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Mindy’s Merchant & Mills Costermonger Bag

Evergreen canvas bag sitting on the floor. Photograph is looking down into the back showing all the content of the bag.  Background is a evergreen tree rug.

I started with Fancy Tiger Crafts at the end of November as the social media content creator. My speciality is photographs not sewing. I took our Sewing 101 class at the beginning of the year and then promptly signed up for the Costermonger Workshop. Definitely jumped ahead of my skill set on that one! I’m grateful to have amazing instructors at Fancy Tiger Crafts, and instructor Christina kept encouraging me. There was a bride-to-be and her future mother-in-law at the cutting table with me. They took me right under their wings and helped me learn how to use a pattern to cut my pieces from. Thankfully, we went through each step of the bag making process together which made the class extremely helpful!

Photograph of a dog laying on a jean blanket in the grass with a evergreen waxed bag sitting beside the dog.


Hardware Kit: Merchant & Mills Costermonger Hardware Kit
Pattern: Merchant & Mills The Costermonger
Exterior Fabric: Waxed Army Duck Cloth in Olive
Interior Fabric: Cosmo Canvas Contour Line Fabric, Canvas Fabric
Modifications: Interior Fabric - this was something our instructor Christina helped us do in the class.  How to add the interior fabric is not in the instructions.  When attaching the straps to the top part of the bag, use an additional piece of leather on the inside to attach the leather strap. That way you will avoid bending the long rivets. (See more detail about this step in the last paragraph)

Photograph of a forest with a blanket with a bag sitting in the sun.

Being an outdoor girl, I chose a color that reflected nature. I used evergreen tree green for my canvas exterior. The interior fabric was reflective of a topographic map I use for hiking/backcountry skiing. I choose white for the interior because I hate it when I have a big bag that has a dark interior...I never can find things in it.

Detail photograph of the inside of a bag.  Interior of the bag is a white fabric with a topographic pattern.

The best part about the Costermonger bag is that it can be a backpack and an over the shoulder bag. In class we attached the bottom rivets and then measured how long the straps should be before cutting them. Thankfully we did this step, otherwise I would have made my straps too short for an over the shoulder bag. This method makes for a more low riding backpack.

Girl walking down a rocky path wearing an evergreen backpack.  Girl's back is toward the camera.

Attaching the rivets…..this is the part I failed at. If you use the mallet on the backside of the rivet, the front of the rivet will not be hammered. Secondly, the instructions didn’t say, but we learned that when attaching the rivets to the top part of the bag, you need the extra leather you cut off to add a spacer (another layer) to the inside of the bag. Because the rivets are long, the doubled up leather works well. I bent the rivets trying to get them flush without the extra leather. Actually I bent all the rivets, haha! Thankfully we had extra on hand at the store and I was able to fix my bag. We had shorter rivets in the store for me to use on the top part of the bag, to eliminate having to double up the leather.

Collage images of the Costermonger backpack.  One is a side shot of the bag, one is the top rivets and bottom rivets of the bag.  The bag is outside sitting on a tree stump and the canvas bag is evergreen tree green, with dark leather straps.

My husband didn’t believe I had actually made this bag, I was surprised myself to be honest:) This bag is perfect to pack for a lounge in the sun or a hike and picnic. 

Photograph of women with a canvas bag with bag being over the shoulder.  Women is standing to the side in front of a stone picnic area.

With the extra canvas this had me wondering what else I could do.  I came across a Klum House post with free instructions on how to make a Waxed Canvas Lunch Sack.  After making two of those, I still have more waxed canvas to play with and I do love my bags!  Now it has be thinking maybe it's time to attempt making a Klum House Woodland Dopp Kit.

Two evergreen colored waxed canvas lunch sacks, sitting on a wood stump.  Background is forest, two pinecones, white and purple wildflowers are sitting on the wooden stump with the bag.

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