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Back To School Prep

Five years ago when my oldest daughter started Kindergarten, I made her a backpack for school.  (Sorry, no picture ... it was salvaged for parts a few years ago.)  It was the prettiest backpack ever.  I vowed to myself that my girls were going to have brand new handmade backpacks every September for the rest of their lives. ;) 

So far, I've kept that promise.  But I'm about to break it.

I had a weird moment of weakness this summer when we were shopping for school clothes and I saw this ...

I thought it was perfect for my little one! 

I dunno.  Something about the pink & happy polka dots.  And the navy.  I couldn't even believe the words coming out of my mouth as I asked her if she'd like it for school.  She said yes.  I wasn't sure how I felt about that.

So right now I'm sorta sad that I broke my informal promise to make two new backpacks every year (until they flat out refuse to take ANYTHING homemade to school because "that is SO NOT COOL ... no one ELSE does, MOM!")  (Ouch! Stick a knife in my heart already!)  But I'm also sorta relieved that I only have to make one this year.

So.  My Grade 5er decided she needs something more sophisticated this year ... because she's not a little kid anymore - she's TEN.  So she's requested a messenger bag. 

Ok.  I can do that.

I also gave her freedom to pick anything (well, ALMOST anything) from my stash.  She went straight for these ...

The grays from Bonnie & Camille's new "Ruby" line.  She thinks this is a very grown up color.  I agree.

(I know!  She isn't a pink girl like her mom.  I'm slowly coming to terms with that ... although sometimes I wonder if she was accidentally switched in the hospital.)

I don't have any yardage - just these FQs.  So it will look sorta patchy.  But not TOO patchy (so I've been directed).

She also wants just a little bit of decoration on the flap.  We're thinking about either applique or embroidery in red.  Perhaps a monogram.  Or a heart.  Or flowers.  Or a combination.  Or something else we haven't thought of yet.  I'm workin' without a net here ... or a pattern. 

I've actually never made a messenger bag before.  This is my rough sketch which has been approved by my client.

I can hardly wait to get sewing.  I hope it turns out!  I'll show it to you when it's done ... if it looks good.  If not, then I'll lie and tell you the dog ate it. 

'Cept we don't have a dog ...

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Reader Comments (20)

Pink with white polka dots and navy is so adorable! But I must confess- all I could think when I recognized some "Ruby" beautifulness was, "Her daughter's a genius." :) (Yep, you're the Queen of Tease alright! More Ruby! My stash money fund will be at zero come October!) Your daughter will have the best bag in the school. Can't wait to see it finished!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterA Little Blue Dragonfly

It's going to be beautiful! If your daughter isn't into pink, at least she likes red!!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Well the girl has got taste and good for her for not giving into to her 'pink fiend' mother!!! ;)
Vivienne x

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergreenrabbitdesigns

Your girl definitly has style! Love the greys from ruby and I also have to wait for a few yardage for my charm pack:-( I would go for a letter too and how about the smallest flower from 'Sugar Rush'? Can't wait to see the bag!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHildy

What beautiful fabric! That grey and red combo is going to make a gorgeous bag. I'm also in awe of you making this without a pattern. I'd "cheat" and find a pattern, coz I'm just not skillful enough to make my own. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Oh, and if she wants something a little different again next year, tell her I've got some black and purple skull fabric that would make an awesome bag :)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNic

Very nice colors...and I the pink backpack is super cute...probably would have bought anyways cuz it is that cute! There must be some brain wave connections going on...I have been drafting my messenger bag/laptop bag pattern for the last few days...I may be traveling soon for work and my big bulky work issued pleather bag is too ugly! Have you figured the dimensions yet? Better yet, I will send you my fabric and you can whip up one for me too! Have a good one!
Lisa in Texas

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa LeBlanc

I love the polka dot bag, but I also love the fabrics for the messenger bag. Have fun making it!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfrayedattheedge

Awesome colors!! Very sophisticated for 10! Now THAT proves she wasn't switched in the hospital or implanted in the womb by aliens (we're x-files fans). ;0

A messenger bag is so cool. (I say that because my best girlfriend just made me one and I love it!) Don't tell the 10 yr old that an old lady carries one. It might scare her off.

Well, get crackin'! I can't wait to see it. When does school start? Monday??!!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterina

It's official....I'm jealous of a 5th grader......

Awesome taste all around - can't fake that. :-)

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

I love it so far! Can't wait to see it for real!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBabychaser

Here's a free pattern for a messenger bag if you're interested -


I made a laptop bag from Quilts and More magazine a couple of years ago and I went searching online for it but couldn't find which issue it was in and I haven't a clue where my magazine with the pattern in it is LOL. I did find this one though at the website so thought I would pass it along to you.

Love the polka dots!
Nancy A.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy A.

Wow, I can barely get my kids out the door on the first day, let alone make new backpacks for them! Good for you, I can't wait to see the new messenger bag!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Both of your girls will have such pretty schoolbags this year. Looking forward to seeing the finished messenger bag.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlynda

I think the pink and white polka dot is so nice, simple and sophisticated. The grays too are lovely. Make her proud Mom. And don't worry, the backpacks are becoming more designer made for a lot less work.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Blinkenberg

I'm sure your client will be very pleased! Love the fabrics she picked out. Don't feel bad about the store bought backpack, it *really* is cute!

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

You are so brave! It's going to be perfect, I'm sure. Our last name is Ruby, so can't wait for this fabric to arrive at my LQS -- she's going to call me the minute it arrives. I have big plans for it.

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

I love the colors your daughter picked: very grown-up indeed! And the design looks very nice. Good luck!

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarja

Are we there yet?? I guess I'm asking for pictures...are you done yet???!! ;0

Miss K is working without a net and yet we all know the end result will be awesome!

You can do it, you can do it! Cinderella, you can do it! ;0

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterina

Ooooh, you're in for a good time -- the girl has style. And great fabric taste! And, if she doesn't like it, just remember, I always have a home for anything with an A on it LOL!

August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThimbleanna

Mama K ... show me already ... where is it - I KNOW you have already finished it - I want to see it!
And BTW ... the polkadotted one ... I can TOTALLY see you littler one with that one - it is SO her :)
Lots and pots of love from over here! xxx

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermissymote

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