Kids Messenger Bag

I have always wanted to make a simple messenger bag. I had seen this tutorial by Zaaberry for a kid’s size bag floating around Pinterest for some time and decided to finally give it ago.

It is a great to tutorial to follow with the instructions easy to read. This is a very basic bag with no closure or pockets or anything inside but you could easily make this more complex and add details to this if you wanted to. I kept it basic and followed the pattern. For the outside fabric I used some spotted quilting cotton I picked up last year because it was on sale and I liked it, I knew I would find the perfect project for it.

The fabric for the flap and the lining is a cotton I picked up a few years ago just because it was pink and had chocolates and pastries on it. The print on it is very bright and visible on both sides of the fabric which is how I made a minor mistake. I have placed one lining fabric the wrong side up. Some fabrics you can clearly see which is the right and wrong side of the fabric, on this fabric it is a little bit trickier. This fabric was only faintly lighter one side and if you weren’t paying attention fully like I must not have been when I grabbed it to pin it and sew it you put it the wrong way. I only discovered it after I finished the bag and I left it. It is not extremely obvious and aside from that the rest of the bag is fine, it is on the inside and still looks pink and brown.

You learn some from every project. On this bag I learnt how to make attach a simple bag flap and also that you need to pay attention to each individual fabric to see how it needs to be treated – it is a directional print, is the right side and wrong side visible. These things may sound basic but sometimes you forget them like I clearly did.




Blue Rose Bag


Using some of the leftover blue roses fabric I decided to make a bag to match my skirt. There are so many bag patterns out there and I have a few in my stash but I’m a creature of habit and decided to make a pattern I knew but put a spin on it.  I used the box corner version of the Essential Wristlet pattern by DUMD. I made a bunch of these as Christmas gifts last year and they are pretty quick to make up.


The pattern is a PDF so it very simple to enlarge. I played around with the printer settings a couple of times and was most happiest when I printed it at 150% which was my original plan when I thought of doing this. Your basically making it 50% bigger than the standard pattern piece. I used a 12″ zipper. Added two D ring tabs instead of one, I cut them 4″ x 4″ I made a cross body strap which was approximately 4″ x 60″ I used the technique I learnt in making the Activity Go Case to finish the raw ends of the strap neatly.

The lining in black cotton. This will hold all the basics I need for a night out – Wallet, keys, phone. It is a simple bag I can throw across my shoulder and I know I have everything I need.


Denim Tote Bag

Whilst I had a jeans needle in my sewing machine from making the denim skirt I decided to make a tote bag from stretch denim I had cut out a few months ago. I needed a bag to replace my favourite tote bag which was beyond repair after nearly 10 years of use.

Denim Tote

The finished measurements are 16″W x 15″H Construction wise this bag is very simple as it is just rectangle piece of fabric folded in half. On the ends I did a double fold to hem the raw edges. Once folded in half I did the side seams on the overlocker (serger) The handles are a tube of fabric that I top stitched down the length both sides. They are attached to the outside of the bag. I did a lot of stitching to ensure they were anchored securely to the bag sewing in first a square shape than diagonally across both sides. I didn’t want anything fancy with this bag I just wanted a simple bag I could carry over my shoulder, was light enough to roll up to stick in my handbag or pocket but durable enough that I could stuff it with what ever I need. Hopefully this one will last me the next 10 years.

Scrappy Shoulder Bags

Retail Therapy

When I made the Bella Bugs I cut the pieces from a fabric panel. Each panel had a picture of the finished toy plus some other decorative detail which was too good to just toss in the bin so I decided to use them up.

Scrappy Shoulder Bags

Scrappy shoulder bags were the idea I came up with. Each bag has the picture of Bella Bug on it. I folded over a seam around each piece and pinned it in place on the front of each bag which was a piece of cotton drill. I then hand appliqued around each square to secure it. So it wouldn’t just look like a scrap bit of fabric stuck on the front I decided to go machine applique around each one. I gave myself the challenge (I do love a challenge) my MC11000 has something 200+ stitches I decided I would use a different stitch on each side of the panel piece. I couldn’t use the same stitch twice even if it looked really pretty. I only had to find 16 different stitches. That’s not as easy as it sounds. I had to balance out the stitches on each piece so that they were different looking. I didn’t want one to have all wavy stitches or have really dense stitches all the way around. It was a lot of fun having a play and a think. Some stitches look better than others but none look terrible.

