Next time I get some exciting idea for a knitting project that requires a bunch of finishing involving extra fabric and sewing machine etc., just say two words: “laptop bag”. That should get me to back away slowly.
The knitted bag pictured above is adapted from an Interweave Knits pattern called Grace’s Bag; knitting described here. Today was entirely structured around giving me four continuous kid-free hours to assemble the liner necessary to turn this floppy bit of knitting into a functional laptop bag.
I wanted to do this thing right, so I consulted nobody, came up with a half-baked idea, and started cutting without measuring properly. You know, my usual.
At least this time my half-baked idea was pretty simple: two rectangles sewn together with a zipper on top. It was made annoying by the composition of said rectangles. I wanted a laptop with some substance, not floppy, but feeling like it offered some protection. So I bought some nice fleece-lined polyester for the inner lining, and bulked it up with two layers of quilt batting, and for an outer layer I cut up an old grocery bag. It kinda makes sense right?
This was seriously unwieldy to measure, pin, and cut. The new sewing pins I had bought could not handle it at all, and my sewing machine had fits. In the end, it only worked out because of a lot of basting, and because I had purchased some leather needles for my sewing machine in anticipation of a different project idea long ago abandoned.
I thought my knitted bag was a little wide, so much so that I had this crazy plan for making an extra side pocket. But once I put in all these insane layers of padding, it fit just right in width and was in fact quite short. Thankfully knitted fabric is stretchy, and I attached it over the zipper with some secure whipstitch. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about sewing from hanging around with Inuit it’s this: when in doubt, whipstitch.
All’s well that ends well, I guess. Even though I don’t enjoy machine sewing, I am glad I have the basic knowledge – I won’t say competency – to execute these basic things. I could like machine sewing, if it fit into my life better, if I were more thoughtful about my tools and project selection, and if I sought out a supportive sewing community.
For now I am content to machine sew only in emergency situations, and stick to the sewing I enjoy – by hand, with skins. (I do have a sealskin project on the go that I haven’t shown you yet; I keep forgetting to write about it because my progress is so slow. I’ll get to it soon.)
In the meantime I will enjoy my awesome new laptop bag. Just don’t let me get any ideas about making another one.
One thought on “Bag in the Bag”
It’s beautiful and looks perfect! Almost makes me want to finish the lace handbag that has been languishing away in a basket waiting for a lining and handles. Almost…