Back in 1991, when I was 8 years old, I visited Italy for the first time. I remember being on the beach, eating donuts, shopping at markets, the salty water. I remember that we bought bags to take home and have “fashion forward” bags for the next school year. I bought a backpack and a, what now would have been called, a bum bag. It was checkered, black and white, and neon, but I cannot remember if it was hot pink or bright green. Maybe both, it was the early 90s after all?
This year we had plans to go to Italy for our summer vacation. To get there, the kids and I were meant to take the train through Germany and stop in various towns and learn about history (my oldest was really excited for the Berlin Wall and Gedächtnis Kirche). I don’t think I need to give any reason as to why these plans will be cancelled.
Travelling alone with two kids, and luggage for two weeks, had me a bit worried. I had, obviously, seen the bum bag trend rise, but to me it was ingrained in me that it was a trend better left in the past. Then I saw plenty of sewn versions in materials that were a far cry from the loud 90s plastic polyester my own bum bag had been and putting all this together I realized that a bum bag would be a perfect solution to keep my hands and shoulders free, whilst still keeping my valuables close to me.
I used a free pattern from a German magazine, Snaply. I managed to get most of the instructions using Google Translate and the pictures provided. It is a small pdf-file and the bag is fully lined, which is a plus. Some cons are that there’s no interior pockets and the flat bottom. But it turns out nice and polished, all seams are enclosed. There are some other bags on their site and I would probably look there if I wanted to make another bag, some are quite cute! There are also a few clothing patterns and accessories as well.
For the outer fabric I chose a cotton/poly blend, a bit heavier weight (no longer in stock). Due to the gold stripes in the fabric I unceremoniously decided that all hardware should also be gold, just to get my bling on (Zipper, carabiner, D-rings, sliders) and a band that matched both the purple and gold. This was meant to be! The outer fabric was interfaced with a cotton/linen blend interfacing and the lining was a striped cotton fabric that I picked up a ton of to use as linings and other things. It’s featured in several garments as pocket bags and/or waistband linings. For example in the skirt I’m wearing in these pictures and my Brumby skirt.
Even though this won’t be the year my bum bag goes out on grand adventures, I hope to try it out on the smaller ones. It was quick and fun to sew and it’s always fun to try different things and techniques (just trying to figure out how to thread the band is an exercise on its own). The fabric required is very little and the hardware could possibly be salvaged from worn out bags, so this could be quite a cheap, easy project.