October/November Sewing: Hooray for Katie and Baby Annika!

Ellie and Mark gained a new cousin when Baby Annika joined my brother’s family in November.  I have four siblings and I’ve now made five diaper bags, one for each family! (Here’s ours, Eric and Meggan’s, Jon and Leah’s, and Rachel and Drew’s.)  For Chris and Katie’s bag, Katie chose a tutorial that I hadn’t tried before and it was fun to try out something new and learn a couple new skills while I was at it.  Katie requested blue or gray and orange, 50s-60s vintage, and no florals.  Also knowing that she has written a children’s book featuring a robot as the main character, I found a super fun fabric line that I loved and I hope she does too!

006 (800x800)Katie’s monogram on the flap, with my added pocket

005 (800x800)with Mark for scale – it’s huge!

007 (800x533) (2)That’s a “robotic” font!

Having noticed that although the pattern has tons of pockets , it doesn’t have any secure pockets, I added a Velcro-secured pocket to the front of the bag.

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Here’s the outside of the bag.

012 (800x534)adjustable strap (a first for me)

011 (800x533) (2)elasticized pockets on the back and one side

010 (800x534)I added this from the selvage to the bottom of the non-pocketed side. Cute, huh? 🙂

And here’s the inside:

013 (800x533)3 elastic-topped pockets, three flat

014 (800x533)for keys!

Here are the feature fabrics up-close.  The solid blue exterior fabric is duck cloth.

015 (800x533) 016 (800x534) 017 (800x533)

As I always do, I also made a matching wallet (this tutorial but an inch wider) and changing pad to complete the ensemble.

022 (800x533) 023 (800x533) 024 (800x533) 025 (532x800) 026 (800x533)

Here I am wearing it, also to give you a sense for how really large this bag is.

018 (533x800)

This is the only bag that I’ve had the fun of delivering in person.  Sadly, I forgot to take any pictures of Katie with her new bag but I did remember to take pictures of adorable Annika!

IMG_0317 (600x800)

Chris and Katie, we hope you enjoy using your new bag with your new little daughter (and Adella and Alex, too of course!)  We love you five!!


Here are some nitty-gritty details about sewing the bag.  Katie, stop reading here if you don’t want to know them!

1.  Unless you’re fairly experienced with sewing bags, I do NOT recommend this tutorial.  The bag construction method was really difficult and had I read the tutorial more clearly, I would have made some major modifications to the cutting/sewing instructions.  As it was, I just made some modifications as I went along.  It turned out OK but I would have preferred to start out the right way at the beginning.  Also, you really need to have a high-quality strong sewing machine if you want to sew this.  I have a great machine and it just barely managed to make it through the thicker sections around the straps and key fob when finishing the bag.  If you have a cheaper machine, you wouldn’t be able to sew it.  That being said, I do appreciate the free tutorial that was provided by the site.

2.  I highly recommend BuckleGuy for bag-making hardware.  The prices were reasonable, the rings and key fob were really high quality, and the service was great.  I made a mistake with my order and they fixed it over the phone without penalty or complaint.

3. Just for kicks, I decided to keep track of how long it took me to sew this bag.  It took at least 18 hours of cutting/prepping/sewing time plus the time I spent choosing and purchasing materials (probably at least 2-3 more hours).  So, let’s just round to 20 hours.  Then, I also spent close to $60 on fabric and supplies.  Paying myself a living wage, I would have had to charge A LOT of money for this bag.  Even assuming I was good at this pattern and could cut my sewing time in half (which is highly optimistic), I still would have to charge way more than people are willing to pay for a diaper bag.  Ergo, I will not be setting up a diaper-bag shop on Etsy because I am not willing to sew for free except, of course, when it’s for my lovely sister-in-law, Katie!

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7 Responses to October/November Sewing: Hooray for Katie and Baby Annika!

  1. Pingback: Handmade Christmas 2014: A Baby Bird For A Brand New Baby | Salmon and Souvlaki

  2. Katie J says:

    I love it, and still can’t believe you spent that much time on it! We are still getting a lot of use out if it, but I’ll probably use it the most at work since I will need so much stuff with me.

  3. I like the quilting (not sure if that’s the right term) pattern you made on the changing pad. It looks like gear teeth! What a lot of work and such a wonderful gift!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Dani! The quilting does look like gear teeth! I didn’t even try to do that, I was just trying to make the utilitarian quilting a bit less boring! 🙂

  4. Pingback: September/October Sewing: Juggling, Twirling, and Writing, Oh My! | Salmon and Souvlaki

  5. Pingback: May/June Sewing: A Bag For Me (and I’m already planning its replacement) | Salmon and Souvlaki

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