Monday, October 14, 2013

Mama's Got A Brand New Bag


Well, hello there!  Yes, mama's got a new bag among other practical sewing projects.  Just so you know, I am blatantly exploiting baby Jane's cuteness to make a post about a bag more interesting.  

Tasty straps!

My goodness.  I think these photos would warm even the coldest of souls out there.  I love her so much I can't stand it sometimes.  Ok ok, so I made a bag. And holy cow, friends.  Bag making is not for the faint of heart.   I made this bag veeeery slowly over the past month and there was some serious wrangling of heavy fabric at the end.

I needed a bag to carry all my junk to work.  Since the beginning of the school year I have been carting about three or four small bags- my lunch bag, my purse, some sort of grocery bag for supplies, my laptop bag and my breast pump.  That's actually five bags.  And that's not counting baby Jane's diaper bag, which actually stays at daycare with her.  Anyway, I wanted a gigantic flat-bottomed bag where I could combine everything in one spot.  So I did what any good sewist would do in a situation like this- I made one.


 

I used McCalls 6297.  I made view D with the addition of a couple of interior pockets.  This thing is massive.  It's awesome.  This project was done entirely with stash fabrics and notions except for the interfacing.  I had a piece of leopard print canvas I've been saving for a while now with the intention of making a blazer type jacket.  But I decided it would make a nice bag, too.  There may be enough left for the jacket anyway.  The zig zag fabric is leftover from the bench I covered over two years ago.  I interfaced the exterior fabric with a heavy duty decor bond.  I wish I had interfaced the lining fabric, too.  But then again, I don't know how I would have sewed it all together.  I had to use a size 18 needle when I sewed all the side seams.  It's heavy duty.

The pattern has one flat pocket on the outside of one side piece.  And one interior pocket that's made to hold two bottles of some sort.  The pattern is obviously a reusable grocery bag on steroids.  I added a divided interior pocket for my cell phone and keys and a zippered pocket.  I piped all the pockets just because.  And look at the nifty little mini clutch there!


I was toying with the idea of making a matching wallet when Cake patterns announced the release of the free Red Velvet Mini Clutch pattern.  It was exactly what I needed.  See, I don't carry an actual purse anymore.  At least not like I used to.  I have a small bag that holds my cards, phone and keys that I chuck in the diaper bag.  Then when I go somewhere sans baby, I take it out and just carry the little bag.  Now I have a matching one :)

The mini clutch pattern was super quick and very cute.  I made the "boxy" pleated version.   It's the perfect size for a phone and a few cards.  I actually made a pocket on the inside of the lining to hold my credit card and my license.  I just happened to have a red jeans zipper.  Serendipitous, eh?  Don't look too close at my straggly, goofy tassel.  It was fun to make.  There is a lobster clasp attached to the wrist strap.  I had the foresight to sew a loop in the interior of the big bag so I can clip my mini clutch in place.
 

And so you can see that I really am alive and kicking, here's a photo of me modeling my bag.  Ha!  I actually took this picture because I made the skirt, too.  It's not even worth writing about truly.  I made a tube of fabric, tried it on and pinned out the excess above my hip.  Then I added a yoga type waistband and called it a day.  It's actually two layers of knit fabric.  The stripey fabric is some sort of mystery knit from Joanns.  It's underlined with a slinky rayon knit.  It feels thicker and more secure than your average knit pencil skirt if you know what I mean.  I like it so much (and I like how easy it is to wash and throw on in the morning) that I made a charcoal ponte knit version as well.  The charcoal version has a little more ease.  This stripey one is pretty snug.  Eh.


I made a white tee, too.  Another knit Scout tee.  This version has all of my modifications along with the high low hem that I liked so much on my green version.  It was made in the same slinky rayon knit I lined my stripey skirt with.  It really is the perfect white tee.  I think I've worn it twice a week since I made it.  I had full intentions of putting it on and taking a modeled photo of it.  But someone woke up from her nap.  


And such is the life of a sewing mama.  Little snippets of sewing interspersed with lots snuggling.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

What's that?  You want more baby pictures!?  Well, I guess I can oblige.  I mean, since you asked so nicely.
 

I can't believe how big baby Jane is getting.  She's six months old now.  And sweet as pie.  All of her dark hair has fallen out and new sandy colored hair is coming in.  And those blue eyes are starting to turn green.  Looks like she's going to take after her daddy and his hazel eyes.



So glad I can sew and make things specifically tailored for my needs.  You know, like a bag to carry all of my treasured posessions ;)


Happy sewing, friends!
 

34 comments:

  1. oh ~ she is a doll baby! (bag is great, too ;-)

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  2. So much in one post...very efficient of you!

    First up, that baby is adorable...so adorable, that I was looking at her rather than the bag. The bag is pretty awesome too. Big bags are so useful, and I like the square base on yours. The tube skirt is groovy. I love that we can see your legs poking out the bottom of the shirt in the mirror..you almost are wearing it really. I like your clutch idea...off to check out the link now.

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  3. That baby of yours is a scene stealer all right.. Oh Great bag and little clutch too!

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  4. So cute! The baby and the bag. I love the mini matching clutch too.

