Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Taming the Chaos - A Custom Bag Organizer Solution

I've got a day trip coming up that has the unusual distinction of requiring me to bring a laptop (usually I get by with my folding Bluetooth keyboard and cell phone). This means that I'll face a common bag conundrum: bring one bag, mainly my briefcase, and have all the items from my man-bag haphazardly tossed in. Or bring two bags, my briefcase and man-bag, and worry about keeping track of two bags.

With my burgeoning sewing skills, it occurred to me that I may be able to add structure to my briefcase by creating an insert. This would give me the organization I'm after, and allow me to keep track of a single bag. Because the insert I'm sewing would be customized to the shape of the bag, it would fit my gear efficiently. (Yes, it occurred me that I was effectively re-creating a purse organizer. And no, I'm not bothered by this at all.)

I busted out my briefcase, took some measurements and sewed together a large nylon pocket:

I typically carry four categories of gear: everyday (hand sanitizer, snacks, etc.), first-aid (pills and various forms of tape), electronics (keyboard, power bank, etc.) and hiking (Bic lighter, space blanket, etc.). My plan was to section off the large pocket into 4 areas. However, it just wasn't wide enough for this, so I had to settle on sewing it into thirds.

To my surprise and delight, the gear all fit. And what's more, when packed, the insert fit neatly into the bag:

As I finished sewing the initial pouch it hit me that I should have made the bag 1" larger. And I bet with some effort, I could find a way to make a 4 pouch system.

But still, I think the result will be quite functional and I'm psyched to try it out on my next trip.

Assuming this approach works, I plan to create a version that's customized to fit in the large day-pack I use for traveling. You better believe I'm going to measure that one with more care.

One inch I'm telling you...I was off by one friggin inch. Classic.

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