I don’t know if anyone is interested, but I sucessfully just hacked up a Vera Bradley Metropolitan bag. I apologize for these photos. This fabric is busy and hard to take pictures of, and I did this very quickly. You can enlarge them all for detail if you’d like!
We have a Vera Bradley outlet nearby, and when I match up sales with coupons I can score some amazing deals on VB bags. Sometimes way cheaper than I could spend on fabric, especially for bigger bags. Usually I strike out, not finding the colors I like. But I was there with my mom this week and I found this bag for super cheap.
One problem: There was this GIGANTIC laptop sleeve inside. For like, a 2.5″ thick Dell Desktop Replacement from 1999? I’m not sure who Vera Bradley thinks they are selling these bags to, but I don’t know anyone who has a giant laptop like that. Most of us have 1″ thick, 13″ MacBooks. I realize I’m the oddball with a MacBook Air, but I also question why anyone who travels or commutes would have anything so darn heavy to lug around all day every day. The sleeve takes up way more room in the bag than I need it to, and I’d never be able to secure it tight enough to make using it worthwhile anyway.
Why not just choose another bag? Because I’m me. I wanted this bag for travelling. It’s a completely different type of bag than the Pleated Tote, even though they are similar in size. This one slips over a rolling suitcase and after trying to carry four bags last weekend, I thought that was a cool feature. One that I’m probably never going to sew into a bag I make. At least, not before making the 10 other things on my list! ;)
See, it’s got all these cool pockets:
So, anyway, I hacked it out. Here’s how I did it:
Seriously will you look at that? What a waste of space in this awesome bag. You could put at least two regular MacBooks in there. Probably three! Anyway…
I started by cutting here, all the way around, so that I could pull the foam padding out.
Then I ripped open this seam, to finish pulling that foam out.
I was left with about 1″ of nylon. I didn’t think it was going to fray, but it was sewn into the binding and no way was I going to get that massive binding under my machine to re-sew it. I did rip it apart at the corners where it was sewn together to make it easier to sew 3 sides.
Oh, I also took off the velcro tab by carefully picking those stitches out. One corner needed a little fray block but it was fine. Anyone know what kind of stiff interfacing that is? I’d love to get my hands on some. I also want to know where to get that hard cardboard they use for bottoms. I should go ask at the hardware store.
I wasn’t super worried about fraying, but since I couldn’t remove the nylon completely I decided a finished edge would be better than not. So, I took that 1″ of nylon and tried a couple things. On one side I folded both sides to the middle and then folded both of those in half again to one side. On another side I just folded under and then folded under again. As long as there were no edges exposed, and it only stuck out 1/4″ or so, it was fine.
Yeah, I hand sewed that. And I HATE hand sewing. But it was easy, and worth it!
Once I turned it right side out, you can’t even see it because it’s all the way in the corner.
So now I just need to make a new sleeve for my laptop and I’m all good!