Saturday, March 20, 2010

Field Guide Tote Bag

Delighting in time spent out of doors, observing the nuances of nature from the magnificent to the subtle, is not my only passion.  I am a quilter, an overal general crafts person, and I am often in the flurries of a sewing frenzy! If I'm not out of doors immersed in nature, and I am not quilting, I am making beautiful greeting cards from the photographs my sister and I have taken.

On a recent trip to Massachusetts, I purchased a pattern for a small tote bag that was fun and interesting to make, and just a cute as can be. 

Here's one version, made from my scrap box, as a birthday gift for an 8 year old neighbor friend.
So when I showed The Ranger my first finished bag, he said it would fit a guide book perfectly.  Well, this man's a genius!  The idea rolled around in my subconscious for a couple of days, and one morning I woke bright and early and got to work.

(click pictures to enlargen)

I upcycled an old but hardly worn corduroy shirt for this project,
incorporated the breast pockets into it, one on the front,
one on the back (they have velcro closures). 
I constructed the strap to detach from one side, sewed a
measuring tape down the center, and voila!
It is intended to hang diagonally across the torso
and rest at the hip.

I sent it to Little Sister (the "Holly"
of KaHolly, to use as she ventures
out this spring in search of those ephemeral
blooms and masses of frog eggs,
to "test out in the field" for me! 
You can see where guide books
usually end up!  Actually, it's quick
and easy to tuck them like that!

I can't wait until she receives it and gives me some feedback.  Now to make one for myself.


Abby and Stephanie said...

Perfect. Love the upcycled fabric. For every man/woman there is a bag...

Niesz Vintage Home said...

Oh yes, I agree with Stephanie, PERFECT!
So glad you shared the photos of it with us. I'll have to remember that tape measure strap...that would come in handy on a flea market bag. :-)
So clever!


John said...

Excellent idea Karen, you could earn yourself quite a bit with the Field Guide Bag...

Well done.


This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: What a neat look at the fun little bag.

Jenn Jilks said...

I love it! I spend so much time looking things up! Great post. Thanks for visiting My Muskoka !

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

What a clever design! Love how your repurposed a shirt for the fabric.

Unknown said...

Ooh! I love how it came out! Thanks so much for sharing pictures! :) I can't wait to get my sewing room together (AGAIN :P) and get back to being crafty. It's the best. :)

Kay Baughman said...

Wow! This is so cool. I am a quilter,too. If I can just get myself away from the windows, I'll make some of these!

Susan said...

Hey Karen, I was just about to stop by here and saw you beat me to it, thanks for your visit! What an awesome idea, both these bags came out beautifully, I'll bet the field guide bag will be a big hit. You could definitely market that one! Oooo, how I wish I had more time, I'd just love to learn how to sew properly and quilt - but I'll just have to wait, one goal at a time I guess. Enjoy the rest of this beautiful Sunday!

Unknown said...

I love upcycling! What a cute little bag!

Carrie P. said...

They are both great. I love the knots on the flower one.
A very smart idea. I would have never thought to put the guide in the back of my pants but that is a great idea too.
Sister will love it.

Johnny Nutcase said...

ohh! my niece would love that first one, and i would love the second one - it does appear to be the perfect size for field books/notebooks! awesome job!

DeniseinVA said...

A brilliant idea!!! You are very clever and make the neatest things.

Rambling Woods said...

I haven't made anything with fabric since my daughter was little..what a great idea you had....Michelle

EG CameraGirl said...

Very cool project!

Kat Mortensen said...

That is ingenius Karen! I love the one for the 8 year old also.
Do you have an Etsy store? I think these would be a hit.


Rosie said...

what a great idea. I don't get time now to do patchwork and quilting any longer but I got great satisfaction from doing it. My favourite has to be the top photos. When I clicked on the photo to see the detail I could see that you are excellent in your craft. Beautiful workmanship indeed.

Rosie Scotland said...

KaHolly I thought I would leave this little link for you. You would not believe how many times folk ask me this or send me emails asking the same question.

so whats a lade?

I hope you get lots of info here about it. Rosie

Rambling Woods said...

No I haven't read this.. but I am adding it to my list.. 'A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold?".. thank you...Michelle

KaHolly said...

Aw, gee, you are all too kind. Thank you. I'm a little uncomfortable posting pictures of my "stuff", so I do appreciate your kind words. ~karen

Bird said...

This is a great bag design - and it's so beautifully made! Really practical. I love this size and style of bag, been thinking about making myself something like this from a bunch of denim offcuts I've been hoarding. You reminded me to get that sewing machine out.