Last week we said goodbye to the our lovely family daycare lady. Once my kids stop day-time naps, I send them to her house once a week so that I can squeeze in a work day amidst the business of life with four kids. She isn’t just any family day carer either – at Cindy’s house the kids do the most amazing things! They get dirty (like really dirty!) discovering all sorts of things about nature, they make their own paper and do crafts from recycled materials, lots and lots of cooking, felting, the most imaginative role play including a special fairy who steals children’s lunch boxes and hides them around the house and so much more. Going to Cindy’s house was such a treat for my children and we were sad to see her retire.
I wanted to make Cindy something special to say thankyou and goodbye and thought that she might like a new bag to tote her belongings around in…one that is big enough just for her stuff now that she isn’t carting around nappies and wipes and drink bottles for the littlies!
I made the large sized bag with the flat front pocket. For the exterior fabric I used some linen/rayon blend fabric with shot cotton on the top section to add a colour pop. The pocket fabric is an oldie by Echino and the bag is lined in the same. Once again, the recessed zipper top (that Anna does so well in her patterns) is my favourite feature of the bag. The only thing I did differently is to use cotton webbing for my handles because I really don’t like making bag handles from fabric! And I don’t think they look good after lots of use either.
SUPPLIES: Noodlehead, Sidekick Tote pattern Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer linen blend in natural Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in eucalypitus Echino Bonbon in green
This little satchel bag came about because I got tired of carrying SO MUCH stuff in my bag every time we left the house! As well as the usual drink bottles and snacks, I’d end up with books, pencils, little toys and other treasures to cart around and I decided enough was enough! My kids are big enough to carry their own stuff now but they needed something practical to carry it around in.
Mini Messenger is an ideal size for kids. My kids in particular are crazy about sketch books at the moment, if they have a sketch book and a handful of pencils then they are happy. I usually buy them the A5 size as they are more portable so I designed this bag to fit A5 size. The finished bag measures 7″x10″.
I’ve used two coordinating prints for my bag, but you can use more or less depending on what you would like the finished bag to look like. It is a really quick and easy sew, especially when you use the webbing for the strap instead of having to make your own strap out of fabric.
As well as being a great bag for your own kids to help you lighten your load, the Mini Messenger makes a fantastic gift to give to little friends. Fill it with a couple of treats and you’re set! And I do suggest you use some Wee Wander fabric for your Mini Messenger – it’s gorgeous!
I had no intentions to make myself a nappy bag. I’ve got lots of big bags hanging around that I was planning to use for the baby…until I saw Anna’s new Super Tote pattern. And then my plans changed.
Another project added to the list of things to do before baby arrives!! But I couldn’t resist, the bag is great – really roomy with four elasticized side pockets inside…
…and my absolute favourite part – the zipper! Nothing worse than having a choc-a-block full nappy bag with no closure at the top and having everything fall to the ground when your bag topples over. Actually, I think the zipper was what sold me! As with Anna’s Sidekick Tote pattern, the Super Tote was simple to put together. Anna has really outdone herself on this one though simplifying lots of steps and features that seem like they should be really tricky to master.
I’m trying really hard to dig into my ridiculously out of control fabric stash and use up what I’ve already got at the moment. I was tempted to lash out and purchase some new fabrics for the bag but made myself stick with what I had in the cupboard. I like the fresh combination of colours – especially the purple and aqua together.
So, I’m partly organised…nappy bag made, but still haven’t packed the hospital bags! Maybe a good job for today seeing as I’m due in 9 sleeps!?
SUPPLIES: Super Tote pattern by Noodlehead Prints Charming cotton drill from Spotlight Art Gallery, Urban Mod, Pointelle in Celeste Alexander Henry, Heath in Metal Grey/purple-toned cotton drill
It was a long time ago that I dreamed about sewing a leather bag. Two and a half years ago to be exact. Then I couldn’t decide on a pattern to use and didn’t know what style I wanted and was worried that it wouldn’t work with leather, so the idea was pushed to the back-burner and the leather folded up and put away for another time.
