Monday, March 4, 2013

Productive Weekend

The customer liked his pliers, sounds like he may be asking me to do more. 

Tax paperwork did get copied and mailed out last week.

I think I may lay claim to a little bit of our federal return and get a maker's stamp, which we've been thinking about doing for several years. Provided the possible resolution of house water pressure issues unpleasant noises the truck was making don't hoover it all up.

Still still waiting for the two reference books. Still within estimated delivery time frame, though.

Remember months ago when I was working on a bag for myself, kind of based on a cavalry Quartermaster's bag?  Well, it's only this (small amount) far from being done!  I was motivated to finish it by the annual floodplain managers' conference this week, which will be held in Bloomington-Normal. 

When last I left the bag, the main parts were sewn together, the flap needed to be cut to final length, and I'd decided that the flap needed a binding, as the outer and lining pieces had some alignment problems. It also needed a way to carry it, and tabs to buckle it shut.

I started by stuffing it full, as part of determining flap length. Turns out I made a bag of holding:

This picture shows all I had stuffed in there: A fleece blanket and a roomy sweatshirt of mine in the large pocket, and two iPads (mine and Robin's) in the front pocket. This picture also shows how flat it collapses to, thanks to my cleverly molded gussets. 

Saturday afternoon/evening I sewed the binding on. First pass right sides together, then I rolled it over and sewed it down again. Because of the mis-alignment of the two layers, the second, visible stitching is farther away from the binding than I usually do it on pouches, etc. This picture was taken with the bag empty, you can see the flap now only goes to the bottom  edge of the bag. Or, it would if you nudge it a little - it sat for a while folded over loosely and lopsided, it'll take a little time to forget that fold.

Here's the bag with the binding done. I also put a coat of tan dye on the tabs holding the buckles to the front, which I'd inexplicably made from leather that doesn't match either the dark brown on the flap and front pocket, or the london tan I used for the gussets.

Yesterday I made a handle. I'd planned from the start to make it easy to change handles/straps. I thought about making just short handle for this week, but decided for travelling to/from the conference I'd want to be able to put it over my shoulder, but I didn't want a full shoulder strap flopping around. The compromise is a handle that's long enough to go over my shoulder, but not too long. I got fancy and rolled and stitched the leather around a piece of rope to make a round.

After sewing, I trimmed the handle, then soaked and shaped it - so that it would be in about the right size/shape U, with the seam on top, and to put the twist in at the tabs where it hooks to the bag. The back of the bag extends up past the flap (which you can't actually see in any of the pictures), and has two slots in it. I stitched around the slots, too.

The only thing left to do is to do a little touch-up dyeing to the edges of the handle, and to sew two tabs on the inside of the flap so that I can buckle the bag shut. If I don't get the tabs on tonight its no big deal, but I think I'll probably have time (I also need to get some things done to get ready to leave tomorrow for the conference).

But wait, that's not all I did this weekend!  Yesterday I also cut out cartridge pouches! I did two different styles for rifle cartridges, which get shoulder straps (haven't cut the straps yet), and a smaller one that rides on the belt, for pistol cartridges. There's a lot of similar small fiddly bits, especially between the two bigger pouches, so with the exception of the two larger main body pieces, they're sorted into labeled zippy bags. 

Not sure if Ron will get as far as doing any further work on any of those, but he knows where the parts, patterns, and directions are.


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