Puffer the Magic Diaper Bag

After about 700 yards of purple thread, three false starts, two broken sewing machine needles, three packages of bias tape, a half-dozen thread snarls, 180 hand-stuffed trapunto cells, and at least three episodes of damaging completed elements, I finally completed this dragon-themed diaper bag. (Yay!)

I made the bag for @Manders in the recent Make-a-Bag-and-Fill-It swap. She just had an adorable baby girl, and asked for a diaper bag. She said her favorite color was purple, and that the nursery theme would be dragons. How cool!

When I was collecting ideas online, I ran across this designer bag (Levy model from Happ):

I fell in love with the puffer-style details immediately, and knew I wanted to do something similar. But…
I couldn’t figure out what fabric to use.
I couldn’t find a pattern that looked similar.
I wasn’t sure how to do the high-relief quilting on the pockets.

As I so often do, I plunged ahead anyway. In hindsight, probably shouldn’t have tried to “wing it” with no pattern when I am (at best!) a late beginner/early intermediate sewist.

Cannot tell you how long I searched for “the right fabric.” (And never really found it.) I went to six different fabric stores in several different towns, asked advice on Reddit, ordered four different things off Etsy or Amazon (one of them ended up being a nasty-feeling kite fabric. Blech!) Finally went with a micro-woven “membrane nylon” for the interior and clearance-bin bedsheets (!) for the exterior.

A few progress shots:

There was SO much hand-sewing! My machine just wasn’t capable of sewing many of the required seams. I bought a walking foot for it (which helped with the quilting parts, but of course didn’t magically make my machine able to sew through greater thicknesses!)

In the end, it was all worth it! I love how the bag turned out, despite its various wonkinesses. I love the striped zippers and the seat-belt strap. I love that it converts from a shoulder bag to a backpack. I love the mesh pockets.

I hope @Manders finds it useful. Think I might take a break from making bags for a while! (This one literally took weeks longer than expected.)


This is amazing!!! Well done you


Oh my goodness, great respect for you! That wasn’t easy. What a great bag! You rock :metal:t2:

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This is beyond incredible! It’s stunning and so functional! I love the little quilted puffs. And your dragon painting is adorable. Stunning, stunning, stunning. I can’t believe you made this without a pattern! Everything is absolutely perfect!


That bag is flat out perfection! Everything about it is cool. I’d say you’re an advanced sewist at the very least. I’m sure Manders was thrilled with such a thoughtful, beautiful bag.


This is sooooooo cooooool! You did such an amazing job!

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This bag is absolutely EPIC my friend! Your handstitched details, your inclusion of super useful (but nice & THIN) dividing pockets, the choice of zipper, the flexibility of the design, and of course your painted dragon, all work together to make it truly exceptional.


Thanks much, everyone!

I certainly do love my bag! I didn’t realize that you did the puffs yourself, I thought you bought puffy fabric. I’m even more amazed!
(I love the poofy puffs!)

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True labor of love.

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[sitting here in stunned silence on my sofa]

THIS is amazing! It’s so dang cool and I hope you feel very accomplished, because… DANG.

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:dragon: :dragon_face::tada: :tada:Congratulations! This truly phenomenal dragon diaper bag is a Featured Project! :tada: :tada: :dragon_face: :dragon:


Wait. You MADE that puffy fabric? What? :exploding_head: I’m just…in absolute awe of this project. Wow.


Thanks much!

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I found this really surprising as well! It really does look like the bag she designed it off of.