I cut out some of the ultrasuede backpack pieces and did some test stitching on the scraps, only to find out that my trusty Singer 301 decided not make a single stitch. Arghhhh! It refused to pick up the bobbin thread, so it was essentially just sewing into thin air. I fiddled with the tension, cleaned out all the fuzz, gave it a good oiling, changed to a different needle, but nothing seemed to work. So...off it went to my sewing machine guru Mr. Klaus Heimann in Newcastle, Maine for some TLC.
While I was at a standstill I began to question some of my choices for this project. The only gray webbing I was able to find is on the narrow side, and the finishes on the hardware don't match. With time on my hands I decided to order some new components on-line. So here are the results.
The new webbing is 1.5" wide, charcoal polyester from Strapworks.com. It's much more substantial that what I originally bought. It came in just a few days from Oregon.
The new hardware is solid brass with a matte nickel finish from Buckleguy.com. Infinitely better than what I had originally purchased, and it matches. This is substantial hardware, identical in weight to what's on a Fossil messenger bag that I own. Mr. Buckle guy is in Massachusetts, so this was in my mailbox the next day.
Side by side one can really see the difference. I'm much happier with these small changes. (Which in the end are really big improvements)
The old webbing won't go totally to waste. It fits perfectly on this swivel snap that I scavenged off an old Lands End canvas briefcase. It will become a clip for car keys somewhere inside the bag.
I'm not wild about the "innards" of the Lucy Backpack as designed, so I set out to make it more closely meet my needs. I'd like a large padded pocket along the inside back of the backpack to hold my iPad or Kindle. The Lucy has a zipper pocket on the outside of the back which would drive me crazy. I'd much prefer any zippered pocket to be on the inside.
My plan is to make a little zipper pocket on the outside of a bigger pocket / sleeve. The zipper pocket was a breeze thanks to "backpack queen" Kyle over at Vacuuming the Lawn. She not only sent me the link to a great tutorial, she also sent me a roll of Wonder Tape and a box of Wonder Clips to make the job easier. Sewing people are the BEST, are they not. Thank you, Kyle!
So here's how it turned out. A pocket on a pocket. The lining is made with a quilting cotton from JoAnn's which is printed horribly off-grain, making everything look cockeyed. Grrrr. The top of the sleeve is finished off with some homemade bias trim, because...why not.
A variety of interfacings were used to give the lining some structure. I worry that the whole backpack could end up being a big floppy mess, so I'm working to avoid that.
Here I've folded all the layers back. The area of the welt is reinforced with a strip of Shirt Crisp Fusible from Fashion Sewing Supply. The pocket bag is also completely interfaced Shirt Crisp. The inner layer of the sleeve and the entire outer layer of the lining are reinforced with Pelon Thermolam, a fleecy fusible. Shirt Crisp was used again on the top trim piece where the grommets will be located.
And here is the lininging for the front of the backpack. It has two padded pockets, one for maps of NYC (invaluable for this country bumpkin), and one for fabric swatches that I always carry with me. A little patch pocket of ultrasuede holds my cards.
Pulled apart to show the interfacing.
Next time I'll finish up the lining (Wonder Clips will be involved), and venture into the unknown territory of faux fur! Until then, happy sewing!