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Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    115

    Good for a laugh: my wannabe Medium Cafe Bag

    Okay, I'll admit to being a groupie. When I first discovered TB, I was feeling especially poor, so I thought I'd make my own bag. The pix don't do justice to the lining, which was the closest I could get to Wasabi - but mine has polka dots. And I used a snazzy red to line the front pocket.

    Good for a laugh: my wannabe Medium Cafe Bag-dscn2461-jpgGood for a laugh: my wannabe Medium Cafe Bag-dscn2462-jpgGood for a laugh: my wannabe Medium Cafe Bag-dscn2463-jpg

    What did I learn from this experience of reverse-engineering a TB bag? The ones you can buy are worth every penny! First, it's really hard to find the right fabrics. I did okay with the plum cordura, but couldn't find anything cool for the lining so I ended up using cotton. That's far from ideal in terms of holding the shape, although it's pretty cute. By the time you buy fabric and fittings, the cost is creeping up (although I was able to canibalize the straps and hooks from other old bags I didn't want). Second, it takes a looooong time to make one of these! It would probably go quicker the second time, but I haven't attempted it again.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    310
    You did a great job, kmcg!
    Synapse 25 (Steel Dyneema/UV), Organizer Pouches ( Dyneema, Cordura, Cork - various size & colors), FoJ Pouch, FoT Pouch, 2011 TB Mystery gift(Cork pouch), 2012 Mystery Gift (Forest/ Steel) Pocket Pouch, Sm Yarn Stuff Sack (UV), Small Shop Bag (Steel), Large Shop Bag (UV), Various Color Key Straps, Side Effect (Steel Dyneema/Wasabi)

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    425
    I love this! I wish I could give it multiple likes.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    115
    Aw shucks, thank you. It has been a great bag. Kinda makes me want it in different colors, like some of you lucky people have!

  5. #5
    Forum Member dorayme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    tiny rural town in the Piedmont of the Carolinas
    Posts
    1,373
    I think we all know, imitation is the best form of flattery. Your bag looks amazing! Being a crafter, wannabe fiber artist and otherwise, I understand how hard this undertaking would have been, especially with no pattern! And you are right, having gone through this exercise does give appreciation for just what goes into the bag design, selection of materials and hand craftedness of the TB lineup.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  6. #6
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    916
    Wow, what a wonderful project!!! Thanks for sharing your pictures!
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

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