I read about Amy Butler's book 'Little Stitches for Little Ones' and immediately put it on hold at the library. In it, is a pattern for a 'modern diaper bag'. I really liked the shape, so I made a copy of the pattern ... and thought I'd make it for my sister. (Before she found this pattern.)
I found some really cool oil cloth fabric at JoAnn's and knew it would be perfect for this bag. (Then I had to wait until I had a coupon because there was no way I was paying $14.99 a yard for fabric.) I found some 'celery' duck cloth fabric for the lining. It's not a perfect match, but I thought it would work.
I sewed the outside of the bag ... and realized this bag is ENORMOUS. I couldn't imagine anyone carrying this bag, so I looked on-line to see what others had said. I found this page and used her dimensions to cut this bag down. I didn't even take apart the seams, I just started cutting. I looked some more and found this page. Once I got over being envious of her really cool fabric (oh when will Ikea come to Denver???) I noticed she shrunk the entire pattern 85%. I did that, but I liked just cutting it down better, so that's what I stuck with.
The instructions were just okay. I got a bit confused on the inner pockets and just did what I thought was best. (The book could definitely do with a lot more pictures.) I did my own thing on the handles ... but still had to hand sew most of the inside edges.
I didn't even try to substitute the interfacing and just used what it called for. (I know, shocking for me to actually follow a pattern.)
The front flap has a magnetic snap I _love_ them ... and I know this won't be my last time using them.
Sewing on oil cloth was surprisingly easy. I bought a 'teflon' foot for my machine and I didn't have any problems with the fabric sticking to the foot or plate.
I do like this bag ... but it is still big. I love the shape, so I think I'd like to make it again, using the shrunk 85% or 75% pattern.
Update: I gave this bag (along with the other) to my sister. While visiting, I used this bag as 'project central' to keep track of everything and it worked great for that. However, she's used it a little and noticed that while it seems _huge_ ... it won't even fit a 3 ring binder. I've got bags that look much smaller that fit 3 ring binders ... so I'm a bit disappointed in this bag. Time to figure out what I can do to make this bag more usable.