Thursday, August 4, 2011

Little Stitches Week 3 - Pattern J - Everything Bag

It’s Week Three of the Amy Butler “Little Stitches” Sew-Along. This week I made one last gift for Kerry’s “miracle” baby boy.

Pattern J – The Everything Bag – Difficulty Level: 4


Kerry has been searching for the perfect diaper bag so I hope this one fits the bill. I picked out two of my favorite prints, one from Anna Maria Horner’s Loulouthi line and another from Jenean Morrison’s Silent Cinema. Since she’s having a boy and her colors are traditional I thought this would be the perfect combo for her.


This pattern is a little tricky, I will admit. I think in hindsight I might have shaved a hair off the width of the Peltex. Getting it sandwiched into the center divider fabric was a little tight, as it should. But once I got the center divider into the bag it was just a hair taller than I, personally, would have liked.


The bag has a rectangular base and I found that pinning perpendicular to the seam was the easiest way to keep everything flush and aligned properly. Don’t be afraid to take it slow when attaching the bottom of the bag to the sides.


This was also my first time attaching a rectangular or square bottom and although the instructions seem a little counterintuitive it really works! I would add that I stopped the requited ½” on the short side seams but for my own piece of mind I extended the long side seams just past the ½” mark to ensure that the corner seams connected. I loved learning this new technique for attaching square bases and plan to use this on other projects in the future.


Honestly, for me the most difficult part of this project was the topstitching around the tope edge of the bag. I sewed and ripped the first row out probably five times before giving up. The problem always occurred as I started to near the center divider on the side. This is why I said earlier that I would shave just a hair off this next time I make this bag. My center divider comes all the way up to the very tip top of the bag making it difficult to make this top row of stitching continuous. I hate to say it but I finally gave up. I ended up reinforcing the straps with machine stitching and then I decided to hand stitch the top row using a matching Pearle cotton thread. The most difficult part of the hand stitching was guiding the needle through the straps but with a little extra tug (and an occasional use of teeth) I made it through. Then I opted out of adding the second row of stitching as directed in the instructions because I was really digging the aesthetic of the single row of hand stitches.


This pattern isn’t for beginners but don’t let its complexity scare you off. From start to finish I was able to create this bag over the course of a weekend. And the best part of the whole process… Kerry loves it! She told me that she had been searching for the perfect diaper bag and couldn’t find anything that she liked until she saw this one.


She loves the functionality and the fabrics and thinks that it’s everything she’s been looking for in a diaper bag. And it doesn’t hurt that the changing pad I made her matches perfectly. I would definitely recommend this diaper bag for the traditional mom-on-the-go who likes a little of their own personal style thrown in.


This week I’m working on Pattern D the Kimono-style Pj’s. Aren’t they so cute?


So what are you working on? Link up your latest projects here and show us what you’re making. If you’re linking up this week try and stop by and see everyone’s creations. You can share your projects in any state from start to finish. And remember you can also share your “Little Stitches” Sew-Along projects anytime in the Undercover Crafter Sew-Along Group on Flickr. See you next week!


  1. Thats a great bag! I love the hand stitching!

  2. Thanks for the tip on the Peltex in the center divider. I think I will make mine about a half inch shorter. I've got my fabrics picked out and I'm ready to get started!

  3. This is such a neat series! I love seeing all the finishes.