This beauty. A labor of love, and I don’t say it lightly! I’ve never been more proud of a sew, and am so glad I tried my hand at the Teddy Backpack, from RLR Creations. I had heard that this pattern was a beast. The interwebs did NOT lie… this pattern was a process!! I will point out right from the get go though, that the instructions are truly phenomenal, and even for a beginner bag sewer like myself, this bag isn’t something I would consider difficult. It is, however, quite time consuming! I will promise though, it is absolutely worth the construction time, as the finished product is truly beautiful.
I had a remnant of this Garden of Utopia fabric from The Styled Magnolia, a piece I’d snagged during a clearance sale they were holding. TSM has my favorite prints in the entire world – the detail and the color and texture are unmatched. I had juuuuuuust enough for this bag, with a couple rectangular scraps that I might someday try and finagle into a wallet to match. The teal faux leather is something I’d picked up in the remnant bin at Joanns, and just so happened to match perfectly.
To top it off, the rose gold hardware is from So You Need Hardware, and it really was the icing on the cake. I was so happy to find that they carry a kit for this specific pattern, which took a lot of guesswork out for me, not being super familiar with bag hardware. After cross referencing, I did end up ordering a bit of extra zipper tape, and the “handcrafted” tag to really top it off. Heres a picture to show the kit, though I picked white zipper tape and different pulls/rings.
Had I know how much of a feat this bag would be to conquer, I would have taken more photos of the process. But I snagged a few, so here is a bit of a sneak peek into the making of this, my dream diaper bag! There are SO MANY pieces haha but I promise it is worth it. This photo shows the stack of cut fabrics and interfacings. I HIGHLY recommend keeping the pattern piece tags clipped to each piece (the pattern includes small square labels and it are invaluable for keeping everything organized. I say this because I ended up putting the half-finished bag in the work-in-progress pile over Christmas, and when I came back to it, it took a bit of time to figure out what pieces I had left, as I’d let some of those handy dandy tags get lost along the way. Don’t make my mistake!!
I’d posted in the TSM facebook group for opinions on where to put the “handcrafted” tag about halfway through construction. Though the majority response was style #1, I decided it would be too difficult to sew the teal rectangle on (with the pocket already being assembled and sewn to the bag front) and I didn’t want to risk it being crooked. I was a complete perfectionist with this bag, I really took my time with zipper installation and everything, so I couldn’t fathom having the front tag be crooked. I ended up going with style 2, as 3 just wasn’t visible enough.
For my pocket choices (as you can choose slip pockets or elastic for the interior pockets and exterior side pockets, a nice inclusion in the pattern), I chose mostly elastic. This added to the construction time, but I knew that using this bag every single day, that was something I’d find really valuable. Prior to this, I’d been using a Jujube BFF and it has a lot of elastic pockets, which is SO handy for fitting different size bottles, toys, etc. so I already knew that was something I’d love. I used elastic for both side pockets, the organizer pockets inside the front zipper pocket, and 4 pockets on the interior back side. The only slip pocket I used was the inside front pocket, because I ran out of lining fabric and I also wanted a bit more space through the middle of the bag. I’m thrilled with how much I can fit in here while it all stays organized!!
I am over the moon about this bag, and have never been more proud of a sew in my life!! I am so happy to have stuck through it, and am eternally grateful for the very clear and concise instructions that helped throughout the process.
I hope this inspired you to try a pattern that you find intimidating, as you may just end up loving it more than you can even imagine!! Thanks for hanging out with me today, and happy sewing my friends!