Just been stitched

The Taylor Tailor Desmond Back Pack
In British Millerain waxed cotton canvas

Blog / 14 March 2018

I'm all about practicality when it comes to sewing and sewing things that I need, know I'll use and know I'll enjoy using once its made - just as much as enjoying the process of making itself!

My true love is sewing clothes but once in a while, sewing other types of projects is a nice break and can give me new challenges too. 

In this post I wanted to show you one of my latest projects - not garment related - and its the Taylor Tailor Desmond Back Pack. 

Those of you who have read my Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak will know how much I love our British Millerain Waxed cotton fabric, and this project was the perfect excuse to sew with it again! 

The Desmond is a great spacious bag for everyday use with lots of pockets and some really nice details! Check out my latest vlog on Youtube or read on to see more pictures and links to the fabrics, hardware and pattern - we've got a special offer for you too! 

Fabrics and hardware

I choose the Peacock Blue colour from our range of British Millerain fabrics. They have a special wax coating called 'staywax' thats shower proof and has a light waxy texture, not as saturated or oily like some of the more traditional waxed or oil clothes you can get. It's also machine washable - should you every need to clean your bag so thats a bonus! 

For the lining I used some of our cotton/linen canvas fabric (we've just got a bit of another colour-way left in the sale) but you can use any medium - heavier weight cotton fabric. If you wanted it to be a bit more robust you could also interface the lining too. 

You need a few bits and pieces of hardware for the project and to make it nice and easy, we've bundled it all together into a hardware kit that contains all the bits you need.

The hardware itself has a lovely antique brass finish that goes really well with all the colours of the Millerain fabric and the zip and webbing is in black. This classic colour also goes well with all the fabrics and won't show up the inevitable grime that can built up on bags. It's really durable too so won't stretch out or fray with use like cotton webbing does. To secure the ends of it, simply singe it with a flame (I lit a candle and used that!) and it will melt the ends very slightly and stop them from fraying. 

As the pattern is only available as a PDF (link here), also included with our hardware kit is a 15% discount on the pattern when buying it from the Taylor Tailor website. 

If you fancy using the same Millerain fabric I've used, use the code DESMOND to get 10% off 1m of your choice of colour when you buy the Desmond Hardware kit! 

(Valid until the 31st March 2018. Add the fabric to your basket along with the Desmond Hardware kit and the 10% will be taken off the price if the fabric. While stocks last). 

Design features

Before I show you all the details I love about this bag - I want to highlight how much I would recommend following the sew-a-long blog posts for making it (link here). The photographs really help and give lots of extra detail too! 

The bag has a roll top design, making the size really customisable to whatever you are carrying in the bag. The adjustable straps that come over the top can then be altered accordingly. The pattern instructions build in lots of length and ease, which you can then just trim down if you need to once you start using the bag.  

It's got lots of pockets which is great if, like me, you are always loosing things at the bottom of your bag! I've been pretty much just using a nappy/changing bag for the past two years and I'm sure there is stuff at the bottom that hasn't seen the light of day for a long time! 

Inside there are 4 pocket compartments and two of them have ease built in, so they are a bit broader at the top compared to the bottom, giving them a 3D shape. 

On the outside of the bag there are two patch pockets at the sides and then a 3D pocket with a zip on the front. I love the design of this pocket and I think it really makes the bag. It's probably the trickiest part of the construction but I really enjoyed it!  

There are other really well thought out detail too like the angle of the straps and the loop at the centre so you can carry it that way, or use it to hang the bag up. 

The instructions also guide you though adding lots of reinforcing stitches that get hidden too so its reassuring to know as your making the bag that there are these elements built in that will really make the bag last. 

The only this I might do differently the next time is to add some padding to the straps - but that might depend on how heavy the things were that you plan to carry around!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my version of the bag - if you decide to have a go let me know - I'd love to see your versions too!