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A Question for those who sew....

I don't know how to sew so I'd like to ask a question to those who do:

I want to put a passthrough strap on a Civita day bag. This would allow me to slide it onto the telescoping handles of a rolling bag.

Is it possible? What do you think needs to be done and what kind of material do I need? Who could do this type of work (professional?)

Posted by
31516 posts

Frank,

The Civita uses a fairly light microfibre material, so I'd probably try to find a similar type of material, or possibly something a bit thicker. That bag opens fully in the main compartment, so it should be really easy for a tailor to make the modification for you. It might be a good idea to add a thickening / strengthening layer in the interior as well.

Posted by
6510 posts

I'm sure it could be done. As the other poster said a material a bit heavier/stiffer than the bag material. Any tailor or alterations person could do it (just google them in your area) or anyone you know with a sewing machine could do it easily.

Posted by
1666 posts

Thanks for asking Frank. I too want to add a trolley strap to my Pacsafe tote. My plan is to buy the RS stashable tote since it's almost the same color as my tote and matches my RS rolling carry on. I'd cut off the front the bag that has the zip pocket. Fold it in half so the pocket is on the outside. I'd add fusable interfacing but I think it'll melt the fabric. Then seam the bottom and sides and sew it to my tote. I don't like to sew so am thinking that instead of sewing the sleeve to the tote I'd made button holes in the sleeve sides and sew buttons on the tote. Since it'll be difficult to sew onto the slightly padded tote, the button idea may look neater.
If sewers have a better idea I'd love to know.
So back to your question Frank, a seamstress should be able to make a trolley sleeve for you.

Posted by
123 posts

@FrankII, that is a great idea. Every bag should have a slip strap, IMHO! I'm not an accomplished sewist, but it seems you'd have 2 options: 1) a wide fabric strap--this might keep the bag from flopping around in the handle. 2) a more narrow strap made of woven strap material, similar to the straps on the bag handle. That would need a good double-x of anchoring on either side. Some bags with straps like that have an industrial-size snap on one side.

A tailor or luggage repair shop could do that for you. They might even have the materials on hand to do it. One issue with Civita is its floppy "Ricktoria's Secret" fabric. A partially-packed Civita might wiggle around on the handle. So the idea to put a stiffener in the bag (a piece of thin 1/4" foam from the fabric store used for tote bags or other crafts) or some sort of item packed to give the back of the bag some structure might really help.

A last thought: I use the waist strap on a Tom Bihn S19 as a slip strap on a roller handle. Then I use a Strapeez Velcro strap to attach the top handle of the backpack to the roller handle. So, it might be possible to put grommets or loops on the lower corners of the Civita back panel and attach a lower strap of some kind. You can find a grommet tool at a craft store and do that yourself. Of course, it makes big holes in the bag. :-). HTH - Sherry

Posted by
5697 posts

Frank, if you get it to work maybe you could market it as "Civita Helper."

Posted by
672 posts

I don't know what it would cost to have that done, but for $69.95 you can buy the Velocé Shoulder bag that comes with a sleeve that slides onto the rolling bag handles. I think it's a great idea - works great!

Posted by
257 posts

I bought 12 inches of ribbon (similar link below) from a fabric store for about $1.00 and sewed it to the back pocket of a Baggalini crossbody bag. The Civita day bag has a similar back pocket. Sewing it to the pocket fabric only allows you to still use the pocket.

I've used it on two trips so far and has worked pretty well. Not quite as stable as a wider slot, but the bag stayed on the top of the rolling bag. Size the ribbon only as wide as necessary to slip over the handle (which is a bit wider than the handle runners.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Wide-Black-Nylon-Heavy-Webbing-Strap-Thick-Knapsack-Belt-Clothing-Sewing-Handmade-DIY-Materials-Accessories-10/32651524821.html

Posted by
11435 posts

Thanks for the repllies so far.

I chose the Civita for the size. Some airlines are limiting the size of personal items and the Civita, if not fully packed, shouldn't be a problem meeting the limits.

I have a bag bungee, as shown in the Amazon link, an add-a-bag strap, and bungee cords. I just want the ease of being to slide it on and off the roller bag without having to use something else.

I think I may have found another bag to use instead. (This will not be my daybag but then neither was the Civita as I don't like lugging backpacks.)

Lite Gear RFID City Tote.

Just slightly smaller, same basic design, includes the roller strap.

