Piano Bag Duet

Hello friends! I’m afraid this post might be a bit of a rambling mess….because it feels good to be back!—Back in school, back to our routine, back to blogging, back to sewing. All that good stuff. Of course I LOVE to travel (and you can follow along with our adventures on Instagram) But once the car, house, and laundry are clean I’m ready to dive back into the sewing business.  And first up is this cute little piano bag I made for Clara.
YES. Clara. Wasn’t she just born?
Totally.

I made it with the canvas print from the Fiesta Fun Fabric collection.
And I love it!
Clara loves it too.

It’s hard to know when to start a child on piano or music lessons. And I am definitely not an expert on that. My mom taught us to play piano when we were kids and I really enjoyed it, but I’m very rusty. And in all honesty, I don’t have the patience to teach my kids. I mean, as wonderful as it is to teach many things to my kids….THANK GOODNESS for other teachers and other perspectives and other people that my kids will respond to better than me (which is why Lucy took sewing lessons this summer. Haah. But that’s a whole other post. Ya see, I told you this would be rambling).

So. A few years ago the older kids started lessons with an awesome teacher in our town. And her recommendation was that if Clara could read, and was excited to learn, then she was probably ready. She started last week with her first lesson. And so far she’s practiced Mary had a Little Lamb 50 times.
I think she’s ready.

When we talked about her taking piano lessons, the first thing she said was, Well we need to find a cute piano bag! 
So I sifted through the many bags in my closet, and we looked for something while we were out school shopping. And then I had that DUH moment I always get (like making skirts for a birthday party again and again)….when you realize that you’ve wasted way more time looking for something, rather than just making it.
WHEN WILL I LEARN?

So I pulled out this canvas from Fiesta Fun, which is a great weight for a tote bag.
And I made a little bag in about 30 minutes!

If you’ve never made a bag before, follow along with my easy tutorial here and video here (just hit the play button below):

Here are the specs for this PIANO BAG:

• Cut two pieces 14 x 18 inches (W x L) – press the top hem under 1/2 inch, then press under another 1 inch.
• Cut two handles 2 x 27 inches – press the outside edges under 1/2 inch lengthwise, then fold in half and press to make a sandwich. Top stitch down both sides.
• Box out the bottom 1.5 inches (follow along in the video above, or this tutorial here).

My favorite little trick on these boxed out totes (especially when there will be books inside) is to give some added support on the bottom (I talk about this at the end of the video also).
• Cut two pieces of cardboard to fit the dimensions of your boxed out area. Hot glue those two pieces together (two layers of cardboard makes it stronger). Then hot glue a piece of fabric around the cardboard—doesn’t have to look pretty underneath. Then stick the board in the bottom of the bag! I like to leave mine “floating” in there so I can take it out if I need to wash the bag. But you can certainly glue it to the inside if you’d rather it was permanent.


And you’re done!
The thing I really love about this fabric print is that it can be directional or “tossed”.  The inspiration for the print is from beautiful Mexican embroidery I grew up with in California and still love today. So you can use the fabric with the symmetrical design as the focal point. Or use the other part of the print to give it a random/non-directional look.

And of course I couldn’t share about Clara’s bag without showing the bag I made for Owen a few years ago when he started taking lessons.  I added a zipper pocket to it, which was sort of like making a zipper pouch with one “normal” side and one really huge side.

And if there’s one thing you should know about Owen, it’s that he LOVES orange.

I’m dying looking at these two pictures side by side. I used the same fabric to make his KID Shorts years ago, and then this piano bag soon after (both made of a bottom weight canvas from Jo-Ann).  I mean, even the blue books match!
#whenyou’retwinswithyourbag

And look at these little guys!
How does life move so quickly??

Here’s a photo from last year when we had a caricature drawn of them at Universal Orlando. The kids have been asking me to hang it on the wall—which I finally did this week! I’m trying to get back into the home decorating bug and really hang up artwork and photos that make our house feel like a home. Baby steps to the back-to-school-and-work routine.

Happy routine-ing to you too!
If you’d like to make other bags, check out these fun tutorials here on my site:

Basic Pocket Tote
Reversible Tote
Oilcloth bag
Quote Totes (vinyl totes)
Corduroy the Bear Bag
Placemat Bag
Napkin Tote (with pocket tiers)
Neon Painted bags
School Bags – Transportation tote

  1. 1) Urvi

    OK, I love the bag and cute kiddo AND have to ask: Where did you get the frame for the caricature? It would totally fit in my house! I love it!

    • 2) Dana

      Thanks! The picture frame is from Hobby Lobby!

  2. 3) Penny

    I agree, love the frame, the pic, the tote, the fabric, the blogger!! Always a great day when Dana posts something! Happy sewing everyone.

    • 4) Dana

      It’s always a great day when Penny leaves a comment! 🙂 Thanks Penny!

  3. 5) Petra

    Oh that fabric is just gorgeous and happy looking 🙂 But I love the orange too! Such a great range of fabrics to choose from 😀

  4. 6) mohammad

    what the name of this fabric plz

  5. 8) bdaiss

    I’m considering cranking out a billion tote bags for holiday gifts this year – bust my stash a bit and you can never have too many, right?!? 🙂

    And yes. Clara must have entered a time warp. She was definitely born just a few months ago at the most.

    • 9) Dana

      Oh my gosh! You are a sewing maniac!!
      I hope you do it. YES. One can never have too many bags! 🙂

  6. 10) Kristie Maynard

    Thanks for a great video tutorial! You make it so easy and can be adapted to whatever size I might need. Now to get the time to actually make some!

  7. 11) Darcy

    I love your videos! I’m a new at sewing, and your videos have been life savers!!!

    • 12) Dana

      Thanks Darcy! I’m glad they’re helpful. 😊

  8. 13) Jessie

    Hi Dana, I’ve been watching your Youtube videos and made a few sewing projects which I’m really proud of! Your videos are so well made and easy to follow. I also love this site, the color, the photo, and the kids, everything! PS. My son just started his piano lesson, we haven’t decided whether we should get him a piano yet…but I’ll definitely sew a piano bag for him first : P

    THANKS again for sharing. Please continue to youtube and blog!

  9. 14) Amanda

    I love your tutorials. I’m trying to donate to my community, but I’m not sure if I should try to make more blankets, pj pants, or both. And I don’t have a lot of money. Is it too late to start a group effort or an annual sew along for charity? I wish I could take classes with you, too. You are so easy to understand and fun.

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