HANDCRAFTED WAXED CANVAS AND LEATHER BAGS Designer + Bag maker sharing my process and inspirations| Small batch and custom work | Vancouver

Custom Bags: Matching Large Carrier Totes For Work and Travel | Lightly Waxed Canvas and Leather

Category : CUSTOM BAGS · No Comments · by Jul 24th, 2017

These 2 Carrier Totes are for Ernest, an interior designer, and his husband in New York City. Ernest wanted a large tote for his work and travel and decided that he would also get one made for his husband. The midnight blue one is his and the grey for his partner. I love that they will have matching bags.


Except for the colours, everything is the same on these bags. Both of them have the luggage strap on them to use as a carry-on. What also makes these bags great for travel is that they have a full zipper top, so nothing falls out. If you have to stow it under the seat in front of you, you’re reassured nothing goes missing.


Ernest chose midnight blue and charcoal grey. This combination is only available when ordering a custom bag.

New Bag: Courier Bag | Unisex Messenger Bag | Lightly Waxed Canvas and Leather | 2 Colours

Category : STUDIO · No Comments · by Jul 14th, 2017

I finally got the Courier Bags in the shop this week. It’s now available in this midnight blue and charcoal grey combination or charcoal grey and brown.

This bag came about because 3 years ago, my husband wanted a messenger bag. He wanted to use it for work and as a diaper bag (Pax was 3 and Nol was a newborn then.) I made him a custom one that he used for years. That was version 1.0 (you can see it here). Along the way, I started appreciating that bag more and more. The wax canvas was really durable and the leather aged beautifully.

For the past few months, I’ve been working on adjustments and improvements for this bag. I feel that it is now a worthy bag to sell.


The lightly waxed canvas creates a water resistant exterior. The Italian vegetable tanned leather gets even better with wear. It gets a little darker brown and remains durable, but softer against the body.


The Courier Bag also comes in this charcoal grey  and brown combination.

Custom Bag: Utility Tote For Work and Travel | Lightly Waxed Canvas and Leather | Brown

Category : CUSTOM BAGS · No Comments · by Jul 10th, 2017


This is a custom Utility Tote for Christine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is using this as a work and travel bag.

2 front pockets were added to this bag for more organization. In total, there are 6 pockets (4 interior).

This tote can hold a 13″ laptop.


Since Christine is also using her tote for travel, a custom luggage strap was added. This is very useful when you’re using this bag as your carry-on.


This bag is made out of water resistant lightly waxed canvas, Italian vegetable tanned leather and antique brass hardware.

Stock Pouches Revised: Version 2.0 With Optional Personalization

Category : STUDIO · No Comments · by Jul 6th, 2017

I changed the size of the Stock Pouches slightly, added a new colour to the line up and added an optional personalized leather label to it.

Orange is the new colour in the selection (and no, it is not the new black). There’s also charcoal grey, brown and red.

The size is 9.5″ W x 4.25″ H x 1″ D (24cm wide x 11 cm high x 1″ deep). I gave it a bit more height and depth than version 1.o. I think this allows it to carry a lot more.

The optional personalization is a nice touch, especially if it’s for a gift. I emboss 3 initials onto it.


What’s interesting about the Stock Pouch is that it becomes what the owner uses it for. In this case, it’s a “film pouch.” What??? Isn’t film dead? Tell it to the camera enthusiasts, like my husband. It seems to actually be alive and well.

Custom Bag: Courier Bag | Men’s Messenger Bag For 15″ MacBook Pro | Waxed Canvas and Leather | Black and Brown Leather

Category : CUSTOM BAGS · No Comments · by Jun 29th, 2017

This is a custom Courier Bag for Josh in Bayside, New York. Josh contacted me, said he likes the textures of my bags and asked if I have a messenger bag. Even though the Courier Bag has not yet officially been released (it will in July), I showed Josh one that I made for my husband in midnight blue and grey. He liked it, but wanted the closure to be more simple, like the Field Bag


These are custom colours that Josh chose. He initially thought about having it all black, but saw that I made a few custom bags previously with black and brown leather. It really makes the colours stand out.

Is It A Good Time To Be An Independent Designer?

Category : MICRO-BUSINESS, SHARE/EXPERIENCES · No Comments · by Jun 25th, 2017

I had an interesting conversation with one of my Canadian customers, in Winnipeg, who was buying a bag for her daughter. She said her daughter is thinking about going into fashion design after high school and wanted to know my thoughts on being a designer.

I can only speak of my experience, as I’ve never worked for a company doing design work. My purpose for going to fashion design school was to start my own business. I would say though that overall, it is a good time to be an independent designer. So many barriers have come down to starting your own handcrafted business. At least, you would have a chance to have a go at it with a small start-up fund. Also it’s something you can start while still working, studying or part-time to test the market.

