the Really Big Bag

It was my mom's birthday last Friday (happy birthday, mom!).  I love making gifts to fulfill a need ... in this case, my mom was in need of a bag to take to the gym, and she is too wonderful to just use one of my brother's stinky old duffel bags.

I generally gravitate towards simple patterns (love a fast sew!) but I've had my eye on the Modern Diaper Bag from Amy Butler's book, Little Stitches for Little Ones, for a while.   One thing has been holding me back - the 52 pieces of fabric and interfacing it requires (52!!).  Amy Butler loves her interfacing.

But my mom is worth it. 


I am calling this the Really Big Bag because it is so gigantic.  While I love a sizable bag, there is no way I would carry this around town as a diaper bag.  It is better suited as a weekend bag, or a beach bag, and fingers crossed that it is not too big to take to the gym pool.

It was my first time tackling a magnetic clasp.  These are so easy!  I feel silly for avoiding them, and will probably include them on all of my totes from here on out.


The bag has 6 really big pockets inside.  My mom was happy that she'd be able to take her shampoo and stuff and still have room for a big towel.  I think the side pockets will be just right for a water bottle.


There was supposed to be a cell phone pocket on the outside, but the instructions were crazy confusing. The pocket was not pictured in any of the photos and without a diagram to guide me, I couldn't figure it out ... so it was left off.

All in all, I loved the result.  But this is definitely a one-time project.


Fabric: Heirloom Blockprint in Blossom Green by Joel Dewberry

In other birthday news, today is my husband's birthday.  So happy birthday, sweetie!  You are literally the best guy I know and I'm so glad to have you in my life.

36 comments:

The Hojnackes said...

I made this a couple years ago for a friend. It was HUGE. And she is tiny. She loved it, though. We joked that it was actually a bag to hold the baby, not the diapers- or both. I broke a few needles going through all the layers in some spots. It is a cute style and I might do it again, cutting down a bit in size.
Yours turned out quite nice. I like that print.

Rhiannon said...

Looks gorgeous! Love that outer fabric.

Oh.banty said...

Oh! It's wonderful. I like very much so big bags with many pockets. I think it's useful (I don't have baby:)). I made one (so big) form myself however there is a lot of wonk with such project. Have a nice day, Justyna.

Emily said...

wow! It didnt look so big on the table, but the picture with the person.. it looks huge :o) You did a great job!

Liz {Learning To Juggle} said...

Such a gorgeous bag, too bad its so involved. I would love to make a bag like that, but I fear that I would start it an never finish.

Katja said...

Amy really likes keeping us busy with sewing and especially cutting a lot of pieces. I made one bag (two, really) - Cosmo bag and it's huge too. And like you said - it's worth it. My Cosmo: http://narejeno-s-srcem.blogspot.com/2011/08/cosmo-bag-koncana.html and the second one: http://narejeno-s-srcem.blogspot.com/2011/11/cosmo-bag-ii-koncana.html
Hva a nice day!

Turtles In North Dakota said...

Oh my gosh it is huge! But its wonderful. I may have to try it. Have had the pattern bookmarked for awhile but the same things were stopping me!

Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts said...

love the fabric choice -- great job!!

Palak said...

I love amy butler's prints, and her bags.... but 52 peices? I know I'll never try her patterns. I'm too chicken.

Lynette @ My Craft Discovery said...

cute bag, but I agree, it would be WAY too big for a diaper bag! You could fit a baby in there! I love the fabric you used, super cute. And the inside pockets are awesome too!

Rick*Amber*Taryn*Bryant said...

Hi! I love your blog! I am a RS president and we were looking for ideas for our up coming RS birthday. I love your Retro idea and I was wondering if you might have time to send me more details about the night?? I know you are a busy mama with 3 little ones, but I just thought I would ask!
Thanks!
Amber
rstandage@elp.rr.com

Marisa said...

Love the fabric choice! I have this book and haven't made a ton out of it yet, but this looks like a great weekend bag. I might try it without the pockets.

Lauren said...

