Lina and Vi: Weekend in Philly with the Newark Cross body Tote

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Weekend in Philly with the Newark Cross body Tote

lina and vi - plymouth mi - burlap tote bag

This past weekend, my husband and I took a short trip to visit the beautiful city of Philadelphia, PA! We had such a great time, and I'm slowly catching up on things around here. I wanted to stop in to share a few photos of the cross body burlap bag I sewed quickly for our trip as the trusty cross body bag I typically use on trips has worn out clasps that are ready to snap, and I needed something reliable to walk around for a few days. I unfortunately don't have many up close photos at this point to share, but I didn't want to wait to share what I did have from the trip.

lina and vi - plymouth mi - burlap tote bag

When I originally came up with the idea of sewing up a handmade burlap bag for our trip, I knew the bag would need to be large. When I travel, I use one bag for my usual purse items on top of extras that include maps, books/magazines, travel guides, plane reservations, umbrellas, etc. You get the point - it needs to be large because I'm throwing everything in it as I try to navigate airports, rail lines, and museums.  The bottom is about 1.5 inches wide so that it could expand to fit all of the contents inside. The inner fabric is a solid black cotton lining with a zipper pocket and two slide pockets. The outside flap fabric is an off-white canvas fabric with an appliqued tag from the original burlap sack in the front center. The bag secures shut with a wooden button. I re-purposed the leather straps from another (store-bought) bag as I didn't have time to sew a strap. The strap clasps to the two loops I sewed into the side seams of the bag using folded belting, so that it would be durable and strong enough to hold weight.

My absolute fabric design element of this bag is the trim around the edge of the exterior flap. I cut this braiding strip from the seam of the burlap coffee bean bag. It finishes the bag so well, giving it a crisp feel while the body of the bag is less structured. Sewing this trim to the edge of the flap was much easier than I anticipated. I loved that I used a new part of the burlap sack that I've never used in any of my previous bag designs, and I am so happy with the outcome.

This bag worked out so well in Philly. We walked for miles around the city each day from Rittenhouse Square to Old City to South Philly to see the shops on Passyunk and the Italian market. I carried everything from a camera to multiple maps of the city to an umbrella and a full water bottle.  Having a crossbody bag with me allowed me to keep my hands free and the weight distributed across my body since we were on our feet all day and we all know how heavy even a small amount can feel after carrying it for hours.

At this time, I don't have a bag similar to this in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop. Would you be interested in seeing this type of design there? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear feedback.

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