When my daughter was born, and because of my infamously spotty memory, I decided I could not handle a handbag, a diaper bag and kid every time we went out. Something would eventually be forgot somewhere, and I was hoping it wasn’t my kid.
What I did was buy myself a large tote and carry my daughter’s things in a separate zippered pouch, that way I could switch from going “solo” to “going mommy” by just grabbing the pouch with her things and put them in my tote. It was a great solution.
Now my sister has a kid, and she also has as bad a memory as I do. Instead of giving my sister another onesie, or whatever else she already got a million of, I made her the bag I wished for when I had my baby.
My sister chose the fabric (Premier Prints Trellis French Blue/Kelso Brown, an upholstery-grade cotton fabric). I originally wanted to use it for some pillows, but seriously, doesn’t this look better as a bag? It looks happy, but serious enough to be taken to work. It was lined with some happy, but not too babyish fabric. The fabrics for the lining and the pouch are also half yards.
I embroidered her initials on the front. I hope that helps her remember her name, goodness knows I sometimes forgot my own between sleep deprivation and exhaustion.
The tote closes with a zipper. The straps are cotton webbing held by metal rivets.
I also made her a matching keyfob with her name embroidered on it (it’s that thing hanging on the right side of the bag).
This is the fabric inside, the photo didn’t come out very well, but there are two large internal pockets that close with velcro. On the left side You can see a matching ribbon ending in a crab claw, it keeps the keys accessible at all times (no more juggling a baby trying to find the keys somewhere in the handbag).
The “invisible” front pocket (the pattern in the pocket matches the fabric above, see the first picture) closes with a magnetic clasp. The stripes fabric has the same colors as the other fabric used in the lining. I used fusible fleece as interfacing.
I also made a pouch. It is fairly large and can hold a few diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes (my sis breastfeeds, so no bottles to lug around). I also put some plastic zippy bags inside, to carry dirty diapers when there’s absolutely no way to dispose of them. Another trick I learned along the way. Inside there’s also a flannel sheet, so baby is happy and warm everywhere.
My sis is a leftie, so I designed the tote around that, putting the front of the zipper the opposite way than most handbags.
I wish I had made something like this for myself when my daughter was born. At least my little sister will take advantage of my hard-earned wisdom. 🙂