Saturday, December 29, 2012

What Do You Get When You Combine an Insomniac and an Old Drop Cloth?

In my case, an 18th century style haversack. Wednesday night I was having a hard time falling asleep. I went out to the garage to grab a soda out of the garage fridge and saw an old drop cloth on the shelf out there. My mind flashed to my most recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg and a haversack I'd seen at
Tarpley's store. I'd also seen some of the interpreters there wearing these. Did I need a haversack? No. Am I a historical interpreter or reenactor? Negative. Would I ever envision myself wearing said haversack? Again, I think the answer would be no. So OBVIOUSLY I had to make one. Off to Google Images. I use this resource a lot when I'm making or building something that I'm not really familiar with. Usually I find a image or two that's just what I'm looking for and I can typically build something from a picture.

So, after finding a picture that I liked, I brought the drop cloth into the living room where it was warm, dug up a sewing needle, and found my roll of cotton twine, which is what I decided to use to sew this up versus wimpy thread. I wanted to make the body of the haversack 12" wide by about 13" tall. I allowed about 3/4" on each side for a seam so I cut a piece of canvas 13 1/2" to 14" wide. I made the length about 50" because my plan was to have the bag divided by a pocket in the center, so 3 folds of 13 1/2" plus about 8" or so for the flap closure. I later decided to fore go the pocket so I have a double thick material front. After making my folds, I hand stitched the cotton twine down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side, turned the bag inside out, and had a basic bag. Next I folded over about a 1/2" seem around the flap, ironed a crease in it to hold it in place, and stitched the seam for the flap. The body of the haversack was now done. Time for a strap.

I cut a strip 4" wide by 64" long for the strap, which would put the top of the haversack at belt level for me. It wasn't difficult stitching up the strap, but hand stitching a 64" length of material was time consuming to say the least. Once done, I turned the strap inside out. This proved fairly difficult, but I figured out a little trick and once I did, things rolled right along. I doubled up the last 2" of the strap and  sewed one side on with a 1 3/4" square box of  stitching with a stitched X in the middle. Same thing on the other side and I'm calling it done except for a button to hold the flap closed.

This part's a little crazy because when I was in Colonial Williamsburg the prior weekend I bought my wife a pair of earrings from the James Craig Jewelry Shop. They also had a pewter button in the case with the "Don't Tread on Me" logo snake for only $5. I didn't have any use for a pewter button (or so I thought) but I have a t-shirt with this snake and motto on it, so I bought the button. Well, a few days later I suddenly had the perfect use for it.

Anyway, here's the finished bag. Looks pretty good hanging in the shop, which is I imagine where it will stay.


Anonymous said...

Nice job Jamie! If I send you some NoDoz would you make me one? ;-)

Thanks, Dean

Jamie Bacon said...

Ha Ha! I like that Dean. I don't think I need the help of NoDoz though. This was a fun little project. I actually learned how to reinforce the button hole today and did a buttonhole stitch around it to keep that from fraying. Not the prettiest stitching, but it should keep it from fraying.