with bag making I say that yours look mighty fine. And I love your quote "This bag will either get used to death or never at all" I am the same way :)
    I didn't know that NZ also had tartans, I thought it was just a British thing. Cool to know!

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