Monday, April 7, 2014

The Abby Tote aka The New Ballet Bag

Given that LM is on her 4th year of dance and we just lived through the winter to end all winters, I decided it was time to make a new dance bag.

Remember this little gal?

Dual Purpose Lunch Bag/Dance Bag

After 3.5 years of weekly use by a kid, the bag still looks pretty good but it's just too small.  If you have been reading the blog back that long (WHOA!) you might recall that this pattern was actually designed to function as a lunch bag.  At the time I had no idea LM would take dance for this many years, so it seemed more practical to make it dual purpose.  After all this time it has not been used for lunch once, but has faithfully housed a leotard, tights, sweat pants, a sweater, a water bottle, and ballet slippers for those weekly lessons.  (Yeah - - it was JAMMED.)  I'm not sure what function it's going to serve now (she already has a pretty kickin' lunch bag), but it's still hanging out in the girls' room.  Kiwi will probably adopt it to carry her dolls around in at some point.  :)

Anyway, I had been itching to make her a new bag all year.  The biggest challenge (as always) was picking a pattern.  I had come across The Abby Tote by V and Co. a long time ago and it was the right mix of form and function for this project.  LM is about to turn 7 and the bow was just too sweet to pass up.
Abby Tote Full

As it is her bag and all, I let her pick the fabrics.  She decided on 2 coordinating prints from Theodore and Izzy (Mountain Meadow Gray and Ditsy Floral Turquoise).
Abby Tote Side
These shots are kind of crummy . . . Michigan is still really trying hard to have decent weather so I have to deal with diffused bad lighting indoors.  (The turquoise of that bow is somewhere between the two pictures.)  Maybe I'll retake some shots when it gets nice and sunny out.  If I remember. 

(Spoiler alert: I will NOT remember.)

This pattern is a nice and easy sew.  It is a BIG bag when it's made (like I auditioned it on myself before I sewed it up, and it felt big on me), and I quickly realized that it was going to be overwhelming on her elementary school shoulder.  Because of this I chopped an inch off each side and took 8 inches out of the middle (yes EIGHT!) before I sewed it up.  The pattern calls for one long piece to be used as the body, but I had already done a join in the middle because my fabric (though it might not appear so from these photos) is actually directional.  If you try this pattern do yourself a favor and get a non-directional print, or keep it in mind when you're cutting your pieces so you don't cut a big ole chunk of oops like I did at first.

To give you some perspective on how this effected the size of the bag, it's still very roomy (holds everything she needs with plenty of room for more if she needs the space down the line).  In hindsight I could have shortened the bow a bit, but I didn't really feel like it was necessary.  Plus, I took a long time to tie that bow on and honestly I did not feel like bothering with it! 

This is also why there is no picture of the reverse of the bag (yes - - this pattern makes an adorable REVERSIBLE bag). 

Anyone else sewing up some fun lately?  I'd love to see what you've been up to!

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