Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book Bags? Take elevator to 1st Floor and look for Bag'n Baggage Department

Youngest son returns to college on Friday -- to work as a sandwich artist at Subway; to a new set of 2nd semester classes; and to his girlfriend -- not necessarily listed in order of his priorities!  They decided to exchange some small gifts for Christmas upon their return to college and I'm in charge of making one of them.  Thought I would share Wednesday's project with you as well.   Did you get that:  Wednesday's project -- leaving on Friday --- just another glimpse into my character there for you all!

Not sure when I found this website -- Sutton Grace -- but discovered one of her many fun projects was this tote bag.   Thought this tutorial would make a great book bag.  What girl doesn't want to look fabulous carrying her college books around?  

As a side note here I wanted to introduce you to another one of 33rd and Broadway's personnel.   Let's give her the title of Fashion Consultant!   Daughter was born with my sister Kelly's eye for color -- not sure how that all happened but it did!   Am fortunate to have her expertise and help with projects!   Fabric choices for this bag were totally her doing.   

Without downloading the entire tutorial here for you, let me talk you through some of the steps as I made the book bag.   We started out by obviously raiding my fabric stash.   Daughter Fashion Consultant  came up with three choices instead of two.   We made the front pocket a different fabric than the main bag itself.    

The second change that I made was in the handles themselves.  I didn't have any cotton webbing so decided to make my own using the same fabric we had picked out for the front pocket.  I like the looks of it but wished I'd made them a little bit wider.   I will make note of that on the tutorial for the next time.  Think I would make them 2 inches wide.  Should I purchase some cotton webbing would try and get it at least 1 1/2 inches wide.  

Another mistake I made was in placing my monogrammed letter to low on the front pocket.  I should have measured better and the placement would be much more pleasing to the eye.  Hind sight for sure!

The tutorial was amazing -- so easy to follow and very detailed.   I loved how she instructed me to sew the strap to the trim at the top of the bag last.  It looks very neat and tidy that way.  

Here's a picture of the finished project!   

When I say "finished project" here please know that I am aware of the fact that I've have not yet sewn the lining opening shut!   That will be done before this beauty gets on the plane bound for Knoxville!  

I just can't say enough about the tutorial over at Sutton Grace.   I already have three more book bags in the planning stages -- two for grand kids and one out of a brown and tan checked wool.   Just love how easily this tote went together and that encourages me to come back to the pattern time and time again!  

Apart from the great fabric choices made, I wanted to share one more good suggestion that came from my sister Kelly over at Restitch Me.   I didn't have interfacing that I thought would give good stability to the suede fabric for the outside of the tote.   She had me dig into my stash for some denim fabric and use that in between layers instead of going out to purchase more interfacing!   Awesome tip!  I was able to use something I already had -- didn't matter what it looked like as it was sandwiched in between outside of the bag and the lining itself!   

That's it for today!   Be sure to leave your comments and tell me what you think!  

Have three cosmetic bags to make before the plane takes off and then I'll be on to something else.   Hope you will take the time to run over to both blogs Sutton Grace and Restitch Me.  It will be well worth your time!  


  1. Love the bag! I bet Brooke will too! Sutton Grace is a new blog for me--thanks for the link.

  2. I really liked the book bag. I am sure mine is in the mail? This is how I get things from Kelly, so thought I would try with you! lol I just really love the blog!