Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weekender for a Busy Toddler

A few weeks ago my sister asked me to make an overnight sort of bag for A-train as she's been using his diaper bag to pack his clothes in for weekends down the shore or when he spends a night here. Would you believe I could not find a single train, car, or truck print that made me squeal with delight in its perfection? I'm always about six months off the beat when it comes to fabric perfection--it's either on its way out and no one has it, or I have no need for it when I come across it.

Anyway, I found a super cute fire truck print at Super Buzzy. I had it laid out on the table, when A-train saw it and said "Oooo, look at all these fire trucks!" I told him I was making him something with it, and he said "I''m going to love it!" The kid loves anything with wheels. He wants to put all his little cars in it and carry them around. He's not exactly practical yet...

I wanted to see if I could use my own tutorial for a boxy pouch to make it supersized. It worked, but there are a few things I would do differently next time.

When I was holding up rulers and imagining proportions this eighteen-by-eleven-by-eleven bag seemed the perfect size, but I'd size it down a little next time for sure (probably eighteen-by-nine-by-nine?). This would actually be a good size for an adult bag for a night or two. I'd probably move those straps in just a little bit, too. It's hard to tell but I quilted the straps because I like the feel the extra stitching gives, but you can't really see it as that fabric is so textured-looking. BTW the bag looks so puffy because I stuck a few afghans in there to fill it out (told you it was roomy).

I got so caught up in thinking about if the zipper was going to work that I forgot about directional fabrics. So next time I would cut two large squares and sew them to what is the bottom section of the bag and have those be the flappy bits that stick out (this makes more sense if you've read the tut). Surprisingly, I'm OK with this blip, as I don't feel it's as terribly obvious a 'design feature' as it could be. And you know who doesn't care at all? Three year old boys. If my fabrics weren't directional it'd be fine.

I wanted the zipper to go just across the top, and was nervous it wouldn't work out for some reason but it did. However, I wouldn't do it this way again--I'd have it come down over the sides a little bit as it gives a little more ease to the opening for such a roomy bag.

I used that smokey-gray for the lining as well as the straps. And that big yellow zipper was in my stash. I was happy to be able to use it for such a cheery little bag.

So I think that's everything. If you fancy an overnighter in this style check out this tutorial for how to draw up a pattern, and follow this sew-along for how to put together basically the same thing (without pockets) but in a different shape. OK, so now that's everything.


  1. A supersize boxy pouch, how clever!! The fabric is fun. I had the same problem with fabric when sewing drawstring backpacks for my nephews. In the end I found fabric with tractors that was pretty cool.

  2. I love the bag. It is hard to find good boy patterns in fabric, sometimes, so I love your choice, although it needs a few ambulances.

  3. Bethany, that is awesome! He will love it and use it for years!!!
    XO Kris

  4. That is cute! The yellow zipper is perfect... and I really like the handle/lining fabric!

  5. What a talented seamstress you are. But it's more than that, you have a real knack for putting colors together. This bag is too cute and so nice and roomy!



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