Custom Bag Adventure

Custom Bag Adventure

Several months ago, I stumbled upon JH Fabrics Creations, an Etsy shop run by Janet Howard who creates purses and bags. Her style and fabric choices really grabbed my attention, so I’d been eyeing some of the bags since then. Last month, I made the decisions to get a bag from her, but I wanted a fabric that was more business casual, and I wanted to make some pockets modifications. Janet and I corresponded the next three weeks about what I wanted. She guided me on choosing a fabric from I found three fabrics I liked, but I was stumped on which one to get, which led me to asking friends on Twitter for their advice! The fabrics I fiddled over were:

In the end, I went with the blue stripes one. Janet then asked me for some other specifications. My final list of specs looked like this:

Size & Taper Specifications

  • Size: 13.5″ wide by 9.5″ tall by 4″ deep
  • Undivided outer pocket
  • 2 inner pockets behind the front pocket
  • 1.5″ wide strap padded
  • Taper the top to prevent floppiness

Main Fabric Specifications

  • Flap: stripe fabric
  • Body: black twill fabric
  • Inner lining: navy blue fabric
  • Strap: black twill fabric

Pocket Fabric Specifications

  • Outer pocket lining/trimming: stripe fabric
  • Inner pockets: stripe fabric
  • Inner pockets trimming: navy blue

I also requested to get a smaller bag like this, except to change the lining colour to blue and to move the inside pockets around :) My plan is to use the stripe bag when I need to carry my Chromebook and other larger items. The smaller bag will be used when I don’t need to carry larger objects around with me. When Janet finally posted the listing, I nearly screamed in happiness :D See below for more pics of the bag, all taken by Janet!

Custom Bag Custom Bag Custom Bag Custom Bag Custom Bag

Well, those are my new bags. I got them today, and I am super impressed by the quality of the bags. Janet even threw in two spectacle cases to match my bags! Janet was a pleasure to work with — super patient and nice! I highly recommend her service and her bags! :) Anyway, be on the lookout for a new “What’s in My Bag” post sometime soon!


  1. Wow, they look great! I never thought about getting a custom design from Etsy when I was on the hunt for my new bag… and this would have been perfect, my new bag and your new bags are very similar in style.

    I really like how the fabric on the smaller one looks.

    • I wasn’t really planning on getting any more bags, really, but when I saw these ones on Etsy, I decided that I had to get them because they look so neat! And I’m glad I did :D

  2. Those bags are gorgeous! I think I prefer the smaller one of your two, but I really do love both. I feel a sudden need for a new bag for next year at university :P

    • LOL. A new bag is always a good thing to invest in :) Then again, I’m a bag addict, so yeah . . . XD

  3. I remembered the poll you had about the pattern! I liked the blue stripe one, you can’t definitely go wrong with that ;). The bag sounds pretty roomy with enough pockets to hold everything you need :). I like the way Janet did the bag, the layout looks seamless and easy to sport!

    • Yes! I love her style, and you’re right about it being seamless :D

      I really do love the bags and I can’t wait until I get my Chromebook so I can use the other bag ^_^

  4. The bags are so cute! I love the striped one. Definitely perfect for taking your (future) Chromebook on the go. I’m glad we got to help you pick out the patters. :D

    • Yes! I’m so glad I have you lovelies to consult when I am stuck on choices. You guys have been awesomely helpful :D

      And waaaaai. I’m still waiting for my Chromebook. I really cannot wait to get it!!!

  5. Holland on

    Oh gosh, both bags are so cute! I took a look at her shop and immediately fell in love with two of them (different sizes). Unfortunately I can’t justify buying new bags right now, even with my birthday coming up DX those must have cost you a pretty penny, though, being custom-made and all!

    I don’t think I’d be able to make up my mind when it comes to custom specifications. I can get so picky sometimes. I love having a zippered pocket inside my bags to hide away things I don’t want others to see or that I don’t want to lose. I like pockets to an extent but they frustrate me because things fall out of them anyways (I keep a tinted lip balm and a concealer in a lipstick-type tube in a pocket in my current bag but they fall out all. the. time.). These look like they have enough structure that they stand up and don’t flop over, though, which is great!

