I made myself a new diaper bag using Amy Butler’s Sophia Carry-all pattern.
This pattern is fabulous and I already have plans to make another for a friend. There are quite a few steps, and a ton of materials involved, but I love the end result. The shape and size of the bag are perfect. And I’m a total sucker for piping. I used my grandma’s ‘38 Singer for all of it and, honestly, I don’t think I could have made it without that machine. Where the handles meet the bottom of the bag, I figure I was sewing through something like 10 layers of laminated cotton (including the piping, inner and outer pockets), three layers of interfacing, and two layers of fleece! Serious hardcore sewing, my friends.
Both the outer and lining material is Joel Dewberry Heirloom, laminated. I wanted laminated both inside and out because it’s a diaper bag and, well, gross things happen when babies are near. With the laminated fabric, I can just wipe pretty much anything right off. I love this fabric line, but it’s super light and dirt shows easily on it. I’ve already had to wipe off a few scuff marks. But they did wipe off, so yay laminated fabric! Because I wanted to use the pattern as a diaper bag, I added a few additional features to make things a bit more functional; and also because I can’t ever just leave anything “as is”. So let’s take a fun little tour of my new bag!
The pattern calls for a pocket panel for the inside lining. But more pockets, I say! I used the interior pocket panel to add storage on the outside. I just basted the panel to the exterior sides and then when I added the handles, the panel was neatly divided into three pockets. The two outer pockets are the perfect size for my cell phone and iPod, plus other small things like pens, chap stick, etc. The center pocket can hold sippy cups (or huge water bottles if you forget a sippy cup for the photo shoot…) or I can even slide my Nook right down into it.
My other exterior additions were loops that hold these metal rings on either side of the zipper opening. They allow me to add an adjustable shoulder strap. I wanted the strap removable so that, if I want, I can use the bag more as a purse, too. The strap is cotton belting. I used Dylon to dye the standard white belting a deep orange to match the bag. I wish I had gone for a wider belting, but the local selection was pretty lacking and I was too impatient to look elsewhere.
I wish these were just an inch or two deeper. The bag curves at the sides as it goes toward the bottom. The pockets are nice and wide at the top, but then narrow. So even though they are wide enough for diapers to go in, the diapers don’t reach the bottoms of the pockets. Not a huge deal, it just doesn’t look very neat and secure to me.
I also added another pocket panel to the other interior side. This one I didn’t divide, but instead left the length of the bag and added a zipper across the opening. I use this one a TON. I kind of wish I had just done two of these, one on either interior side, rather than the open divided ones. And I seriously love the contrasting color of the zipper against that orange. Like, a lot.
Finally, because I’m a huge fan of them, I threw a key fob into the interior lining before sewing it all up. I don’t have a great picture of it, but you can see it here, holding two little accessory bags I made to go along with the Carry-All. They’re also Amy Butler, her Stash & Dash pattern. The bigger of the two holds items that I need to easily transfer to whatever bag I’m using (wallet, pens, checkbook), and the smaller is for hair items for Ivy-those tiny elastics and a brush. The bags are also made from the Heirloom line fabric, but not laminated. They are SUPER quick and easy to whip up and use very little fabric. The largest bag in the pattern (I didn’t make that one) calls for the side strap, but I added straps to the two smaller ones I made so they could be hooked on the fob. And that’s my version of the Sophia Carry-All.
It holds a ton