I would look at the leather from time-to-time but still undecided on what pattern to use, never went any further. Until recently Anna from Noodlehead released her latest pattern, the Sidekick Tote. I knew it would work perfectly for what I had in mind and was excited to get sewing.
Anna sent me the pattern, but my sewing plans were put on standstill while I had to wait for the bag hardware to arrive. Finally on Friday night I got sewing and finished this beauty in one night! It was a great sew, very straightforward and easy.
I was a little worried about sewing with leather and couldn’t find my leather needle anywhere, so ended up using a regular needle in my sewing machine and it was amazing. Even over several layers of leather and fabric, I had no problems. I did go slowly when it was super thick (like topstitching through the side seams on the top band) but there were no problems at all. The leather is really lovely and soft and thin though (I bought it from a local saddle maker, if you’re wondering where I got it from).
It took me awhile to settle on a fabric for the pocket and lining. I really wanted to steer away from anything floral or too “pretty” and am so happy with my choice of typewriter fabric from Melody Miller. I haven’t had this fabric for long, but absolutely love it and only wanted to use it for a special project. The front pocket dimensions were changed a little to make sure that I got the whole typewriter in the middle.
The thing that really won me over with the bag pattern is the recessed zipper top. AWESOME! Now I can throw my bag around and not worry about things falling out or the kids getting into things too easily. I used a shot cotton for the solid green fabric. Because shot cotton is a little thinner than regular cotton, I used two layers to give it extra strength and stability. I was going to use the typewriter fabric for the handle, but the print was too large and messy, so I was happy to find this brown bag handle webbing in my stash and used that instead. Strong and practical – I wish it was slightly darker, but am still happy with it.
Here’s a shot of the back of the bag – it looks just as lovely without a fabric pocket, just using the leather on it’s own. I’m loving it and going to make another trip into the saddle maker’s shop this week to see what else he has lying around.
Thanks, Anna for an awesome pattern – she rocks at bags and thinks of all the little things that are appreciated when you are out and about.
SUPPLIES: Sidekick Tote pattern from Noodlehead REAL brown leather Melody Miller, Ruby Star Rising, Typewriters in Neutral Kaffe Fassett, Shot Cotton in Moss
Here is my Cosmo Bag from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches book. After this and the Reverible Everyday Shopper, I think I’ve got my need for bag sewing out of my system now – thank goodness! I do quite enjoy sewing bags, but really, how many do you need?! And what do you do with the old ones you have sewn and are still in pretty good condition but you don’t use anymore because you have new ones???!! Throw them away? It just seems wrong to thrown something you have made in the rubbish!
Anyway, I digress…here is the Cosmo Bag: There are a lot of details I am really enjoying about this bag…the big exterior side pockets are perfect for stashing keys, your phone, other bits and pieces that always get lost in the bottom of your bag. I especially love the little strip of contrasting fabric at the top of the pocket that also makes up the pocket lining.
And the closure is something I have never seen before, the pointed end and chunky loop add a funky look to the bag. The button is supposed to be fabric covered but I didn’t have any big enough. This blue button was my “makeshift” button, but it has grown on me and I think I’ll keep it there.
Another thing I am really loving about this bag and the Reversible Everyday Shopper is the bottom and side panels that help to give the bag more of a square shape and make it sit nicely when it is full of bulky items. All of the other bags I have made have a box-bottom, but never sit as nicely when full.
It also gets my “big bag” tick of approval! I am really pleased with the fabric I chose for this bag. Erin McMorris is one of my very favourite fabric designers and I don’t think she gets enough praise for her awesome work. I wanted this bag to have a bit more of a classy look, but still funky – so that I could take it to the beach or out for dinner and the green is really making me happy 🙂
Erin McMorris, Weekends, Lollies in Red (handle)
Erin McMorris, Weekends, Hopscotch in Lime (exterior bag)
Erin McMorris, Wildwood, Pressed Leaves in Fuchsia (lining)