It is so hard to find the perfect purse. I have an orange one that I love, but it's impossible to find anything in there. It has only two little side pockets, and everything just falls to the bottom in a mess. It is officially "The Pit." I have a black one that's pretty easy to find things in, but it's boring and black. I have a brown messenger bag I love, but it's too small for my "mom-with-small-children" needs. I decided it was time to make myself a new bag, and I fell in the love the grey and citron line from Ty Pennington. I thought it would make the perfect spring bag. I used the quilting weight fabric and quite heavy interfacing for this project.
I was so thrilled when this all came together that I just about did a happy dance when I finished. I designed this bag by pulling together my favorite aspects of my current bags as well as things from other bags I have seen.
I made this as a messenger style bag because I love the hands-free aspect. With three kids who are always running different directions, I need something I don't have to hold onto. It has about double the interior space of my brown messenger bag and fits almost everything I would need for a normal outing. The base is 13" x 4" and it's about 11" tall.
Notice how the pocket fabric pattern matches up with the bag fabric! That was a little tricky, but totally worth it on the front and back pockets. I love how the pockets just blend in.
The little pocket on the flap is for all those punch cards and business cards from my wallet. They are easy to get to right here. Since they are nice and flat, the flap was the perfect place for a card pocket. I'm slowly getting better at adding zippers like this.
I added pleats to the base of these grey pockets to make space for larger things such as lotion, sunglasses, and antibacterial gel. There is also a small zipper pocket above these grey pockets not visible in this picture.
I put a couple flat pockets on the other side for my cell phone and lip gloss.
The center divider pocket with a zipper was one of my favorite additions. I pulled this idea from my black purse, but wanted it to be stiffer. I used a fairly heavy interfacing on the outer fabric of both sides of the divider. It currently holds Clorox wipes for nasty shopping carts. It's also big enough for my little netbook.
One of my other favorite things I added to this bag was a little flap with a snap to hold my keys--no more digging at the bottom of the pit to find them.
I learned several things from designing this bag. There are a few things I would change for next time, but overall I was surprisingly satisfied with how it came out. I've made multiple bags before, and that experience certainly helped. One of my favorite basic messenger bag tutorials I have used is from mmmcrafts. I've made four bags for myself and others from this tutorial alone. I used this tutorial as my base for this bag and then made changes from there. I also studied several bags from Amy Butler's Style Stitches book for ideas on how to actually construct this.
Now that I've made my mistakes on this bag and figured out what works and what doesn't, I sort of want to make another one. You always need a few great bags to switch out, right?
I'm possibly, sort of, maybe, somewhat considering putting together a tutorial on this bag and doing it sew-along style in a number of different posts. I'm just wondering how much interest there would be. I'm not certain I'm up for it, and definitely not committed to all that work yet, but I'm thinking about it. It's a nice diversion from quilting as I've been feeling a little burned out on quilting recently. I love making bags and pillow covers because they can be finished up in just a few days.
My husband was a trooper on this project. He put up with me for the past week while I obsessed over this and stayed up way too late finishing it Friday night. He even gave me some kid-free time to work on it Friday afternoon.
On a side note, I hit 200 followers the other day. I was pretty excited about that. Stick around; we'll have a little giveaway to celebrate coming up soon.
I'm linking up to Megan's Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations. Go check out the other great projects.