Times are crazy! I’ve been staying safe (aka locked up) at home for weeks on end sewing masks, and trying to create a new normal. When I was asked to collaborated with Sallie Tomato to show off their newest faux leather it felt like a chance to feel normal again. To dive into something I love, to squeeze those creative muscles, and just have some fun again!
With such high quality and gorgeous finishes, it wasn’t hard to sew up this beautiful finishes it wasn’t hard to sew up this amazing backpack with the help of my vintage Kenny! And maybe as a secret message to the virus that’s been changing our lives, I emblazoned the back with a ‘mtfo’ (move the f#@% on) speech bubble! So are you ready to see the goods and read about this bag? Well then as my bag keeps telling me, let’s…
Let’s talk Sallie Tomato, Sallie T, the Big ‘mater, Sallster!
Okay, perhaps for ease we’ll just stick with Sallie Tomato, which is owned by Jessica Barrera and her amazing team! Opening in 2014, her shop (and following) has continued to grow.
With the addition of their newest offering, faux leather, Jessica & team reached out looking to collaborate with makers far and wide to highlight their lovely material. ummmmm… YES please! I’ve been aware (and honestly drooling over) their gorgeous hardware for years but had yet to try it, so this new faux leather had me intrigued & excited. Plus it’s always nice to find a vegan alternative to leather (ps. Jess also sells cork fabric if you’re in search of another unique vegan substrate).
Faux Leather vs Marine Vinyl
Sallie’s faux leather is is polyurethane based. A natural fiber such as cotton or polyester that is then coated & treated. Marine Vinyl is plastic based, which is then shaped & molded.
This difference leaves faux leather more flexible, softer to the touch and more breathable.
Deets on Sallie’s Faux Leather
-25-27″ wide & sold by the inch
-50% PU & 50% polyester
-3 textures: Legacy, Pebble, & Weave
But her shop isn’t just faux leather… there’s hardware, zippers by the yard, and patterns too – everything one would need for a bag making! So I thought I’d take the plunge and use as many Sallie Tomato supplies as I could (and hint hint, I just about did)!
I settled on using one of their more recent releases, the Shaw Backpack, find the pattern here. A bucket style backpack, it has clean lines and a front zip pocket, and with three sizes it can work for any age and any size load. The medium was a perfect middle ground as it could carry plenty for a day out while still being smaller than a standard backpack. And if you’re worried about bias binding construction, DON’T, it’s fully finished inside and out with no binding or exposed seams!
After perusing the lovely new faux leather I chose the soft & buttery Cherry Legacy, paring it with a near match Burgundy zipper tape by the yard. And if you weren’t aware, Sallie Tomato’s ‘zippers by the yard’ have that high-end metal look without actually being metal (meaning no more broken needles sewing over them)!
I don’t know about you but I get a bit weirded out and anxious when I sense people in my personal space, especially if they’re behind me.
Are they looking at me?
Am I in their way?
Maybe I should speed up or step to the side?
Hurry, turn up your earbuds so they won’t try to talk to me!
So for those times I’m afraid to look up or feel myself shrinking back maybe I could sew a bag with a message.
I settled on ‘MTFO’ (move the f#@% on)
If you think I’m going too slow – move on
If you feel like harassing me – move on
If you’re considering stealing my stuff – move on
If you want to get within 6 ft of me – don’t, the virus, EEK! oh yea, and move on. lol
But sometimes moving on isn’t an option. I mean after all, it IS a backpack and I’ll have to stop & dig in at some point! So when it’s turned toward and basically telling ME to ‘mtfo’, without skipping a beat I can unzip the top and let the interior answer back…
No, I won’t move on from my snack-laden, craft-carrying, drink-storing backpack! I will eat & craft all the things LOL!
Perhaps the silliness of this added message is too groan-worthy but my sense of humor has never been very refined (and usually doesn’t even make sense). I love it, and that’s all that matters!