Scrappy Shoulder Bag Straps

Each panel piece had 2 rows of butterflys on it. They were screaming to be bag straps. I stitched them right sides together before turning them out and top stitching along each side. The outside of the strap is one long piece, the inside is 2 smaller pieces joined together. I didn’t put any interfacing in them as they are only kids bags. They hold their shape very well.

Scrappy Shoulder Bag Inside

For the inside I used some poly cotton that I had in my stash. I don’t usually use poly cotton but the colour of this worked well with the bags as I was going for purple tones. Also it was a way of using this fabric that otherwise would still be sitting in my stash. After I assembled the bag I top stitched around the edge with the same colour thread I did the applique in. Again this to me made the applique on the front tie in with the rest of the bag so not to make it look out of place.

These turned out really well. Obviously I’ll match it up so the toys and the bag go to the same owner. These scraps were too pretty to let go to waste so I wanted to put them to good use. I particularly love the straps. Everything from these came from my scrap or fabric stash. They are a real Sew My Stash project.


Selfish Sewing – A Bag For Me

Hot off my sewing machine this morning I finished a 2 Zip Hipster for me.

2 ZH Mine Front

This is the second time I’ve made this bag after making one for a friend back in April. You would think second time around it would be easier but unfortunately no. I actually had a bit of trouble with this bag. From the start I will say it was me and not the pattern, the pattern is awesome it was just the person reading it. I probably rushed this more than I did last time. My stitching isn’t the neatest. I had to redo a couple of seams. I didn’t fold back items I should have resulting in having to reverse sew with my trusty unpicker. I broke 2 needles on this bag. Once I forgot to remove my zipper foot before I began to top stitch, I had my needle position moved over so wham needle snapped. Lesson learnt always pay attention. Also last time I think I must have rotary cut the pieces as they are all basic rectangles but this time I cut them by hand which meant they were a bit out of alignment.

2 ZH Mine Strap

This time I think I used a thicker pellon than last time. This made it harder to stitch at times particularly in the bag strap. I broke my second needle when I tried to secure the strap at the end. I didn’t want to risk another needle so I hand stitched with rows of back stitch.

2 ZH Mine Lining

When I brought the fabric for this bag I tried to look stylish and professional (something very different for me) and used the same print fabric for the outside and the inside. The pattern is almost like a leaf or grass print. The outside with black background with blue print, the inside in light blue background with a slightly darker blue print.

I’m sure I’ll make this bag again. I’ll have to look at different pellon next time. I might sticker to thinner pellon as its easier to sew. You don’t really need a thick pellon in this bag or the strap. This is a great pattern with easy to follow instructions. I worked on this bag over a couple of days. I was just having one of those projects where you face hiccup after hiccup but in the end it all gets done.

2 Zip Hipster

My friend needs a bag for a music festival and Leasa is running a Sew My Stash Bag Making Challenge so now was the perfect time to make it.

2ZH Front Pockets

In February I found the perfect pattern the 2 Zip Hipster by Erin from Dog Under My Desk (DUMD) The bag looks complicated to make but when you follow the step by step instructions (with photos) it is actually very easy. I took my time with this and it all worked out. There was a lot of firsts for me in making this. I’d never shortened a zipper before (but it was easy thanks to the instructions), I’d never stitched in bag hardware before, I’d never adjusted the needle position on my machine before but I did so I could get neat top stitching and I’d never done so much top stitching before. The outside of the bag has 2 pockets which are both lined so plenty of storage.

2ZH Lining

The inside of the bag is fully lined with a pocket on the side and a zipped top. It is very roomy so you can easily fit all the items you’d need for a day out. It also has an adjustable strap which is lined with Pellon so it doesn’t dig into the shoulders. I brought this blue fabric earlier in the year once I’d gotten the pattern. It is poly cotton which I don’t normally use but I wanted this colour. It was a bit more slippery than I’m used too and I was worried I’d burn it with the iron when I was pressing it. The lining fabric I’ve had in my stash for many many years. My friend loves her music so it was it was an obvious choice for her bag. I like bags which are lined with a light coloured fabric that way you find things inside them easier.

I can’t speak highly enough of this pattern. This is by far the most detailed thing I’ve ever made but it was so easy due the pattern instructions and photos. I strongly suggest if you buy the pattern you do print it in colour. Erin has a series of bag patterns, I now have a few on my wish list. There is DUMD Facebook group you can join where you can interact with other DUMD fans. It’s a great place to ask for advice or just to show of your creations. It is inspiring to see the bags people have made. I’m sure you will be seeing this 2 Zip Hipster again as now I have to make myself one (or 2 or 3)