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5 Ways to “hack” your Rubenesque Hobo…

Hi Everyone!

These last few weeks have been amazing, the Bag Fanatics Retreat was definitely a highlight, as was meeting and sewing wth all the attendees! Lastly, I am so pleased that my new pattern the Rubenesque Hobo has been received so well – and I can’t wait to see all the Rubebesque hobo’s you all make soon!

At the retreat, so many beautiful Rubenesque Hobo’s were made, and many of the attendees came up with some fabulous ways to “hack” the pattern…I thought you might like to see what they did, in case you would like to make the same changes 😉

So lets get to it…5 ways to “hack” your Rubenesque Hobo!


1. Use a magnetic snap instead of inserting a top zip…


Katherine from Stitched The Wright Way made the amazing version of the Rubenesque Hobo above, as you can see she added a magnetic snap to the lining rather than adding the top zip that is in the pattern.  This is a great hack as if you prefer a snap closure on your bags!

All you have to do to get this look is find the centre of the lining panels and then measure 1 1/2″ (3.8cm) down from the top edge, mark that point and then install your magnetic snap!  I was about to link you to a tutorial on how to do this and realised I don’t have one here on the blog yet…well guess what was just added to my to do list 😉 


Above you will find two beautiful bags, the pink one was made by Donna from Gawjus Threads and the tan one was made by Wendy.  The reason I have included these two bags in this post is so you can have a close up look and comparison of a bag with the zip top and a bag with a magnetic snap.

Donna’s has a magnetic snap closure and Wendy’s has the zip as per the pattern.  As you can see (in the top view photo in the centre) the only real visual difference these changes have on the Rubenesque hobo is from the top view.

2. Add a flap or swivel clip and d-ring instead of a top zip…


Above you will see Susie from Twirl Girl Boutique‘s Rubenesque with the flap she added on the Left.  On the right is Susan from Made By Cottonwood‘s version with a swivel hook and d-ring closure. Aren’t both versions of the Rubenesque Hobo with these changes just so different!

To add a flap as Susie has, you can either sew it to the exterior back panel about 1 to 1 1/2″ (2.5cm to 3.8cm) from the top or you could sew it into the top seam.  Susie has also added a magnetic snap to the flap and front bag exterior to ensure the bag stays closed.

To add a swivel hook and d-ring closure as Susan has, all you need to do is create some tabs to connect the hardware to your bag.  Susan has then sewn these tabs into the top seam of the bag ensuring that they are side centred along the top seam.

3. Add piping to the feature panel – this is just perfect for this bag!


Melisa from Melisa Jane made the beautiful bag above. The piping really makes the feature fabric on this bag pop!

If you would like to do the same, simply add your piping to the feature fabric panel before sewing the side accent panels into place 🙂

4. Use rivets to attach your straps on outside of the bag instead of sewing them into the seam…


Annie from Annie Zorro Accessories made this stunning Rubenesque Hobo and attached her handle connectors using rivets rather than sewing them into the top seam as the pattern states.

Quite a few Retreat attendee’s made this change to their bag…but wouldn’t you know it not many of the photo’s I took were clear enough to show you here on the blog!

To get this look it is pretty simple, but is much more easily achieved if you have used leather as the raw edges don’t matter 😉
If you used vinyl/faux leather for your handle connectors, you might like to change how they are constructed to this method to ensure you have no raw edges.
If you have used fabric, ensure when constructing the handle connectors you enclose all raw edges…
Then just complete your entire bag and then attach the handle connectors at the end 🙂
If you need to learn more about rivets and how to install them, check out this post 🙂

5. Add a cross body strap to your bag instead of shoulder strap…


The lovely Rubenesque Hobo’s above were made by Danielle from Paisley Avenue (Left) and Natell from TangleWebb Design (Right).

Both ladies decided to change out the shoulder strap for an adjustable cross body strap! This is such a fabulous idea if you prefer to carry your bags hands free, and it certainly isn’t hard to do either 😉   If you would like a little help on how to make an adjustable strap, you can follow this tutorialjust remember to omit the swivel clips as they aren’t necessary… where the swivel clips appear, swap them out for your o-rings 😉 Or you could make the adjustable strap with the swivel clips as per the tutorial and clip them to the o-rings once the bag is complete – so many options!

I hope you have enjoyed these 5 ways the retreat attendees decided to “hack” their Rubnenesque Hobo’s, and I hope you find this post helpful in applying these hacks to your own bag!

Don’t forget you can purchase the pattern individually on Etsy or Craftsy, or in a limited time BUNDLE on Craftsy 😉

I would love to see your Rubenesque Hobo’s, so please feel free to share them with me via FB, IG, or T 🙂 If you want to use the tags #rubenesquehobo or #patternsbyemkie that would be awesome too!

I would love to stay in touch with you, so please feel free to sign up for my newsletter here.

Happy Sewing!

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    2016 The Year that was…
    December 7, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    […] 5 ways to Hack your Rubenesque Hobo […]

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