Tutorial: How To Sew The Mommy Bag

A video tutorial (my first “vlog!”) on how to sew The Mommy Bag, by request.

For those of you who were wanting to sew a “Mommy Bag(for any “multi-tasking woman,” really; not just mothers), you can now follow along with my video tutorials. Feel free to ask questions, if anything isn’t clear enough. (I know, all you East-coasters are going to laugh at my “accent” in how I pronounce the word “Bag!”) :)

(You can hear “Daddy’s little helper” in the background, along with a little someone playing doctor with her doll – with a “cough”- and then at the end, Calvin getting paged out to the fire dept!) It’s a real-life look at our home & family, as well. It was a spontaneous decision to video; I didn’t even put on make-up or anything (I rarely do). So, welcome to our home, friends, and have fun sewing!)

Materials

  • Two 18″x20″ Outer Fabric pieces (Cotton Duck Fabric or a washable Home Decor fabric; choose something with a heavy-weight, but still manageable with your sewing machine)
  • Two 18″x20″ Lining Fabric pieces (High-Quality Cotton Quilting Fabric is ideal)
  • Two 18″x4″ Outer Fabric strips
  • Two 18″x20″ Lining Fabric strips
  • Additional fabric pieces for pockets, as desired
  • Fasteners for bag and/or pockets (such as snaps, ribbon ties, buttons, velcro, etc.)
  • Coordinating or Contrasting Thread
  • Any additional Bag Accessories (key fobs, floral decor, ribbons, ruffles, etc., as desired)

When selecting your materials, I recommend choosing items that are washable (a “mommy essential”), but still sturdy enough to withstand regular use. For my fabric lining, I used a piece of April Cornell “Poetry Collection” quilting cotton fabric for Moda, which I picked up at an “arts & crafts thrift store.” The outer fabric was from a piece of old fabric, which had been a tablecloth turned into a curtain. It’s getting a “third life” as a fabulous bag!

Video Part 1:

Video Part 2:

In this second video, repeat the steps for both handles/sides. When you attach the handles to your outer panels, use your first one as a guideline for your second one, to make sure the handles are the same placement/height.

Video Part 3:

In this third video, I forgot to mention: before attaching pockets to your bag, sew around the hem folds first (completely around the four sides of the pocket). I like to attach pockets with double-stiching for reinforced seams.

The final seam allowance for the bag will be larger than the typical smaller seam allowances you’ve used in the rest of the bag, to make sure the raw seam is fully enclosed inside (about 1/2″ or so).

For my bag, I accessorized it with a homemade fabric flower and a vintage button from the thrift store. I used snaps as closures, and also added in a key fob (also from the thrift store), as in the previous bag. I gave it the “boxier bottom” technique, as well.

Note: This blog post (as usual) contains a “Print as PDF” feature at the bottom, which will allow you to clearly print out the instructions and materials list.

So, did you give it a try?

Leave a comment, and let me know if you make this bag! Send photos; I’d love to see where all these Frugal Granola Mommy Bags end up! :)

If you really cannot sew, this bag will soon be available in my Frugal Granola Etsy Shop. New listings tend to go quickly, so let me know if you want to claim it (priced at $60).

This post is part of Works for Me Wednesday.

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