Just a little sewing project to share today. These bags are made from the Lil cutie pouch tutorial by Anna Graham at Noodlehead. These are the third and fourth pouches I’ve made this spring. They are really fast.
The pouch is intended to hold a phone, money, makeup or other little things, with a key ring on the outside. The original tutorial is from 2009 and phones have gotten bigger since then. In order to fit a regular iPhone 6 inside, I enlarged the pieces of the black and white pouch a bit. I also cut the lining of both pouches to be 1/4″ shorter than the exterior pieces because the linings bunched up at the bottom of the first two I made.
The black and white one is for my sister’s birthday, matching a bag I made for her a while back. The other one will go to E’s preschool teacher. I might make another pouch for myself or I might just dive in to a project in Anna’s new book.
Also, I thought it would be more fun to take pictures with the kids helping. Ha!
Two kids means a lot of stuff to carry around these days. We often head out for an adventure with everything tucked nicely in our diaper bag. But by the end of our trip we have sweaters, hats, treasures, and snacks exploding everywhere. Then we had a yogurt spill in our old diaper bag and I figured the time was right to make a new bag.
This is the Super Tote pattern with no modification. I love Noodlehead patterns and have a (probably unreasonable) hope to sew all of Anna’s patterns some day. I bought the main fabric (linen I think) a few years ago and have been saving it for a bag. I used yellow linen for the handles and piping with an older Moda/Wee Play print for the front pocket and upper panels. For the lining I used a Kaufman chambray in herringbone.
I love that this bag is so big. No problem fitting in all our stuff and the top zip is perfect for keeping everything contained. I used the recommended interfacing and this is a super-sturdy bag. The four inside pockets are great for storing diapers and wipes and snacks. The pieces all came together perfectly, as I’ve come to expect from a Noodlehead pattern.
There wasn’t anything tricky about this (even the zipper went together smoothly) but it was a slow project. There’s a lot of pieces to decide on fabrics, cut and interface, and sew together. I usually work on projects one at a time but I put this one aside a few times for other projects.
This is not advertised as a diaper bag but that’s how it’s mostly been used so far. If I make another one for the same purpose I would consider some changes. The straps don’t fit easily on a stroller and I prefer an adjustable strap to wear across my body if I’m going to be carrying a bag a long time. I haven’t found a great place to store keys, phone, and a wallet in this bag. The front pocket and inside pockets are deep so smaller things tend to get lost. I might add a smaller pocket to the front or make a higher inside pocket.
But overall, I’ve loved using this bag. Making bags is just so satisfying.
I did very little sewing for Christmas other than holiday attire. Once I counted the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas I pared my list down to two projects, both for December birthdays.
First, a Made By Rae floor cushion for my nephew’s birthday. I’ve been saving fabric scraps for some time to make this pattern. This is a big pillow and it takes a lot of scraps (I think I used at least four grocery-size bags). The scraps give the pillow a nice, sturdy feel but they are also heavy. So I altered layers of fabric with layers of polyfil for the stuffing.
The fabric loop for the sides ended up too long and I had to take it in a few times. This may have been a measuring error- I didn’t go back and check. I also had a heck of a time with the piping. It was my first time using piping with cording. If it’s your first time I might suggest making the bias tape even wider than the revised recommendations. Next time I’ll try 1 3/4 inches. I have enough scraps to make another one for my kids. I might scale down the size of the pillow so it’ll store easier. Before wrapping this up my kids had so much fun sitting on this and flopping onto it and climbing around. Hours of fun, for sure.
My other project was for my dear college friend’s birthday She is a cat lover so I knew I wanted to use this Lizzy House catnap fabric. I considered various Noddlehead patterns (as Anna is the queen of bags) and finally settled on the (free) Madras Tote.
I didn’t want to use the print on the outside because I figured it would show dirt too easily. I eventually landed on some denim and plaid, which seemed appropriate given the bag’s name. The playful cat print is hidden inside. The pattern calls for cotton canvas as interfacing but I used a cotton/linen blend instead. I also made handles with the denim fabric rather than use webbing. I’ve made a couple more complicated bags but I really love this one for its simplicity. It is very sturdy, takes no special materials, and is an easy sew.
Making this bag reminded me how fun and satisfying bag sewing can be. Hopefully it will get lots of good use. And now, off to make some year-end photo collages.