Wow! Beautiful print and bag but you weren't kidding about the size. Love the organizers inside, too.

nikki said...

so beautiful. i made this for my diaper bag but followed the advice of many online who had said it would be too big for a diaper bag and sized it down substantially. your mom will love it.

Vanessa Traylor said...

52! Are you kidding me!? Wow! You did a great job with it though! What a neat bag to have and a special mama, I am sure!

Lisa said...

That is a BIG bag!

Lil Mama Stuart said...

whoa. You do not know the scale until the last picture! Looks fab though!

Aunt Nancy said...

Darling bag, Jill....and you are sooo right....your Mom is sooooooo worth it! I love her and you!

Anonymous said...

Seriously? 52 pieces? Oh, I'm so glad it was you and not me! ;). It looks great! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Anonymous said...

Great bag!!!
Happy birthday to your husband!
Nadi from Germany

Ulla's Quilt World said...

Your quilts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world!
www.quiltworld2.blogspot.com
Yours, Ulla (from Finland)

Crystal=Rose said...

I LOVE this bag!!! :D you did an AWESOME job. I've been looking for a bag to use as a cruise ship carry on bag and this bag will be PERFECT!!! i never order books but as soon as i saw your post i ordered the book and cannot wait to get it in. :D

ScrappyStuff said...

I love bags! ... i DREAM of creating one, so totally get the "one time project" comment - i have several STARTED ...
This bag is amazing! I love the inside pockets ... it's so GIANT ...
very Tempting!
Thanks for the inspiration!
keep on sharing!

Vanessa said...

This is such a beautiful BIG bag!! You are a brave woman to sew all those pattern pieces, but you are right, moms are worth it!!

Lauralee said...

About two years ago I really really wanted to make that bag. I drooled over it, but I just couldn't get myself to cut out so many pieces! Very impressive! And now that I look at it-that really is huge. I don't know what I would have done with such a big bag! It still is gorgeous though. Very impressed with your patience. It looks amazing.

Rachel said...

Ha ha, that really IS big! From your first photo I thought, "oh, it's not that big", and then I saw the last one with you carrying it, which gave the scale to the bag. Lol, it's huge, but beautiful!

Jamie said...

gorgeous!!! great job!

High Cotton said...

I made this bag when I was pregnant with my first child and I too, was surprised at how big it is. But I will say, it's "grown up" with him into a great weekend bag for overnight trips to the beach and to see grandparents. We use it all the time. (I left off the cell phone pocket too and the inner box pleat pockets kicked my butt). What a labor of love and thoughtful gift for your mom.

April Rosas said...

i want this! i'm no good with a sewing machine though. lol. can't keep a straight stitch.. *sigh. this could be a fun project since there are hundreds of colorful textiles out there.

family pledge mortgage

Jenna Tracy said...

Lovely, Jill! Do you happen to know the approximate finished measurements? Thanks lady!

Sydney said...

This would be adorable with a big blue monogram of her initials!

Houseful Of Nicholes said...

You are absolutely right. Amy does indeed love her interfacing. I just talked about that on my Cosmopolitan bag that I just did. This diaper bag looks GREAT! I think that I may make myself one just for kicks. I don't know if I would be willing to give it away after all of that. Great job - and it looks absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to pin this on Pinterest but given recent comments about copyright, I'd rather not just 'follow' you but have your permission to pin your tutorial.

Your thoughts?

Belinda
beedragon at yahoo dot com

Mrs. C said...

Great bag! I love Amy Bulter have made several of her pieces. Made her Cosmo bag at xmas time. She definitely loves interfacing and pieces! This one was also so big that it became the bag I use to carry all my teacher stuff back and forth to work. Sometimes her directions are a little confusing. Cursed her out a few times during the making of the Cosmo bag but it was well worth it!

Make Do and Mend It Girl said...

oh my goodness, gorgeous!! x

Cat M. said...

I wish I could find someone to make one of these I've looked on etsy and can't find anyone, let me know if you know of anyone that would make one for me! I love it and I love the fabric you picked. So pretty!