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

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




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).

New Bags: Pouchette Purses In Black, Charcoal Grey and Brown | Handmade in Vancouver | Water Resistant Waxed Canvas and Leather

Category : STUDIO · No Comments · by Apr 20th, 2017


It’s Thursday night in Vancouver and I just can’t believe how fast this week is going. Recently, I’ve been also working on Sundays on custom orders. I like being busy, especially since I’m running my own small business. Being not busy is…not so good.

I got a chance this week to photograph the Pouchette Purses. I had to wait for a nice weather day for the natural lighting to take pictures. It’s been raining a lot here lately.

Some of you may recall that these look quite similar to the Petite Purses I had and you’re absolutely right. I made them a little bigger because customers were custom ordering them in a larger size to fit their iPhone 6 size phones and essential belongings.

When I first designed the Petite Purses, phones were a little smaller, so the size was adequate. A sign of the gadget times, I guess. I thought that I should also change the name of the bag to reflect that it is a little bigger than “petite.” So, here are the Pouchette Purses in black, grey and brown. I hope you like them!



Here’s the grey one. These are really nice to take with you when you just want to take your essentials. I like to take mine on walks, to the park with the kids and when travelling (when I’m lucky enough to get away).

This Week In The Studio

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


Happy Easter Weekend. Here’s a few shots I took in the studio this week. This cute bunny train is my younger son’s.



My mom bought this pin cushion for me probably 20 years ago in Chinatown. I wonder if they still sell these. I’m guessing that they might be hard to find now. 

Custom Bag: Medium Zipper Tote | Water Resistant Waxed Canvas | Charcoal Grey with Black Leather Straps

Category : CUSTOM BAGS · No Comments · by Apr 13th, 2017


This is a custom Medium Zipper Tote  for Jennie in Victoria, BC, Canada. She liked everything about the bag, but she wanted her own colour combination. She chose all charcoal grey water resistant waxed canvas and black vegetable tanned leather straps. Jennie’s using this as an everyday bag and for work.



I really like this combination. It’s clean and minimal. Also, these colours will match many clothing choices without it being all black.

This Week In The Studio

Category : STUDIO · No Comments · by Apr 8th, 2017


I just want to show you some photos I took in the studio this week. Sometimes I put them on Instagram, but I think I’ll compile a few at the end of each week and post it here.

These are a couple of pencil pouches in charcoal greyThe one at the bottom with the brass zipper is what is in stock in the shop. The one at the top is a sample carbon colour zipper I wanted to try. I think I still like the brass one more.



A couple of completed bags. The Commuter Bag in charcoal grey (left) and a Utility Tote with added front pockets. 



My parents take care of the little one when I work. Lately, it has been raining a lot in Vancouver, so he usually stays in. Here he is hanging around the studio playing hide and seek behind my chair.