Mothers’ Day Bag Mod

8 May 2010

This is the bag that I posted in my 365 blog, which I decided to hide from my mom until I give it to her on Mothers’ Day (made with love, of course). You can find more finished photos and the link to the fabric flower tutorial there, but here’s the work-in-progress pics so you’ll see how I made the padding on the handles. The original handles were made of braided natural fibers of some sort and they’re rough and itchy if used as a shoulder bag, that’s why my mom wanted it to have some sort of padding on the handles in the first place. Of course, when my mom wants something like this done, she makes me do it for her. I forgot to take a BEFORE picture, but it didn’t really change much besides the yellow padding on the handles, so… yeah.

Materials (it’s practically free because I have all this stuff already):

– Thin rubber foam, about 2mm thick (the stuffing inside bags my mom bought in Bangkok. I told you I keep everything) but any padding would do, even fiberfill or cotton or extra layers of fabric.

– Yellow fabric to match the original bag color (free sample swatch from a fabric supplier)

– Yellow thread (leftover DMC embroidery thread from ages ago)

– Super glue, needle, and clips to fasten stuff with

The How-to:

1. Cut rubber foam to size just with the width just enough to wrap around the handle with about 1cm overlap. As for the length, I was limited to the existing length of my material, which is just slightly shorter than the fabric I had. It was fine since it looks as if the yellow was an accent to the handles which serves its purpose as a padding while not totally covering the braided part which looks good as well. While holding the rubber foam in place, get some extra hands (i.e. my dad) to put super glue in the overlap. Clamp and wait for it to dry for a few seconds.

2. Cut the fabric to the length and width enough to cover the rubber foam with a overlap. Clamp (or pin) the fabric to hold it in place then sew with a blanket stitch. I used same yellow for the thread but as I was doing it I realized I should’ve used a different color, like yellow-green or turquoise like the other colors on the bag. Either way, it’ll look good.

Detail of the blanket stitch (barely visible). The rubber foam is about 1cm shorter than the fabric on either end.

One handle is done! Now repeat the same thing for the other side and you have lovely banana-looking handles comfortable enough for your mother’s hands and shoulders 😀


P.S. My mother loved the bag (especially the chocolate that came with it) and carried it around the house for a while, drinking water and even calling on the phone while it’s still on her shoulder. ❤


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