Kaban - Volume 3

Choosing fabric can at times be a tricky mistress. From my experiences the process can be divided into either visualizing the exact look during the development stage or having something jump at you while at a fabric store. In this case, my decisions came from a random visit to the recycle store and a donation of clothes.
I knew I wanted something more subtle than the flowery tote my friend left me. My online research left me with rather plain, uni-coloured, bland....leather.. bleghh. One random stop at the recycle store accidently netted what I was looking for. Hanging on the winter wear racks was a pinstriped trenchcoat. While a size (or five) too small for me, I knew it would be a great choice for the bag as it was thick and you can never go wrong with grey pinstripe. The interior on the other hand came from a white polar I caught roaming near my apartment my friends John and Josie. They migrated recently but before they did, Sarah and I visited them to say goodbye and to snag their giveaways. Apart from old rotary phones, surge guards, we scored a HUGE bag of clothes. Among the goodies was a blue fleece coat lined in white faux-fur. Decision instantly made: Tough and industrial on the outside, soft and precious on the inside. 

Without further ado heressssss *Momoko*



Bag handles are always ideal for when the load gets heavy. I however couldn't get away from the messenger bag form so I added tags and hooks on the side. The strap from my laptop bag now has a new home....

Mata ne ^_^


Kaban - Volume 2

I didn't know I wanted another go at making a bag for myself until I came across this beauty.


Pictured is a lovely tote bag given to me by my friend Carrie who left Japan in March. I used it to carry lots of goodies from her apartment she gave away back to mine. It couldn't have come at a better time. My hiking, camping bag shit thing which I only bought last year in Thailand was pretty much dead. This tote bag has been nothing short of a convenient miracle. It was spacious enough to carry my drawing stuff, Japanese textbook, Kindle and my laptop with still enough room. On top of that it was sleek with enough pockets to store peanuts for the winter. I found my muse.

I immediately knew I wanted to take my time with this baby and also give myself a bit of a challenge. The messenger bags I made for my friends came from a pattern I found online. Pretty easy ne? Print pattern, tape together, throw on fabric, cut, sew. With this lovely tote as my inspiration, I wanted to make something somewhat original.

The first part of the process is development. How do you want your project to look? What is its function? What about its capacity? Should it have one strap or five? I jotted these questions in my diary. The answers provided a great gauge of what I wanted. Next came the sketch and also researching online for reference. Browsing through pictures of men's tote bags also helped gauge what elements fit and what didn't.


With all that mess out of the way the pattern making could begin. What I wanted out of this bag definitely had an effect on its dimensions. Space wise, I knew I wanted no less than my new muse. My laptop's dimension were used as a yardstick for deciding the size. With the pattern made I cut into my muslin and got to construction.

The muslin (as usual) is good for researching techniques and clarifying problems among other things. When all was said and done, I made corrections to the dimensions (looked like I was carrying a parachute) and finalized the design detail.

The challenge now lay with picking the right fabric.......

Mata ne!


Kaban - Volume 1

It has been quite a while since I've touched here. While I never stopped sewing, I lost some serious fire for a what felt like forever. Must have been the winter blues. Spring has come and summer is around the corner. Life blooms yet again.

I've had an unhealthy obsession with bags lately. It all started with this one.

 Wanting to make a cool bag for myself, I poured a lot of anticipation into it only to feel dissatisfied not long after it was finished. It definitely started something though. Still wanting to make bags, my friends became my inspiration. First pictured is a going away present for the daughter of my friend who was going to migrate. I gave her the choice of fabric and she purchased this lovely apple number. The inside was lined with jeans donated from my girlfriend and my friend Sheila.


This second piece was made for my friend Shiori before she left for vacation. Again the choice of fabric was out of my hands.I found the pressure of time and perfection to be a huge motivator. After all, if you're making something for yourself, mistakes and fuck-ups can easily be pardoned.

Mata ne!
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