Friday, February 24, 2012

Stroller Bag

I don't want to go overboard and really sound like I'm tooting my own horn but this project is one that I really loved how it turned out! I originally found this pattern from Simple Sewing for Babies from Lotta Jansdotter. When my kids were young enough to still sit in a stroller I often wished I had a bag that wasn't bulky and needed to be shoved under the stroller where you can never reach anything when you need it.
 This started out as a super simple knock-it-out-in-one-nap deal. I loved the simplicity of the style and it was definitely cute but flat with a solid strap and no liner. I know that it was made like this to serve the purpose of "simple sewing for babies" but I started to think that it could be improved. My sister-in-law (the recipient of this bag) and I agreed that a liner would be nice. I also thought that an adjustable strap for different strollers would be beneficial. Then in the last hour of planning, I decided to add an panel and throw in a few extra pockets.
When we discussed adding an adjustable strap, it started with talk of using velcro. Feeling that it wouldn't be as reliable or aesthetically appealing, I chose to do a slide strap. OK, now thinking about it, I actually decided to go with the slide strap when I came across THIS tutorial on Pinterest. If you aren't interested in black plastic, then you will need to search somewhere like Etsy for the slide hardware. I found some HERE on Etsy and this woman sold me two sets (just convo her if you need a different quantity than listed) for less than $2 per set plus shipping. I thought that was definitely reasonable for my project.
The original pattern called for ribbon for the bag closure. I layed out some different ribbon but chose to just make a quick, thin strap with matching fabric instead. Once the closure strap was made, I lined it up on the bag and stitched it to keep it laying flat.
Here I added a liner to the inside of the front pockets which was by far the easiest addition to the pattern!
When I was making the liner for the inside of the bag, I added a few extra pockets. For these pockets, I basically duplicated the pockets from the front of the bag. Now might be a good time to mention something that doesn't seem to fit anywhere else in the post. I kind of thought that with the pattern creating a two dimensional bag, items might get wedged into the corners. So, I added a two inch panel to both sides and the bottom and then reinforced the bottom with a strip of heavyweight interfacing. All of this definitely added a little pain-in-the-you-know-what aspect to the project but I'm happy with how it all turned out.

This last pocket was a little more tricky. Not to bore you with all the details but it took two separate pieces of fabric (and extra added inside top flap for extra sturdiness), reinforcement of the liner behind the flap and a small amount of wavering from standard sewing procedure (as you can see on the inside of the flap) to accomplish. I really wanted to add this pocket because I pictured all the times I was at the fair or zoo and wished I had a quick, safe place to stash my ID and money. 

In the end, I had already put a considerable amount of time into the bag, liner and strap and was so afraid that the final assembly would not turn out as I was hoping that I actually stopped and prayed before each part was finished. You can judge for yourself how it was answered but I am certain that I had some help:) 

For all those avid sewers out there I'm sure that my little project would be nothing to write home about but if I had to choose one word from my children's favorite books about feelings, I would have to say that this project really made me feel proud (here's where my daughter would add "like me when I go poopy!") Maybe an odd note to end on but hey, that's life as a mommy!


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