I’ve been sewing up a lot of little things recently.   My knitting was leaving me bogged down (probably the bulky yarn) and I couldn’t get a coherent sewing story happening.

A couple of years ago, I knit a small messenger bag for Connor out of Rowan’s Denim yarn.  It’s gotten all used up and scrappy and is now too small.  So I decided to sew one this time.  Burda’s 02/2010, 147, is a sweet shoulder bag for kids, from canvas with leather closures, piping and strap.  I’ve got the leather, but didn’t want to make my own buckle closures.  M&J Trim has some, but it would take 6 weeks to get them in. So I scuppered the fancy bag and chose some Echino Leopard print (by Estuko Furuya for Kokka) that Connor had already stashed.


I found some dark brown linen to line it and fused both with some black collar interfacing I found at Joann’s.  The bag is very easy to adapt if you’re not piping it.  You just sew the body and the liner separately, leaving a seam in the bottom of the liner.  When you’ve sewn the body and liner, right sides together, you turn the whole thing out through the open seam, and hand stitch the seam closed.

I used cotton webbing for the straps and the closures, using D rings instead of pronged buckles.  In retrospect I should have stuck with the leather for the trim, but the webbing works very well.

I fussy cut the fabric to get both leopards incorporated.  The leaping one on the lid:

And the sitting one on the body and side:


And, the back:

Connor loves his bag and the leopards.  He’s pretty tall and it’s a perfect size to use cross body for him.  There’s also lots of room for his ‘stuff’.  So far he’s used to take snacks and tools to summer camp, but he’ll use it when we go on holiday later this month.

I used another piece of Echino fabric, Flower Bed in yellow, to make a gift bag for my son’s teacher.  It’s from a half yard with poly webbing handles.  Since the fabric was sturdier than regular quilting cotton, I left it unlined and squared off the bottom to make it more practical.

Sorry about the dingy photo, but it got delivered the next morning with this inside:

We have cooking parties at the end of the school year for C’s friends.  Last two years, I’ve handed out these as party favors.  You pour layers of ingredients into a mason jar and make up cute instruction/gift tags tied on with ribbons, and you’re done!  Everyone for the past two years has loved them.  There are recipes all over the web for dry cookie mixes, but this one is from William & Sonoma’s “Kids in the Holiday Kitchen” – a really fun cook book for young ones.

I was so in love with the gift bag, that I got some Amy Butler cotton to make up one for myself.  They look more stylish than my shabby Wholefoods bags, so it’ll be great to stick in my day pack for travelling.

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