Baby Essentials (or Not): Mommy Bag

When you’re juggling a little one (and even if you’re not!), it’s nice to have one bag to consolidate all your needs during an outing. Instead of having a purse, a book bag, a diaper bag, and a grocery bag (for a few items), try “The Mommy Bag” to simplify. When you don’t want a bulky “baby-looking” diaper bag as your purse, this is my favorite option (when I’m not using the $1 Diaper Clutch Bag).

I had so much fun creating this bag for a dear sister-in-law’s birthday gift. She was already in need of a new purse, and is expecting our precious nephew in August. So, for all of you who requested a peek at this sewing project on Facebook, here it is!

It is a delightful combination of “sorbet colored” cotton duck fabric with a quilting cotton cherry-print lining, and fun contrasting orange thread. These are sturdy fabrics, but still washable. (I used cotton duck fabrics for our changing pad covers last year.) The cotton duck fabric was inherited from a friend’s long-ago out-of-business fabric store inventory, and the quilting cotton was purchased on sale with a coupon.

Customize your bag with pockets! I sewed two square ones inside the bag, and one large divided pocket on the outside. I used snaps as closures for the pockets and main compartment, but you could also use velcro or buttons. (I already had a snap-setter on hand, which I had purchased last summer with a gift card to make my Mama Cloth. It’s great for repairing kids’ clothes, too!)

Inside the bag, I sewed in an attached “key fob” hook on a looped piece of scrap jacquard ribbon. I picked up a few key fobs from an art & craft-supply thrift store last year, and have been saving them to use in purses. I highly recommend stashing a spare car key in your bag!

It can be a slight challenge for sleepy mamas to develop the new habit of getting your baby out of the car, before you lock it (or a little one discovers the lock). (Better safe than sorry! Calvin has had to rescue hot little ones from cars as an EMT.) You could also use this key fob for a spare pacifier.

The seams are wide French seams, to make the bag incredibly sturdy, in case you’re carrying heavy library books or bulky produce. The handles have plenty of reinforced stitching over the folded layers, and “crossed square ” stitching to attach them to the bag (between the inside & outside layers).

To create a wider base, I sewed square corners using this “boxier bottom” method. (I didn’t trim off the corners inside, though.) I divided the outside pocket into three compartments; perfect for slipping in pens, a phone, and a paperback book and/or notepad for Bible study day. (The edges of the pocket are also enclosed in the side French seams of the bag.) The finished size of the bag measures approximately 14″ square. So, do you want a tutorial on how to make this bag? (Or, even easier, custom order one from my Etsy shop, and I’ll whip one up for you!) Leave a comment & let me know if you’d like directions.

Do you use a similar bag to simplify your outings? I’d love to hear your solutions for juggling it all!

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