Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Designing from the Inside Out

I want to make a travel bag to take to Barcelona in a couple of weeks.  P and I travel very light-- never check bags and like to use public transportation and our feet to get from airports to wherever we're staying.  So I need a bag that will fit under the seat in front of me and also be light enough to easily carry through long hikes from concourse to concourse and from the airport shuttle stop to the hotel.  And of course it needs to hold everything I plan on bringing.

I already have two bags that I like very much-- drawing 4319 is one that F made as a market bag prototype and that I've used as a carry-on bag before.  It 's just a little bigger than I really need and lacks a flap.  Drawing 4320 is a canvas messenger bag that I bought in Brooklyn and that I use on most trips these days.  It's a good size and is relatively light;  but it has heavy, clunky hardware on the strap and en excessively stiff patch of Velcro.  I would also like a flat outside pocket for magazines or small books.
On the right side of this spread are obsessive drawings of everything I need to bring along for two weeks in Spain.  Included are two pairs of jeans, two sweaters, four shirts, four pairs of underwear, 2 each of socks and bras, a small canvas bag of toiletries, and the all-important Scrubba and its companion thirsty, featherweight laundry drying towel for doing super fast hand laundry at night,  thus enabling the clothing supply to be sparse.

On the left is a drawing of my proposed bag.  I piled up all the folded clothing and measured to get the dimensions.  I stuffed everything into the messenger bag, which was closest to the dimensions I had gotten, just to check, and everything fit fine with a little extra space.  So I proposed a shorter height.  I redesigned the strap so that there was no hardware at all and thinned out the velcro a bit.  Plus I added a flat pocket across the front (but have since decided it would be best across the back so that the flap doesn't interfere with it).  I decided to go with a lined birdseed bag, super lightweight but strong material, and put a Lotus fish recipe bag design- a lazy dog fishing with a school of fish eluding the hook- on the flap for fun.  More fish will swim across the back pocket.  Can't wait to make it tomorrow!

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