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  5. Love these pictures! Your bag is fabulous--there is definitely a lot of work put into it. It's so much fun to take pictures of babies :) I have one where I put my girls in a wicker basket once. :) I loved creating picture moments. I look forward to more of your baby pics with your sewing creations!

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    1. It is so much fun to take photos of her!

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  6. What gorgeous photos - your daughter has totally stolen the limelight from your lovely bag but that's as it should be! It's a great idea to make one big bag for all the other bags and I think I might have to try that too (baby due in 2 weeks) as it does sound like you need a lot of stuff with a baby! I love your knit pencil skirt too - your stripe matching looks perfect!

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  7. Ack! That first photo is the cutest! I wish I'd made my own kid bag because I always resorted to using an ugly old backpack, because I always needed two hands free to hold the baby/stroller and grab the fleeing toddler. Now my "babies" are 4 & 8, and I am finally managing to grab more than those little snippets of time. In fact, I now get whole sewing hours to myself on occasion.

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    1. Oh, I can't wait for when I get hours of sewing time again. I'm kicking myself for not using my time more wisely when I actually had it- before baby!

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  8. oh my goodness what a cutie pie! She is so darn adorable!!

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  9. Lovely lovely pictures! What a sweat pea! Love the bag, especially the piping.

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  10. It's a cute bag, but extra cute with Baby Jane in it!

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  11. Aww! This totally works (i.e. baby pics on blog posts). Oh wait, you made a bag and some clothes! Seriously, all your new sewing looks great - love the striped skirt and the big bag is very cool. (I can only imagine trying to get that thick fabric through the machine.) it's really nice to read your blog again, too :)

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  12. Absolutely adorable! The bag too :) I've been wanting to make myself a snazzy useful bag myself but I keep putting it off. But it might be a great project to do during multiple sittings.

    You've inspired me to make up some Scout Ts. Taping my pattern tonight!

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  13. Oh my gosh all the baby photos! Sooooo cute!!!! Great work on the bag and all the piping details and stash busting, win win win!

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  14. Ack, baby in a bag! So cute! Also I'm so impressed with how much sewing you've gotten done! All of your lovely knits mixed and your bag seem like they'd be a boon to a new-mom/working-mom lifestyle. And I can't count how many times I've been rootling through my bag for my phone and wallet - great idea to tether your mini-wallet.

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  15. Coooo. This must be the cutest bag post ever. The photos are adorable!!! And clever sewing too. The bag I made in baby days was no where near as cool, but I do like the way that baby life bags we make are so perfectly customised to the life we try to organise. The clutch idea is genius too...
    And as well as the cute baby Jane pics, I love the tee shirt pic with strategically placed leggings ! ( sorry if I'm not the only one to notice!)

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    1. I thought that pic of the tee shirt would take the place of an actual modeled photo. :D

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  16. Oh gosh that first photo especially - sooo adorable!!! I love her!

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  17. she is just too cute! oh, and bag is nice too :)

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  18. So so cute. I see Moms at the library all the time with big flat bags like this one. Yours looks like it would hold as much as I see them carrying. Yay for simplifying the transport of disparate goods. And I love stripey pig--he's almost as cute as your sweet baby.

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    1. The pig is handmade by Finkelstein's Center. I love him and so does Baby Jane.

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  19. So cute! Oh and the I like the bag too...
    I wouldn't mind hearing more about the skirts, they sound really awesome

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    1. Thanks! All I did for the skirt was take my widest measurement, divide in half and cut two rectangles of fabric that width. I didn't add any seam allowances figuring the stretch would take care of it. I sewed the two rectangles together, tried it on and pinned the excess width above my hip. Then I re-sewed the side seams, added a band at the top instead of elastic and hemmed. Super simple!

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  20. I love how the bag is big enough to fit all the necessities (including the baby! ;-) ) into! I can't believe Baby Jane is 6 months old already, and SO CUTE!! :-)

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  21. Haha those photos crack me up. That baby knows how to ham it up for the camera! I love big sturdy bags that don't collapse on themselves, but I'm scared to sew them because of all the stiff interfacing and bulky corners. You did a great job. And I love that it features that teal chevron fabric, since now I have some of it, too!

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    1. This was a really good pattern for a flat bottomed bag. The way it was constructed was clever and very neat. The only part I didn't really love was stitching in the bottom lining by hand. But still a great pattern.

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  22. Ahhhhh! Baby Jane is so cute!!!!! What a sweetheart! The bag looks amazing, too-- I would love to have a huge, cool bag as I tend to carry multiple really unorganized bags, but I've been afraid to sew one! But this really looks perfect for holding everything you need for a busy day!

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  23. That opening photo should be on the cover of a baby magazine. It is so beautiful and so is baby Jane!!!

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  24. Baby in a bag! She's so, so cute. I dislike bag making quite a lot. It seems like it should be simple, but ugh, it takes forever!

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  25. Those are some cute stuffed animals in the bag, but I think I like the one in the middle best, hehe. Like you said, how great to be able to make a bag exactly suited to your needs. It looks very useful.

    And the skirt is really nice, too. It looks like a good compromise between comfortable and elegant.

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  26. Your baby is so gorgeous, its true, I was totally distracted from the bag. However, that is one awesome Mummy bag, and the key + phone clutch is such a good idea. You are so organised!

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