But I'm still open to more ideas for adding a strap to a Civita day bag.

Posted by
2349 posts

Horsewoofie, you sound like me. You've thought about it, pictured it, and maybe even bought stuff for your project. If you are like me, you'd then let it sit around and never get it done. ;) I'm finally starting to learn that the better money is spent by going to an alterations place.

Posted by
3789 posts

Frank II and Horsewoofie, I might be able to suggest a McGyver option or two.
Frank, as you have identified the potential of purchasing something different, then I'll question your risk comfort zone.
Is the back of the backpack padded or double layer? If so, then would you consider cutting 2 slots in the back? one near the bottom, another near the top and just the width to fit over your handle. If you are worried about fraying, the fabric store is bound to have some fusible product to add to the end of the cut and could even bind the cut to stop fraying.

Some trolley sleeves also have velcro attached in the middle of the sleeve to reduce shifting from side to side....any you can buy adhesive velcro so no sew - and put a square near the top and near the bottom.
Because the bag is tall, you might want a deeper sleeve than the typical tote type. I might suggest 9 or 10 inches.
If the cutting suggestion doesn't work, then take the bag and your luggage to the tailor/sewist to discuss the project and the best material to use. I think you might find it to be much more cost prohibitive than if you bought a new item that fit the airplane measurements with a sleeve. I appreciate wanting to eliminate excess, but sometimes it is time to move on from a favourite.
Horsewoofie - Amazon has tote bags like RS' with a sleeve. Most likely more affordable than the hours of making button holes and buttons. :-) Here's just one option: https://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Foldable-Organizer-Overnight-Suitcase/dp/B06X6LT5GQ
However, your idea to use the pocket let me to wonder if you need to actually remove it. I have some trolley sleeves utilizing zippers to snug it up to the width of the handles. As the RS tote has 2 zipper heads, I wonder if you can leave it in place, just open the base of the pocket to the width of your handles, reinforcing the ends and then zip to firm up the bag. If a fairly full bag, then slipping the carry straps over the handle should also help stabilize as the pocket is fairly low. Again, adhesive velcro running the entire depth of the pocket in the middle will give some stability (as it can be 1 inch or more wide and the full pocket depth) and reduce side motion.
Otherwise, you may still be able to fuse it with fusible tape - just cover it with a napkin, hanky or scrap of cotton fabric so that iron isn't in direct contact with the fabric. lift iron frequently.

Posted by
6782 posts

Wife uses a large carabiner to attach civita to her roller bag handle. Doesn't keep it from swinging side-to-side, but keeps it good enough for most of the time.

Posted by
84 posts

It can be done, but most home sewing machines will not be much help. Call both your local upholstery shop and shoe repair shop. Either or both should have the best equipment and operators to help you. Keep in mind that you will have an 'edge' on each side. Once attached your sleeve will resemble a belt loop turned on its side. Brilliant, by the way. Hubby's carry-on luggage set has that, mine doesn't. Guess what I'll be doing before my next trip. Thanks!

Posted by
459 posts

This is tavaspeak's idea, home-version. Just get a length, maybe 8", of 1"-wide strap/webbing, sold by the yard in sewing stores. I (Stewart's wife, Vicki) hand-sewed its ends to my fabric tote's exterior, e voila, a passthrough. Really anchored the ends for strength.
Because I'm detail-oriented (nah, not obsessive, nahhh), also added velcro to make it lie flat when not in use. 4" of the hooky side onto the backside of the webbing, the 4" soft side onto the bag's exterior. Stole that idea from the Lite Gear City Tote I use as a day bag. It's got an industrial-strength snap, I just subbed the velcro, being a rank amateur sewist.

