A little bit ago I posted about a laptop bag I'd attempted to make. It turned out well but I wasn't a huge fan of the way it looked. It was a little too matchy-matchy for me. So I attempted a "new" bag, made out of cargo pants and some bizzaro space alien fabric I had on hand. Without making this an instructional post, I basically cut apart some cargo pants and sewed them so that I created a tube with a flap and lined the tube with the alien fabric. Then, I created a strap out of the top of some jeans. There's got to be an official, sewing name for the top of pants. Sadly, my knowledge of fancy sewing terms is limited to "placket". Regardless, it's the bit at the top where the buttons and belt loops are. It's really thick, reinforced material so I thought it would make a good strap. The bag is completed except for this one component that I'm having trouble finding - it's a metal piece that would make the straps adjustable. I have only had a chance to check one store, but if I don't find it, I'll settle on using some D rings I have kicking around. Here are a couple pics of the bag in various stages:
This bag got me thinking a little bit about why exactly it was that I disliked the original messenger bag I'd made. I realized that I like for things to look homemade. I like the recycled/repurposed aesthetic. In the same way that I do not enjoy walking into Target or the mall and seeing 500 things that look the same, I don't like looking at my own work and thinking it looks like I could have bought it in the store. The vast majority of the time, this isn't a problem. I am horrible at sewing. I'm lazy with crafts. I am idea and not skill driven when it comes to making things and it shows in my end products. So this aesthetic problem isn't one I grapple with very often. I have to wonder - is this some sort of backwards elitism? Do I want to prove to myself and others that I'm not wearing something that came from a store? It could be, I wouldn't put it past me. I think I do genuinely like more thrown together looking items. Made with love but not necessarily with the latest issue of Vogue in mind. I'm sure that like most things, the answer is somewhere in the middle. I am both being an elitist about craftivism and also honestly enjoy a certain type of style. I do think it warrants more reflection. I'm sure there's a sort of elitist component to my thinking/feeling on this and if that's indeed the case, I am compelled to root it out. I find elitism in myself, and the mental baggage that comes with it, far more distasteful than overpriced clothing articles.