Shave a little bit here, add a little bit there
One of the reasons I fell in love with bag making was that it marries beauty & usability. The thing that most backpacks lack is quick access without removing it (ugh… the agony of effort am I right?!). So I nestled a zipper pocket into the back side seam of my Shaw. With one strap off the shoulder the back can sling to the side and BAM the side pocket is ready to dig into! This pocket also works for security at larger events (cuz one day we’re sure to be in crowds again) since I’ve also added a small chain to connect zipper to the strap (making it nearly impossible for someone to slip in without noticing).
Since the Shaw Backpack pattern doesn’t recommend faux leather I took care to reduce bulk where I could and add some pizazz with a bit of modifying. Straps were divided into part faux leather & part webbing, bottom webbing angled to where it meets the side seam (to better fit the curve of the wearer), and I made the straps a bit thinner so they could line up without overlapping. I did away with ALL the foam and just left a single layer of fleece against the back panel for some cushioning between the bag and the wearer. And I didn’t stop there, I also constructed the entire interior with strong & super thin ripstop nylon fabric (think of the shiny, slippery, wipeable, nylon material on wind breakers or some reusable grocery bags) . This certainly saved me a lot of swearing and crying at my machine! But if you want to do the same, realize that the lack of foam means a lack of structure – aka a slouchy look.
The mighty Kenmore… and more…
After wrangling it right side out, all the bulk-cutting proved worth it as I was able to topstitch this beauty with nary a whimper from my machine! If you’re planning a similar material adjustment make sure to know your machine’s limits… I’m using a vintage Kenmore 158.18022 made in 1969 which handles bulk with ease.
Once loose threads were tied, it was complete! Well… almost. I wanted to reinforce the side seams where the bottom of the straps met the bag by adding a rivet that went through ALL the bag & webbing layers (which was beyond nerve-wracking to put a hole in a completed bag). But it paid off and now I can carry it all without worry, plus the rivets keep the bag lining nicely in place!
Let’s All Move On… Together!
So if you’ve made it to this point, you probably already know that I have loved my first foray into Sallie Tomato Patterns & Purse Supplies. Go ahead and jump right in cuz I already know you’ll love the faux leather as much as I do.
And the hardware.
And the zippers.
And the patterns.
And as for my medium Shaw backpack… it’s the perfect size for a day out restocking essentials or for taking a hike in the wilderness (where everything is 6ft apart).
❤ Stay Safe
Click here to check out Sallie Tomato’s Faux Leather
from the shop I used….
–Shaw Backpack Pattern
-Cherry Legacy Faux Leather
-Mustard Pebble Faux Leather
–Hazelnut Legacy Faux Leather
-Burgundy #5 Zipper Tape in Gunmetal
-1″ Ladder Lock Slider Buckles in Gunmetal
The party is still raging on, follow Sallie Tomato on FB for daily posts and check out each maker below….
Monday 5/25 Hilary at byhilaryjordan.com
Tuesday 5/26 Isabelle at southbaybellastudio.com
Wednesday 5/27 Eileen at dzgns.com/blog
Thursday 5/28 Reen at instagram.com/embroiderygarden/
Friday 5/29 Linds at instagram.com/lindshandmade/
Saturday 5/30 Marisa at carrycourage.com/blogs/news
Sunday 5/31 Christy at sosewenglishfabrics.com/blogs/news
Monday 6/1 Karie at kariejewell.com
Tuesday 6/2 Charlotte at instagram.com/sorrycantsewing/
Wednesday 6/3 Kate at toughkittencrafts.com
Thursday 6/4 Sue at sueoverydesigns.com/blog/
Friday 6/5 THAT’S ME!
Saturday 6/6 Vanessa at fabricconfetti.com
Sunday 6/7 Cecilia at instagram.com/cecivas/
Monday 6/8 Cristy at iloveyousew.com
Tuesday 6/9 Sarah at sariditty.com
Wednesday 6/10 Ellen at blog.sulky.com/
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