Friday, July 28, 2017

Custom Car Storage, Part 1

When you drive a car like mine, you need to optimize your storage space. Since my car doubles as a bug-out bag, that means making sure everything has a place that I can get to easily, without having to dig through a mixed bag of stuff.

So, from a 1-yard length of black denim and a small box recycled out of a dumpster...

My "policy" with this project is, "it doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to work." I'd originally cut the fabric to only cover two sides, but when I'd rotated it 90°, I discovered it could almost cover 3 and still have enough margin to reach the inside bottom (to anchor it to the box).

The second image is the trial of connecting the hook fastener to the bottom of the box (the floor of my car trunk is made out of loop-fastener fabric, and I don't want the box to slide around) with minimal stitching (in other words, a lot of tape). I've had it get ripped off more than once, and so I went overboard this time.

Image 3 shows the blank canvas (or rather, denim) before adding anything.

Number four shows the completed side one, empty, while 5 shows it filled. It consists of four pockets, each individually sized and customized for their intended use. 1) The back most (base layer) is for new client folders for my personal business. 2) The tall narrow one is for my nylon dog leash. 3) The top one holds both spare animal mess bag rolls and business cards. 4) The loop holds a dog treat tub.

This is all for my work gear, nothing more on this side, and no more gear kept elsewhere.

Part 2 will be for camping gear, like paracord, ground stakes, carabiners, and cooking supplies.

Part 3 is currently undecided (as the third side was unplanned) but may be for medical gear that doesn't fit in my first aid kit.

This shown work took about 6 hours, and the only hand-sewn stitching was with the fastener on the bottom. Design was done ahead of time, but I did a lot of re-measuring, trying to minimize fabric waste.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Stylish Dice Bag

Here's my promised new dice bag (to replace my old one, which was about the size of a change purse and never meant to be anything permanent), 90% complete.

It's a bag with separated pockets, so for those with larger collections, you don't have to sift through all your gems for the shiny one you want. Because you know it's going to be at the bottom, especially if it's a pitiful d4.

In the top left image, you can see a work-in-progress shot with all the pockets laid out with dice showing the number that each pocket is intended to hold (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20/24); be sure to look at the numbers, not the dice themselves, because my collection is a few pieces short, and I don't have all of those designations. Yet.

For larger die, well, that's why I sewed it in a circle. Right now, my largest is a d60, and it and larger dice should fit just fine down the middle, as well as any character sheets, pencils, dice cups (also on my list to get), or other tools you see fit to carry with you.

It came out taller than I really need, and I probably could have cut it shorter, since I don't really expect to have my collection grow that much, that quickly.

The multi-pocket design was inspired by this Kickstarter project I stumbled across, and while he's got a good idea, the bag seems a little too bulky, a little too complicated, and way too many parts and stitches, and places where things could go wrong (and also a lot more expensive). My design is a lot simpler, and I built it patternless and from larger pieces of scraps in my fabric bin; took about 6 hours.

I still have to do the drawstring-cinch at the top, but I'm using a special fabric for that, one that I have to hand-sew because my Singer just chews it right up, and I don't have much of it left (and don't know where to get more).

I'll post an update when it's done, hopefully in a few days.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Weighted Wrap

Nearly completed in one sitting.

I've long owned ankle and wrist weights, but had the misfortune of owning ankles and wrists that are undersized to the point where even the smallest available size slides around on my arms. So yesterday, I started building something that would fit me.

The fabric is recycled from an old pair of chain pants that wore out in an inconvenient and difficult-to-patch spot.

Inspiration was partially derived from "When War Arrives."

Monday, June 1, 2015

Pocket Knife Holster v2

Back in February, I made the first version, which, while quite functional and thematically colored, was hardly my best workmanship.

So this afternoon, I made a better one, that's much more reflective of my workmanship quality.

Like the first one, it is made from scraps, but these scraps are from a pair of khaki pants-converted-into-shorts instead of past sewing projects. Unlike the first one, I didn't leave the belt attachment for the last step.

In the last image, you can see a simple wallet made from the same cloth. I'm intending on going into the city around the end of the month, and I like carrying some backup cash securely on my person, in the event of an emergency; forgive me if I don't share precisely where I'll be carrying it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BHE Neverfall Part 1

A commission for a patterned fabric neverfall is a rare occurance, but I'll do them. The great problem is that it's hard "using up" the rest of the fabric, because sold colors are so much easier to match with other projects.

In this case, the 'hawk itself is also to be patterned, though, since I refused to purchase patterned yarn (that fades between the two chosen colors, I have to create the "randomness" manually. So instead of striving for a layout of colors that has some semblance to randomness, I've decided to plant an "easter egg;" the hat looks random, but through an ASCII-to-binary converter, I've encoded a message.

Thus, I present the BHE: Binary Hawk Experiment

I would consider offering this sort of thing for future customers, but the increased level of detail would mean I'd have to add a surcharge on it, but for a "easter egg" that you have to decode to get the gist of seems like something few would pay for. If you disagree, feel free to tell me differently. Besides which, it reduces the width of my mohawks by 2 strands/4 hairs, making them 8 bits wide instead of 10.

I could certainly encode much smaller messages in bit-mapped plaintext that would be far more obvious and easier to read, but the messages would be much more severely limited in length--not more than one letter for each 2-inch square.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Stake and Bag Pockets, Part 1

Here's the rest of the sleeves that I showed off last time, turned into two vertical pockets, one intended for tent stakes and the other open for options (but most likely going to be plastic bags).

As these are intended for camping gear, they'll go one on each side of the rear (green) section. Tent stakes on the left and bags on the right.

Not drawn to scale. Original graphic available here.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Paracord Pocket, Part 1

Instead of having my paracord and tent line stuffed in a random pocket and getting lost in the shuffle, I made a pocket specifically for it. Those are two things I really don't want to be digging for if I put off making camp to long and find myself doing it in the dark.

Luck would have it that the pocket exactly fit my 100-foot coil. If the fabric looks a little strange, that's because it's rescued from an old dress-shirt.

For a sense of balance, I made a second one for the opposite side, but lined it with plastic to make it water resistant. What I'll be putting in it isn't finalized yet, but at least I have options. My Singer had no difficulty with the plastic, but keeping the plastic from wrinkling proved to be an impossible task.

Nonetheless, hooking up the two pockets took less than an hour together,

Part 2 will cover sewing them to the trailer itself. All work done on my trailer an be found here.