03 August, 2014

Volkswagon Van Bag

My niece, Livy, has been an avid Slug Bug fan most of her life.
Going anywhere with her in the car meant a sore shoulder. She always managed to see the most VW's. I think the camper vans were worth three slugs...

Trying to connect with a busy teenager has been difficult this summer. I wanted to plan a sewing date and sew a messenger bag with her for the next school year.
Realizing the futility of that idea, I gestated this one to fruition.

I saw some internet sites: Tula Pink's and Handmade Harbour's that stuck in my head.
I  picked out some fabrics and started this a couple of weeks ago.

Can't recall where I saw a back view, but I had to have one.
The window is a cell phone pocket.

I just bought this Riley Blake Fabric in July: Rocket Age.

I paired the Rocket Blast Blue with some textured white from my stash.
I liked the floral bumper on Handmade Harbour's version so I cut into some Liberty fabric for that.

Along with some great buttons - also from stash.

The Niece can reach  'Orbital Velocity'  with this messenger bag.

For my lining, I was going to go with a cotton ticking stripe with Olivia (the pig) bindings.
{{Niece's name is Olivia}}.

This was a Sew As You Go pattern making.

This afternoon, I sewed  for five hours
straight to finish up this bag and the lining became 'Rocket Blast Blue' with an inset zipper pocket and a double pocket on the other side.

In fact, this whole bag is reversible.

The entire bag was stitched with black thread except for the sides and bottoms which were serged in white - once I figured out what size the finished bag would be.

snicker...the bag could use some ironing

This cross-body webbing strap with hardware was pirated from an old purse of my mom's.
I simply cut a 2" width of fabric width-wise and folded it to 1" and sewed it down on the black strap.
Voila!  custom strap (at zero cost).

I didn't use FMQ but I did stitch those letters on the license plate!

I did most of the stitching with a narrow zigzag on top of fused fabric pieces. I used my small scissors to trim close to stitching. I tried using some Solvy water-soluble stabilizer but I couldn't get the hang of it. When I tore it away from my stitching, it came out from between my stitching too. It was only useful on the front of the van - I drew on the  see-thru Solvy and followed that stitching line on the blue part of the van frontside - especially that deep curve.

The WonderUnder worked fine to adhere my small pieces and also provided some structure to this bag.

I also learned using my pink chalk pencil (sewline) was probably not a great idea on white. Doing so much ironing, the Frixion pen was doing a disappearing act when I wasn't paying attention.

The one thing I forgot in my Sew As You Go was a magnetic snap for closure. I'm not sure if I want to rip out some stitching at the top to insert the magnetic snap or sew on a giant snap (have one in stash) or leave it alone, it's fabulous.

Her birthday isn't for a couple of weeks but I am hoping we can meet up next Tuesday when the Clackamas County Fair starts up. The theme this year is "We're Serving Up Fun".

I entered five of my items this weekend for judging. Hopefully I'll win some ribbons which may pay for a yard or two of fabric - lol.


  1. Ohhhh... if you ever make VW bus bags for sale.. let me know! That is simply FABULOUS! Your niece is one lucky girl. I just showed it to my DIL who drives a VW bus. Have fun at the CCF - we always miss it because we're always at Waldo Lake when it's on.

    Thanks again for the bells.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. That's a lovely bag, I'm sure she will love it a lot.

  3. Oh Kathy that is awesome, im sure she will love it! Who wouldn't! the bumper pocket is really clever and i love that you have used Rocket and Olivia fabrics. Im adding it to pinterest, hope that's ok x

    1. I like the cell phone pocket too.
      I dreamed about it - how to make it work.

  4. What a gorgeous bag. Your niece is one lucky girl.
    Ali xx

  5. Glad I visited. Cute bag, Kathy. She must just love it!

  6. What a beautiful bag!I love the awesome application! Thanks for sharing.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  7. Gorgeous bag, Thank you for sharing this great tutorial.

  8. That is SO ADORABLE! Such a cute, cute cute bag!

  9. You did a GREAT job and I know she'll love it. I might get brave later and try one as my hubby and our boys used to do a lot of camping in our van and I have many good memories.


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