DIY · Fiber Craft · How-To

The Chicken Bag: Inception

It all started the way most things in my life do: The Perfect Thing That Must Be Used is found. In this case, it was found by one of the Crafty Council while perusing a local fabric store. She sent our group text this photo:

Chicken chicken bock bock

Chickens? Check. Colors I enjoy? Check. Delectably textured light canvas? Check and check. She gets me two yards and I start perusing possible uses. A dress? An apron? A bag. And I would have leftover fabric for other things too. AN ALL CHICKEN ENSEMBLE? You can’t contain this genius. I even found the perfect coordinating fabrics for the lining!

See? Having a well-stocked stash is *helpful*

The Hunt for the Perfect Bag Pattern begun, luckily without any Soviets involved. I wanted a messenger-style bag that could fit my laptop and more importantly, my Wacom tablet I use for work. I often bring it with me, as I work both at home and at the studio, but it is the most. inconvenient. size: a short but quite wide rectangle. It doesn’t seem to fit in any backpack or bag without one of the ends or the cord sticking out awkwardly. In my Google image search, I hit upon Swoon’s Carter Messenger Bag and fall in love *heart eyes*. One snag: it’s too small. Immediately, the gears are turning… what if I increased the pattern size? I could blow it up 150% and then it would be the perfect size. How hard could that be?

(You would think I would finally learn the answer to that question is always “an annoying amount” but alas.)

Isn’t it adorable??! Get your pattern here.
Photo credit: Swoon Patterns

I purchase the pattern, ignore it for the requisite two weeks to a month and then finally sit down to figure out how to print this thing out larger by 50%. Once I print out enough paper to offend the environmentally-conscious part of my mind, I give it a cookie and a book so I can summon the inner preschooler to cut and tape this mess together.

Scissors? Check. Tape? Check. Baseball? Um, sure.

And then I realize: I don’t have a contrast fabric picked out. I hem (hehe) and haw. The pattern calls for woven or vinyl, but of course my mind immediately goes to using leather (doesn’t everyone have two half-hides of tanned cow leather in their attic? No?). Thankfully the Crafty Council saves me from myself and confirms that if I would like to finish this bag ever, I’m better off going with vinyl or a canvas of some kind. I mope a little, but agree because they are right. I decide vinyl is dumb because I’m mad and order some red canvas. Oh and all hardware called for, in antique bronze, plus about 700 Chicago screws (aka screw-back rivets) that weren’t really called for but hey, they are cool.

Look at all of that organized potential.

*phew* I’m ready! Oh wait. I have to wash, dry, and press all of the fabrics because I may actually have to wash this bag at some point and I will SOB if I wash it and colors run or it puckers or something else equally unfortunate. It’s yet another delay and I’m getting antsy to get started on this thing.

Now, finally, all fabrics are prepped and ready. The shipments of hardware have arrived. The pattern pieces are printed, cut, and assembled, and the pattern instructions are marked in the places I’m sure I’ll need to adjust dimensions to fit the enlarged size. Everything is set to start cutting out the pattern and piecing this bag in the morning!

Note to self: find a pencil with a better eraser.

So of course, I wake up the next day with the first (and worst) cold I’ve had in over a year. *facepalm*

Dr. Rune Voidfloof is annoyed I am taking pictures when I should be sleeping. I have a bag to make so he can sleep on it!

3 thoughts on “The Chicken Bag: Inception

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