It’s been a wild summer, in which I did everything but blogging. I spent most of my time wedding planning and all that goes along with that job (@hoopesweddings on Instagram, if you want to see some fun, beautiful wedding pictures) with very little time for anything else.
Here are a few small messenger bags I managed to make, the extent of my handmade accomplishments over the summer. For more summer fun pictures of cycling, sailing, skiing, making and such, follow along on my Instagram @noelleodesigns. In my opinion, Instagram is the only social media really worth paying attention to, for those of us who are easily distracted and prefer quick and easy visual stimulation- it’s all that.
Ahhh, personalized messenger bags handmade- for the kids. Just below ‘Nintendo DS’ on the Christmas wish lists were messenger bags- not from the store, but made by me. Kids- requesting handmade gifts, from me? aww shucks.
I’ve been playing with the Amy Butler High Street Messenger Bag pattern. For these bags I added extra width, a couple of inches across the bottom to accommodate books and lunch boxes. I took out the floating pocket panel suggested in the pattern and added two internal pockets, one sewn to the front of the lining, one on the back. I divided up these internal pockets for pencils, pens and other little things that need a home.
Everyone got a little personalized detail on the front flap.
This horsey is made with felt and hand stitched on with embroidery floss.
I mixed a little felt with cotton fabrics to make the owl and branch he’s sitting on. To save a little time I machine stitched on the branch, most of the owl and just embroidered on the details.
I mixed up a few different fabrics for the lining. I love this Alexander Henry skateboarding fabric that is used for the inside of the bag. On the inside of the flap I used a sturdier striped canvas- trying to keep it manly looking. On the two front outside pockets, I lined them with the striped fabric and skipped the pleats on the pockets- keeping it simple for the masculine feel that’s so important in 5th grade.
They have given me some good feedback so I can keep perfecting the finished product. Mostly suggestions on strap length, width, adjustability. That is the one part that still needs perfecting.
They have used their messenger bags nonstop since unwrapping them on Christmas morning (a pretty good sign I think) lots of compliments and special order requests too. I need to get to get back to work in the sewing room. For more pictures of the messenger bags look here.
I’ve been making some messenger bags for Etsy and the Beehive Bazaar all week. My kids and their friends each have their favorite bag picked out- this one with the owl is getting the highest score so far.
I’ve been using the Amy Butler High Street Messenger Bag pattern- not so easy to follow, let me tell ya. And I’ll tell you why: instead of printing a picture to go along with every step, there are a few steps pictured and a wordy explanation for the rest of the steps.
It is so much easier to follow illustrations for each step- like a regular sewing pattern. It’s like trying to teach someone how to tie knots with only words and no pictures- 100 times harder without the pictures. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’ve followed too many Butterick patterns over the years.
So, after picking out lots of mess-ups, I finally got it right. Now I have been altering the pattern a bit here and there. I changed it to a squarer shape, added a tiny cell phone pocket on the side, took off the magnetic tab on the front for closing, to keep the magnet from perhaps harming a computer, if put inside.