Cat’s Out of the Bag… or “Would You Buy an iPad Bag from this Woman?”

handmade iPad bag with cat motifHandmade iPad bag with cat motif 

copyright by Lynn Bridge

If you read my last post, you’ll know I am fretting over whether or not I am treating my iPad as a doll, and whether or not I’m having a religious experience when I use my Apple product.  Worries based on preliminary scientific research, of course.

On my unscientific research journey, I have carried my device in several bags designed as purses (what we call ’em in Texas), pocketbooks, handbags, or small carry-alls.  I have been studying ease of access, protection of the iPad from scratches and bumps, weight and clumsiness of the bag, and convenience of the pockets in which I carry my stylus and screen-wiping pad.

Before spending a lot of time manufacturing one of my fancy 3-D floral designs or abstracts, I decided to make a bag with simple decor, and field test it in order to check my theories about the perfect elements of an iPad bag. Also, I had in the back of my mind the possibility that, if the bags turn out to turn heads, I’d go into production and sales.  And, I wouldn’t want to make anything, especially not hand-made one-of-a-kind equipment, that was flawed.

I pulled from my stash some unbleached muslin and some polyester batting and set to work; measuring, cutting, and drawing the lines for machine quilting layers together, for surely, my iPad needs iPadding.  I raided my embroidery floss box and came up with sepia for sketching a cat in thread.  (Yes, loosely, you are seeing a portrait of my cat, Lucy.)  I cut off the bottom of a sleeve from a silk jacket I liberated for very little cash from a local used-clothes warehouse; that’s what I used for lining.

Good thing I tested the bag!  It looks charming, but I found a lot of flaws in the design, including the tie closure, the placement of the interior pocket, and lastly, the wash-ability (silk print is NOT colorfast, even in cold water).  After stripping out the lining and putting in a new one, completely washable this time, and re-positioning the interior pocket, I am well on my way to design utility.  However, the ties remain, and will continue to annoy me.  When I want access to my iPad, I want to pull that sucker out in a big hurry and start sketching or writing or searching.

I love to use my iPad for sketching-on-the-go, and in places where messy charcoal, ink, paint, and graphite simply don’t belong.  You might know from my post “Win-Win” that I look for models in places where folks crave cash for the simple pleasures of electricity, food, and bus fare.  Below is an iPad sketch of a model in just this situation.  Bonus for me is that he is a real history buff, so he regaled me not only with his own history, but some of the Romanovs, a favorite topic.  Anyone in the market for a good research assistant?

iPad sketch of Mr. L by Lynn Bridge

Mr. L. by Lynn Bridge