Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'm ready for the new school year - I don't know about her

The main project I just had to get completed over the summer was my daughter's messenger bag. Bags intimidate me, and while I did spend some time procrastinating it, I also spent time finishing it:

Can you tell she's a Monster High fan?

I used the Molly Messenger Bag pattern from Pretty By Hand and overall I'm very happy with it. If you follow Pretty By Hand, you'll understand I got more than one giggle out of making her pattern with skulls and crossbones. To say that it's not her style is an understatement.

It's a very roomy bag - I think 12" x 16" with a 5" depth. If I'd been more confident about it, I would have trimmed those measurements down a little. This bag is for a 7-year-old entering 2nd grade, so it's a little overkill. But I just knew I'd mess that up somewhere, so I just left it big, only shortening the shoulder strap. She loves the bag and if it turns out too big for school, we'll just use it as an overnight bag for when she goes to her granny's.

I'm prouder than I should be at how the shoulder pad turned out, with that image centered so well. If memory serves, it was more of a happy accident than my piecing skills anyway.

If Mandy had her way, the entire bag would have been made out of that fabric, so I did use as much of it as I could. The inside of the flap and the back and gusset parts of the lining were made out of it. Then I was done with that yard of fabric.

I did change the way the zipper tabs were made. She had you sew them together, turn them right side out, add a piece of the fleece and then turn the open ends under and sew. I ended up with a hot mess when I tried that. So I took some pellon decor weight interfacing and used the starch method of turning the edges under.

I know what you're thinking - that isn't exactly perfect, but trust me when I say it's much better.

I made a few additions to the pattern - some inside pockets on the front, a sewn-in key fob, and a name tag that includes our phone number. If this thing gets lost, I want to make sure it can find it's way home!

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the way the bottom sags. I'm tempted to see if I can find a way to get a piece of plastic in there. Not only does it bug me, but the main thing my daughter didn't like about her old backpack was how soft and collapsible it was - I wanted to make sure this bag was sturdier.

I also want to give a shout out to Sewpplies for providing the great iron-on patch that brought the whole design together. It makes the whole project, and as you can see, the image is very crisp and perfectly sewn.

The solids used are Moda Bella Platinum, which is my new favorite gray - very light & very cool, and Moda Bella Berry. As you can see, there's also a snippet of Kona black.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday, and Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday, assuming she does it this week.


  1. Your daughter must love this!

  2. Your daughter is so lucky to have such a cool bag!

  3. visiting from crazy mum quilts. Looks awesome.

  4. Great job on the bag. I have a suggestion (if I may) for the sagging: get a piece of the sewing plastic for making projects, cut to size and cover with fabric to match the bag. Placed into the bottom, it will help support books and such. Sometimes I hand-stitch them in place but that's up to you. (Google sewing plastic for a picture; available at Walmart and Hobby Lobby)

  5. Your daughter will get excited to use this for school. Will done!

  6. Great job, never would have guessed that you didn't feel comfortable making bags.

  7. You've done such a great job! It looks perfect! I'd never know you weren't a confident bag maker. What a lucky little girl your daughter is :-)