Custom Bag: Medium Zipper Tote | Water Resistant Waxed Canvas and Leather | Charcoal Grey with Black Front Pockets | Custom Lining

This is a custom tote that I made for Amanda in Austin, Texas. She was looking for an alternative to her beloved Longchamp Le Pliage bag, which she used for 7 years. She wanted a bag that was chic, sturdy, water resistant, zipped closed, a flexible size and made from sustainable materials. This will be her everyday bag for work and travel on planes, trains and on her bike.

Amanda liked that she could get a very personalized bag with elements like interior pockets, a luggage slot and her own interior fabric that she provided.

For her colours, she chose a charcoal grey body, black front pockets with a black bottom and brown leather shoulder straps.



Amanda asked me if she could provide her own lining. While I’ve never had this request before, I thought it would be interesting to see what the outcome would be. Here’s the lovely lining from  Kokka, a Japanese fabric manufacturer. This is a heavier weight cotton and linen blend fabric, so it was perfect as a lining.

This tote has 2 water bottle pockets and 2 large pockets. I made one of the pockets a little wider so that it would fit Amanda’s Swell water bottle.

A customer saw this photo on my Instagram page and wondered what the process was for providing your own lining. While I really liked the way this bag turned out, I’m not sure that this will be a regular customizable option due to the extra time and labour involved. Anyhow, here was the process Amanda and I went through:

  1. Amanda showed me a few fabrics that she liked online.
  2. I looked at the width of the fabric and what it was made out of to see if it was appropriate as a sturdy lining.
  3. I think I narrowed down 2 that would work and gave her an estimate of how much yardage would be needed. She purchased more than needed just in case.
  4. She chose this fabric from an online Japanese fabric store and had it shipped directly to me.
  5. I worked with it and sent her back the extras with her new bag.



All zipped up with this brass zipper for security and to keep the weather elements out. This light waxed canvas is also water resistant.



Side view of this bag. Amanda chose a colour combination that is unique and very nice when put all together.



She also chose to add this luggage slot to her bag. If you travel, you will want this custom add on ($20usd) . I tested it out myself with a bag I brought to Montreal this past Spring and it was so nice not to carry my heavy bag around.



Medium Size: 16.5″wide x 13″high x 5″deep

Cotton and linen blend lining provided by customer

4 Interior Pockets: 2 bottle pockets (1 customized to fit a Swell water bottle), 2 large pockets

2 Outside Front Pockets with a brass rivet hammered for durability

1 Universal size luggage slot for your suitcase handle

9.5″ shoulder drop for leather straps



This Medium Zipper Tote is only available through custom order. Please contact me at cathy[at] or through my Etsy Shop if you’re interested in a similar bag handmade for you.

The Medium Size Zipper Totes in the shop are in stock in the shop.




Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Amanda Donaldson
October 7, 2016 at 10:12 am

YAY, so pleased. This was a most smooth process and it exceeded my expectations. My beloved bag receives many oohs and ahhs as I show friends the features. Thanks, Cat!

October 13, 2016 at 11:26 pm
– In reply to: Amanda Donaldson

Thank you, Amanda. You were lovely to work with and I’m so happy you are pleased with your bag.

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