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A Better Hip Bag Mod

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Within a week or so of making my last hip bag I was on the hunt for another purse I could modify. That first one was ok, but since it sat so high on my waist it kept getting in the way of all the long over shirts I like to wear. I was determined to make a version that hung lower on my hip and was easier to access.

Happily my new bag is more comfortable and even easier to DIY - plus I think it looks a lot better. A triple threat!

 At first glance this looks like a normal purse; you'd never know it was actually hanging from my hip!

All you need for this mod are two sets of heavy-duty snaps, a pair of purse clips (mine cost about $3 at JoAnn's), and a small purse with side straps like this:


 This is actually a little girl's purse from Limited, Too. I found it at a local thrift store for two dollars.

Cut the purse strap so you have two straps around 7 or 8 inches long each:


Now fold each strap in half and attach your anorak snaps. Then you can slip your purse clips on like so:

 
You could also just sew or rivet the straps down, but using snaps gives you the option of removing the purse clips and then wearing the bag threaded through a belt, as opposed to just hanging from the clips.

And where do you hang the clips, you ask? Why, from your belt loops, of course! I found the spacing on mine is perfect for the first two belt loops on my side.



Oh, and another tip: it turns out a Crop-A-Dial (a gadget I almost never use) is great for punching holes in heavy canvas. That saved me a lot of time and aggravation hammering in the holes for my anorak snaps.



I have to tell you, guys: I love how versatile this bag design is. Not only can you wear it from either your belt or your belt loops, you can also clip the two straps together again and carry it like a regular purse:
This is really handy for the times when we go through the bag checks at Disney.

The only other change I made was to remove the metal Limited, Too zipper pulls and replace them with an old key and vintage jewelry doo-dad:


You'll probably want to wear a belt while wearing a hip bag like this, since heavier bags will tend to drag your pants or skirt down on the side. If you don't carry much in your purse, though, or if you don't wear your pants and skirts as loose as I do, this shouldn't be an issue. 

And here's how the bag looks with a typical Jen outfit:

These are the neon white legs of a hermit blogger, my friends.

I've been using this bag almost exclusively for the past few weeks, and I can honestly say it's the most comfortable I've ever had. No more straps slipping off my shoulder, or cutting across my chest obscuring my geeky t-shirt designs! And no more back pain! (Ok, so most of you don't have that issue...) Plus the bag is literally at my fingertips while I'm walking, so it's easy to access on the fly. Am I raving? I think I'm raving. Sorry. I just really love this bag, you guys. I don't think I can ever go back to a regular purse again!


Well, I hope this inspires some more purse modifications out there! And for my next trick: perhaps something with a leg holster? :D

Posted by Jen at 2:18 PM Labels: , ,

39 comments:

  1. Awesomesauce!

    I don't wear belts (or pants/skirts with actual, you know, tailored waistbands) because of stupid acid reflux, but this is a great idea even so!

    I always liked going to RenFair and having a belt pouch, but this seems a good bit easier to access.

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  2. I have a super random question, Jen. What are those boots you are wearing in the last picture? I've been looking for lace up boots and those are really cute!

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  3. Super cute!!! It also has the side-benefit of being somewhat difficult for someone to snatch your purse!

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  4. Thanks, Alyssa! I got them at DSW a two years ago, and I'd been looking forever for flat lace-up boots, too. The brand is diba, if that helps any, and they're just synthetic leather. Comfy, tho!

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  5. Great Idea! How perfect for traveling also, pretty hard to steal or accidentally set down somewhere.

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  6. I have been looking forever for a hip bag like the one in the second Librarian movie. Probably will end up just making it.

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  7. May I be allowed to say, Miss Jen, how much I love your style!!! Boots are super cute. :) Anyway, YES, welcome to the land of hip bags, I've been a convert for maybe five years now? And I've never looked back. Worn them through two pregnancies and having kids, they are still hands down the best dang option for ease of EVERYTHING. Plus they stop you overpacking them because there's only so much you can fit in them!

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  8. Awesome idea! I will have to try it soon. I have a similar problem going on with a "ladies utility belt" I got at Wondercon here in SF. It fit perfectly and I love it but it bunched up my shirts.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. Those are also the neon white legs of a ginger. source: i'm a ginger.

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  10. I love my hip bags, but they never seem long enough.I had one for yrs that I paid a ridiculous amount of money for and never used because it was too short. Off to the local craft/fabric store and I found the exact shade of strapping (a cross between fushia and plum) I needed. sewed it all together and voila! long strap and gorgeous 12 yr old leather topped purpley bag from Eddie Bauer back in use! yay!
    Kathy T

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  11. You may indeed, Helen! Considering my daily uniform is jean capris & t-shirts, I'll take fashion compliments ANY time. ;)

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  12. This is a *brilliant* idea, Jen. So useful / practical and yet still cute. Thank you!!

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  13. Thank you so much, Jen, for introducing me to hip bags! I plan to make one, but I seem to be very slow in getting around to it. In the meantime, I went ahead and bought one! This one from Pixie Pixie. I love it!

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  14. Great idea, just noticed the cuff you are wearing in the last photo, any details on where, how much, :)

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  15. I actually made that cuff myself, Vicky - you can see a close-up of it here. It's one of my favorites, so I'm glad you like it!

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  16. I pretty much exclusively wear longer shirts, so this is an absolutely perfect project for me to try out! Thanks for sharing, Jen. :)

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  17. Those are the cutest boots I have ever seen in my life. Well, they would be cuter if you taped kittens to them, because kittens are cute.

