Yellowstone National Park was our family vacation destination this summer. We camped and hiked and toured and drove the entire park. Everywhere we went I brought my my big green bag. It carried water bottles, sunscreen, bug spray, binoculars, my purse, and many other odds and ends for the family. I could have just carried our big black backpack, but I'm just not a backpack type of girl. Plus, I've had this bag in mind for many months, but of course I didn't actually sew it until the day before we left! I should have been packing, but instead I was sewing this bag. Ahhh, the story of my life...
I made this bag out of a green tablecloth I picked up at a thrift store for $2. The color called to me and I couldn't pass it up. The lining is a wild orange and blue peacock print that I've used in several other bags, including this one:
|I reviewed this pattern HERE.|
This bag features a wide gusset, a padded cross body length strap, lots of interior pockets, and a tiny bit of decorative stitching. It went together so quickly and turned out to be very useful. So I wanted to share with you how I made it.
The supplies I started with:
green heavy weight cotton tablecloth
peacock print quilt weight cotton
heavy top-stitching thread
iron, scissors, sewing machine
Step one: creating a pattern
|I folded my paper in half to make sure it came out symmetrical.|
I cut out 2 outer pieces from the tablecloth and 2 of the lining.
Step two: making the outside front and back
Step three: making the inside front and back
Step four: making and attaching the gusset
Step five: making the tab
Step six: making the shoulder strap
Step seven: putting it all together
- I placed the outer bag inside the lining, right sides together. I pinned and stitched the top edge, leaving the gussets un-sewn. I used one of the openings left by the gussets to pull the outer bag through. I pressed the top edge, turned under the edges of the gussets and pressed them as well.
- I inserted the ends of the strap into the openings left by the gussets. I pinned and top-stitch all the way around the top edge of the bag. I added some extra stitching to secure the ends of the straps to the gussets. I stitched a square with and "x" in the middle. You can see it in the finished photos.
- I stitched the tab onto the back of the bag, securing it with the box and "x" stitching.
And here it is in all it's mean green wonder:
I was pretty vague about exact measurements because I really didn't measure anything but the width of the strap and gusset. The length of the gusset and strap were eyeballed and the excess trimmed away. Everything else was made off of the single freezer paper pattern piece. I probably could have come up with a more creative shape for the tab. Something curvier or perhaps a messenger bag flap would have been better. Overall I am very happy. This bag fills all my mommy-must-carry-lots-of-kids-stuff-wherever-we-go needs. Plus, it's green, my fave....
What do you carry on family vacations? What have you been making lately? How comfortable are you with making something without a pattern?
Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,