Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Rush Hour Bloghop

Many thanks to Carol and Madame Samm for this one!

I didn't use the specific material but I did stick with the palette. Black, grey, red and white are sooooo not my usual colours so I was left with a quandary as to what to make. Plus I am a lucky housewife at the moment, so I am not even commuting or working. Was there anything I needed that would use those colours that came into this category?!

It was on my way back from the cat cafe (click here for endless posts about Tokyo's cat cafes) that my idea came to me. I had stopped by the supermarket and my tote bag was loaded with groceries, my beloved pepsi and various notebooks, pen and wallets, all sitting on top of my phone and keys. Regardless of the size of the actual bag, the ability for your phone and keys to vanish into it has always amazed me. I cannot begin to estimate how many times I've had to stop and empty out my bag, convinced that I must have lost one or both, only for the missing article to appear in a fold I swear I already looked in three times. Thus I was to be found squatting on the pavement outside my block with the contents of my bag spread out in front of me as I looked for those damned keys/

*gasp*

Hadn't I seen a bag pockety thing on Pinterest a while back?

Wouldn't that be perfect for my pocketless tote bag?

This was what inspired me and this is what I made.
Bag Insert
I used some Marvel comic fabric I had just taken delivery of from the Fat Quarter Shop (my favourite online fabric shop) and some tape measure type printed fabric tape I had left from a previous bag project. I also added a couple of metal snap fasteners so the straps could be fastened around the handles of the tote. So this is the bag closed...
Bag Insert
And this is it open...
Bag Insert
Bag Insert
Travel card, keys and phone, all safely tucked away but - very importantly - easy to find without having to rummage and rummage and rummage for them!

I made this last week so this gave me an opportunity to road test it for a few days.
Route 66

...hmmm...


After three days I threw it away. USELESS! I was deeply disappointed.
Scooter Is Disappointed Again, April, 2010
Now don't get me wrong - the concept is great! It is my design (essentially just flat rectangles) and the length of my straps that were at fault. The key problems I had were...

  1. The pockets were not deep enough so things fell out, leaving me still rummaging.
  2. Something with any thickness (even just the thickness of a phone) in a big pocket meant it was hard to use the smaller pocket, which was effectively on top of the big one. 
  3. The straps meant the top of the pocket was in line with the top of the bag - which seemed sensible to me at first - but then when my phone was basically visible on the top edge of my bag all the time I started getting paranoid about it getting nicked. 

I can see on the original that her main pockets were the full length of the insert and her straps were longer so I am considering this one a trial run and planning to make a second in the next week or so. Luckily I have more of my comic book fabric left!

Here is the schedule for the rest of the hop so please go and visit those taking part!

Wednesday, September 24

Thursday, September 25

Friday, September 26

Monday, September 29

Tuesday, September 30

66 comments:

Theresa said...

Great projects. Thanks for sharing.

Judy B said...

Sometimes our ideas work or not, but if they don't we can come up with a better idea. Darn keys, I know what you mean. I have an Ameribag and they use a clip the hold your keys, that is if I remember to use it, LOL! Thank you for sharing.

Joanne said...

Thanks for sharing your disappointment with the design. I thought this was such a good idea that I made a note to make one myself. Your road testing comments have helped me to hopefully not make the same mistakes. By the way, I love the fabric choice!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Many great projects come from 'trial and error' - so keep at it, you will find the perfect design.

Heleen Groot said...

I am blown away by the sheer practicality of the ideas during this hop. From giant bibs to roadside quilts to this contraption. It is a great idea! Keep fiddling with it, I look forward to the solution (and will then steal it of course). Thank you for sharing.

Anita said...

Great idea, I'm sorry it didn't work out. Better luck next time!

Cass Cusack said...

It is a great idea

charlotte said...

I think it is a great idea, you now know how to fix it to make it work. Trial and error is how ideas are born.

Mary Pat Callihan said...

Hey Lixie! The idea was great and the fabric and stitching looked super. The tape measure made a strong, fun-loving strap. So, voila, with another inch at the bottom, it will be perfect! :) ....and your cat, hilarious.

Thearica said...

It is a good idea and I am sure you will keep at it, until it is perfect. I need something to keep my keys and cell phone where I can find them as well.

Mara said...

It's a great idea, maybe you can add some flaps to help hide the phone, or even do it as a zippered pocket? Have fun.

Shari said...