Posted by
91 posts

Frank II: I have sewn such a strap to both mine and my husband's Appenzell backpacks. I bought a piece of 1" wide webbing, cut it to the width of the backpack's back panel and used a candle to singe the ends so they won't ravel. Turn the back pack inside out and sew up and down a few times at each end of the strap. I was careful to place the strap's horizontal position where I thought it would give the bags the best support, and position it a above the top of the water bottle pockets, so they are sewn just above the half height mark. It is true that the Appenzell is stiffer and therefore less likely to swivel, but I would think it would work for the Civita. I have now also sewn such a strap to my new Eagle Creek Travel Bug Mini daypack. Though it also has a stiffer back panel than the Civita. The reason for turning the bag inside out while sewing is that it makes it easier to sew the that way. I actually attached the strap to the side fabric of the bag and did not try to sew through the back panel. If you do it this way you can use an ordinary sewing machine. You could use a zig zag stitch, but a straight stitch will also work fine if you go up and down a few times. We have traveled successfully using these straps for many trips. I usually use the bag slipped over the suitcase handles when standing around or if the bag is not too heavy. When walking and pulling a two wheeled back, lowering the bag so it hangs from the extra bag strap thing included with the RS bags, puts less weight on your arm. You can see in the airports that this is how most of the flight crew carry two bags. Good luck with your project. Any friend with a sewing machine and basic sewing abilities should be able to sew on a webbing strap for you.

Posted by
11435 posts

I think I may have found a new hack for this.

I have one of these:

Tyny Tools Key Clip

I connected it around the backpack straps making a loop and connecting it to itself. It makes a sort of pass through.

Addendum--or, I could just attach a couple of sternum straps.

Posted by
5697 posts

Great, Frank!! I would use this if the roller bag handle wasn't already full with the RS Euro tote. But maybe there's enough space ...

Posted by
14 posts

Try taking your backpack & whatever you need sewn on to it to a cleaners, they do all sorts of alterations. Whatever you do you need something strong to stand up to the wear and tear of travel.

Posted by
293 posts

Amazing creative people and ideas in this thread thanks so much!!

Posted by
1666 posts

I wish I could attach a picture...we're leaving tomorrow for Hawaii so thought I'd better get my Tote bag "fixed". I bought 2" black webbing and 1" teal webbing similar to the RS rolling carry on color. Centered the teal on top of the black, then fabric glued them together. Then I glued and sewed a small piece of black Velcro to the back of the webbing tacking thru all layers. I attached the strip to the bag with big black buttons, using small buttons inside so the stitches wouldn't pull out. Finally I attached the other half of the Velcro to the back of the bag using glue and tacking supported by a button inside. It took me a couple hours, including time for glue to dry. I'm awful at hand sewing so the buttons inside are not pretty. But I think it was easier than trying to sew inside with the sewing machine. Looks like it will be sturdy enough to get thru the airports.

Posted by
4737 posts

Look for a luggage repair shop. Often this is combined with shoe repair.

Posted by
3789 posts

I just got back from Spain, and my adaption of my duffle didn't work as well as hoped. It still slide around to the opposite side of the suitcase handle...but I remembered to pack a few short bungie cords and those did the trick of stablizing the duffle to the suitcase.

Posted by
1666 posts

Maria, I used my add-on trolley strap in Hawaii for 10 days and it worked great. To avoid it spinning, use Velcro between the suitcase handles. Tack one piece to the bag and the other half to the strap. PM me if you want a picture of how I made my trolley strap.
Kathy

Posted by
3789 posts

Thanks Kathy.
I know where my design flaw was. I wanted to keep the bag as a foldable duffle, so went a little light on the rigid interfacing and amount of velcro. Sometimes design is a bit of trial and error. Also, one never knows how cobblestones and stairs (and cobbled stairs) will stress test the best alterations. I think, however, I'll keep the small bungies in my suitcase in the event I don't take the duffle and I need to attach shopping, groceries, laundry....take your pick.

Posted by
59 posts

Glue a strap on with E6000 glue.
It can be washed and dried and moves with the fabric. It is also plenty strong. I make costumes for a living.

Make sure you give it a few days to set completely before you use it and dont let the otherside of the bag get close so prop it open somehow.

I recommend the E6000 for many repairs when it involves mutli type surfaces also like plastic to material ect...
Find it anywhere... target walmart lowes craft stores.

Be easy try it!

Posted by
11435 posts

I guess I should follow up to tell you what I decided to do. I abandoned the idea of adding a strap to the Civita and bought a Tom Bihn Pilot.

Posted by
630 posts

I guess I should follow up to tell you what I decided to do. I
abandoned the idea of adding a strap to the Civita and bought a Tom
Bihn Pilot.

Frank II, I used my new Tom Bihn Pilot and it is PERFECT as my personal airplane bag! It fit under my seat on the plane so I could access my airplane items very easily. I used Rick Steve's Carry-On Roller as my main carry-on and the Pilot slipped over the handle so I could store my Pilot on the handle when I was rolling the carry-on luggage. I love it!