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Mom's birthday! What to do? Make a messenger bag, of course!

Hello Friends! And welcome to all new subscribers!

Today is Mom's birthday, and before I get ready to go to a lovely lunch with her, at her favorite restaurant in town, I want to show you what I made last week.

Sewists (I've used the forbidden and gauche term "sewer" in previous posts, and I humbly ask your forgiveness...), sewists are the thriftiest folks I know. The difference between Thrifty and Frugal might be described in textile terms this way: "She was a thrifty designer when it came to using up elements of her stash, but I would never call her frugal." OK, well that didn't explain anything, but the fine point I want to make is that one of the definitions for Thrifty is "thriving, prosperous, or successful," whereas, one of the synonyms for Frugal is "miserly." Do you see what I mean?

Sewists, you beautiful sewists you, count their materials as precious. This is our currency, so when we have an excess of any of it "burning a hole in our pockets" - so to speak - our designer brain gets to creating some ingenious way of using up whatever bits and pieces are in line to inspire some new form.

And, so it was with the ziploc freezer bag I had full of the remnants from the cuffs and collar of the Great Blue Heron coat. A diverse bunch of reds that all pleased me in their various ways. Long 2 inch strips and random shapes that had been cut away.

Now, getting back to Mom: I also had this picture I'd printed on fabric (Betty's Photos on Fabric) a while back. Mom loves Red. I cannot remember a summer without an abundance of Red geraniums outside, inside, all over. Different shades of red lipstick, paprika being an all time favorite.

Thus, I began compiling a fabric of red squares. This became the back of the bag.

And I love pockets inside my bag. This, inside the front flap.

With a double pocket inside for phone, keys, cough drops, etc.

There's a theme, of sorts, and nothing so terribly off as to make it totally unpalatable. That's my opinion though. I like it and will enjoy using it. OH, did you think it was for Mom? Not exactly her style, but mine. I'll be interested to see how she feels about being featured on the front. (I'll let you know.) She's suffered my bohemian ways all my life...

To avoid raw edges, or the added bulk of binding, I sewed everything in 2 layers, quilting the front piece (continuous, connected to the back piece).

Then I sewed the inside piece to it, making a kind of "pillowcase," turning it inside out, and finishing the hole I pulled it through.

I did the same thing for the strap and sides, making one long continuous piece, interfacing and quilting them first, pillowcasing it, turning inside out. I have an old drumstick I use to turning things like this. Connecting the ends, making them the bottom of the bag.

Overall, I'm pleased with this method of construction. I had an idea to put an element of thin cardboard in the back panel to add a measure of rigidity, but I got going pretty good with the sewing and the idea escaped me. I think that would be an improvement, however.

But, as is, I can carry a thin 3-ring binder with another project I'm currently working on (I wrote a one-act play, shhhhh - it's not about sewing...) and that supplies the rigidity for now.

So, I used up my Red Bits stash. I celebrate my Mom (from whom I'm sure I got my best qualities), and I have a new toy to carry about with me.

Happy Birthday MOM! Thanks for reading. Share a story about your mom with me, if you like. Let me know if there's something you're interested in sewing, or figuring out together. Let's play.

Keep on stitchin', j

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