The Husker Diaper Bag + Updates

Mitch and Brittani called yesterday to let me know they got their diaper bag and I am so thrilled that they love it!

This was my first diaper bag and one of the most extensive patterns I have ever read or used. Who knew when I bought the pattern that it would be 18 pages long?!? This is the pattern that I used

I would NOT recommend this pattern to a beginner sewer. I have no idea why it recommends this bag to beginners. I’d say intermediate to advanced because some of the instructions even confused my mom. She did learn a new way to do a zipper pocket that she will be using on her own bags in the future, though. This is a complicated pattern. Make sure you are familiar with sewing terms, zippers, bag hardware and elastic before attempting this bag. Also buy some heavy-duty needles. You will be (by the end of the bag) sewing through a LOT of layers. I broke four needles on this bag. Oops. I found the pattern here.

I was not a fan of the bottle part since different people prefer different baby bottles and they definitely weren’t one size-fits-all, so I did not bother making them. On another note, I used elastic much shorter than recommended by the pattern because on the first pocket I followed the instructions and did not like how “loose” it was. I prefer tight elastic pockets that hold things in well. Another thing I changed was adding batting to the zipper pockets. They felt too flimsy with just a layer of fabric as the entire pocket. The first one I sewed as instructed and the other three I added batting to. This was my first time making an adjustable strap – it was easier than I thought. The instructions for that were great.

On to the bag! I chose Husker fabric because the Laski’s are casual Husker fans. And by casual, I mean the complete opposite. I also wanted a gender-neutral bag. Diaper bags are for parents, not babies. My diaper bag is yellow and flowery. TJ’s diaper bag is solid black. I wanted a bag they would both like carrying around!

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This is the changing pad I made, I lined the back with PUL.

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Assembled with plenty of space and pockets!

I loved making this bag and once I have time plan on making it again in the future. However, I am NOT taking requests for ANYTHING right now. I cannot dedicate the time or make any guarantees. Plus, take a number….I have SO many projects already on my list!

In other news….

I’m currently working on getting a certificate in web design and also learning to sew clothes. I want to make Theodore cute baby clothes and things so I’ve been learning to read patterns. I also would like to make more of my own clothes so I’ve built a little stash of patterns and fabric even though I haven’t had the time to finish any projects (nor the space since the sewing room has been taken over.) My mom is currently using it, but the few times I have used it I have felt spoiled. I am going to be very sad when she takes her amazing sewing machine back with her.

My current goal is first to finish my certificate in a timely fashion. It is a six-month program but I can complete it at my own pace two courses at a time. I am using the MyCAA program and going through Sessions for it. After that, I already have a few websites I plan on designing to build up a basic portfolio. A business page for myself for sewing, a business page for my mom for her sewing, possibly business pages for my sisters if they are interested (one for her sewing and jewelry, the other for her papercrafts), and a genealogy site for my family where I would post neat stories on our ancestors and relatives that I have found through my research (one of my biggest hobbies-I am addicted). I also plan on using the certificate to make items like banners, logos etc for websites.

My second goal is then to begin building an inventory and “portfolio” for sewing.

Combining the two will hopefully give me a reasonable income and a more portable job, though I do not see it turning into a career nor a bread-winning job. Web design can make good money, but that is after a lot of time. I also have not given up on my passion of conservation and environmental education. It just is not in the cards as a career at the moment.

On a side note, in a sewing business this diaper bag would definitely be one of the pricier items. I did not mind making one at all for the Laski’s, they are great friends and I honestly have no idea how long I have known them. I have known Brittani since elementary school and Mitch since at least middle school. When it comes to sewing, I would price everything up at least 30% what it cost me in supplies. 50%-100% if it was very time-consuming and took away from other projects. I would not sell this particular bag for less than $100-$150 in a business setting.

The reason I am telling you the price is not because I want you to buy a bag from me, but to provide an explanation as to why you should never complain to a artist about their prices. It devalues their work and time. It is unrealistic to pay less. Yes, artists enjoy crafting but they do not enjoy it so much they can afford to do it for free. You are paying for a unique handmade item. You are paying for a person’s skills and time. Artists and craftspeople almost always charge less than minimum wage for their time. Before you say something like “I can buy this in a store for less,” keep in mind you actually cannot, and if you think that these items are equivalent to what you find at Walmart then go to Walmart, you clearly do not want something personal or homemade. I hear it at craft fairs all the time to other artists and it is offensive. I have not sold in one myself, but I know it is insulting and you are doing nothing but devaluing.  My sister Renee deals with this a LOT with her jewelry and it gets very frustrating, that is why I am posting this note on this blog. If you want something unique and of high quality, keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

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