Monday, December 28, 2009

New Mussette Bag from Archival Clothing

I've mentioned Archival Clothing before. I'm not a guy who dresses well or who ever paid attention to the fine details of well made clothing. Although I'm usually wearing the finest clothing that Wal-Mart has to offer. I will admit that after reading the AC blog for quite a while, I've developed an eye and a desire for well made, classically styled gear and clothing. I even went looking for a nice wool cardigan the other day.

AC is about to open a web store and their first offering is a basic musette bag, available in tan or yellow waxed cotton. Next month they'll be offering a musette with a flap closure (it's larger with interior pockets) and a canoe style rucksack in February. Their bags will be sewn by a company in Springfield, Oregon and are sure to be of high quality. The AC folks do some cycling, maybe we'll see some waxed cotton panniers sometime in the future.

On the subject of panniers, Brian (LifeCycle) recently inherited an industrial Singer sewing machine and immediately set to work teaching himself to sew. You can see the results of his first serious effort in the photo below.

The pannier looks great. I like the two toned fabric.

He even made a floating liner.

Here's his Singer straight stitch 16-188. This is an old machine, possibly manufactured in the 1920's.

My sewing skills are not developing as quickly as Brian's. While I was off for Christmas I cut up a couple of old Dickies work shirts and practiced making a very simple messenger bag from a pattern I found here. My results weren't too bad but I kept making stupid mistakes like forgetting to reverse at the beginning and end of my straight stitches to keep them from unraveling.

Just in case anybody's interested, here's an informative video from Jenny T. on how to make a sturdy tote bag. I would probably add some wider webbing, folded and sewn in half for the handles.


  1. Don't worry about forgetting to back stitch at the beginning and end of a line of stitching. Just don't cut the thread at either end too short. Thread the end through a needle and pass it through to which ever side you want the knot to be on and tie it off. It won't unravel.
    Sometimes I do this on purpose in really light material because the back stitching shows to much.

  2. That's some great information. I wouldn't have thought of doing that.

  3. Inspirational. Can't wait to see some of YOUR work.

  4. When can we see your bag?Brian's pannier looks really nice.I like the rolltop style,it make it more water resistant than zippers.

  5. Very cool stuff. I agree with Chris and frankenbiker ... I'm looking forward to seeing your bag!