This was my first proper attempt at a bag, a very uncomplicated messenger. I created it from scraps of old fabric in my mother’s fabric pile, dating back to seventies. The detailed print I top stitched onto the bag originally covered our living room couches when I was a kid.

This bag has traveled with me for the past ten months from provincial northern South Africa and through Nairobi onto Taiwan and then California and parts of the Southwestern US. It journeyed with me through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and was by my side when we finally settled down in our Bangkok apartment just over a month ago.

It served me very well and was the ideal travel bag and is still handy for trips to the weekend market or the next trip to the beach. But I needed something a bit more sleek, a little more funky and slightly more functional for urban living here in Bangkok.

And so one morning on the way to work, Bangkok Post clutched under one arm and bag slung over the shoulder, an idea began to take shape for a new shoulder bag. I wanted something with a special pocket for my morning paper and then some.

It’s been a couple of weeks of on and off sewing since I started the bag, but this week I finally ended up walking to work with a new bag on my shoulder. The idea changed a couple of times since I first drafted a pattern and sewed a mock-up of the product; the straps were lengthened and moved, the side pockets changed a bit and I decided to add a lining.

My favorite feature of the bag is the newspaper pocket, the other outside pockets include one for my i-Pod and one for my cell phone. Inside I added some additional fabric to the lining and divided it into two smaller pockets for notebooks, wallet and keys, which left a lot of space available for lumpier items.

It had an exciting first day in Bangkok. Alexander picked up the paper on our way to work so I can try out my favorite pocket and it was a perfect fit! Besides traveling to work on the BTS and MRT trains it also sped down the tiny Bangkok klongs to Banglamphu and later traveled back here by river boat taxi and again the BTS.

Thanks again to Alexander for the photos.