Instead of collecting all my gear, sort through them and start packing for vacation, I decided to take a bit of time out over the weekend to make a Monk’s Bag to take along with me to carry all the little things.
I had the rough plans from a weave-along project that the Fiber Artisans are working on this spring.
It’s made with some dupioni remnants I had sitting around. Believe it or not, the remnant was almost exactly the dimensions of the fabric requirements — roughly 11″ wide and 92″ long. So, I trimmed it to 10″ wide (some areas were 10.5″ and some were 12″ so it needed to be trimmed) and then cut it into 1 28″ piece and the remainder evenly into 2 pieces, roughly 30″ each. I used a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around. It’s unlined, but the silk is pretty strong so I don’t think it will be an issue. Besides, this folds up nicely and can be stuffed into my backpack or purse to be used as an extra shopping bag.
(And no, no Hong Kong seams on this baby. Just a zig zag on the edges before I started sewing.)
I opted not to have a seam at the bottom of the main bag portion because I didn’t want a weak spot at the bottom of the bag where the seam is. I don’t know if this will bear out or not, but that was my theory.
What I learned.
- This bag ended up wider than it is tall. Duh. 20″ wide and 13″ tall.
- I would make the straps a bit longer. The top of the bag hits me right under the boob area. Not bad, but another 4-6″ might have been better.
- I could make some hidden pockets in the top part of the strap by sewing across and put a zipper in.
I consider this as my “muslin” for the real bag. I will take this with me to Thailand this week and use it as my day bag. That should tell me how well the dimensions work for me before I put on a warp.
Very appropriate, don’t you think? A bag make with silk remnants from Thai Silk to make a Monk’s Bag (aka Beggar’s Bag) to go to Thailand?
There’s a set of instructions for a Monk’s Bag at The Purl Bee. I didn’t follow this one. As I said, I just the rough dimensions from somewhere else and made it up as I went along.