The "experts" in this case being LL Bean, the "something" being a school bag.
I tried. I really did. I followed and adapted a pattern. I mustered all of my make-a-bag-sturdy skills. I used fabrics my daughter chose. I interfaced. I reinforced. I even bought a kit of bag hardware to make sure everything would be sturdy and last through the wear and tear of a school year. I made a really great bag, but it wasn't the right fit for the task at hand.
There are just some things that others do better than I. School bags are one of those things.
My daughter asked me to make a school bag for second grade. She specifically wanted a messenger bag to sling across her body. She wanted mermaid fabric and pink anchors. She wanted it to zip shut. This bag does ALL of those things.
The problem is, I have a reader. An avid reader. One who takes a lot of extra books to school each day. The bag I made just wasn't going to carry what she needed (plus a lunch!) on a daily basis. In fact, the work folder was about half an inch too long to easily fit inside the zipper. It fit inside the bag, but to wiggle it through the zipper and nestle it inside the bag was a royal pain.
So we ditched the mermaids and went with a backpack from LL Bean. This is actually the second year of use--doesn't it still look fabulous in May? LL Bean rocks the backpack. They never die. They hold a ton of books plus a lunch bag. And, two shoulder straps really are better for the body when carrying a lot of books.
We bought this at an outlet in New Hampshire. Thank you, Jordan, for returning your monogrammed backpack so that I could reap the deep discount. What to do with someone's random personalization? Cover it with a patch!
Handmade is a beautiful thing. However, some things are just not worth the effort to make yourself. Rest assured that if I'm not even going to make something for my own children, you are not going to see it as a product in my shop. The messenger bag might make an appearance down the road, but a backpack probably never will. What do we do with a fabulous mermaid messenger bag...I might steal it for myself to take on business meetings!
**LL Bean did not sponsor this post. All ideas expressed are my own.
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.