Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Part 3: Rey's Resistance Bag (Rucksack)

I cannot recommend enough the amazing tutorial that EmeraldB has put together in creating Rey’s Rucksack. Please check it out as it served as my starting point for this project!



$14.99 ** 1 - Enfield Rifle Sling in Olive Drab Green from Amazon
$21.99 ** 1 - Olive Drab Top Load Duffle Bag from my local Army surplus store.

First I washed and dried the green duffle bag which helped fade the dark green dye and also resulted in some nice faded lines from the wrinkles in the bag rolling around in my washing machine.

Next I cut out all the pattern pieces using EmeraldB's measurements with some slight modifications:
  • I cut 4 "Top Flap Sides" to the slightly smaller measurements of 3 1/2" x 3 3/4"
  • I combined her "Sides" into one long piece measuring 3" x 43"

I also broke off the gold hardware from the Enfield sling in order to give me as much length to play with for Rey's bag strap as possible… I’m tall. Then I tried to let my hot 110° weather help me in aging and distressing the materials: I left my pieces outside for three days! 

I mixed together some water and black acrylic paint to darken the sling and canvas backing. I used an even stronger mixture to paint the strap included with the duffle bag for Rey's bag front as well as the two small canvas loops that attach the hardware to the top and bottom of Rey's bag.

The problem with using acrylic paint to darken fabric is that it becomes pretty hard to sew through. This happened… twice:

Hardware and Paints:


$3.99 ** A 1" D-ring black plastic carabiner from this 6-pack
$11.00 ** A 1 1/2" metal side release parachute buckle in matte black from Amazon
$0.00 ** A 1 1/2" tri-glide silver buckle (I was lucky enough to have one in my stash)
$6.65 ** A roll pin buckle from Ebay
$7.38 ** 1 - Rub 'n Buff Metallic Silver Leaf Finish from Amazon
$4.49 ** 1 - Rust-oleum Flat Black Spray Primer

Using EmeraldB’s hardware and paint recommendation, my kids and I had some fun turning plastic into metal. 

I sprayed flat black primer onto the D-ring carabiners and then we worked together to coat all 6 of them with the Rub ‘n Buff Metallic paint. I figured one of them would have to turn out okay!

Here's how my plastic D-Ring 

compares with the original. 

Rey's bag is on the left
and mine is on the right.

I wasn’t entirely happy with the gunmetal color of the metal parachute buckle I bought so I also lightly (and purposefully unevenly) coated the buckle in the flat black primer. It made the metal look more aged and less modern than the gunmetal color did. Instead of purchasing the buckle from Amazon, I would recommend just buying a metal parachute buckle from Joann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby as I later discovered they are much cheaper there.

And here's the Parachute Buckle comparison:

Rey's is on the left
and mine is on the right.

 I really didn’t want to spend 12 bucks for a simple tri-glide silver buckle for Rey's front chest strap so I search thrift stores high and low for something that would work. Unfortunately I only found plastic buckles which I attempted to coat with the silver Rub ‘n’ Buff. I wasn’t happy with any of them and finally found a suitable buckle in my stash! My husband broke off the center prong for me (the thing that usually goes through your belt buckle holes) and I was a happy camper!

The side-by side comparison shows that Rey's buckle on the left is more rounded and shorter than mine. I found a more similar one to Rey's on Amazon but it's expensive to ship and I might have to use vinegar to remove that more modern-looking coating.

I also now realize I need to distress my Enfield strap some more to match this side-by-side... oops! I'll get right on that!

Also based on EmeraldB’s recommendation, I purchased my final roll pin buckle from Ebay. After plopping it in some vinegar to remove the gold color I felt it appeared a bit too shiny and new. I fixed this by dropped it in some very-watered down black acrylic paint to make it appear that some “dirt” had settled into the grooves of the piece.

Here's the fun side-by side!

Rey's roll pin is on the left
and mine is on the right.

The Brown Mesh Pocket:

I researched every kind of brown mesh in existence and couldn't find any with the "King Mesh" circular pattern seen in the original Rey bag.

So I made do: I searched my house high and low and found this yellow mesh bag which was in the exact measurements I needed for the pouch! I used both layers so it would be sturdy enough to realistically be a pouch on Rey's bag; This had the added benefit of allowing me to punch distressed holes and tears into the top layer only of the mesh.

Don’t stress yourself out trying to find brown mesh fabric; Just go to Joann Fabrics and get yourself a foot of whatever color they have in stock and paint it!To change the color of my mesh bag, I mixed some water with some light brown acrylic craft paint with a touch of black acrylic paint to darken it (I didn't have any dark brown paint, so I just made my own). I was worried the synthetic mesh wouldn't absorb the paint, but everything worked out perfectly!

EmeraldB recommended keeping the bag flap as a rectangle until it's attached to the bag and you can see where you'd like to cut it. I am very thankful for this suggestion as it helped me see how the bag's shape was coming along before I cut into it.

Here's a preliminary cut of the bag with my yellow chalk outlines of where I wanted to curve the top bag flap and double-layered mesh pouch. Chalk was a nice non-committal way to test out the look of things before cutting the curves.

I double-layered the top canvas flap and the small canvas flap side pieces to add some strength to the top of the bag. I then top stitched around the curved top piece to keep the flap pieces together.

Later, when I used my seam ripper to distress the bag I only cut through the top layer of these pieces. This keeps the strength of the bag in tact for all of my… missions?

Buckle Placement:

If you are like me,  you're probably trying to wrap your head around the placement of the four buckles as well as the distressing marks seen in reference images. Well, I'm not sure if my chicken scratch notes would be any help, but I'll include them anyways!

The top image shows the Back and Front sides of the bag.

And down here's the Top Piece as well as a layout for the placement of the distressed holes. 

And now... here's the final product!

I'll definitely be taking some more pictures in daylight as these came out so dark that it's hard to see what the bag really looks like!

Next up: Part 4: Rey’s Gauntlets and Arm Wraps (in progress)

Don’t miss any of these other blog posts:

1 comment:

  1. What was your ratio of paint to water? Did you paint it on or soak it? Did you color all the pieces or just straps? Thx.