Thursday, April 4, 2019

Toastmasters Document Briefcase - Customized!

I've recently found out that the Toastmasters Document Briefcase that was gifted to us (Area Directors) by District Director Benz Lim, could alternate as a garment bag. In other words it would double as a shoulder bag for a suit jacket or blazer.

But if the main compartment would be used for storing the blazer or jacket, then the outside pockets need to be modified a bit to contain other items like documents, notebooks, etc.

As it is, the outside pockets are just that - outside open pockets. There's no cover or closing mechanism that would secure contents and prevent them from sliding or falling out.

Adding Velcro Tapes for Security

So I've thought of putting bits of velcro straps (hook-and-loop fasteners) at the center of the top edge of the outside pockets.

Here's the outside front pocket that has the Toastmasters logo on it. Notice the half of the beige-colord velcro strap already sewn in. I would've wanted a black colored strap, but I only had the brown one.

When the pocket is closed by binding the velcro strap, it will be secured. Secured, in the sense that items inside won't casually slide out. For this front pocket, I only intend to put in a small notebook which I always use for evaluation tasks.

Here's the stitching in detail. The sewing a part, whether the loop or the hook component, of a velcro strap can be a bit challenging. Some velcro straps are thick or tough to get a needle into.

Notice also that there is a bit of stitching in the middle that's shaped like a small rectangle. It's actually inside the bigger rectangle stitch. Ordinarily, a big "X" shaped-stitch is made here.

The only reason for the additional inside stitch is to reinforce the outside rectangle stitch.

Do the same velcro strap stitch for the rear outside pocket (without the Toastmasters logo). This is a slightly bigger pocket. For this, I put in wider, not necessarily thicker, documents or sheets of paper.

Here is the other rear outside pocket closed using the velcro strap.

With the main compartment of the shoulder blag now used for the suit jacket or blazer almost exclusively, I need to make full use of the other outside pockets of the bag.

Without these velcro straps, the outside pockets would always have a gaping opening where items could easily slide or fall out. Fortunately, I was able to have these modifications finished just in time for my 3rd club visit to the Omega Toastmasters Club.