This bag–the Gatherer Crossbody Bag (in carkai) by Noodlehead–is worth your while. Truly. Anna Graham continues to be the bag-designing master and (somehow) mind reader who knows exactly what I want–before I even know that I want it.
And for anyone working on last-minute gifts, take note, because the Gatherer Crossbody is quite speedy. In fact, this one might have been made in only a couple of hours before my schoolhouse presentation at Quilt Market. (I had quite the sewing set-up in my hotel room…)
But before I go any further, I need to acknowledge the fact that my version lacks some of the beautiful details you’ll see in the versions that Anna made (see here). Hers are stunning, as usual! In her examples, she has a very sophisticated button stud closure with leather tab, as well as some swivel claps at the strap. I love both details so much, but just wasn’t able to work them into my last-minute situation. However, in future versions, you can bet I’ll be adding them in there. (Alternatively, I was thinking you could use a button, snap or velcro at the flap as well.)
But really, it’s kind of nice to know that you can forgo those things if you aren’t able or wanting to add them in. I’ve been carrying around this version ever since I made it, and the flap is totally functional on its own. It functions so well that it almost makes me think it’d be one of those bags where even with a closure, I may not always be using it. Nonetheless, in future versions, I’ll totally try the post, because I love the look and know it’d be fun to add a new type of hardware installation to my repertoire.
There are so many things that I love about Anna’s work, and this bag is no exception. Her designs have great style, smart function and offer so many opportunities for personalization. With the Gatherer Crossbody, I can already imagine many more directions to take it, in switching up the fabric, maybe doing some piecing or special something to the flap, playing with the hardware…there is so much you can do with it.
When making this bag, I was working from preliminary directions and wasn’t entirely sure if the pocket was for the front or the back. Both seemed to be good spots for it. The front made sense because the piping would look pretty against the flap, plus the flap would keep it closed. But I could also see why it’d be handy to have on the back. There’s always a need for a pocket for sliding those quickly-accessible things (like keys, phone, etc) into when you’re running into the store, and I figured this would be perfect for that. So, I added it on the backside, and have loved using it as my go-to pocket to drop whatever into when on the go. (Note: I now know that the pocket is intended for the front, but it works well on the back too!)
Lastly, I have to mention the size of this bag. It’s perfect. The mind reader in Anna knew that I was looking for a bag that would allow for the essentials and not encourage the pack-rat behavior which is my tendency and something I’ve been trying to avoid. This bag can not only fit everything I need, but the space is situated just right so that all of those things fit together like magic. When I need something, it’s there for me without any digging.
Big thank you Anna for this amazing project! I can’t wait to make many more.
(On a side note, I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and my new aspiration that’s based on Kondo’s suggestion of emptying your purse after you use it, would be to have several of these Gatherers lined up and ready to grab each time I head out the door depending on my mood. After reading that recommendation, I realized that my habit is to use the same bag for months on end, which is fine, but also sad when I realized that I have so many good ones that I’ve made. So why not spread the love and change it up? Plus, this would justify making more of these guys…)
+ Find the free(!) pattern for the Gatherer Crossbody Bag at Robert Kaufman.
+ Follow Anna and her amazingness here.
Carkai has been hitting stores now–happy happy sewing to you! I can’t wait to see all that you make.