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The Puffiest, Most Well-padded Djembe Drum Bag Ever

March 28, 2011

Andrea Dobi (rellocating back to Germany) asked if I’d make a backpack-type bag for her precious djembe drum.  It’s being shipped and she wanted to be sure it would be well protected.  Since I like to make things, of course I said “yes, sure”.  I love the logic and creative challenge of drawing up patterns, figuring out a method and the process of construction.  In some ways I like this more than “pretty” sewing.  Unfortunately (depending on your perspective) I also like to make things very well, and so sometimes, as in this case, the project can take quite a long time – and although I gained immense satisfaction from the completion of the final product (I really am very proud of this bag), I doubt I will ever make another …  except as a gift for our friend, Hayden (and only because I’ve already promised and because he is so kind and generous!).  🙂

Here it is:  the puffiest, most well-padded djembe drum bag ever!  It is custom-made to fit Andrea’s drum with shaped panels.  I used waterproof backpack fabric for the outside (in olive green since she wanted an earthy colour).  The interior lining is a soft but strong, smooth shower-proof fabric.  The padding is double-layered:  thick batting on the outside and carpeting on the inside.  If this were not enough I decided to make an extra, loose cushion to fit between the lid and the skin for extra protection with X-ray sheet between the two layers of padding which should help deflect pointed objects.  I appliqued the shape of Africa on the cushion in an embroidered suede fabric with satin stitch – just because, for decoration and because, of course, I love Africa.  The bag has a pocket for wallet, cellphone, etc on the front, because Andrea asked and because I can.

I wanted to be very sure that the bag be strong because the drum is quite heavy and so went to some trouble to reinforce any load-bearing areas.  The backpack straps are inserted into a seam between two parts of the back panel and double stitched by machine and then again by hand with nylon thread.  At this stage I broke 3 machine needles in about the same number of minutes due to the thickness.  The black tape over the seam is cosmetic only.  Then I hand stitched the handles again through the thickness of all the layers after  joining the outside layers to the inside.

The webbing parts of the backpack straps are attached to the double-padded parts through all the layers, machine-stitched with nylon thread and, at the bottom, are inserted into the side panel seams via a triangular shaped reinforcing.  These straps are adjustable.  I added an adjustable chest strap to stabilise the bag.  This strap has a buckle clip to close it and elastic sewn in for tautness.

To make it easier to lift when not carrying the bag on one’s back and to reduce strain on the backpack straps I added a handle on each side.  I used a piece of 15mm polycop pipe for each handle, covered in carpet and backpack fabric for comfort.  The nylon webbing goes through the pipe and is attached through the thickness of all the layers with nylon thread.

The lid closes with a nylon zip with double zip runners and is attached to the bag with nylon webbing at the back.  To protect the drum skin from the zip I added a padded lip to the lid.

It was an at-times difficult project that involved some brain-puzzlement and occasional swearing 😉 but well worth the challenge to my maker skills.  I’m ecstatic with the results!  🙂  Isn’t is awesome?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrea permalink
    March 28, 2011 9:47 pm

    Vanessa, I am so happy, you cannot imagine! The drum bag looks amazing, unbelievable!!! Sooooo excited to see it (shame, only in about six weeks…but I can wait, so worth it;-)) I promise I will play my drum a lot (thanks to Kev:-)), carry it around and always think of you! I will send you pics as soon as it will arrive all the way from South Africa…to Germany, crazy stuff! It looks perfectly done and I am sure you are able to do anything now – the drum bag really seemed like a mission, wow! I appreciate it a lot! Really, million thanks!!!

  2. Anita permalink
    March 29, 2011 7:31 am

    stunning ….Very Very unique & impressive…Amazing …it must have taken alot of hard work ….beats professionalism…Thank you

  3. Angie permalink
    March 30, 2011 7:43 am

    That is one hard-core bag!! Well done my friend!!

  4. Vanessa permalink*
    March 30, 2011 9:06 am

    Thank you for your kind comments. 🙂

  5. April 3, 2011 11:14 am

    Cooles! I want that, pleaseee

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