Before I started making clothes, I used to make tote bags. They were a simple design that was easy to repeat and to customise with all kinds of applique, some simpler than others – like my current music book bag, which is a design cut from a favorite worn out t-shirt. I use this bag to carry around all my ukulele music books, many of them created by my boyfriend (such as ‘Ukulele! – The Strummers Guide‘ available on Lulu and Amazon. All profits go to Save the Children). My boyfriend asked if I could make him a manly version of this bag, so he can carry around his books too.
I started with the red twill that was left over from his Monkee’s shirt and added a black and white musical note lining. I hadn’t mad one of these bags for a while so it took a little longer than it used to, but it was soon complete …then I noticed that the straps were sewn in the wrong way round! I really do need to take a little more care.
Quite understandably, my boyfriend asked if I could turn them around, and while I had the lining detached I was able to add an applique design. Jez drew a skull and cross bones pattern, which I cut it out of the red twill and sewed onto a square of the musical fabric ready to attach to the bag.
It worked out really well in the end and I have plans to make another bag with a ukulele design on, to hold the books we have for sale.