Instructables
I'm always looking for my next new bag. In my recent searches I discovered this fascinating set of bags by Josh Jakus. I like my geometry a bit more random than he does, so I decided to adapt the idea to a more non-regular surface. The design and construction are pretty simple and, assuming you can get your hands on a sewing machine, you should be able to pull this off for less than $20.

Please leave comments, I'd really appreciate it!
 
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Step 1: Design your bag!

Picture of Design your bag!
This step isn't absolutely necessary. If you want, you can just use the two pdfs attached to this step and make the example purse and wallet. If you want to make your own, you'll need a computer with some kind of modeling or drawing software (I used Rhino, which is currently in beta and therefore *free* for Mac users), a printer, and some tape. Just follow the steps below:

1. Draw a curve, really any curve.
2. Copy it and rotate 180°, move the second curve so that its endpoints join with the endpoints of the first curve.
3. Repeat with several more curves, then print out small versions of each.
4. Cut out the shapes you've just printed and tape the edges together. Pick the one(s) you like the most and, if it going to be a bag, decide where your handle is going to go.
5. Back on the computer, draw an ellipse for your handle at the positions you decided on in step 4. Make sure that you place both holes the same distance from one of the two vertexes and has the same orientation with the curve (check out the attached example).
6. To actually make the purse, you'll need to have a zipper. Measure the zipper from the beginning of the teeth to the end. This probably won't be the length on the package so you really do need to measure! Scale your drawing so that the length of one of the curves is that length.
7. You'll then need to offset both curves 1/8" toward the interior to allow space for the zipper. Connect them with two short straight segments. This, and the ellipses you made, are the lines you'll be cutting on.
8. Print out your pattern and cut off most of the excess paper.

gserrano7012 years ago
Great, thanks for sharing, I'll make mine soon
wadashop4 years ago
Hi, I actually sell them on www.wadashop.com and I didnt know about this Josh. I got the idea from Peru. Mine has different colors and designs. You will love them and they are super cheap.
you should consider selling these on etsy if you havent started already! :D

www.etsy.com
cynder6 years ago
I made some of these! They turned out great. For some, I used boiled woolen blankets, and for some I made my own felt. Now I have been asked to show how it's done to a fibre craft group. I tell them about Instructables, but some are computer shy.
rupamagic6 years ago
Fabulous! Thanks! Now I need to find the time to make this tote! I'll post pics if it's anything better than a disaster. Wish me luck!
smithn6 years ago
wow this is actually pretty useful. I could probably make a pretty cool messenger bag like this with scrap leather. thanks for the idea =D
rupamagic6 years ago
I really LOVED the "UM" idea when I saw it on Josh's site, and I actually stared at it for a while trying to figure out how I could make it myself. I would love to have a LARGE over-the-shoulder tote version of this, but I don't have any drafting software or the understanding of geometry to pull it off. If anyone figures it out, please share the pattern with me! I'm very impressed with the original UM bags and your adaptations. Your instructable was well laid out and easy to follow also, well done!
jftesser (author)  rupamagic6 years ago
I'm actually working on an over the shoulder tote right now, so great timing! I'll probably be sewing it tonight and (assuming I get a nice result) I'll post a pdf of the pattern.
jftesser (author)  jftesser6 years ago
Posted! (I'm not super happy with the bag though, so try this one at your own risk ;)
Yahooo!
anngel3696 years ago
this is so cool! i can't wait to try it out! really great instructions..thanks!
joshjakus6 years ago
Ps., I'm not too stressed about this despite a rampant ripoff problem within the industry, but could everyone who makes a copy please just reference my work as jftesser has? thanks!
joshjakus6 years ago
Yes, congratulations on the prize! Do I get a cut of the prize money as the original designer of the UM bags? :)
osibisa6 years ago
and yes--congratulations! nice work.
osibisa6 years ago
It does look like a mouse. What about ears? :-) I'm a great mouse-lover--had a number of the white ones as a child.

