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  1. #1
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    Shortening the shoulderstrap on the Cafe Bag?

    Hi y'all,

    After long deliberation (I live in Europe, shipping is... a lot!) I got a Medium Cafe Bag last year. I love it, it's my EDC. The only problem is: the shoulder strap is longer than I'd like it. I'm skinny, I like to carry it a little higher, I don't need that much length! The way I have it now is that the plastic 'buckle' rests nearly on my shoulder, right next to the rubber shoulder.... rest.... thing.... But ideally I'd have it nearly on my back. Honestly, the strap could be like a foot shorter and it'd be pretty ok for me.

    I'm now eyeing the Small Cafe Bag (yep, caught the Tom Bihn Bug) but I'm afraid it's going to have the same problem. Is there a decent way to shorten the strap myself? Or can I ask for a shorter strap while ordering? Or am I just going to have to accept that the bag rests a little below my hip on me?

    I hope someone can help me!

  2. #2
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    I don't know about your current strap, but I bet you could email the folks at the factory and the new bag could be made with a shorter strap.

    ETA: looked at the pictures on the website, I think shortening the strap is easy. There should be a sort of folded and sewn "stop" at the end of the strap that's not sewn into the bag. You just cut away the extra strap and fold and make a new stop. Any tailor or repair shop can do it if you are not good with a sewing machine.
    Last edited by ejvc; 04-15-2019 at 09:40 AM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member readmore's Avatar
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    I cut the rubber shoulder thing off my Cafe bags. You can double up the strap so it's half the length. Would that be enough for you?

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Like @ejvc wrote, it's pretty easy to shorten the straps! I do not think that the TB crew would be able to make a special short-strapped bag for you since they don't do custom orders, but it is something you can do yourself if you sew or you can have a tailor do it for you. If you do it yourself, you'll want to look carefully at how the strap is run through the tri-glide (the plastic slider bit) then cut the threads holding it there, cut the strap to the length you want, and sew the end of the strap back onto the tri-glide.

    I haven't done that exact modification since I'm fine with the strap length on my Cafe Bags, but I did something similar as part of modifying an Absolute Strap to have four end points instead of two so I could use it on my cat's carrier.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for your replies!

    I just looked at the strap on my Medium Cafe Bag. It looks like a fairly straightforward unpicking and sewing. Just need to see if I can sew through the material with a standard sewing machine, or I might just take it to a cobbler to have it reinforced a bit. But should be doable.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    You're welcome, and have fun!

    The one thing I forgot to mention is probably an optional step: after you cut the strap, you might want to hold a flame near the cut end to melt the threads together so it doesn't unravel.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  7. #7
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    I know this is an old topic, but I thought I'd give an update anyway! I ended up taking the bag to a cobbler, because they have an industrial sewing machine. After I explained what I wanted, he send me out to go shopping for half an hour, and when I came back it was done! Easy peasy. He took off about a foot of length. He even did the new stitching in black, to match the strap. And it only cost me 4 euros. Smilie

    I'm definitely gonna take my Small Cafe Bag there, too. ^^

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