Bagged, baby!

At long last, the bag I made for our friends from Amy Butler’s new book “Little Stitches for Little Ones” arrived in northern New Mexico and I can now share the photos…

This one is dubbed the “Modern Nappy Bag” and is really something — its absolutely enormous! And it certainly doesn’t look like your run-of-the-mill diaper bag.

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I used fabric from Amy Butler’s newish line of home decorator weight cotton sateen, August Fields. Some woodgrain fabric of the same weight from Joel Dewberry’s Ginseng line looked like it was made to match, so I lined the whole thing and made the many, many pockets with that…

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I had a lot of fun making this bag, and hope the recipients enjoy it and are able to get some use out of it. What I like about it is that even if it’s a no-go as a diaper bag, it would be great as a tote bag for shopping at the farmers market or for a day trip where you need to pack a few things. It just doesn’t look “diaper-y.”

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I also made the accompanying changing pad in a an organic terry cloth that was the same light blue color that was in the woodgrain fabric, and back it with the woodgrain. It’s meant to be quilted in a grid style, but I quickly last my patience with that. I am just sooooo not a quilter In fact, while I respect quilting as an art form, it is one of those things I just don’t have the temperament for at all. I did manage to do some horizontal quilting before I got frustrated, so it looks pretty decent. Needless to say, I can’t imagine I’ll be doing anything remotely quilting related anytime soon.

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Funnily enough, this is the first baby gift I’ve ever made. Because I really don’t presume to know what folks want or need, I usually rely on that handy-dandy Target registry for these types of things. And, honestly, there hasn’t been anyone that I’ve been good enough friends with to merit making a baby gift. I hope that doesn’t make me a terrible person…

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Which reminds me of an incident from earlier this year. One of my former coworkers was planning a baby shower for another coworker. And the first coworker asked me to “make up one of those nice bags” for this person to put all the other gifts into. She was referring, to the Amy Butler High Street Messenger Bag, of which I’ve made several. I was flabbergasted. Not only was I shocked because of the time and expense a bag like that would take (people really don’t understand how expensive fabric is and how much effort and energy it takes to make something quality–I’ve accepted that), but I was doubly surprised because I wasn’t particularly close to the potential recipient. You have to be pretty high up on the list to get a handmade gift–particularly an elaborate one like a bag that’s, face it, pretty physically tiring to make with all the layers of fabric and whatnot. The friend that I made this bag and changing pad for (actually, the bag is for the friend’s wife, but whatever) was just about my only work friend that I had when I was working at The Job From Hell several years ago. (Seriously, it was bad. You try going to school board meetings that last until 11:00 p.m. and tell me it’s not hell.) And I also know that my friend really appreciates things that are made by real people. So it’s really a two-fold criteria for these things with me: 1.) I gotta like you a lot. 2.) You gotta appreciate stuff that’s handmade.

I’m wondering if I’m the only one who is like this? Are the rest of y’all nicer than me about the handmade gifting thing?

~Sarah

Edited: I forgot to mention that a friend of mine stopped by the house right after I finished this up and mentioned that the bag was big enough and the right shape to use “Paris Hilton Style.” By which she meant that you could carry a small dog around in it. Hilarious! (And very true.)

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11 thoughts on “Bagged, baby!

  1. Gorgeous bag, and I have a good friend due with her first baby in Feb! I think I know what I’m making (my book should be coming any day now).

    I’m with you: I gotta like someone a lot, and they gotta appreciate my mad sewing skillz in order for them to get a handmade gift.

  2. you can now feel better because I am worse than you…hee hee. I am so selfish my nieces call me Auntie No. Given I do give when I absolutely know it will be appreciate or the person is a potential Oscar winning actress and can fake it really well. But other than that I am so not about the handmade gifts.

    That said…can you make me one of these fabulous Amy B. Baby bags cause it looks gorgeous. Just kidding…hee hee

  3. I love the diaper bag! You’re so right about it not looking diapery and more like a tote. I wish that I had been able to find something like this six years ago when I last needed one.

    When you talk about quilting, I have to laugh. I just can’t get into making bags, I see so many sewers making really cool ones, and I just wonder why I can’t get the enthusiam for making a bag myself.

    Totally with you about sewing for CLOSE friends or people that really appreciate it. I don’t hardly like to sew for my kids, half the time. Not to long ago, my 6yo got something dirty and said, “Well it’s washable.”

    Yea, thats going to make me jump up and run to my machine to make you something, isn’t it?

  4. I really wish I would have started this project instead of the Everything Bag from the same book. I’m having a hard time getting past the first step!

    Gorgeous bag, btw – I know that it will be a hit of a gift!

  5. That bag is fabulous! Have you posted a review on PR yet for it? My closest friend here in AZ just found out she’s pregnant and pretty far along. I am toying with the idea of making her a diaper bag but I’ve already made her one bag and it got just a lukewarm reception. I think handmade gifts are a hot topic in the crafting & sewing community because, as you’ve already noted, not everyone appreciates the time and effort it takes. I hope your friends loved the gift; I sure do!

  6. Hey there! Love this new site design! And this is a great-looking bag. I wish I had that way back when I carried a diaper bag — what a beautiful and thoughtful gift! I love the faux bois fabric on the changing pad. Rustic! :)

  7. I am so thrilled to know that Amy B has a book out for little people gifts! We’re cooking up baby #3, and I have never–in the 13 years since #1 was birthed–had a diaper bag that didn’t make me want to puke in it a little just so I wouldn’t have to use it anymore. This is such a great shape, so functional, and could totally be useful AFTER, unlike every other diaper bag I have met (and loathed). Thanks for the demo!

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  9. Love your bag. I am in the process of making the exact one and have been searching around for other people’s tips. Glad that it isn’t too difficult.
    I totally agree with you about making things for other people. When I show people who are not crafty things that I make they say things like “oooh can I place an order?” – as if I can just whip it up for them in no time. I just tell them it is a lot cheaper and quicker to buy something in a store. If they still seem like they would appreciate it more because it is “handmade” then I’d make it but so far I don’t have many friends who are all about handmade stuff like me.

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