I can't really make out-- are these are two-way zippers? I'm sure it'll come clear when I can see the thing actually in front of me.

Hmm. I have a very long orange velvet thingamajig (for putting a cushion inside). It fits about 4 king-size pillows with space left over--and, here's the best part: the beautiful brass zipper! I brought it at Goodwill mainly for that zipper -knowing it would prove itself as precious- although
I'd always thought to build a long narrowish bench to put it on.

hmmm. One thing I thought was interesting, following the trail of crumbs from Joshjakus to treehugger was someone's post about working in a recycled felt factory and becoming very sick--it was attributed to the fibres. She made the point that real wool felt is a renewable resource and stated she wouldn't
have the recycled stuff near her, touching it everyday...

anyway, I'm thinking these would be great in my thick velvet, maybe with interfacing.

whiteoakart6 years ago
congrats on your first place prize!
jftesser (author)  whiteoakart6 years ago
Thanks!
canida6 years ago
These are fantastic, and your instructions are clear enough that I think I could even follow along! Not sure when I'll get around to it, but will definitely post pictures when I do!
whiteoakart6 years ago
You could easily pull this project off for free. When we discard old, beat up coats that are too nasty to donate, I remove the zippers. I have a nice collection of zippers in a variety of lengths and colors. I also collect odds and ends of fabric from surplus stores and fabric stores, as well as old jackets and such. Because the geometry is open to interpretation, this is a great project for funny little odds and ends of material.
What a fantastic idea! Cannibalizing those high-quality zippers seems like such an obvious thing to do, in retrospect. Thanks for the suggestion.
This is an awesome idea, so of course I had to make one of my own :) I wanted a wallet that looked more like a cone than a tube, and it worked out. Thanks for the fun instructable...now I have easy gift ideas! Also, I used regular fabric to make mine, and used fusible interfacing to give it support - though felt is nice too :)
Photo 37.jpgPhoto 41.jpgPhoto 46.jpgPhoto 53.jpg
yeah, i wanted to see what it would look like with loose objects inside, and that's what i had lying around. :)
jftesser (author)  redhedinsanity6 years ago
Thanks for the pics! I really like the stripes. Are those puff stars in there?
whiteoakart6 years ago
What does it look like when it is full of stuff? I like it. I am not a bag carrier, but I like a clever design.
jftesser (author)  whiteoakart6 years ago
Surprisingly, almost exactly the same. It's not a huge bag (it fits my wallet, ipod, cellphone, coin purse, pens, etc.) but even with heavy stuff inside it keeps its shape really well. I've just made some larger ones, though, and I'm not sure how they'll hold up.
brodysmom6 years ago
Great instructable! I can't wait to make one.
jftesser (author)  brodysmom6 years ago
If you do I'd love to see some pics!
omnibot6 years ago
Ooohh .. I wants!! I also am a baglover.
Nice project! I really dig the "one-off" nature of these, which will no doubt attract a lot of "Where did you get that?" One a side note, you put the actual instructable together better than 90% of the ones I see here. The instructions are clear and focused; and your pictures are clear, laid out with thought, and outstandingly labeled. If there were a contest for the best laid out Instructable, this would clearly be a finalist. Great job!
jftesser (author)  PerfectlySquare6 years ago
Thanks a lot!
trialex6 years ago
Awesome!

I found these bags too, and also wanted one. I posted about them in the forum here.

Nice work on working out the shape. I played around in my CAD software for ages trying to get the shape. I didn't have the same results as you - I couldn't get the edges to match up by rotating a curve and alighning.

I liked the "Tote" version, and it took me ages to get the shape. It all fell into place when I found the non-round fillet technique.

Nice work on the project, well documented.
Williz6 years ago
Heh thats quite cool but I'd use different colours as those are rather drab :P
jftesser (author)  Williz6 years ago
What can I say? I like drab ;)
pingeee6 years ago
I think this is cool
pocketlama6 years ago
A++ I would make these in a second except I really need a bag with straps. Good for you for taking the concept and running with it!
it looks like a mouse! haha just a little.