While sewing garments is my first love, making bags is a very close second. I didn’t know how much fun it could be. It’s that excitement you get when you try on a freshly sewn shirt, except you can use it everyday for the foreseeable future without judgement. I made a modified Fremont tote back in January during a Bag Making Intensive and the entire process ignited a fire in me. I am still using that bag daily as my purse/carry-all and its been a real conversation starter.
I had the pleasure of making the re-released Maywood Totepack and it was empowering. One of the things I love about Klum House is how you end up with a bag that looks so professional. So much so that you have to show people in progress photos for them to believe that you made it. I take that as a huge compliment. Can you tell that I enjoy defying people’s expectations?
The instructions are very clear and the drawings are really helpful for a visual learner (me). In addition to written instructions and diagrams, there are videos available for various aspects of the bag making process. The video explaining the process of setting the tubular rivets was by far my most watched. This is because it was a new technique and I needed a little help with it. For starters, I tried to use what I had on hand for materials because I was eager and stubborn. Setting tubular rivets with the Tubular Rivet Peening Tool requires a mallet rather than a hammer. This is an important distinction to ensure you don’t damage the metal Peening tool. Naturally I decided that I could make it work with what I had. I started with a silicone wine preserver wrapped around the end of my hammer until it ripped. I then tried to use a scrap of leather wrapped around the hammer. It kind of worked but its difficult to hold the leather in place while using the hammer and holding the Peening tool in place. So I decided to break down and get a mallet. I tried setting the tubular rivets with the mallet and a variety of surfaces: my countertop, mini anvil, and a plastic cutting board. When I reached out to Ellie about my difficulties she suggested applying more force. So in an effort to avoid any noise complaints from my neighbors I went outside with my mini anvil, mallet, preening tool, rivets, and bag. There was this magical moment where I saw the beautiful flower shape that indicated I’d successfully set the rivet. I say all of this to say – 1) Listen to the material/tool suggestions 2) Don’t be afraid to really put some force behind your mallet.
The more you set the tubular rivets, the easier it gets. There’s a little groove you get into and you can feel the shape of the rivet changing as you strike it. This is a satisfying project that I immediately began to use once I finished it. It looks sleek AND it’s strong enough to carry all of my things. I like pretty things but I love functional things. This project checks both of those boxes.
Using the Magnetic Snap Rivet Setter to set the magnetic snap was pretty seamless. It felt more like setting the double cap rivets. I appreciate having all of the specialty tools in the maker kit. While you could certainly source these on your own, it was nice to get everything together in a package. I also really appreciated that the fabric was already cut, marked, and had most of the holes punched. The maker kit really is a complete offering.
If you already have the exterior fabric and lining that you’d like to use, then the finishing kit might be your best bet. It has all of the hardware you need in the right length and size. You can customize the kit by choosing your leather and hardware color. Using the finishing kit can eliminate some of the guesswork in sourcing the right leather for this particular project.
I really enjoyed making this bag and I definitely want to play with different color combinations, printed fabric, and additional pockets. I can see myself making this again maybe even as a gift. It’s a versatile bag and I like having the option of using it as a shoulder bag or a book bag.
If you want to make your own Maywood Totepack you can get 10% off all Maywood products with the code MAKEMAYWOOD until April 22nd at midnight. You can shop here.
There is also a live virtual class on April 28th where you can make this bag with Ellie! Having taken an in person class taught by Ellie I can tell you that you will be in a positive, fun, and empowering learning environment. I hope you enjoying making the Maywood Totepack as much as I do.
This maker kit was provided to me at no cost and all thoughts are my own. The link above is an affiliate link and allows me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase.