Crafter, artist, and long time member of the Dallas Makerspace, Haley is a skilled and creative person who has inspired me in many ways. She is always working on something fascinating and brings a level of dedication and detail to her projects that really sets them apart from others. Recently Haley completed a laptop bag, entirely from scratch, for the Desert Bus for Hope charity event that she’s been supporting for some time now. I asked her about the process of creating this amazing work of art and just how much time went into it from conception to completion.
Q: What event/project was this bag created for?
A: I made this bag for an awesome charity event called Desert Bus for Hope. Every year they hold an online telethon to raise money for Child’s Play, and one of the events is an auction of handmade items. I contributed some pieces last year that had tags made with the Makerspace’s laser cutter, and almost immediately after the auction I had the idea to use the laser to make something amazingly intricate for this year.
Q: How did you come up with your idea? What inspired it?
A: I’ve wanted to make something incorporating the design of the famous mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask for a long time. Since Desert Bus is a video game themed charity event, it seemed like the perfect occasion to try it for. I made a purse last year, and I thought a laptop bag would have more appeal for both genders, and hopefully raise more money for the event.
Q: What were the materials and tools you used to create the bag?
A: The front design is made of about a hundred pieces of synthetic felt and fleece in 16 different colors, which were cut on the Makerspace’s laser and hand-stitched together. I created a composition of blocks of color in Inkscape, using original game art as a template.
The pattern for the bag was also designed in Inkscape and printed out on 8.5x11s that were then glued together. I’ve never used this technique before, but I loved it. I’ll probably end up doing that again in other projects. The bag is made from cotton, felt, fleece, and heavyweight interfacing, and it has separate padded pockets for a large laptop (around 14″) and also for a netbook or an iPad.
[The entire process took over 50 hours to complete]
Q: Do you have any tips for others who might want to try their hand at a project like this?
A: Lasering felt is easy and cheap, but sewing it together takes time. Plan ahead. Also, I originally used matching thread with the felt, but I quickly found that this was distracting in the areas where colors met. Go with invisible thread.
Q: What is your favorite part of the bag?
A: The eyes blow me away. The eyes on the original game art have a lovely smooth fade on them, but discrete pieces of felt would never really capture that, so I opted to make a halftone pattern. The result is striking. I’m also a big fan of the forced shadows on the spikes.
Q: Where can people read more about this project and its progression?
A: You can see all sorts of progress photos at my blog, But, How?, and for information on bidding at the auction, you can go to www.desertbus.org.
Being able to witness the birth and completion of this project has been quiet the experience. I can’t wait to see what else comes from the mind of this talented Maker. You can view more pictures of the bag in the DMS Flickr group. As well Haley will be doing a Sew By Numbers demo at our upcoming Open House and we encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the company of other brilliant and passion driven people.