I am FINALLY done with my diaper bag. Only three months late. If you remember, I got a late start (Ruffin was nine days early and his mommy is easily distracted by other projects) and I had some issues with my first attempt. Take-two went much more smoothly. I used the "Modern Diaper Bag" pattern from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones. Its huge and I love it! I had to cut out a billion pieces for it. Well, okay, just 52, but that's a lot! The directions were pretty simple to follow, as I have found most Amy Butler patterns to be. I did hit a few snags (mostly my fault). One morning I started sewing before I had my coffee and ended up with this:
Now that's better! Starbucks' Gingerbread Biscotti is my absolute favorite coffee accessory. Yummy!!
I had trouble with the pleats on the inside pockets. I found those instructions a little confusing, but luckily I was not the only one (yes, its that big and isn't her fabric is gorgeous?). I ended up kind of pleating as I sewed there, and it worked out alright. Once I got to the instructions for the cell phone pocket, those were much more clear and I realized what she intended for the inside pockets. Oh well, mine worked. I actually ended up not using her instructions for the cell phone pocket and just made a small pocket on my own.
The pattern called for fusible fleece as interfacing. I have used fusible fleece before, but not on such large pieces and not on things that were handled so much. Next time, I will use the more permanent fusing technique (with a damp pressing cloth) instead of the light-weight fusing because my fleece came un-fused in several places, adding wrinkles to my liner. I worked most of them out, and since its the liner and not the outside, I am going to ignore the rest. ;)
The last part was the hardest - finishing the handles. In other bags I've made, I sewed the outside and liner together completely inside out (right sides together), leaving a hole for turning in the liner construction. This pattern did not use that technique - it had me turn through the inside handle opening and then fold the edges under and topstitch. That is always harder for me to get even and, with all the interfacing, was even more difficult on this bag. The inside corners were especially frustrating. I'd say that I would use the turn-through-the-liner technique next time, but I figure my self-taught minimal sewing experience is no match for Amy-freaking-Butler, so she probably had good reasons for using that method. Probably all the interfacing, as well as all of the pockets on the inside, would make it hard to turn through the lining. If I hadn't spent three months trying to finish a diaper bag I might've had a little more patience finishing this one. :)
And here is it - my e-nor-mous diaper bag. After re-reading what I just wrote it seems like I had a lot of trouble, but it really was not too difficult! I love this bag! I will try to get some better pictures, it been raining here the last two days.
Next on the list are Christmas presents (yes, I made a diaper bag for myself first) so I won't be posting those projects until they are handed out. I have already started some, so don't panic. I know Christmas is sneaking up frighteningly fast! I will, however, keep you entertained with pictures of my sweet little Ruffin until I can share the projects with you! Here he is helping me with the laundry. :)