Itabags, Straps, Waifu

My Itabag Journey

I wanted to do a quick write-up on my current itabag set up!

My waifu is Sena Kashiwazaki, from the light novel, manga, and anime series Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (I Don’t Have Many Friends). She’s rich, talented, gorgeous, popular, hardworking, and is just as excited about cute girls as I am. I collect a lot of Sena merchandise, and she’s really, really important to me… but I’ll wax poetic on her another day. This is just about my bag.

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gif by @hiratzuka on tumblr

Once I saw itabags taking off in the West, I knew I wanted to make one of her. I think they’re a wonderful idea, and I love being able to incorporate my hobbies into casual fashion without resorting to just… anime t-shirts.

I was a little worried about the amount of merch I’d be able to find, since it does have merchandise, but not nearly at the amount of other popular itabag series, like Yuri on Ice, Love Live, or Boku no Hero Academia. At that point, I also wasn’t very good at finding non-figure merch, and straps/keychains/etc are admittedly much more difficult to find, but I wanted to do it regardless to show my love.

I made a primary few decisions on what I wanted my bag to look like. Haganai has rarely any fanmade merchandise at all, but either way, I wanted to avoid unofficial merchandise for my own bag. I’m a fan of DIY and personal decoration, so I knew I wanted to customize my bag with suitable non-merchandise, as well. I think the cluttered look can work for some characters and bags, but I didn’t want Sena’s to be that way.

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This was my first set-up. I got a WEGO heart bag replica and pinned the merch that I had straight onto the inner divisive lining. I had my issues with this. It looked plain, and with the weight of the keychains, the inner lining would bow down like it is in this picture. I wanted to try something a little more pretty and stable. The arrangement of everything didn’t look balanced, either.

I did, however, grab an official Sena butterfly patch to attach to the bag itself, and I love how that came out. Since hot glues can really damage pleather, I opted for using E6000 craft glue, which worked very well.

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Otakon 2017 this year, with Kath (Yozora) and Mira (Ranko).

And pictured in cosplay!

After that, I decided to make an insert for my bag. I made a tiny pillow and stuffed it with stuffing and a piece of cardboard cut to match the dimensions of the bag. That worked really well in adding some bonus decoration, as well as keeping things stiff and on display.

I also sewed some lace across it, as well as a ribbon and some hand-sewn crystals (that are unfortunately difficult to see).

I also briefly tried out wrapping some extra fairy lights I had around the pillow just to see how the light would look with the rest of the colors. The ~*aesthetic instagram*~ close-up shot looked okay, and the wires kept everything in place, but…

…the actual image wasn’t at all what I wanted. I’ve since ditched the lights. If I decide to add lighting back in, I’d like to follow this tutorial, but for now, it’ll be all right even without lighting.

At this point, I felt sort of limited. I didn’t like how everything looked displayed, but I also felt constricted by the dimensions of the bag’s window.

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Potential Swarovski crystal border and little butterfly sticker. I didn’t like how the butterfly looked, and I knew by this point that I probably wasn’t going to stick with the heart-shaped WEGO replica bag, so I didn’t bother attaching them.

I did, however, decide to buy in on more merchandise, since I wasn’t pleased with the selection I had as far as what I envisioned for an itabag. I wanted to focus on displaying pictures of Sena that encapsulated her charm and why I find her so cute. I ended up searching around Japanese second-hand sites and tracking down her full set of buttons (minus a handful, which I’d like to get at some point), as well as her tsumamare rubber strap, which I’ve wanted for a long time.

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But now… it’s too much!!!

I really disliked how overly-cluttered the design looked, and there was no way I could properly display all this in the WEGO bag I had. I recently decided to go in on this Swimmer bag, which is about the size of a tote.

I’m really excited for this!! I think it suits Sena well, and it should have enough space to properly and neatly display everything without clutter, as well as having room for any bonus little decorations I might want to add in.

I’ll definitely post itabag updates whenever necessary since it’s a hobby I really enjoy doing. I love creative displays where people can showcase their passion for a series or character in their own way. No two itabags look alike, and they each have such love put into them that I’m always excited to see them and work on mine.

If you also have one, please feel free to link me! I really like seeing them.

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