Know just what you mean about the keys...I got this carabiner type clip that has rings on the bottom. Clips to the outside of my purse or bag handles and is easy to hold even when my hands are full. Great trial run! Love your cat picture!

Elizabeth Coughlin said...

I think it was a great idea and you will eventually get it to where you want it!

Mdm Samm said...

it is red and coming up with designs are just that....a road trip of an adventure

Jane's Quilting said...

I think you have a great idea there. Don't be discouraged, keep trying you will get it. If we never try things, we never learn. When you do, please share with us all. I like the idea for a bag I have.

Leah said...

Clever idea, even if you have to tweak it a bit. Trial and error are what make great thing come about.

Vickie said...

I bet we see more of those because of your great idea !

Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures said...

Nice job. I think we learn something each time we sew. Glad you shared your journey.

Carol said...

I've had several ideas that just didn't seem to work when actually made and it is frustrating. The bag is so cute and a great concept...good that you have more fabric to make another one!

krislovesfabric said...

Sounds like your solution will work great and the bag idea is a good one! That cat pic just cracked me up!!

Linda said...

What a great idea! Thanks for giving us the trial run and improvements that will make it work more effectively! Very helpful! It looks great, by the way!

Dorian said...

It's a great idea! I'm sure you'll work the kinks out. Or, you can just make a whole nother bag and sew pockets in it ;) Have fun!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I'm sorry it didn't work well for you but it looks like a wonderful idea! I think I might work on one for a bag I use...longer straps for sure. :) blessings, marlene

StitchinByTheLake said...

I'm sorry it didn't work well for you but it looks like a wonderful idea! I think I might work on one for a bag I use...longer straps for sure. :) blessings, marlene

evelyn said...

Great idea. Love the fabric. After you redesign and make a new one, this one is ready to gift to someone with a smaller phone. Nothing wasted. Love the kitty.

The Slow Quilter said...

The best layed plans sometime just don't work, put I think you idea was one for creativity and just work out the kinks. I loved it.

Joan Kawano said...

I just made a little project from a purchased pattern, and it didn't work out so well either. I just rewrote the entire thing. Sounds like you have a great plan. The next will be just what you want, I bet!

Mary Ann said...

Sorry your project wasn't exactly what you wanted. Maybe the pockets need the little folds on the sides so that they expand. Your kitty is beautiful.

Needled Mom said...

I love the pocket ideas IF I remember to put the items I need IN the pockets. That is my problem. It looks great though.

Kwilt Krazy said...

I think that was a great idea. I have some nice bags that don't have pockets. Hope you find a way for it to work for you.

Kathy H said...

Your idea sounded and looked great. Sorry it didn't work out but keep going. I bet you will find the perfect design.

Lana said...

I loved it!!!! In fact...You have inspired me to make one! I love that you just went for it!!!
And the look on that cat is priceless...Thank you for sharing!

Julie in WA said...

Highly enjoyable post! Sorry the little bag did not work out, but it was worth a try, right? Now I am off to read your cat café posts...I never knew such places existed. Ah-choo! I'm allergic to cats, but what fun to visit the cafes via the computer!

Mary said...

What a great idea, Maybe just a little better idea for perfecting.Trial and error is always good.

Julia Plunkett said...

Don't you just hate it when your vision of a project doesn't match with reality? Good luck with the next one. Clever idea for a bag!

Nellie Duclos said...

Great idea! I love your use of the denim. Hmmm, I have some old jeans in the closet and will be getting a "hand-me-up" iphone tomorrow. I guess I'd better get sewing. Thanks for sharing.

Lane Hill House said...

Hi! Pepsi and little notebooks! I'm in. That was my thought too, if the strap was longer the weight of the pockets would be in the bottom of the bag but still approachable to find those gadgets to open and close and answer! The straps are really cute. Let us know how the extension works for you to place your pockets lower. Have a fun rest of the day! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

Carla said...

I love your honesty. I wish every plan I have worked, but sometimes I do that, just chuck it. You have a great idea and now you know a better plan. Thanks for sharing your rush hour experience.

Carla said...

I love your honesty. I wish every plan I have worked, but sometimes I do that, just chuck it. You have a great idea and now you know a better plan. Thanks for sharing your rush hour experience.

Quilting Tangent said...

Pockets to put and keep keys and other important things always are helpful. A zippered bag would keep everything from spilling out. 24Tangent@gamail.com

Patty Howe said...

