Fjord, where I work most of the time, needed a goodie bag to be compiled for their upcoming yearly company excursion (aka Fjord Equinox). 

The theme that I came up with for the goodie bag was one of connections and easier traveling. There would be a few items that I could source from here and there but I like the idea of trying to get something custom made. It wasn't a massively big budget so I couldn't be too adventurous, but why give profit to someone else when I could roll that profit into learning for me and also creating the perfect item for the intended users! I'm a very big fan of all kinds of bags and pouches so I was keen to have a crack at getting something produced on mass.

Being as all the items we were going to include in the goodie bag would be cables and adapters a small accessories pouch made sense. Something that could help you manage your device or devices and their persistent cable needs.

Version 1 is below:


So as you can see, I knocked this up in 10 minutes. Proof of concepts should be incredibly quick. I think as soon as you see something, or hold something in your hands, you know whether it's going to work or not.

The idea was that this pouch could be a companion to a larger device - a laptop or tablet. There is one large pocket to hold a book, Kindle or smaller tablet (iPad mini). There is a mesh pocket at the top to hold adaptors and accessories and an elastic weave at the bottom half to allow the user to tuck in cables. Finally the four circles at each corner are rivets that connect together, to allow the bottom half to fold up to connect to the top half, if the pouch is less full.

Version 2:

This version was pretty much the version 1 with more detail. I don't own a sewing machine so I superglued parts of an old rucksack together. The same design as before, except now the rivets have gone away and been replaced by elastic loops that go over each corner. These loops then allow the attachment to an iPad (see slideshow) and also allow the bag to fold in half. I was quite pleased that one mechanic could have two tasks.

Version 3:


The trouble with the version 2 model was that it was (I felt) far too task specific. Everyone would be receiving this as a gift but at the same time, if you didn't own an iPad then there was too much redundancy.  I worked with a factory in Bushwick and created a pattern with a lovely Mexican chap called George. This version was a simple pouch with two main pockets.

One pocket (visible) was the maintained mesh pocket for adapters and stuff. The book is partially tucked into the other pocket on the backside. This (back) pocket is designed to take an iPad mini or Galaxy tablet or anything else the user chooses. Actually not a simpler design but a much more generic one and hopefully one which even recipients without tablets and slews of connectors can find a use for.

It should also be pointed out that the material used was chosen by the maker not by me! Material acquisition has not yet begun.

Version 4: 


Not huge changes this time, more a refinement. Some soft padding added into the interior and a lining as well. Things you can't really see in pictures but things which make the main pocket a thousand times better.  The zip on the main compartment now also runs around two sides. The main pocket perfectly holds either a iPad mini or a Galaxy tablet, or both at the same time. The only real question remaining is the size of the mesh pocket: whether it's big enough. As soon as I decide this then it's time to acquire the materials and zips.


Finally found all the pieces I need: 

Black Cordura, blue micro suede, yellow webbing. black coil zips, black pulls, black spandex mesh. Next stop final prototype before the dyes are made and the whole train gets going.

Version 5:

So the yellow tab was a bad idea, even if it felt like a good one. It's all very simple but is coming together very nicely. The mesh pocket now holds a lot more and can flex which can then hold a lot more items. The only question now is - is the mesh too flexible!

In the second image the interior is also pretty nice in the blue micro suede. The finish still isn't perfect, but then they'll be another sample yet. I'm going to add some molle webbing to the back side of the pouch, partly because I can and partially because it'll cost very little and might enhance functionality for a few users.


The final sample isn't done yet. But it's very close now so I've been buying up 20 yards of this and that. My credit card exploded at Mood Fabrics on 39th a couple of days ago. And while I'd costed everything (obviously) in advance the amount you end up spending on 420 zip pulls is quite phenomenal. YKK are making some good money.

Below is the finished bag / pouch. The only real changes were the vertical strip to bring structure to the mesh pocket. The pocket works well now. And lots of minor changes to the finish and sticking choices which are tricky to show, but they are there.

Saying that this was hard work to produce this professionally would be a massive understatement. I've always believed in deep end jumping, but I overreached on this one considering my time constraints.