Aside from sewing the other passion in my life is horseriding (and I’m not including in this my lovely family and friends…).
I’ve been on the lookout for some time for a nice attractive belt bag to carry my camera and other essentials when riding. But boy are the ones on the market ugly! Like everyone woman on the planet I really don’t want to wear something that makes me look fatter and protrudes excessively. I even looked for handmade belt bags on Pinterest but again no joy.
It’s not really a problem when I ride in the UK as I tend to ride early and I really can’t remember the last time I rode when I wasn’t wearing at least a fleece with a handy zip pocket. But for the last few years we have been very lucky to be able to have riding holidays in South Africa when a camera is a pretty essential item to catch all those wonderful animals.
I’ve never found a satisfactory arrangement. If you have it on the strap shoulder as per my camera bag below it just bangs around when you are cantering and when I tried to attach it to my belt by shortening the shoulder strap it’s a risk it will fall and then bang against the side of the horse – not a good thing…. It’s also a Velcro closure and I like the security of a zip.
Well ahead of this year’s holiday on a ranch in Colorado I was determined to find something that would work. I had this sweet bag which I bought on a whim more years ago then I can remember to go with an evening outfit. If it got used once I’ve be surprised. It just seemed even then a bit too girlish for a woman in her middle years. I could of course have offered this to my teenage daughter but really didn’t want the look of pity mixed with horror at the thought that she could ever actually want a bag previously owned by her aged mother!!!
I bravely disembowelled the bag and salvaged some beautiful pieces of soft leather. I was initially going to keep the base and just add a fabric top and zip but the design was too puffy.
As to the design I just made a zip bag using my go to tutorial by Jedi Girl. I can make these with my eyes closed…. Knowing the supercritical eyes of my 3 teenagers would be scrutinising it I went for a toning fabric for the top from Nocturne by Janet Clare but a jazzy red from Alison Glass Handcraft for the inside
Here as you can see it’s too long. I wanted a tightish fit but not so I would be fighting with closing the zip so rather than reduce the length by redoing the zip I just unpicked the leather bottoms and put them higher.
Sewing with leather was a pleasure with the right needle and a Teflon foot – no fraying edges means you can use it very flexibly. Sharp eyes will see here on the photo below some zigzagging. I accidentally cut through the back when cutting out the interfacing for the fabric upper pieces. The product of working in a messy environment I’m afraid. I’d like to say this has never happened before but it would be a lie!! Nevertheless it was so easy to repair and it reminded of crazy patched leather bags from the past. Sharp eyes will also see that in trying the bag on for the shot of me wearing it has quickly emphasised the weak points namely the belt channel. It’s coming away and it needs a fair bit of reinforcement as I think that’s where the pressure will be. Obviously Skye is doing her best to show me where works needs doing!
I hope it won’t embarrass the children too much but I love it and for once I shall have my camera to hand.
Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom quilts.