Custom Bag: Liam’s Flight Bag in Brown Waxed Canvas and Leather

I was contacted by a local Vancouver customer, Liam, who wanted a special carry-on luggage bag made for him.  He wanted to replace an aging travel bag that his father gave him, which had great sentimental value. He sent me some photos to see if it’s something I could make.

I wanted to take on this project because it meant so much to my customer and it challenged me to make something totally different from the bags I have in stock. This bag required that I draft a brand new pattern, but Liam was patient enough to wait most of the summer for it.

The original bag was made out of a tanned coloured heavy canvas with cotton webbing straps. Liam chose the dark brown waxed canvas for the body and I updated his bag with bridle leather hand-held straps and a cowhide leather detachable strap.

Liam uses this bag for travel, so we wanted to make sure that it fit the maximum carry-on size requirement. This bag is the biggest I’ve made to date.

After I finished it, my son wanted me to make him one so he can put all his toys in it. Hmmmm…

Size: 20″ wide x 13.5″ tall x 7.5″ deep



Liam waited a little over 2 months for this bag to be handmade for him. He was not only patient, but he was nice enough to model it for the blog.



I special ordered a 36″ brass zipper for the bag. I pulled the teeth of the zipper (see how I do this), so that the zipper opening was about 30″ across. I combined both solid brass and antique brass hardware throughout the bag.



The original bag had a wide zipper at the bottom. Older style luggage bags sometimes have this, but I think it’s inefficient to put your belongings at the bottom. Liam wanted to be able to put document size paperwork in the pocket, so I suggested that we make a large zipper pocket at the backside of the bag.



The original bag didn’t have any pockets inside for organization. I always like to have pockets to divide up belongings for my larger sized bags. This one is very big, so I made 5 pockets inside; 2 large and 3 medium sized ones.


Up until this point, I haven’t taken any custom orders in which I would have to draft a brand new pattern for it. I usually will take a custom order that is a variation of the styles that I already have. The time and cost is a huge consideration when I make a bag from scratch.

“Liam’s Flight Bag” is a bespoke bag just for him. I will keep and archive this pattern. In the future, if he wants to replace this one, the cost will be less. The first time cost is higher due to the time it takes to design and draft a pattern.

Thanks Liam for your patience and allowing me the creative freedom to handcraft this bag for you.





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