Messenger Bag for Kids

This guy wanted a “cool guy” bag so I decided to modify my Messenger Bag pattern to fit him…voila! The Messenger Bag for kids!

Messenger BAg for kids - modified pattern from a happy stitch

Messenger BAg for kids - modified pattern from a happy stitch

The changes I wanted to make were to basically shrink it–a little less tall and less wide. The quick and dirty version of how I accomplished this: I modified the Bag Body by 1. folding the pattern piece up 1/2″ at the fold line.  This decreases the whole width of the bag by 1″ because it decreases both sides by 1/2″, the folded area is the new fold line. 2. I then cut the pattern in half vertically and 3. Overlapped the two cut pattern pieces by 1/2″.  Again, this decreases the overall height of the bag by 1″ total.  4. The bag sides and base pattern piece is modified by folding up 1″ at the fold line. The pattern includes “scaled-down” pattern pieces whose sole purpose is for cutting interfacing to give the bag structure. All of the previous steps were repeated on the associated ‘scaled-down’ pattern pieces.  Now my new pattern pieces were all ready (remember, the folded-over fold lines work the same way…line them up on the fold of the fabric when you cut!)

How to Modify a messenger bag pattern

I also wanted to have the strap attach on the outside of the bag, just because it’s a cute look. I measured the length according to the size of sweet J here and added an extra 4″ so I could attach the straps to the outside.

Messenger BAg for kids - modified pattern from a happy stitch

So cute…right? Right.

It turned out pretty rad and this guy feels like a rocker with it.  What he doesn’t know is that I kept it just a little sweet and innocent with the hearts on these VW vans.

This, for the record, is his rock and roll face.  :) It looks identical to his wild child face. Imagine that.

Messenger BAg for kids - modified pattern from a happy stitch

Are you sewing for Kid’s Clothes Week in February? Did you know the theme is up-cycling? This bag would be perfect to make with some old jeans or cords!  Just saying.  You could have a rocker, too!

Silver & Gold, Charley Harper Christmas Stockings

In the swooping rush of the holiday season and the unwinding that followed, I never got around to blogging about these Christmas stockings.  My apologies for still talking about Christmas stuff but I had so much fun making these; our silver and gold, charley harper stockings.

Silver & Gold Charley Harper Christmas Stockings by a happy stitch

I knew that I wanted to make new stockings as soon as I opened up our box of Christmas and almost gagged looking at all of the bright red and green.  Our old stockings were made a long time ago and I was just sick of them (and all of our “overly Christmas-y” decorations, to be honest).   I fell in love with Nurture; the new Charley Harper line of fabric while shopping at my favorite fabric shop and nabbed four prints along with silver and gold Cotton + Steel basics.  As you can see, we don’t have a fireplace, so I put small hooks into the underside of our side table and placed wooden animals on top of the table to hide the hooks. (more…)

2015 The Year of Creative Adventuring

Some years I feel I am leaping into what is next; ready and excited.  2015 started differently, with quiet thinking and slow germination.  I’ve been gnawing on what I want to strive for in 2015. So many of my favorite bloggers seem to be contemplating simplicity and so much of what they are saying resonates with me.  And yet, simplicity isn’t quite what I’m itching for.  I keep coming back to two experiences.  The first is something I’ve blogged about, the book Mighty Ugly –creativity coming from a place of awareness and instinct.  The other is a talk by the amazing Alexia Abegg .  What she discussed really stuck with me.  I keep her words tacked up on my wall:

  1. Practice trusting your instincts
  2. Practice creativity at the gut level
  3. Do not over-inflate the importance of perfection
  4. Have the discipline to DO rather than DESIRE

The last two, evil perfection and lack of discipline…those are always important.  But the first two bowled me over.  It hadn’t occurred to me that we can practice these things.  I don’t have to have the whole instincts/gut level stuff all figured out!?  I get to practice it.  I practice by doing!  I practice by sharing the doing!  Well hot dog! That right there is life-changing, right?

All of this rattling around my brain got me to the idea of creative adventuring.  What do I want more than anything? I want to enjoy making and explore it like an adventure.  And, I want to communicate and share all of the adventure and joy.  Not the perfect tutorial kind of sharing; the genuine experience, even if that means a messy, wonky, off-kilter kind of sharing.

It’s the year of creative adventuring, y’all!

This year I will be asking myself these central guiding questions before I embark on a project: Is this true to myself?  Is this a creative adventure that will further infuse my life with joy and greater beauty?  How will I bring creative adventuring to this project in a way that reflects my style?

2015 the year of creative adventuring


Looking Back on 2014

It is creeping near the end of the first full week of January already because that is how it works.  Life just keep swirling on, no matter the date or how much of your to-do list is complete.  As late as it is, I wanted to make sure to jot down a few thoughts on 2014 because looking back always anchors me a little bit.  It stops time for moments just long enough to check that, indeed, the ship is on course.

handmade by a happy stitch 2014

At the beginning of this year, I tasked myself with finding courage.  It was, indeed, my ‘word’ for the year. It was a really busy one for this venture of mine.  It’s safe to say, there was a good dose of courage involved in how wide the wings spread.  More than anything, this year was expansive. (more…)

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