Friday, January 14, 2011

Homemade Library Book Bag

When my oldest son started going to school a few years ago, I was surprised when one of the items on his supply list was a library bag.  I went to the store and decided I could make it cheaper myself, it was just a rectangle after all.  I liked the idea of the specific library book bag so much, last year, I made them for each of my nieces and nephews and put a book inside of them for Christmas.

A few months ago, my youngest son's bag had a cat-a-nine tail in it, unbeknownst to me.  Well about a week later, it was full of spores and there was no way to clean it out.  Finally, 2 days ago I got around to making his new one, which I got even better fabric for-so he LOVES it even more.

Here, in Japan, prequilted fabric is very popular.  I swear it can be half the selection in some of the fabric stores.  They mostly use it to make bags, they LOVE bags here.  I make the bags out of the prequilted fabric and I can have them done in less than 45 minutes.

I cut the fabric into two 14"x16.5" pieces.  For this bag, I decided to put a small pocket on the front (perfect for holding a library card).  I cut a small rectangle, folded the top down, sewed it in place, then folded the remaining edges back, pinned it to the front of the bag and sewed down the sides and across the bottom to attach it.  (you can barely see it, it's the ambulance in the center):

After attaching the pocket, I put the two pieces of fabric facing each other and sewed down the sides and across the bottom, using a 1/2" seam allowance:

Then, I had bought some strapping (mine has a design on it- couldn't resist this one), I cut two pieces 16.5" long each.  I folded the top unsewn edge of the bag down about 1", then I inserted the straps into this fold (with design side up), each strap was 3.5" from the side seam.  

I pinned them into place and sewed around the edge about 1/4" from the edge of the folded down top to tack the straps into place:

Then, I flipped the straps up and sewed one more straight line around the upper edge about 1/4" again from the upper edge to hold them into place so they'd be sticking up:

Turn bag right side out- you are done!

Look at this, your child can go around the library and put the books they choose in the bag, and check out all by themselves.  You can keep them in the bag at home so you know whose are whose and which ones need to go back to the library!  We can't wait to go the library every week when we move.

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