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Size Inclusivity in Bag Making

Above: Leila (@leila_sews) wearing a Persimmon Naito Bucket Bag with extended crossbody strap

A NUDGE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Today we’d like to share a story about maker + pattern designer Leila (@leila_sews + @munaandbroad) and how one DM from her has sparked change within our company. Earlier this year, Leila graciously wrote to us and let us know that the straps of her Maywood Totepack were not comfortable on her body. They were too short and digging in. “I’m wondering if you would consider doing a plus-sized option,” she suggested.

Thus began a conversation and a reckoning within our company about the ways we could be doing better. We want everyone, of every body size, to feel seen and welcome in the world of bag making. We are so grateful to Leila for reaching out, for advocating for herself and the plus-sized maker community, and for giving us the nudge we needed to begin improving our offerings with size inclusivity in mind.

BAGS ARE NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL

Over the last few years, there has been great momentum in the garment sewing world around expanding size ranges to include plus-sized makers. (Leila's pattern line, Muna and Broad, which she created with Jess of @fat.bobbin.girl is an excellent example!) As a bag pattern company, we had a blind spot. With most ready-to-wear bags, there’s an underlying assumption that bags don’t need to come insizes, that they are one-size-fits-all. What we’ve learned, thanks to Leila and now many other plus-sized makers kind enough to share with us, is that  this is not true! Bags, just like clothes, need to be designed with folks of ALL sizes in mind. (Petite makers, we see you too!) We want to do better. 

THE NAITO'S EXTENDED STRAP

When it came time to design our newest pattern, the Naito Bucket Bag, we knew from the beginning that we wanted to integrate an optional extended strap. Leila was kind enough to offer feedback on sizing and language, and together we arrived at an offering we felt good about.  When you purchase a Naito kit, you have the option to add an extended crossbody strap for free. If you’re making from scratch, we’ve included an extra strap extension template in the Naito pattern, as well as instructions on the best way for petite makers to shorten theirs.

                                

Above: Leila modeling the Naito's standard crossbody strap (left) vs. the extended strap (right).

IS THE EXTENDED STRAP FOR ME?

The Naito's standard 42"-long crossbody strap is generously-sized with six adjustment holes. It is suitable for most body sizes. However, plus-sized makers will likely find the extended (58"-long) strap more comfortable. We recommend going with the extended strap if:

  • Your usual garment size is 18 or greater
  • Your body's circumference at armpit level measures 46" or greater
  • You typically wear plus-sized clothing and/or find standard bag straps to be too short

Petite makers may prefer to shorten their Naito crossbody strap. To do this, simply punch additional adjustment hole(s) with an 1/8" drive punch and use a 3/4" round end punch or rotary cutter to cut off any excess length.

MOVING FORWARD, WITH EVERY BODY

In the coming months,  we will be rolling out extended strap options to more of the Klum House collection. It’s a change that has many tendrils within our little business (production, inventory, pattern redesign, website changes) so it may take a few months for us to get there, but get there we will! Thank you to Leila for being an amazing advocate and a collaborator. Thank you all for being patient with us as we learn and grow. We're so excited to be expanding our offerings so every maker, regardless of body size, feels seen and taken care of.

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