Friday, 25 May 2012

Back me up here

After not riding my bike for about a hundred years, I was suddenly reminded of how much I love cycling. This realisation coincided with what must have been the longest stretch of flat conditions the British coastlines have ever seen. With the surf still not cooperating, I feel I need to garb myself for the possibility of more pedalling adventures. But in the century or so since I last donned a bike helmet, it seems that times have changed. It's no longer possible, as far as I can tell, to get cycle-friendly gear that doesn't come with an excess of zips and compression panels and velcro and reflective bits. Most everything is either black or pink, and it is all completely overdesigned. It's seems sort of ridiculous that companies tack on all the bells, whistles and gratuitous logos that an Olympian might require, but I guess brands just can't help themselves.

I needed a backpack. Not a Camelpak, nor a bag suitable for mountain guides of the Himalayas. Just something to stick a waterbottle in and not be embarrassed about. Tatty Devine is an excellent jewellery designer, often imitated but never duplicated. I liked the simplicity of the carrier bag that contained their press pack at their recent seasonal preview, but it came with shoulder straps in a tote format. I unpicked these with a seam ripper, and also ripped about 2cm of the side seam at the very top on both sides. Down in the bottom corners, I ripped about 2cm of the seam on each side. Then I took two lengths of cord. I threaded one into the hole on the left at top and guided it all around the top hem of the bag. Each end of this cord was then poking out the left side of the bag. I repeated this for the right side, so now I had four ends of cord emerging - two per side. I tied the left two ends into a knot, and did the same for the right two ends. The knot on the left got poked into the hole I'd created at the bottom left corner of the bag. The knot on the right went into the hole on the bottom right. I turned the bag inside out and restitched all the seams that I'd ripped out. I then had a drawstring backpack.

(And by subsequently cycling into a mud puddle, I now have a muddy drawstring backpack. But at least it doesn't have compression panels.)

Here's a link to a tutorial on making a drawstring backback from scratch which was useful in my sewing hackery.

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