Friday, 6 December 2013

Remembrance Book Bag Tutorial

This article appeared in a recent edition of the Sands Auckland Central 'Expressions' magazine. 

We received remembrance art from Melody Art & Designs and I wanted to do something other than just have it on our wall.  This is one of the things I have done with it – a very simple remembrance book bag.  My finished bag measures approximately 28cm wide x 34cm long.

You will need:
  • ½ metre outer fabric (white or light-coloured, 100% cotton -I used bleached calico)
  • ½ metre lining fabric (I used different fabrics for lining and straps, but can just use the same fabric for both)
  • Electronic remembrance art image
  • Iron-on T-shirt transfer paper (I used Avery T-Shirt Transfer Paper from Warehouse Stationery)
  • Sewing machine
  • Basic sewing supplies (needle, matching thread, scissors, etc). 
What to do:
1.  Print the remembrance art onto the T-Shirt Transfer paper, remembering to print as a mirror image.  Set aside to dry.

2.  Cut the following from both your outer fabric and lining fabric:
·         One 70cm x 30cm piece (for the bag)
·         Two 70cm x 5cm piece (for the straps)

3.  Fold outer bag piece in half right-sides-together, pin and sew along the sides using a 1cm seam allowance.  Repeat for lining bag piece.  Press seams open.

4.  Form a 90o angle at the base of each seam of the outer bag, so that the seam is running at 45o angle (take a look at the photo below).  We will be making a gusset by stitching perpendicular to the seam.  Mark 4cm in on each side of the point then stitch across to form a triangle.  Back stitch for extra strength.  Cut off the triangle.  Repeat for both side seams of the outer and the lining.

 The base corners of your outer and lining will now look like this
5.  Turn top raw edge of outer 1cm over to the wrong side of fabric to create a hem and press.  Repeat for lining.

6.  Take one outer strap piece and one lining strap piece and place right sides together.  Pin and sew along each long side using 5mm seam allowance.  Turn right side out (using a chopstick or wooden spoon handle can help).  Press straps flat and topstitch along each edge.  Mark 2cm in from each end of the straps with tailor’s chalk.

7.  Turn outer bag right side out.  Place lining inside outer, matching seams and lining up the pressed hem.  Pin together.  Take one strap and pin strap between outer bag and lining, so the edge of the strap is 4cm in from side seam, the other end of the strap should be 4cm in from the other side seam.  Line up the 2cm line drawn in step 6 with the top of the bag (see photo below).  Starting at one seam, stitch all the way around top of the bag, backstitching at start and end.
8.  Reinforce strap attachment point.  I do this by sewing a square with an X as in the photo below.

9.  Trim remembrance art to remove excess white space.  Follow manufacturer’s directions to transfer image to the front of the bag.

You’re finished!  Now fill it with books and wear it with pride – show the world that your baby counts.
Linking up with:
Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
TGIFF hosted this week at Quokka Quilts
Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts 


  1. You're a very loving mommy.

  2. ...and if you wear the bag over your shoulder it will be just that little bit closer to your heart x

  3. Great idea and you can look it everytime you want.Have a fun weekend!

  4. Christmas is coming, the latest bag here, good price quality, introduced to everyone

  5. Oh how beautiful! My niece was stillborn this year, that makes things like this mean even more to me now. Thank you for sharing.


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