Handmade | New Grass x Temple Bags Rucksack

I was hanging in the Apolis HQ when somehow my interest in sewing and my corresponding lack of knowledge and skills came up.  Shea at Apolis mentioned his buddy Steve who does Temple bags (which I was already was a fan of) and said that we should hook up sometime.  I responded with a casual “sure, that’d be rad”, but without any real expectation that anything would come of it.  A month or so later, Shea emailed me saying that Steve from Temple wanted to trade me piano lessons for sewing lessons.  No brainer.

I drove up to LA to meet up with Steve in his apartment in Silverlake.  He cooked a pizza, I stumbled through teaching him some basic piano and fundamental music theory, and he helped me bust out this awesome rucksack in one night.  Pretty sweet.  It was interesting to see how strikingly similar our creative drives, thoughts, ways of working, and even life application were with two seemingly very different mediums of creativity, art, or whatever you want to call it.

Steve’s got a sewing room with racks filled, floor to ceiling, with military surplus fabrics.  He yanked down this amazing vintage WWII era waxed canvas and we decided that since I’ve tried my hand at totes before, we should up the ante a bit and try a backpack.  I’m not gonna lie, he practically made this thing for me, but it was definitely a learning experience to watch him work and have him talk me through a lot of the stuff he was doing/thinking.  His method of working is totally freehand and almost 100% winged.  Very different from my previously painfully calculated sewing expeditions.  His methodology though, works much better for me, and is how I tackle things I am most confident at (i.e. music).  Thanks to our night of knowledge swapping, I think I’ve got enough confidence now to start being less calculated with this stuff as well.  Actually though, the hardest thing for me was getting a feel for his industrial Juki machine.  A completely different animal than my crummy sewing machine.  Seriously, not even comparable.  I felt like I was taming a wild beast trying to sew on that thing.  It was ripping through leather and four plus layers of insanely thick military grade canvas.  Unreal.

I hope we’ll get in a couple more sessions before I leave on tour, and that this is something we can keep doing whenever I’m home.  Fun stuff.  We’re already talking about making some shoes.

5 responses to “Handmade | New Grass x Temple Bags Rucksack

  1. that’s a pretty cool story. i wish i had a friend that could teach me how to make my own jeans.. and had access to good japanese selvage denim.

    have you heard of plastic bullet? it’s a cool app for your iphone camera. here’s some info on it: http://prolost.com/blog/2010/5/20/plastic-bullet.html

  2. i use it too to add some effects to concert photos i took. really addicting. you can see some examples below:


  3. that is so awesome! steve is one of my good friends! He married the daughter of the pastor of the church i work at! I am really stoked to see that you guys got to meet!
    When you are in portland, you should show me that bag! I would love to see it!

  4. That’s a great piece of work. Has wabi-sabi written all over it. The choice of strap colour and material hints at the maker’s flair for this stuff, and really makes the bag look something special.

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