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

Stock Pouches Revised: Version 2.0 With Optional Personalization

Category : STUDIO UPDATES · 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 : 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 UPDATES · 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 UPDATES · 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 UPDATES · 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




Custom Bag: Men’s Courier Bag | Waxed Canvas and Leather | Messenger Bag | Midnight Blue and Charcoal Grey

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


This is a messenger bag that I made for my husband recently. I’m calling it the Courier Bag. People think that he can have as many bags as he wants, since I make them. However, this is really only the 2nd one that I made for him. The first one I made was about 3 years ago (see end of this post for a photo of the first one). He deserves this one for testing the first one and for our upcoming 9 year wedding anniversary.

He used the first one for quite a long time and really liked it. He carried a lot of gear with him, as you can see. Sometimes I wondered if he was carrying rocks with him. At least I know it’s really hefty.

I made a few minor adjustments to the original bag and I think it’s almost ready for sale. I will have it in the shop by the end of May in 2 colour combinations.



I wanted this bag to be really masculine and for the colour combinations to reflect that.




The bag is water resistant, made out of lightly waxed canvas and Italian vegetable tanned leather.



How Waterproof or Water Resistant Are Your Waxed Canvas Bags?

Category : PROCESS · No Comments · by May 2nd, 2017


I’m sometimes asked how waterproof my waxed canvas and leather bags are. I would say they are water resistant, but not waterproof. Even though these words are sometimes used interchangeably, I don’t want my answer to be misleading. Waterproof is when an item is submerged in water and it stays dry. However, water resistant is when water wicks away when it touches a surface.



When I was looking for material to make my bags, I was looking for something that would be water resistant. However, most water resistant materials on the market are plastic or chemically coated. It was pretty tough looking for something that was naturally treated. However, I did find it from a rare textile company that still exists from the 1830’s.

The lightly waxed canvas I use has a proprietary natural blend of waxes that coats the canvas. The canvas itself is pretty tough, but this extra treatment makes water just wick away. This makes for a textile that is truly special.

Custom Bag: Carrier Tote With Front Pockets | Waxed Canvas and Leather | For Work and Travel | All Black

Category : CUSTOM BAGS · No Comments · by Apr 25th, 2017


This is a custom Carrier Tote for Samantha in Mawson, Australia. She was looking for a professional, yet unique looking bag for work.

2 front pockets were added for easy access to her phone, keys and passes.



A luggage strap was also added to make this the perfect carry-on bag. For most airlines, this size tote falls under the maximum dimensions for a personal carry-on.

With a full zipper top closure, you don’t have to worry about things falling out when stowed under the seat in front of you.



I would say that the Carrier Tote is the most versatile bag I have in the collection. You can wear it as a shoulder tote or as a crossbody bag (messenger style).