Monday, July 30, 2012

Teacher Bag

If you've been following me for a while, you may remember a bag I made 2 years ago. It was lined up to be my new teacher bag.  I like it, but it just doesn't quite fit all of my crapola that I lug back and forth.  So, as embarrassing as it is, I went back to using a free tote that I had gotten from the Farm Bureau.  I have been on the look out for a boxed bottom, deep, over-the-shoulder bag that had lots of pockets. I don't think that's too much to ask for, but it seems that I was too picky.  While browsing Pinterest, (what else?) I found this bag that became my "pinspiration".  This purse was too small, but I loved the extra pockets created by sewing the straps through the two layers.  So, the hubs came with me to JoAnn and we found the perfect fabrics.  He was a great sounding board for my fabric hunt, and he even had some helpful suggestions! :)

I found the main fabric first, and then based everything else from it.  It has all of my favorite colors in it: purple, mustard yellow, and gray. I chose a purple for the straps, but the best match I could find was in fat quarters.  I did have to piece together 4 inch strips, but it is not that noticeable. I liked how the small pattern for the yellow and gray layer matched with the large print.  You can't see it from this angle, but I chose a lining that was from the same designer as the main fabric.

The two layers create a pocket, and the straps split the large pocket into three sections.  This above picture shows that.  These tall pockets will be perfect for my water bottle, and travel coffee cup.  Since the pockets are so deep, I didn't want to do that on the other side.
So instead, I didn't split the large pocket into three, but left it as one big section.  This will be my iPad pocket.  I also have a folder that just stays in my bag at all times. It's meant to shuttle non-grading papers back and forth.  I think my owl folder will live in this skinny pocket, too. 
Here is the lining.  The original pattern does not call for a different lining fabric.  I improvised because I couldn't leave this perfect match at the store! I also added my own little pocket to the pattern.  Since the outside ones are so deep, I wanted a smaller, shallower pocket for pens, phone, chapstick, etc.

I am excited to use it! It's all cotton and interfacing, so it's washable.  That's important, because I am that teacher that spills coffee in my bag and on my students' papers.  I've got to have something to throw in the wash when I make a mess. And, since it's so deep, I will be able to rest my lunchbox on top of all the folders, laptop, and things.
My quality control employees gave it a thorough investigation, and it passed the inspection.

What bag do you use for your school things? What do you take home everyday?


  1. Beautiful, Kelly! That looks like the perfect teaching bag :)

  2. Yep, much prettier than a 'Burro bag! Please tell me if you ever start taking lessons. I'd love to really learn...I even have a sewing machine!

  3. I love that bag! It really is beautiful!

  4. It's perfect! Almost like the padded bag, but better for this use. Great fabric combinations, as usual. :) It may be a good project for our next sewing day!