I've just made myself a new "Market Bag".I go to the market at least once a week (more often twice) to buy fruit, vegetables, sometimes meat or fish and, of course, fabric and notions. That means I have a lot to carry when I'm there and I have to be able to take it all with me on the short bicycle ride home. It won't surprise you that I'm doing all the carrying in a me-made bag... Although I like my market bag to look nice, it is mainly utilitarian and I don't replace it until I have to.
The first one, which pre-dates this blog by quite a bit, was a clone of the store-bought bag which was performing the same service before it. I made it in cotton canvas which I dyed olive green and decorated with self-made band patches (the big one is of my boyfriend's band at the time) Unfortunately, I lost it well before its time when it was ripped off the back of my bicycle in a little drive-by moped robbery.
To replace it, I made another one using some Ikea fabric. This was in the early days of this blog and it has served me well ever since.
However, it looks a bit tired now and recently, the zipper which I inserted it one side has started to tear at the corner. The zipper closes a pocket which I use to store my wallet, phone and keys. As a result, it is opened and closed quite a lot when the bag is in use. And when I'm filling the bag, the weight puts strain on the corners when the zipper is open.
Not that I should be complaining, it has held up well for years.
And so, I made a new one. I used the same basic fabric as I did for the very first bag, just in its original un-dyed form. To decorate it, and to make it a bit more practical, I used textile black paint.
I printed some of the pictures of castle ruins from my holiday in Scotland and cut out the outlines to use as templates.
Not an entirely original idea, of course.
The paint has made the lower parts of the bag a bit thicker and stiffer than before, which I think is just fine.
Instead of an inside pocket which opens to the outside, like before, I've made an expanding patch pocket.
If you're interested, this is what the pattern looks like. The measurements include seam allowances and a facing of 3 cm at the top. My bag is lined and I used the same pattern piece for the lining, just cut 3 cm shorter at the top ( I know that means it's slightly too long but that's done on purpose. The outside fabric is strong, the lining isn't so I want to outside to carry the weight of the bag's contents). Obviously, you cut the bag piece twice and the pocket piece once.
I used bought strap material, 70 cm per strap, including seams and overlap with the facing. I couldn't get black straps so I decided to go with a contrast colour and buy red instead. All the straps on offer were also narrower than I wanted so I overlapped them a little and stitched it down with a stitched zigzag.
The bag got its first outings today: a trip to the market and some regular grocery shopping. I have to get used to it a little bit but I think it will work just fine.