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In each bi-monthly episode of DiResta (every other Wednesday at 2pm PT), artist and master builder Jimmy DiResta (Dirty Money, Hammered, Against the Grain, Trash for Cash) lets us into his workshop, to look over his shoulder while he builds whatever strikes his fancy. On this episode of DiResta, Jimmy sews himself up a classic canvas and leather tool bag. – Gareth Branwyn

tool bag


  • Canvas material (approx. 1 yard, $6)
  • Leather material (about 4 square feet, $30)


  • Juki industrial sewing machine (used, about $400)
  • Vintage Wiss scissors (flea market find, about $20)
  • Metal ruler, tape measure
  • Sharpie marker
  • Spray adhesive (optional)

Jimmy’s Notes:

Fifteen years ago, in NY’s Lower East Side, I shared a studio space with Agatha Blois. When it comes to custom clothes, Agatha is at the top. She was my sewing teacher, introduced me to the “industrial sewing machine,” and guided me through my early sewing projects. Now I keep a Juki sewing machine in my shop. It’s great to have for creating your own phone case, fixing your motorcycle cover, customizing your pants (I plan on making a video of me modifying my pants soon), or in the case of today’s vid, sewing up a specialized tool bag. I encourage all of my students to learn how to sew. Once you learn some of the basics, you can have fun and experiment. I think learning how to sew is a must for all makers!

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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