Rock ‘n’ Roll Mail Sack

During the week of September 23-29, the ladies behind imagine gnats and Made with Moxie are hosting Selfish Sewing Week on their blogs. I got a head start on sewing for myself with this fun bag.

When we first started rehearsing together away from Napa School of Music, where we got started, my band practiced at my house. Partly because my family and neighbors are easygoing and able to handle the cacophony of loud noises broadcast out the windows. But mostly because we had a drum set in our living room, left behind by our youngest daughter, then living in a university dorm.

tessa at the drums

tessa at the drums

A full drum kit is a lot less portable than other instruments and equipment, so it made perfect sense. Eventually, our drummer bought Tessa’s drum kit and we began taking turns hosting band rehearsals.

vince at the drums

vince at the drums

I have a case for my bass guitar, and the amp has a handle to carry it with, but the cables, microphone, tuner, sheet music, etc., I toted in this charming bag that Howard gave me. He thought it was groovy, I guess. I think it’s a little garish, even for me.


dear bag: it’s not you, it’s me

I had my eye on this Melody Miller fabric for quite some time. I held off buying it because I didn’t know what I’d do with it, and it’s such a large-scale print that I knew it needed something big to show it off. (Since when do I need a reason to buy fabric, right?)

singles on linen/cotton

singles on linen/cotton

It finally went on sale, so I bought a piece, along with some Lush Uptown – a perfect match –  and Pink Chalk Studio’s Mail Sack pattern and sewed myself a new gear bag.

blanket stitch machine applique

blanket stitch machine applique

Once I cut out the pieces, though, I decided I wanted a few more records on the outside. So I cut a few more singles out of the remaining fabric and machine appliqued them onto the bag pieces before I stitched it up.


hit singles

b sides

the flip side

Top 40 for sure! I added a key fob to the inside, helpful with such a deep bag. The zipper pocket is lined with some of the music print that Howard got me from Ikea.


because I can never find my keys

my tuner’s new home

I made a small alteration on the other pocket, making the right side bigger, and putting two pleats into the left side of the pocket for my cellphone.

pocket for my mobile

pocket for my mobile

I love it, and so do my bandmates (well, at least the female ones; the guys couldn’t care less). It holds everything and it was a great pattern to sew — clearly written and nicely illustrated. The pattern’s glue-stick method of sewing in zippers is my go-to technique from now on!


everything fits

a rockin' gear bag

a rockin’ gear bag

Body: Melody Miller’s Records in Ambrosia, Robert Kaufman Classic Threads Stripe in Multi  ∞  Lining: Lush Uptown Woodgrain in Moss  ∞  Pockets: Lush Uptown Painters Palette in Sky, Holiday Music from Ikea


Selfish Sewing: Do you sew mostly for others or for yourself? What would you make if you gave yourself a whole week to make things just for you?




4 thoughts on “Rock ‘n’ Roll Mail Sack

    • It’s really easy. Instead of using pins, position the zipper in place with a regular glue stick before sewing it in. Apply glue stick to the right (top) side of the zipper, avoiding the teeth. Turn the zipper over and finger-press it into place onto the garment/bag/what-have-you. Give it a few minutes to dry, then sew the zipper in as usual.
      The glue stick is waxier than liquid glue, and is tacky as soon as you smear it on. Since it’s not wet, you don’t have to worry about it getting all over the place or showing through to the other side.

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