In my web searches for DIY baby projects during the first trimester, I fell in love with this cute messenger-style diaper bag on A Mingled Yarn (and, of course, featured on Oh Dee Doh). After looking around the web at diaper bags and not seeing much that I liked in the under $50 range, I decided to commit to this project.
The pattern caught my attention because of the functionality of the bag. It has many pockets, including a zipped large pocket, side and front pockets secured with Velcro, and elastic-edged pockets in the bag, which will help with securing filled bottles and diapering essentials. I also liked the size of the bag, as it’s big enough but not too big (its finished size is 14″ long, 12″ high, 5″ wide, with a 36″ long strap). I really did not want to be a bull in a china shop when I am out and about as a new mommy!
I bought Alexander Henry’s Bebe fabric for the exterior of the bag. In my opinion, the fabric was chic and sophisticated and, with a late summer/early fall baby on her way, would be a classic black and white bag perfect for fall and winter outings. I did want a more colorful and cheerful lining (my favorite fabric selection when making any bag) and bought Heather Bailey’s laminated cotton fabric, Lindy Lane. This project provided me the perfect opportunity to try out laminated cotton, as having a practical diaper bag with an interior that can be cleaned with a washcloth is essential.
Generally speaking, I would rate this project as intermediate, although I wrestled with several steps, largely because I haven’t been working with the many types of fasteners required for the bag recently. While following this pattern for the first time, I struggled with following the directions due to my unfamiliarity with the finished project. I tried for an hour or so to sew the zipper in the back fabric for the pocket and had to use a new piece of fabric when I did not place the magnetic snaps on the front of the bag in the correct position. (As a pregnant lady, I have a hard time following directions. It’s the baby brain.) Also, sewing with the laminated cotton proved tricky. To avoid the problems with the tacky fabric, I placed a layer of tissue paper on top of the laminated side before sewing on my machine. (Apparently, you can purchase a different foot for your sewing machine, but the tissue paper works fine if you plan on working with the laminated cotton for only a few projects.)
With cutting, sewing, and fussing included, I would estimate this project took twelve hours. I am sure second, third, or fourth attempts would come together much more quickly. I would like to make this bag again, because I think it would prove much easier the second time around and, because the finished product is so impressive, I would not have scrutinized each step, since at the end it’s hard to spot flaws in a project this detailed.
I would highly recommend you make a diaper bag if you sew and are expecting. While it’s fun to make nursery projects, having a project of your own during pregnancy is a rewarding endeavor. I will get back to work on Baby S.’s many projects, but I am pleased to have a new bag to use when she arrives.