Now that my lifestyle once again requires the use of a diaper bag, I’m always searching for something that looks great and is functional but doesn’t scream “diaper bag”. Extra points are given if it’s something that could be used as a bag after I no longer need to haul diapers around.
When Big Girl was born we used a traditional diaper bag for the first few months, switching back and forth between two different ones that were given to us. After a while I ordered a custom bag that allowed me to pick out the colors, specify the design and even embroider her name on the side. While it was super cute it wasn’t something that my husband liked to carry around so it wasn’t used as often as the price tag warranted. I finally settled on using a messenger bag that I’d purchased while in grad school. It definitely met the needs of being functional but it lacked in the “looks great” department.
I find myself being much more of a minimalist this time around. Instead of carting half of baby’s wardrobe and the medicine cabinet around my stash includes 2-3 diapers (more if I’m going to be gone longer), wipes and a change of clothes. So I wanted something for a bag that was big enough to contain this stuff yet small and stylish enough that I could grab the whole thing to run to the store by myself without it screaming diaper bag. I’m too tired to be switching out bags every time I need to go somewhere but I carry just enough stuff with me sans baby — wallet, cell phone, keys, chapstick, lotion — that I can’t just pull it all out of the bag and go.
The free “Diana Hobo” pattern by Think Liz has proven to be the perfect solution! It’s the perfect size for what I need and the straps are a great length, just long enough that it fits comfortable against your side.
I started working on it a couple of weekends ago and finished it one night last week. I’m still trying to find time to sew with the baby. Especially since my sewing machine now has a dedicated space other than at the kitchen table. It was almost easier to sew right in the middle of everything. 😉
Overall the pattern was well-written and easy to follow. The sewing itself was fairly uncomplicated too, making it a fairly quick project to finish. I would say it took me a couple of hours from start to finish but that takes into account 3-5 shorter, interrupted sewing sessions. It would have gone much quicker had I been able to do it all in one sitting.
In true Amanda fashion, I made some slight changes. The pattern calls for one fabric for all of the exterior and a second fabric for the interior. I chose to use 3 fabrics instead of 2, giving the bag more personality. I also added the optional pockets to the inside but put a double pocket on one side instead of 2 smaller ones, one on each side.
The pattern has the option to use heavyweight interfacing or canvas as a lining to give the bag its structure; I chose canvas solely because it was in my fabric stash, negating a trip to the store. I’m all about simplicity and saving myself time when possible.
One of the nicest features about this bag is the mitered/boxed corners. They help to widen the bottom of the bag, making it easier to see what’s inside and giving it a nicer, more finished appearance. The pattern links to a tutorial on mitering corners if you’re a novice.
I can’t wait to make more of these! On future ones I might try adding a small pocket to the outside for a cell phone or keys. Personally I like to be able to have them easily accessible. The mitered corners *might* allow a pocket on the side to not look out-of-place.
And maybe if I start making them now I can get some done and set aside for Christmas presents. Maybe.