I happen to LOVE your bag pocket. It would work great with a stroller. Then you could unsnap it and tuck it into the diaper bag,later.

sew.darn.quilt said...

I think we've all had an idea that went bust however being the creative thinkers that we sewists are I'm sure your next pocket will be more to your liking. It's a great idea and your fabric is brilliant!

Patty D from NC said...

I think the idea is a really good one. keep working it through.

jan said...

I think it is really cute Alex! Even if you don't like it :) xo jan

Farm Quilter said...

Great learning experience!! And you taught us at the same time...that counts as a win, right? Maybe your pockets need pleats to hold your keys and phone - deeper too with longer straps! Now that is it long, does it need a touch of velcro on the bottom to hold it in place against the side/bottom of the bag??? So many variables!!! You may need to make 5 or 6 of these before you get it perfect...then we will all want a tutorial with lots of pictures!!! May I add to your rush hour??? Love the idea of this though...now you have me thinking!!

Createology said...

Your idea is a wonderful one for your bag. Now you will be able to make pockets that are just right. Thank you sew very much for sharing and hopping. Creative Rush Hour Bliss...

BarbCarol said...

Trial and error is the ONLY way I create. I have one storage bin just for "trial run" projects that I intend improving on....INTEND. Your project has saved me a few learning curves, so thanks.

Lori said...

the concept was a fantastic idea. Now to take that concept and improve upon it. You know what you would like. And you know what you do not want to see. Go for it girl. You can do this.

LJ said...

The whole idea was great. I have some of the same problems with designing but it's really just an opportunity to learn. Better luck next time!

Teatime Creations said...

Love the idea of a bag for catching all the "lost" items in a purse. I alwsys find I learn so much from my mistakes. Thanks for sharing your trip.

Cindy said...

I like the project idea. I would never have thought of it not working in the ways you mentioned so thanks for the honesty. Sharing what you learned helps me think of those things. Too often blogland is only full of successes.

Erin @ Sew at Home Mummy said...

This fabric is awesome. My husband is a major DC fan (Superman, not Batman, but in my mind, close enough ;) heheh) Sorry it didn't work out - but I love that you shared it anyway! I can't wait to see how you modify it :)

tink's mom said...

Cute idea, just needs a little more testing. A good idea has to start somewhere.

Bobbie said...

Great idea - remember what THOMAS EDISON said - I DIDN'T FAIL. I JUST FOUND 2,000 WAYS NOT TO MAKE A LIGHTBULB; I ONLY NEEDED TO FIND ONE WAY TO MAKE IT Work . Hopefully it won't take *that * many tries :)

Doris Rice said...

Why is that what's in our mind doesn't always work in our project. I've had a few "fails" in my time and was actually thinking of makeing this very pocket organizer. Thanks for the tips. I'll keep them in mind when I make mine. Your next one will be just the thing! Oh and my daughter is in Sasebo Japan. Too bad you're not closer!

Amy said...

It was a great idea! Too bad it didn't work as planned. I'm sure you will get it down. Love the idea and the fabric.

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

I like your design, and love the fabric. Thanks for sharing what you liked and didn't like too!

carla said...

Hi!!! Great idea!!! That must be a problem for a lot of us!!! Keys and phones!!! Very cute fabric and bag!!!! Let us know when you redesign and how it turns out!!!! Thank You

Corrie said...

Love your honesty. Good luck with the next one!~

Kids and Sewing said...

I love the pocket attachment. I like that you can change it from bag to bag, well for me only if it matches the other bags! Great job, thanks for sharing.

Linda J said...

Cute bag but if it was not working out then you know what you can do to alter it now. It seemed like it would be perfect at the time. No little person around to pass it along to?

madebymeinred said...

This is the smartest thing I've ever seen!

apple blossom said...

I have been sew into bags of late too. love your creation

Nancy said...

Trial and erroeris Okay~ I am sure your next one will be perfect as now you know exactly what you want and what will work. I Love the concept, thanks for sharing it with us!!
Huggs, Nancy

Kim said...

What a great idea! I think it would attach nicely in the car too.

skye said...

Just seen this post and your attempt at the Totes Best Friend - thanks for linking back to my original design!

If you're having trouble free styling then my pattern is only £3 and the problems you've described aren't an issue with it :)

http://www.evenartichokeshavehearts.co.uk/p/blog-page.html

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