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  18. Target has some really cute boots almost exactly like what Jen is wearing. I'm still contemplating buying them. The boots at Target are $35 and they have a couple of rings w/ straps on them for decoration, and a side zipper as well as front lacings.

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  19. I found myself a hip bag at a gas station in Utah, of all places, while I was on a road trip a few weeks ago. It's not DIY at all, but I kinda feel like Lara Croft when I wear it because it clips both around my leg and my hips. It was an absolute lifesaver for the rest of my trip - especially when we went to Vegas because I never had to worry about someone taking something out of my Ameribag that I always used to carry as a purse.

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  20. YAY you're wearing a YouniquelyChic necklace!

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  21. Hi Jen :)
    Your bag is adorable, and that would be the perfect way for me to carry my kiddo's Epi-Pen! We need it with us at all times, and something like that would be so cool for him to have when he carries it on his own. Thinking of a Star-Wars themed bag mod in my future... :). Love your style and your ideas!
    Martha Ann

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  22. It is cute, but the wrong style for many of us guys. I've been trying vests as a way to have enough pockets for stuff, particularly the stuff with display screens.

    I'm also looking for a nice watch chain, now that Android pocket watches are all the rage. (You have noticed that everyone uses the pocket watch motion when you ask them for the time, haven't you?)

    > LoveLoveMeDo said...
    > Those are the cutest boots I have ever seen in my life. Well, they would be cuter if you taped kittens to them, because kittens are cute.

    What kitten tape do you use? Mine keep wriggling off.

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  23. I have almost that exact same bag, Limited Too, that I converted to a hip bag based on your first post. Mine had two straps. I sewed loops on the back to attach to my belt, but I like the hangy-down look of this even better, so I think I'll tinker with mine some more. :-) You're too awesomesauce for words, ya know?
    -from one pasty-white Jen to another

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  24. Re neon white legs, I'll pass on a tip that I got from my sister. (My sister and I have neon white legs too.) She wears white shorts so that her legs appear slightly darker in comparison. I'm going to try this strategy next summer (maybe with capris or a skirt rather than shorts). Of course it only works if you're not planning to get dirty.

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  25. Oh, I wish I'd had that two weeks ago when we went to Magic Kingdom! I always get stuck with the backpack, and we never need it. I just hate taking a "purse" in the parks. This would have been PERFECT! Oh, well. There's always next time. :) Thank you!!!

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  26. All the functionality of a fanny pack, with none of the tackiness. :D Will definitely be trying this out for when I go to London next summer!

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  27. you're so cute. jen, you're perfect.

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  28. here are some second hand leather puprses you might want to check out.

    http://www.shopgoodwill.com/search/SearchKey.asp?itemTitle=leather+purse&catid=0&sellerID=all&closed=no&minPrice=&maxPrice=&sortBy=itemEndTime&SortOrder=a&showthumbs=on

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  29. It might be hard for someone to snatch, but awfully darn easy for someone to slip their hand in - especially if you accidentally leave it unzipped. You might consider locking the zip down with something. Cute, though!

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  30. I've got to make something like that before our next big trip. Would make it far easier to hold onto little hands without a purse sliding off my shoulder, and if I keep the kid on the side with the purse, I DARE someone to try to grab it! :-P

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  31. Cannot concentrate on bag... too distracted by your beautiful hair. #jealous

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  32. Okay, Jen, you got me this time. I was leaning after your previous post, but I think now you've got me officially converted to the hip bag. But I'm commenting primarily to say do NOT apologize for pale, healthy skin. (I know you didn't, I'm just sayin'.) I have ghostly legs as well and am never embarrassed by them, because it means my skin is undamaged. So flaunt 'em!

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  33. My buddy had made this leather and copper hip pouch for Pennsic this year, but after I borrowed it for NY Ren Faire, I fell in love with it, so he let me keep it. Since I had to give back the belt I used originally with it, I had to figure another way to wear it. Now it has a thin belt that goes around my waist, and spring-clip straps from an old nightclubbing shirt that clip around my leg. It's so versatile, going from ren faire to its use here in my steampunk zombie hunter outfit for zombie prom the other night!

    Lighting's not so hot in this picture but I can send another shot if you want some details. Also oddly, me as a steampunk zombie hunter looks a lot like regular me ...

    Not taking MY brains!

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  34. I've actually been doing something similar for the last few years, particularly when I go to Disneyland - anything to keep the weight off the shoulders!

    I live near a Coach outlet, and I've procured several large wristlets on clearance (where they can be had for under $40), which use twisting purse clasps to allow you to clip the strap in a loop or across the top of the purse. I unclip the strap, thread it through the belt loops, and then re-clip. I also use the same bag on my bike as a handlebar bag by threading it around the upright bar that connects the handlebars to the bike. I love your modification and the colors you chose for your bag!

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  35. Awesome Stuff! I've been looking for ages for something some that could be used to hold such things as non-period cell phones and could be worn just above a boot that hits a little below the knee...ya know, just an idea...

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  36. Hi, I found your link on Pinterest. I have been trying to find a hip bag to wear for work. I work on car radios and have to climb in and out of vehicles. I need a bag to keep a few tools, flashlight and cell that won't fall off or bang against the horns :). I can't find what I want(for under $100). This idea is perfect! Thanks!

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  37. My mom and I made a couple of these for our summer vacation this year. We found little canvas purses on clearance at Joanns for 97 cents. Score! And they were awesome! I love mine! It was so great to not carry around a big purse on my shoulders for a week and a half. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  38. I just finished my own version of this from an old... I want to say camera bag? A nice little leather pouch, anyway. Looks like this.

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