Peru’s Mending Kit

Soooo long ago I mentioned how I owed a post about this bag I made – one I was very proud of! – for my last trip to Peru. 

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

I used the Mending Kit pattern from Michelle patterns and made a few changes here and there to suit my needs. These photos came from after use, so please ignore any use-wear:) Her pattern is brilliant and the result is so very well constructed (I learned about sturdy interfacing options!). I definitely would recommend any of her purchases with the amount of work she put into this pattern.

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

So, the first obvious change I made was that I added a strap. I just went the quick and easy route and purchased a leather purse strap that already had clips, and then sewed two D-rings to the bag with ribbon as best I could. I could use some more experience with the mechanics here, but it suited my purpose just fine!

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

The next change I added was a hidden pocket in the flap, using a velcro closure. In here went a thin pocket tissues with extra money hidden inside. Travel guides warn against Peru’s skilled pickpocketers, and the occasional in-your-face give-me-your-money types. The first time I visited, I was trained to keep a decoy wallet so I had something to offer, but not all of my cash. I figured that if my whole bag wasn’t stolen, the secret pocket might go unnoticed in the event I was mugged, and if not, maybe they wouldn’t search the tissues. Luckily, in all my travels, I have never had a negative experience such as this! But I am also a very “aware” person when I’m out and about, so I might not only be lucky, but actually intentionally avoided by thieves. Who knows!

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

The color choices were new to me. I wanted something more… upscale? Grey was a very popular color at the time, so I found this pretty grey and yellow fabric and then matched it with the interior lining. The little ribbon tab and strap ribbon was actually a salvaged ribbon from some sort of fancy store packaging and the color matched perfectly! The mustardy velcro was something I had in a stash someone gifted me – another bonus match!

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

I did not get any good photos of the inside of this bag, but you can see the little pockets over at her site. In them, I stashed bandaids, pepto-bismol tablets (another tip from my previous trip – eat them before every meal and you don’t get sick! At least, to date, this science/superstition has always worked for me!), a copy of my passport, and a travel-sized hand sanitizer. The main pocket that these little pockets are attached to held my kindle and sometimes my passport if I was bringing the real one with me. In front of those little pockets is an expanding catch all for ticket stubs, receipts, maps, purchased trinkets, and so on.

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

I really loved using this bag, and I soooooo want to make more. In fact, I kinda promised my Peruvian family (Hola Daniella and Ivogen!) I would make them some but then reality came back and I didn’t have enough time. This is back on my priority list, though, so I hope to make some by the end of the year if I can find the right supplies. I’ll keep you posted:D