    I favorited the shop for future reference, if I get an impressive tax return next year I may spoil myself :D

    • I hope if you do get any of her bags, you’ll like them! :) These bags are just too pretty, and her choices of fabrics are amazing. She really got good eyes on design :D

      I like zippered pockets, too, but it really depends. I’m starting just like the easy access ones because they are convenient XD

      And while the bags I got aren’t entirely floppy, I don’t think they have that much structure as say a canvas bag. Though maybe you could request it to be more padded so it has extra structure.

  6. Gosh, they’re fantastic! The fabric you picked it lovely, but the bags are so beautiful. They’re extremely practical too – super useful! The quality of them is amazing, and how kind of Janet to give you the matching cases for your glasses too! I hope you get lots of use out of your beautiful new bags!

    • Thanks! I’m enjoying the little one so far (no Chromebook yet LOL, so big bag is on hold). It’s smaller than my usual bag, but it’s good when I don’t want to carry too much! :D

  7. Wow! It’s amazing that you can get someone to custom make a bag like that for you. Some people are crazy talented. I really like the patterns you picked. I hope you get lots of use out of them!

    • Crazy talented is right! I’m all for supporting independent sellers, so I’m glad I got to support Janet’s business. Her bags are just amazing, so I’m super pleased I discovered her ^^

  8. Olivia on

    They look really awesome! And sturdy too! I love your fabric of choice! Oh man, the bags look so well-made. I could learn so much from her in sewing *_*

    • You could learn a lot from here! She seems super skilled. :D And amazingly fast. I was so shocked she made my bag in like a day or so!

  9. Wow! I love your new bags – slightly jealous. Haha. The fabrics look gorgeous – love the pattern you picked!

    • Thanks, Chynna! The bags are amazeballs. I’d totally recommend them to others ^^

  10. Those are beautiful bags! You did a great job selecting the patterns. They all look high-quality too! Now I’m excited for your What’s In My Bag post <3

  11. Silver on

    So lovely! I am glad you loved what the final outcome is. They are so versatile and lovely! :)

    • They are definitely verastile! I like how the smaller one is meant for me to just carry the basic stuff that I need, and the bigger one is meant to carry more :) They are great bags!

  12. Wow! those look really nice! That is awesome and the fabric you chose was perfect! I will have to keep this on my bookmarks. :)

    • Do check Janet’s store out when you can. She has great pattern selections, and if you don’t like them, you can always choose a fabric of your choice and she’ll order it and make the bag for you!

  13. That looks so nice! I’ve only had one bag custom-made, and other things I have that are one-of-a-kind were made by my cousin Char without request… How did you choose how you wanted the pockets (unless I misunderstood)? If I draw/sketch it or show her a picture she can do it, but the pockets… I’m not looking forward to looking at fabric. D;

    I didn’t think of getting, like, a messenger bag for a purse, though.

    Custom is so fun, though! You get to have something totally unique. c:

    • With the pockets, she normally lines the inside pockets on the back part of the bag; I like it on the front part. And with the outer pockets, she normally makes it into two compartments, and I like it being one. So those are the pocket modification I requested :3

      Yeah, it took a while to look at the fabrics. But in the end it worked out!

  14. I buy a lot of my fabric from :D So much selection on that site!

    The bags came out great! That’s so cool that you found someone to custom make them for you. I love that the stripes are on the flap instead of the whole thing. The smaller bag is cute too!

    • Yeah, I figure keeping the flap to the flap would give the bag a better look to it, and it did! It came out nice :D

      And homg, yes. has A LOT!!! XD

  15. Nice. ^^ Ordering bags from Etsy and then having them customized to your liking was clever. I never would have thought of that. I think your Chromebook’s arrived so I hope you’ve begun to get a lot of use out of both of them.

    • Thanks! I’m getting a good use out of the Chromebook so far! But the rain is not making me want to use the bag, so I’ve been using the bookbag so far XD

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