My First Design | Medium Zipper Tote | Waxed Canvas and Leather | 4 Inside Pockets | Black

Category : STUDIO · No Comments · by Jun 15th, 2017

I have mainly been featuring customs bags that I make on this blog. I don’t think I feature some of the bags available in the shop enough.

Today I want to show you the Medium Zipper Tote in black, one of the most simple, yet useful bags available in the shop. In my opinion, the Medium Zipper Tote is an ideal size. It can be used for work, school, as a 13″ laptop bag, a diaper bag or for travel. It’s a classic style that can be used for a long time.


If you’re familiar with this site, you’ll know that I use lightly waxed canvas, Italian vegetable tanned leather and brass hardware. These materials are durable and water resistant.


This tote is actually my 1st design. I wanted to create the perfect tote that I would love to use. I saw so many beautiful looking totes out there, but they were not functional. Even the most high end bags were, in my opinion, lazy. Many totes were wide open without any closure. Placing a full zipper requires more time and labour. I wasn’t finding a lot out there with a full zipper closure, so I knew the tote I made had to have this. Over time, I’ve heard from so many customers, who have stumbled upon my blog or shop, that they have been looking for a bag with a full zipper top for a long time.

Custom Bag: Handmade Satchel With Extra Inside Pockets | Waxed Canvas and Leather | Charcoal Grey

Category : CUSTOM BAGS · No Comments · by Jun 8th, 2017

This custom bag is for Rhea, a local Vancouver customer. She liked everything about the bag, but wanted 2 more interior pockets. The Satchel comes standard with 2 inside pockets and 2 outside pockets.


The Satchel is a mid-sized portable crossbody bag. It’s good for personal belongings, fits an iPad mini and paperback sized books.

Custom Bag: Carrier Tote for Everyday | Waxed Canvas and Leather | Black with Brown Leather

Category : CUSTOM BAGS · No Comments · by May 30th, 2017

This is a custom Carrier Tote for Stephanie in Humble, Texas. She told me that she has been looking for the perfect bag for a long time. She’ll be using it for work and as her everyday bag.

First of all, these are custom colours Stephanie chose. The body of the bag is all black with brown leather straps. This combination seems to be quite popular lately. I have made 3 custom bags in this combination in the last 2 weeks.


To the tote, she wanted to add 2 more outside pockets for convenience and organization.

The Carrier Tote comes with an adjustable and detachable crossbody strap. You can carry it as a shoulder tote or messenger style across your body.


This is the back view of the bag. Stephanie wanted an outside zippered pocket to keep her wallet, phone, etc. in a convenient place while being secure. 

Comparison of the Large Size Tote vs. Medium Size Tote

Category : STUDIO · No Comments · by May 24th, 2017


Large Zipper Tote
Size: 18.5″w x 14″h x 6″ deep (47cm wide x 36cm high x 15cm deep)
Best used: If you carry a lot during your day, as a travel carry-on, need a large diaper bag, carry a 15″ laptop
Note: Utility Tote and Carrier Tote can also be made into this large size.
Availability: through custom order only. Please contact. cathy@moderncoup.com

Medium Zipper Tote
Size: 16.5″ W x 13″ H x 5″ D (42cm wide x 33cm high x 13cm deep)
Best used: If you carry a moderate amount, everyday bag, work bag, standard size diaper bag, light travel, 13″ laptop
Availability: in stock in the shop


Custom Bag: Large Carrier Tote as a Travel Bag | Lightly Waxed Canvas and Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather | Black

Category : CUSTOM BAGS · No Comments · by May 21st, 2017


This is a custom Carrier Tote handmade for Kristen in Rosemont, Illinois. Rather than the regular size one in the shop, she needed a larger one for work and her travels. Kristen was looking for something that looked professional, yet was uniquely hers.

She added a luggage strap to the bag to make this her carry-on bag. The full zipper closure also makes this an ideal travel bag, so things don’t fall out when you need to stow it under the seat.



The Carrier Tote is the most versatile bag in the collection. you can use it as a shoulder tote or messenger style as a crossbody bag.

Kristen added 2 front pockets to the bag for added organization and to make it easier to get belongings quickly.

Utility Tote and Carrier Tote | Lightly Waxed Canvas and Leather | Charcoal Grey and Brown

Category : STUDIO · No Comments · by May 16th, 2017


Utility Tote (short hand-held straps) and Carrier Tote (long shoulder tote straps)

Size: 16.5″ W x 13″ H x 5″ D (42cm wide x 33cm high x 13cm deep)

Also available in: brown and black