Sep 10, 2013

Adding Personality to a Blah Bag

I'm beginning my Sewing For Kindergarten posts a little early because I have FOUR posts/tutorials to bring you. I'll share two this week and then next week (next Tuesday is my 'official' posting day for the series) I'll bring you the other two.

I had a blast making some fun things for my little Kindergartner. Emma is so excited about school and I LOVE sewing for my girl!

My kids attend a Christian school and they have uniforms. That didn't seem like a big deal to me last year when my son started Kindergarten...but not being able to dress my little girl in pink ruffly dresses was harder for me than I expected. So I've had to be creative and come up with fun ways to add a little punch of pink wherever possible.

Here's an example - and an easy tutorial on how to add a cute pocket to any book or library bag. Emma's school gave her a backpack to use. It's dark green and nothing about it is girly. So I took some amazing echino fabric and made a personalized pocket for my girl.
Here's how to do it:

Materials: You will need fabric, double fold bias tape, and fusible felt.

First decide on the size and shape of your pocket. Since the fabric I was using had round dots on it, I thought a rounded pocket would be best and I wanted it to take up quite a bit of space on the bag.

Once you have your fabric cut out (leaving a bit of extra room around the edges for sewing), stitch 1/4 inch from the edge all the way around (except for the top) with a basting stitch. The basting stitches will act as a guide for you as you go to the next step.
Take your fabric to the ironing board and iron the edges in from the basting stitch toward the wrong side. You might have to fuss with the rounded edges a bit to get them to sit flat, but the basting stitch you made can be pulled slightly in the rounded areas to keep it looking nice.
Now you need to prepare your applique (if you are using one).  I traced out the letters I needed on a piece of paper and then cut them out to make sure they were the right size for my pocket. If you want to be more precise you can print out your letters in your favorite font, but the hand drawn look was fine for me.
Once your letters are the right size and you are happy with them, cut out your felt. I used a fusible felt so I wouldn't have to stitch around the letters. I cut my pieces out from the glue side which is why my letter is backwards. If you cut from the right side of your fabric then you can leave your template facing the correct way.
Fuse your letters to the pocket following the manufacturers directions. If you're not using fusible felt, you can stitch around your letters.

Then I used a piece of double folded bias tape to cover the top of the pocket. Simply fold in one end of the bias tape.
Then fold the other side of the bias tape down, enclosing the raw edge of the top of the pocket.
Now sew across the bias tape edge. When you get near the other end, repeat the tuck and fold you did above.
Finally, sew the pocket to your bag by sewing close to the edges all the way around the pocket. This can get a little tricky if your pocket is big and the bag is narrow at the bottom. I had a little bit of a hard time getting it all onto my sewing machine. But if you go slow and pin the pocket down well it should work.

Emma loves having a pocket for the little treasures she gets at school. If you add a pocket like this to a bag, I'd love to see it!

And check back later this week when I talk about the paint shirt I made for my girl using this same echino fabric. I'm in love with it!


  1. I love this!! When are you too old to carry a bag with your name on it? Just checking...

  2. How to add a attractive concise to any book or library bags & cases. Emma's school provided her a rucksack to use. It's dim green and nonentity about it is girly. So I took some astonishing echini cloth and complete a modified concise for my girl.


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