Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A book bag for Sam

Sam needed a book bag, since larger backpacks are not allowed in the hallways at his school. The school provided cheap nylon bags that ripped the instant his binder was placed inside.  After repairing it twice, I offered my services.

He wanted fabric with variety, but none of the "licensed prints" worked for him.  Maybe a stripe?  Maybe a print?  Nope. There were no stripes or prints in the entire wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling merchandising space of the Hancock Fabric store that would possibly work for his bag.   "Can you make a fabric for me, Mom?"  After more than an hour walking around the store, I wearily agreed to "make him a fabric" and introduced him to the fat quarter corner.  Not just two different fabrics, or even just three or four, he had to have SIX different fabrics.  Six different fabrics that really didn't seem to coordinate.  The cashier appeared a bit confused when he told her we were making a bag.

His dad and sister ribbed him all the way home about the "quilt" that Mom would make him to carry his books in.  He didn't let it get to him -- he had a vision of how to mix his red and zebra and black and brown and orange and gray fabrics.  This vision also included his favorite fabric -- wait for it-- red minky.  Even I was starting to wonder about this project.

The back side reverses to...
...the front side; lined in...

I also had doubts about using a knit as a lining for a bag that would hold several pounds of books, but so far, it has worked very well.  The Minky is slick enough that his books easily slide in and out, and thanks to the interfaced outer shell, it has held its shape just fine.
Stiffly interfaced triangles for grommets through which we loop the paracord.
To our surprise, the bag has been very helpful.  It serves as an organizer within his much bigger backpack, that he pulls out to bring to our homework sessions at the library.  He carries it between classes, and tells me that he has received a lot of compliments.  I have to be honest, I didn't expect compliments from junior high students.  The world must be a kinder, gentler place than it was when I was in 7th grade.  
It even worked well as a candy bag for trick-or-treating & even coordinated with his (self-designed) costume.
Now he wants me to attach a water bottle holder.

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