social spark Aisling Beatha: My Birthday Gift to Me


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Monday, January 24, 2011

My Birthday Gift to Me

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a sewing project that I would also be able to combine with some of the skills I have learnt in Art Journaling.

I found a great tutorial for a fully lined messenger bag but felt it was just a tiny bit bigger than what I wanted.  I really didn't drop the measurements by much, just took the main pieces from 11 by 12 inches to 10 by 11 inches.  It has come out more or less the perfect size for what I wanted.

I also wanted to make the strap adjustable, rather than a fixed length, so I used another tutorial for that.  This meant I could wear the bag either with a longer strap diagonally across my body

or with a shorter strap on one shoulder.

I bought the fabric from IKEA, quite a heavyweight fabric, but just what I wanted.  Well, I had been hoping to use the cream for decorating to make the front panel but they had no cream so I settled for the white.  I decorated the front panel before making the bag up.  I made sure to leave just enough space at the sides for the seams and not to go right into the bottom corners because I would be curving them.  However I foorgot to account for the fact that the front panel also goes over the top of the bag.  This meant I would lost part of the image I had worked on, if I made up the bag as in the tutorial.  So I added another piece to the top of the front panel, which made the front panel image all appear on the front, but come further down the front.

I used diluted inks to spray the front panel. Some of them I added mica powders to. Then I used permanent inks (I think it's Archival in Maroon) to stamp the words and the angel image. I filled in the angel image using some glitter pens.

I also decided not to use two different fabrics for the rest of the bag as in the tutorial, but just the one brown.  So, the underneath of the flap is brown, not white.

The two pockets there are plenty roomy enough for any essentials you might need to carry with you, such as chocolate caramel digestives!

There are two matching pockets on the back of the bag, which are just a little bit deeper than the ones under the front flap.

When you lift the front flap there is a zipper to keep everything in the main pocket safe and secure.

The main pocket has plenty of room for my journal etc

And also has a fully lined, zipped, inner pocket too.

All in all a project I am very pleased with.


  1. What a great Happy Birthday bag. . . happy celebrating and creating to you!

  2. Happy Birthday, and a fab bag!


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