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I started making messenger bags sometime in 2003 for a lot of reasons.


Mainly, I like to sew, and I was dissatisfied with a lot of the bags that I was seeing out there....With the exception of Reload and some other smaller companies, no one was too interested in the design side of bagmaking at that point...


I asked a friend (the guy doing Freight Bags out of SF) if he would show me the basics to making a simple bag, and get the hang of an industrial machine. It took a while, but by the spring of 2003, Number One was completed. I finally got my own machine and a list of local fabric dumpsters, and started getting busy. Right away, people were interested, since no one locally had experimented with messenger bag design....most of what was out there was pretty plain, unless the owner customized it. The idea of custom graphics was still catching on.


Through trial and error, I came up with a couple of sizes that I liked. The color schemes, graphics, and attention to detail were my favorite part of the process. I never made the same thing twice, and still don't- other people can do that better, faster, and cheaper than me. It's not my goal to compete...this is a ongoing design project three years in the making and still going strong.


I was lucky to work for Reload briefly...I believe that Ellie may be the bast bagmaker so far, hands down. Her sense of craft and design definitely influenced what I do, sometimes to the point where people ask me if I'm wearing a Reload bag...I say no, But I always feel flattered by that.


Commisions are very limited, as are sales. In a good year, I may make 30-40 bags. Each one is handmade from beginning to end, entirely by me-the only way I know how. All seams are doublestitched, at least. I've never had a bag come back yet, and have had three minor repairs in three years...


I can be reached via email through this site...I am currently working on a site of my own, and will update with a link here.


The following photos are some examples of what I've been up to in 2005. Enjoy.


























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Part two...






















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And, part three.


















Sorry about the not-so-good photos...I'll work on that when the site gets rolling. Hopefully these convey the idea.









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Originally posted by FunTimePartyTeam@Sep 22 2005, 09:43 AM

Ive often considered doing the same thing. Where are you out of? And how much loot do you charge for the bags. Are they coated inside for waterproofing?

I'm in Oakland. As far as making bags yourself goes, if you have access to an industrial machine, and can get your hands on the materials, why not? Your first couple of attempts will be...let's say, discouraging. But, the learning curve isn't bad at all, and I've noticed a strange correlation between writers and bagmakers (design?) so you have a edge, doubly so if you have sewing experience. A lot of community colleges have sewing classes, and usually have the type of machine you'll need to do the heavy work (Important!- This type of sewing will kill a home machine in no time. I use a machine that is designed for sailmakers, and wouldn't recommend anything less.)


Email or PM me for more info regarding prices and whatnot. Out of respect for 12 oz., I'd rather keep any business off the board. Mostly, I want people to see what I do here, but I won't balk at making deals-I just don't think I should do that here...


Here's a new one...just finished it this morning. It is mostly recycled scrap, hence the "striking" color scheme. It's also big enough to put a (empty) laundry basket into. It's surprisingly comfortable for its size, too.










More to come...





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Oh, yeah, I use heavy-duty truck tarp to line the bags. It would be misleading to say they are waterproof, since the seams let some water in, but anything in the bag in a rainstorm will stay dry. I usually keep a garbage bag in my bag for the whole winter...that keeps everything totally dry.


So, "water-resistant" would be more accurate.

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i like these a lot. i like the simplicity in some of them most. the dark purple/blue, with pink strap would is fresh, but not mens color. you should think of making a few like that, in black and white. maybe black and lime green. but really good stuff. maybe some photos of people modeling them? props on courage in putting your home made products out into the internet world. how much these go for is the number one most popular question :cool:

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Man, those colors did NOT come out well! I had to use my cell to take those pics since the batteries ran out on my real camera. I'll repost them soon, and size them a little better...these came out a little too small.


Oh, thank you for the compliment...it was no big deal for me to post here, actually. I felt that I should post some recent work here, since I haven't been doing anything on the street lately...things change. I've been trying to split my time between sewing, drawing, learning HTML, full time job, and making time for my girlfriend...painting and socializing are on hold till further notice.


I'm trying to get the site going right now...I'm on hiatus, for the most part, from sewing so I could think about noe to get this going the right way...plus, I had been neglecting drawing, and I missed it. I had a few sewing projects I had to finish for friends that came out well, so I figured I'd share them here. So far, the response has been good. I'm trying to market them locally (Bay Area) first, and then doing limited web sales to whoever out there wants them...but, I'm doing it solo, for now, so I'm trying to pace myself so I don't burn out and take another six month break.


I doubt I'll use models, other than friends and family...they cost too damn much. :haha:


For pricing, PM me or email me.

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Plasti-Dip sells a coating that you could spread accross the nylon or whatever fabric (Natural fabrics will soak up the thinner and i dont reccomend) in order to make it waterproof. If you wanted. The only trick is making the coating even because, well its kinda tricky. Anyway, its not to expensive and comes in a variety of baisc colors. Super fumy when wet so use your respirator.


peace, and good luck.

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Thanks for the tip...I don't think I would treat my fabric, however, on account of A) graff supplies me with a lifetime's worth of fumes, B) Money, forever and ever, amen, and C) I'm the laziest man on five continents, sometimes.


I'm starting to think you do some kind of work with fabric as well. Either outdoor furniture or awnings, would be my guess.

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Originally posted by rick flair@Sep 23 2005, 06:48 AM

good to see some one doing something with there life!!

:haha: That's just the side I want everyone to see...33% of my time is spent rather frivolously...at a day job. I drink a lot, too, and I like to hang out with the ol' lady and watch bad movies while drinking. 12 oz. is also a black hole that my time seems to get sucked into. I pencil in sleep here and there, as well.


I try not to sew too much, since it is work, and I get bored with it if I'm not careful. Last year, I took six months off, and didn't miss it. But, I'm aiming to be more consistent now, since it's hard to explain to folks that you don't have any stock simply because you don't feel like making more stock, since you have rediscovered The Joy Of Slacking Off.

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This is very fascninating...


1) Those bags look really awesome.


2) I've owned a few different bags over the past couple years. Every one of them was pretty bad, I finally invested in a SuperPro from Baileyworks in Boston back in the Spring. I love this bag to death. I was considering bags from Pac and Reload but couldnt fathom spending quite so much on a bag since I'm not a messenger. The bag does however take its share of abuse from painting related stuff and being used daily to and from work and everywhere else as well as on my bike. Your bags do look very similar to Reload (Thats a compliment...).


3) I'd be very interested to know more about this. Specifically, price ranges based on what youve done so far, and more on the process and if each bag is more or less customer designed (which is the feeling I get from your pics and posts...). If youd rather not discuss any of that on here, feel free to PM me.

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To Shark (I used to have a roommate named Shark)-


1)Thank you...I'm glad you think so.


2)With bags, I believe that you get what you pay for.It's that simple. A Certain Large SF-based bagmaker is able to keep its prices low since they have outsourced a lot of their labor. It takes them 15 minutes to do what sometimes takes me 8 hours...and, I feel good about that. That's why they can price their bags so low, and I can justify charging more.


Jon Bailey does make really nice bags, all handmade in the US, and reasonably priced. How does he do it? I respect him a lot, too- he's keeping it real by not going marketing happy, and staying true to his customer base- the messengers who got him where he is today.


PAC is in a realm of its own, I think. Pat's designs and quality astound me, and she's a nice person- she's been very encouraging and has advised me in the past, and not many people will do that...then again, she's just nice, period. A lot of people have questioned the need for a $300 messenger bag, but I've gotten to take a look at one and see how it was made...it's easily worth more. Okay, I said I thought Ellie from Reload was the one of the best, in my opinion...Pat is on the short list, too, along with Jon Bailey and Erik Zo. They have set the bar pretty high.


