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July 25, 2014

Mary Poppins' carpet bag is an amazing thing.  It's the quintessential Bag of Holding, similar to the one Hermione Granger had.  And of course I decided I was going to make it rather than buy it, because I like making bags.

Previously I had complained that I'd made a bag too small.  I had the opposite problem this time!  I based the dimensions loosely on a bag I'd gotten at Disney World that has proven ideal for overnight trips.  That bag was 14"x14"x6". Of course, sometimes when I'm packing it, I wish it were JUST a little bigger, so when I made this bag, I did so.  It's HUGE, but I don't feel it's THAT much bigger!  I made it roughly 18"x14"x7".  It's just a basic oversized rectangle (an extra inch all around for 1/2" seam allowances) with squares cut in the two bottom corners.

I found the fabric as a remnant at Hancock Fabrics.  Isn't it gorgeous?  7/8 of a yard proved to be PERFECT.  I paired it with a fake leather knit-type fabric from JoAnns.

The fancy thing about carpet bags is that they have a large purse frame around the opening.  I couldn't find one big enough in the time frame I had, so I faked it with some 1/4" strips of basswood - heavy duty stuff that took forever to cut by hand.   Then . . . I glued heavy duty magnets to it.  The first set proved to be not quite so heavy duty, but I eventually found  ProMag Neodymium Magnets (Super Strong - Not a Toy!) at Michaels.

I made the handles myself, from a Russian blog post.  Thank goodness for Google Translate!  I used felt to line it, and found it bunched up oddly inside, which was a pain to work with, but it worked out well.  So far it's nice and comfy to hold - I haven't done a weight stress test on it yet.  For when I do get tired of holding it, I included two rings inside to clip a shoulder strap to.  Also inside is a hanging pocket for little items I want to have easily available, particularly my wallet and cell phone.

I messed up horribly on the interior, but I'm hoping no one will look.

The bottom is strengthened with a rectangle of illustration board, and I've attached six small purse feet.  I probably didn't NEED those, but they really jazz up the bag.
You also may notice the little rectangles sewn on the bag.  Those are for straps which I haven't made yet, which I hope will help distribute the weight properly when the bag is full, and also help keep it closed.  I wanted to use this bag for Victorian type cosplay, which meant no visible magnets, or zippers.

This was my inspiration piece:
I didn't look for latches, and I didn't bother with the lock, because it seemed pointless to put a lock on a bag that can be carried off, cut open with a knife, or easily accessed through the open corners of the bag!  I have to remember to tuck in the sides when I'm closing it, or it looks funny.  I'd like to put something in that spot, though.  Maybe a name plate?  My own personal logo?

Here's a blurry costume preview:

Still left to do - add buttons to the blouse, finish the hat, make bag straps!  

Now, what should I put IN the bag?  Spoon, sugar, measuring tape, medicine bottle?