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Topic: Mama's Bag  (Read 1564 times)
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« on: May 06, 2010 04:57:58 PM »

I recently made a new all-purpose mom bag for myself and totally forgot to post about it! I started with the pattern for the Mama's Bag in Handmade Home, but I ended up altering it a good bit to better suit my needs.

For starters, I made the bag about 2 inches deeper than the original. I don't really carry a diaper bag anymore, but I do still need to carry the basic kid stuff a lot of the time, and I'm not big on switching from one bag to another (too much effort!). I wanted something that looks and functions like a purse but can carry the diaper-bag necessities too. The added couple of inches was intended to give me just a little extra space to suit that purpose.

After changing the size a bit, I also added a lot of pockets to the lining. I wanted to be able to organize as many of my "loose objects" as I could so that they were within easy reach and thus free up the middle of the bag for bigger things that come and go from the purse (like diapers or knitting projects).

To do this, I just cut another piece of lining fabric the same length as the bag itself, used some of the outer fabric to finish the top edges, and then, after it was attached to the lining, sewed in some dividers to create pockets of varying widths. Mission accomplished!

I added a magnetic closure instead of the ribbon tie, because I've found from experience that I don't like fiddling with ties. (And I learned that magnetic closures really are pretty easy.)

I also added a little loop to keep my keys from getting lost in the bag:

And two elastic, scrunchy-type loops, one on each side of the bag, to help hold water bottles or sippy cups upright:

I love the shape of this bag, and the construction of the Handmade Home version is really simple to do. It took me three evenings to finish my version of the bag because I went very carefully with all of the added details to be sure I got them right. (I did surprisingly little unpicking during this process, a real first for me.)

It's very roomy and definitely qualifies as the ultimate mom bag/purse all-in-one, yet I think it still looks distinctly purse-y and still holds a nice shape even when it's not loaded down with gear. (I love the pleats!) It's pretty much exactly what I dreamed it would be.

(Please excuse the lopsided bag and what my camera does to the size and shape of my arm. This is the best action shot I managed.)

There were some times in the process when I thought, "I could just go to the store or jump on Etsy and buy something. Forget all this effort." But, really, in the end I'm so much more satisfied with this result. It's customized to my needs and tastes, and no one else has one just like it. It's "me," and that can be really nice to have sometimes.

Mama of two, eeking out a few creative hours a day.

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."  ~Pablo Picasso
Those who say it can't be done shouldn't interrupt the person doing it.
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010 05:09:23 PM »

Love, love, love the pattern!

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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010 05:44:19 PM »

What a great idea to use scrunchies for holders!!  I want to go sew them into all my bags NOW!!
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010 04:31:10 AM »

Looks great, and thank you for the clear descriptions  of the alterations you made!
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2010 05:13:46 AM »

totally agree about that scrunchie becoming a holder! absolutely brilliant idea Smiley

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