The team at Merchant & Mills always manage to perfectly pair respect for tradition with modern practicality when they design a tool or a pattern. Since this is what I look for when choosing a daily bag, I was very excited to add the British haberdashery’s Bag Making collection to our shop.
Have you had a chance to peruse their comprehensive selection of bag making offerings yet? Check out the M&M Bag Station!
In our shop you will find the patterns, kits, notions, and even a couple of fabrics that work very well to create your own waxed backpack, tote or bucket bag. Let’s have a look:
First, here is Merchant & Mill’s take on the back pack – the Right to Roam Rucksack sewing pattern!
I love that it includes the option for a cross body handle. This pattern could be sewn up several times to create a large variety of bag styles depending on your handle choice and the type of fabric that you use (oilcloth, denim or canvas, for instance).
Since the correct notions can be tricky to source, there is also a complete kit available which includes some impressively high quality hardware and leather.
Inside the paper sack you will find nickel roller buckles…
A pack of double cap rivets…
A magnetic snap…
Sturdy nickel eyelets (they are big and seriously tough!)…
And a roll of thick leather pre-cut to the ideal strap width…
All you need to do is choose your fabric! I’ve just listed our burnt orange bag making canvas by the 1/2 m in the shop.
Pair this cotton canvas with a bar of Otter Wax to achieve this gorgeous lustre!
The second bag design Merchant & Mills offers is my favourite – the Jack Tar Bucket Bag.
This bag looks simple on the outside but contains three divided compartments within. I like the combination of a leather shoulder handle and the short fabric handles that will not bang around or be annoyingly heavy when the shoulder handle is in use.
Of course, there is also a kit available for this pattern:
The brown sack includes the necessary D-rings…
A magnetic clasp…
A few double cap rivets…
And a pre-cut leather strap…
If you prefer to head off on a bag making adventure without the full kit, we’ve listed some of the hardware individually in our shop too. The double cap rivets and eyelets can be found in several finishes. They are useful for bag making but can also be used for garment sewing too (reinforcing pockets and adding drawstring waists respectively).
The last bag making project you’ll find new in our shop is the Oilskin Bag Kit.
This kit really sets you up for success. I bet it would be a great gift to initiate a friend into the world of sewing! The gorgeous oilskin has been pre-cut into all the panels necessary to create the bag design included within the instructions. One of the panels is even stamped with a Merchant & Mills emblem.
Also included within the kit are natural leather straps that have their holes pre-punched and all of the necessary hardware. Simply follow the instructions to sew the bag together!
While I’m talking bags, I thought I’d let you know that I found an excellent tutorial to make a tote similar to the one that I sewed for my mom a couple of years ago using our burnt orange canvas and Otter Wax.
We get emails very often requesting that I design a pattern for this tote but I just haven’t got around to that yet (sorry!). In the meantime, check out this very clear tutorial on the blog Inspired By Wren. It is lined, just like the tote I constructed but with some different design features. You could easily add a metal zipper to the front pocket to achieve the same aesthetic and functionality as mine! Of course, instead of cutting the tote from contrasting fabrics you could cut the panels all from one colour of canvas like I did. I like the strength of handles that extend onto the bag rather than handles that attach at the top (so the tutorial features an improvement on my design!).
To make the bag, here is what you will need:
- The tutorial on Inspired By Wren
- 1 yard/1.1 m of the Burnt Orange Cotton Canvas from our shop
- 1 regular bar of Otter Wax
- A zipper for your pocket
- 1/2 yard/1/2 m of lining (perhaps this navy paisley?)
- The tutorial doesn’t include it but you might like to interface with fusible fleece or another sturdy interfacing, though it depends how floppy or rigid you would like your bag to be. I interfaced my bag with medium weight fusible cotton interfacing so it remained quite floppy (which I like for a bag this size).
I hope that helps some of you out! I think it will get a few waxed canvas tote bag makers headed in the right direction.