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Hi, it’s Jill from Snugglebug University. Are your kids enjoying summer? Mine are! Today I’m going to show you how to make a simple Kid’s Bumblebee Cross-Body Bag, perfect for the little explorers in your life!
School just got out for my kids, and we’ve been taking advantage of the extra daylight to explore the creek behind our house. My kids begged me to make them “explorer bags” to hold all of their treasures. (Ok, well, not all their treasures! My kids brought tadpoles home with them…and we’ve been watching them turn into frogs!)
So while these cross-body bags might not hold tadpoles, they are perfect for rocks, stick, and whatever other treasures the kids find. Depending on how long you make the straps, you can also wear the bag as a purse.
The cross-body bag doesn’t have any buttons, zippers, or velcro. All the kids have to do is lift the flap and put their treasures inside! It’s the perfect bag for boys and girls of all ages!
The simple design of this cross-body bag can easily be adapted. Don’t want a bee? No problem. Omit some of the “bee pieces” and you can have a simple cross-body bag. Alternatively, adapt the basic template to create another animal of your choice. In fact, I’m showing how I adapted the bee template to a make a frog on my blog today! I’d love to see the creative animals that you come up with!
Alright, who is ready to get started?
- Template (Pages 1, 2, 3, and 4) Note: The pattern pieces include a 3/8″ seam allowance
- 33 inches of 1″ trim for the strap. (This is the amount I used for my tallish 4 year old. I recommend measuring your child to make sure that the strap is the right length).
- A heavy duty fabric such as denim or duck cloth for the main piece of the bag. 1/3 of a yard is sufficient for the exterior and lining.
- Miscellaneous pieces of felt for the bee embellishments
- Embroidery floss for attaching the eyes and wings
- Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies (here’s a list of common sewing supplies, in case you need a few ideas)
***As always, if you need a bit of help with the basic sewing skills used in this tutorial, don’t hesitate to check out the Sewing 101 post for more help.
Let’s get started!
Begin by cutting out the template pieces out.
You’ll notice that the several of the embellishment pieces (wings, antennae, stinger) are all made by sewing two pieces of felt together. We’re going to start by top-stitching the two pieces together. Do this by just sewing closely around the edges. There’s no turning involved here!
Once you’ve attached the two layers of felt together for the antennae and stinger, it’s time to add the bee’s stripes. Again, just sew closely around the edges of the stripes to attach it onto the main body pieces and to the flap that will close the bag, as shown below.
Ok, now we’re going to “finish” the flap. Place the right sides of the two flap pieces together.
Sew around the edges of the flap as shown below, leaving the top open for turning.
Turn the flap right side out.
Baste on the antennae as shown below. Set aside.
Baste on the straps to the front of the bag, as shown below, then position the stinger at the base of the bee. It will be included into the side seam when you attach the bag front to the bag back.
Now we’re going to sew the front of the bag to the back of the bag. Making sure not to catch the strap in your side seams, place the back side of the bag on top of the front of the bag so that the right sides are together. Make sure that you also include the stinger so that it is incorporated into the seam at the base of the bag. Sew all the way around the bag, leaving the top of the bag open. (You might notice in the picture below that I didn’t sew the stinger in originally….because I forgot to include it when I attached the bag front to the bag back! I had to rip open the base seam to fit the stinger in. So don’t be like me. But at least it isn’t the end of the world right? Just a little time ripping. No big deal!)
Sew the bag flap to the back side of your bag. Make sure you do not sew it to the front of your bag! The bag should remain open, and the flap will fold over the front, just as it will in the finished bag. Set aside.
Next sew the lining of your bag together. This time you are going to leave a hole in the bottom of the bag open as shown below.
Now, placing the right sides of the bag together, place the exterior of the bag inside that of the lining, so that the right sides are together.
I find it helpful to pin around the edges of the bag at this point, after I align the side seams.
You can even fit the stinger through the hole in the lining. This helps to make the bags sit more flat, which makes it easier to sew.
Carefully sew ALL around the edges of the opening, attaching the exterior of the bag to the lining. Since it’s a child’s bag the opening isn’t that large, so don’t be surprised if you need to stop and readjust multiple times.
Now you can use the hole in the lining to pull the bag right side out.
Fold in the edges of the hole at the base of the lining and sew together, either by machine or by using a whip stitch by hand.
Your bag should look almost complete now!
Use some embroidery floss to attach the eyes onto the flap of the bag. Buttons would also be cute if you don’t want to use felt for the eyes.
I also used embroidery floss to attach the wings to the front of the bag. Make sure that you don’t sew through to the back of the bag!
All finished! What do you think?
Don’t forget to just over to my blog today to see how you can adapt this template to make a frog shaped bag!
Thank you so much for having me here on Make It and Love It!
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The options for sewing your own bags, whether for yourself, your family or as gifts, are endless! Here are a few more fabulous bag tutorials we love: