Sunday, July 24, 2011

When crafts transcends all languages

On my recent trip to Penang for work, I came across this Japanese book on bags.

In the last two years or so since I started making bags, I have been buying quite a number of Japanese craft books, but I have yet to make anything from any of the books. I always end up getting intimidated by the Japanese instructions. I still am, but, for some reason, when I bought this book, I saw something I really like and want to give it a try.

I forced myself to get over feeling intimidated, and try to figure things out from the photos instead. That's one thing good about Japanese book - they come with good photo instructions, and our crafts transcends all languages.

I took about 2 days to figure out the instructions and on the 3rd day, I started tracing out the templates.

I had another problem though. Not being able to understand Japanese, I could not figure out the instructions printed on the templates. I couldn't make out the dimensions where dimensions are written and not drawn.

That's when I had to get creative and luckily, with the basic knowledge on bag making that I have, I made some educated guess and with some adjustments along the way, this lime green and orange bag was born.

I think I shall call it the Box Pleated Bag.

The original design calls for the handles to be made of 1 1/2 in tape sewn in the way I would always attach handles to the totes I make.

But when I had a visit from Sally last week, I had asked her to bring along some of her lovely bag handles. I wanted to get a brown one for another bag that I was in the midst of making.

But when I saw this lovely lime green bag handle, I knew it would be perfect for the Box Pleated Bag that I was going to do.

I think I was right in choosing this handle. It gave the bag some class.

The bag is quite small actually, measuring only 11 inches wide at its broadest, 9 1/2 inches high and 3 1/2 inches at its side, but it could comfortably fit in Sam, my Samsung Galaxy Tab, with still plenty of room for my purse and make-up pouch.

The side pockets are perfect for my two handphones!

I also added an internal  pocket which was not part of the original design.

I had also omitted the buttons as I could not find a button in my stash that would go with the bag.

I did not want to wait till I could get to Kelvin to get some buttons as I want to try to finish the bag when I still have some free time.

Besides the language barrier in trying to understand the instructions in making the bag, my only other problem was that of thickness or bulkiness due to the layering when doing the box pleats because the fabrics had already been ironed with interfacing.

If ever I make this bag again, I think I will make the pleats first, only then will I iron on the interfacing so that I won't end up with bulk at the seams.

Overall, I enjoyed making this bag, and might even consider taking orders to make a few more! *wink*

I have another bag I am making from the same book that I got the pattern for this bag, and again, I had to make some adjustments and some educated guess to try to figure out the instructions. That bag is also nearing completion. I just have the accessories to add.

I will post photos of that bag too when it is fully completed. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

zarina said...

I love the structure and the colors of the bags. good work.