If I was a rapper, I would say that today I am “ballin outta control”. Sadly, I am not a rapper so I’ll just say that I’m having an awesome day.
For the past few months, I have been working on constructing small bags for concealed carry with varying levels of success. In the last 24 hours however, I’ve completed two that I think are pretty good examples of what I am going for.
My goals in this project are to make a bag that is versatile (that is, can be carried in multiple kinds of outfits, all year round and is compatible with various models of pistols and/or holsters), stylish and comfortable. Too much? I figured it was best to set the bar high and see what I could achieve, rather than compromise right out of the gate. My ideal bag meets all of the criteria above and that’s what I wanted, so that’s what I aimed for (Yeah, I’m making shooting puns. I can’t help myself). Overall, it has been pretty slow going. I haven’t been able to find a sewing pattern that is close enough to what I want to actually be useful, so I’ve been making it all up as a go, which is alternately thrilling and exasperating. My motivation for the project is constant though, since I hate having to leave my gun at home. More so now that we are in the hot summer months and I can’t wear the PHLster skeleton holster that I love. (Why, you ask? One word: chafing).
The two models of bags I am working on now are based on a kind of fanny pack platform. They utilize a belt or a strap to fasten around the user’s waist, and then a pouch that conceals the holstered gun within. The result: you look like you’re wearing a stylish accessory and no one suspects you are packing the heat. Win/win.
Here are a few photos to give you an idea of how they turned out:
You can see that in the smaller, rectangular bag, the user would have to supply their own sturdy gun belt. I like this design, however it is limited to outfits that can be worn with a belt. I’ve found this to be difficult in a skirt or a dress. The other option is a little more versatile since it has a built-in strap that can function as a belt or a shoulder strap. I very much like to carry bags in a cross-body configuration, so I designed this one to be able to be easily convertible between a belt bag and a cross-body bag. The external pocket on the back opens on two sides, allowing easy access to your firearm. I am currently using a piece of paracord that is sewn into the bag to hold my holster in place.
I am planning on doing a follow-up post, so I can show you how they look while in use and discuss the pros and cons of the designs. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements.
Also, special thanks to Philly Art Girl for the totally awesome Luger belt buckle FTW.