Tote Bag – Corduroy the Bear

Having kids at the same school means you get to watch (and help) them with the same projects over the years.  So I was just as thrilled as Owen was when Corduroy the bear got to come home with him for the weekend.

And I really couldn’t believe that it had been TWO years since Lucy was in First grade and brought Corduroy home!….and I made that overalls tote for him?…..and we went to the laundromat to take photos?

Was it really two years ago??

Yep. I guess it was.
And now it’s Owen’s turn.

I love the corduroy books.
And you know, I’m really not a very emotional person….I rarely cry at chick flick movies (in fact I don’t even really like chick flick movies)…BUT, show me a book about a child, or a child’s play toy that’s lost or just needs some love?  And I get misty eyed.
There’s something about being a mom makes you want to scoop up and love all who need it.

And in the Corduroy book, all he wants is to be chosen and loved by a child—to go home from the toy shop with a new owner.  But he’s a bit disheveled looking, with a missing button.  He doesn’t look like all the other brand news toys.
But one little girl spots him on the shelf and tells her mom that he’s the bear she’s always wanted!

Her mom discourages her from buying Corduroy because he’s doesn’t look new and they walk away.
(dagger to the heart!)

So Corduroy spends all night roaming the department store where he lives, looking for his missing button so he will look new again.  He gets into some mischief of course, and has a little fun.
And to his surprise in the morning, the same girl comes back and says she has enough money in her piggy bank to buy him and that he can come home with her.

It’s such a simple story.
(And a good reminder to me of how often I need to see things through the eyes of my child… letting Owen buy the super lame $1 book he wanted to get Clara for Christmas….which I thought was kind of silly and wanted to encourage him to get her something different…but I decided to let him pick….and Clara loved it!
* sigh * )

Oh man.
Parenting.  It’s so hard.  And so rewarding.
Tears yet?

So when Corduroy came home, he and Owen went straight to work….or I guess, to play.  Owen knew exactly what he wanted to do with him and how he wanted to document the weekend (each child takes photos of the things they do with Corduroy and adds them in the classroom scrapbook)

So they went hiking together in our backyard, had a picnic, swung on the rope swing, played Minecraft.  And Owen even directed me with his photos, “Hey, why don’t we have Lucy holding him up so it looks like we’re having a real sword fight and then you can cut Lucy out of the photo?”

I love it.

And while the boys were busy, I got busy making a new bag for Corduroy, out of….corduroy!
I’ve had this houndstooth fabric for years and it just keeps giving, year after year.

Cause year after the year, these corduroy dolls get so much love that they’re coming home in bags that are falling apart!…or can’t fit all the books and things that go inside.
This is why I originally made the first bag for Lucy’s class.

So when Owen brought home a very tiny bag for the bear and the books, I thought I’d make one for his teacher too.  It was one of the first projects I sewed on my new machine.  Woohoo!

I used the Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial for the project.
And my new video to box out the bottom and sides.
And it all reminded me how fun it is to sew themed school bags….like the ones I made for Lucy’s Kindergarten teacher (click on a pic below for more info):

And there you go!
Houndstooth corduroy on one side, duck cloth on the other.

And plenty of room inside.

….for bears and scrapbooks.

Thanks for the visit Corduroy!
See you in 4 years, when Clara brings you home….

  1. aw that’s super cute! that owen is a good kid. and i totally know what you mean about kid books – i can’t even read The Giving Tree anymore!! total waterworks.

    • 2) Dana

      haha. Oh man. YES. The giving tree. Bring me a box of tissues!

  2. 3) Julie

    My child got to bring home Curious George—over Christmas break ! Oh she was thrilled…..I had found Curious George fleece so I made a blanket for him to open on Christmas morning. And there were extra bananas on hand !!

    • 4) Dana

      Oh that’s so sweet! I love it 🙂

  3. 5) Mary Kay

    Dana – we loved the Corduroy books too! My daughter is in college now and plans on being an early childhood educator – I am adding this project to her Pinterest board of things to do with her class!! PS – Owen looks a little too grown up!! He has entered the “kid” stage – man time flies when we are having fun!

    • 6) Dana

      And I know….He’s almost taller than Lucy these days 🙂

  4. 7) Chelle Chapman

    OMG! This sure beats our “Flat Stanley” days!! You certainly cannot sleep w/ Flat Stanley w/o him waking “wrinkled”!! I DID get to iron him out tho”!
    {see what I mean? “Corduroy; a MUCH better “bring home” assignment!!}

    • 8) Dana

      hahaha. Well, we’ve brought Flat Stanley home too. And you’re right! This is definitely a more “comfortable” one 🙂

  5. That is so cute. I smiled the whole time I was reading your post. I love the idea of having the kids document their weekend with Corduroy. Such a great idea. I don’t really remember the Corduroy story so I think I need to get the book and read it.

    I love Lucy’s facial expression in the sword fight photo. So nice that she was willing to help out her little brother.

    • 10) Dana

      hahaha. Totally unamused. Sometimes they like taking photos. Sometimes it’s more of the Lucy expression 🙂

  6. 11) Alana

    Totally misty eyed 🙂

    I’m sure the teachers love having you as a parent in their class. It’s the thoughtful AND practical gifts that are the best! Love what your son did with Corduroy as well.

  7. 12) Neisha

    aww, you’re such a good momma. LOVE the picture of Corduroy and Owen battling! 🙂
    and love all the bags you’ve made

  8. 13) Jen

    Awwwww so cute, maybe I’ll make a new bag for Fred the KDG Dog when Matt gets in Kindergarten. This year I have a 2nd grader, 1st Grd, & Kindergartener, I’ll have a 2 year break and then along comes Mr. Matt. After visiting our house 3 years in a row Fred the KDG Dog knows us very well. Evy thinks he has a crush on our Lab Katie and Daryl our Rabbit though he was pretty cool too. Fred visited before we got Daryl last school year.

  9. 14) Sheila Perl

    What a sweet story and I love your son’s ideas for the photos!

  10. 15) Petra

    What a cool bear (and story); being in Australia, I haven’t heard of this bear. I just love how creative you are, I mean, look at all those amazing bags – you are one talented mama 🙂

  11. Awww, we love Corduroy here too!!
    LOVE that houndstooth!! It really is calling to me 🙂
    I suppose one can’t find it anymore…

    Love the pics of O with C!

  12. 17) Lauren

    Just like it’s hard to believe it’s been two years since Lucy brought Corduroy home, I absolutely cannot believe that those themed bags you made were for Lucy’s KINDERGARTEN teacher and that that was so long ago! Wow!

  13. 18) Stacey

    What a great looking bag! I bet teachers love you! The whole post is just fabulous. I love picture books! The ones about the bear named Sam are some of my favs. Along with lots of others!

  14. 19) Sarah

    i haven’t heard of Corduroy over here in New Zealand. But, for another heart breaker kids book, try “The Velveteen Rabbit”- gah! the animals in the nursery only become “real” when they are completely loved-up…

Leave a Comment