Yeah, the Reload resemblance is hard to shake...I helped out there when they were in SF, briefly. The funny thing is, I made a bag for my dad to show Ellie what I was capable of. I even cut it off of a Reload civilian pattern, and used 95% of their measurements for the straps and velcro...and, even though it was a Reload, every messenger who saw it said, "It looks like a Reload that you made." :huh: ;)


Actually, all my patterns are all original measurements, at this point.

There were about 7 or 8 different bags that I used, took apart, measured, reduced, recut, added to and sometimes mutilated to get my master pattern together. All my patterns are based on this original shape. I fucked with the master pattern measurements by increasing or decreasing till I got four different sizes I liked...all the ratios are the same. I standardized all the measurements a while ago...but they certainly vary from bag to bag. No two bags have ever been exactly the same size, even when I cut them off the same pattern at the same time. That's fine with me, since I think that uniformity and perfection are merely happy accidents around here, and not goals to strive for.


I agree with you, bombing can kill a bag faster than messengering ever will. I have actually designed a graff-specific bag for a friend of mine. I added three extra pockets for cans, and made it all dark colors for low visibility. I gave it some tech options, too- two base compression straps made it compact or large as needed and a stabilizer strap- if you've ever tried to run with a full single strap bag, you'll understand how handy the third strap is.


3)I'm preparing a document I can email this weekend that breaks down the pricing and options, and goes into a little more depth than I can here about what I can/can't/will/won't do, and that will explain my arcane pricing methods for custom work.


And, here's a bag I missed...this was made last week for a friend who is going to India for 8 months. She is very happy with it, too.









I'm finishing up three more tomorrow, and will have good photos of them for a change. (My girlfriend bought some batteries, God bless her.)




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Oh. yeah...DON'T EMAIL ME AT THE HUSH.COM ADDRESS- they won't let me sign in, so my PM is my temporary email for now till I get on Gmail.

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I've owned 2 bags from said larger SF based company, they were ok, but that was also years ago and since then I've noticed alot more people with them and theres a visible difference in quality. Bailey has a rather long wait on their bags. I placed an order, called 4 days later just to confirm what size I ordered and to make sure they got my payment since my internetz were being screwy. They told me they did but the girl I was speaking with would be the one making the bag and she wouldnt get to do it for 3 weeks or so. In the end it was worth the wait.


I would be very interested in a graf-specific messenger bag. Something slightly smaller than my baileyworks or my garbage ass Manhattan Portage thats on its last leg. The main reason I ended up going with a Baileyworks is their compression strap/quick release setup. But I'm not really about fucking my BW bag up so I try to only use it for when I'm doing day spots and need to carry massive amounts of cans (actually, I'm far more concerned about getting the bag confiscated upon arrest...) . If you would be willing to make another graf-specific bag to carry 8-10 cans or something, I'd be down to buy.


I wasnt aware there were actually people named Shark. Thats an ill name...

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Yeah, my friend Shark- short for "land shark"- is good people...His real name is Rick, I found out one day...after I had been living with him for a few months. Ah, marijuana...:dazed:


And, Shark 2... Get at me via email tomorrow or Mon. amd I'll talk shop with you....the odds on a new "graff model" are really good right now...lots of interest in the first one has encouraged me to develop on the idea.


Here is the new email address... cycloporteur23@gmail.com.

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respect for doing something bro.

if you want to post something in the duty free section, including your pricing guide and all that shit, feel free. we try to keep most soliciting off the boards, but this isn't some get rich quick shit.

best of luck bro.

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Thanks for the advice and the encouragement. I'm glad you said something, since I wasn't sure whether I should post here or not...but, my original intention was that I wanted people to see the work more than I ever planned to sell it, for the record.


So, for anyone who wants to find out about how to order something from me, please do me a favor and email me directly. I'll try to have a form I can send out with rates and information sometime in the next week or two.

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Here's some bags other people have made that I have customized...







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Ooops....una mas. Blurrrrrrrrrrry drunk cam fo' ya.


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