Sunday, 7 October 2012

Time for a new make do you think?...

I love to try my hand at a new project. And this one was certainly something I'd never made before. I had a commission from Joan who was about to go on holiday. Her trusty favourite travelling companion was looking more than a little worse for wear, and she'd scoured the shops looking for a similar replacement with no luck. What is this faithful companion I'm talking about? A sturdy yet flexible rucksack style bag; soft enough to roll up and squeeze into the corner of a suitcase and strong enough to cope with the rigours of the beach and poolside.

Joan had kept her bag and passed it on to me for inspection to see if I was up to the challenge of deconstructing, creating a working pattern and making a new and improved version. Always looking for ways to upcycle, I managed to remove all of the metal fixings and rings from the bag to reuse but I knew that eyelets for the drawstring closure would be a new skill I would have to master.

I chose a medium weight denim in black with an off-white thread in the weave. This would give a stylish and practical finish to the bag. I used strong black polycotton for the carry handle and for the D-ring fixings as I wanted to provide a contrast fabric for the look but also add strength to the finished product. It certainly proved to be strong - managing to bend and break my machine needle twice in the process!

I'm really pleased with the results, and more importantly Joan was thrilled. I haven't heard back from her since her holiday, but I'm hoping her new bag lived up to it's high expectations.

If you would like a similar bag made, prices start from £20.00 plus fabric and fixings. Email


  1. Hello Gillian, I love this idea its looking great. I met you at the craft fair at the Beacon the other week, I have made a blog post about you but I couldnt find a link to your etsy page. Could you send me one please? Thanks. :)

    1. Hello again Samar - lovely to hear from you.

      My etsy shop is here:

      Thanks Gill x