a bag for Sam

We have been so blessed with the teachers that my daughters have had at their primary school.  Stella’s prep teacher has been especially wonderful.  She has the perfect mix of warmth and control that makes her classroom a positive learning environment and a pleasure to be in (I helped out with reading occasionally during the year so was able to see her in action).  What does this have to do with sewing?  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that our thank-you gift to the teacher each year is generally a thornberry bag.

thank you bag for teacher Sam

I was able to use Nicole‘s recent zippers for bags class to make a start on this bag, and finished it off at home shortly after. Stella hasn’t given it to teacher Sam yet – we’ll wait until the last week of term for that. But I couldn’t resist showing it off now!

thank you bag for teacher Sam

Here’s zipper #1 – the closure across the top of the bag. The bag pattern is the Large Tote and Satchel, which is just perfect for customisation. I decided to use webbing for the strap, and used a fairly heavy weight denim for the exterior in combination with decorator weight Denyse Schmidt fabric.

thank you bag for teacher Sam

There are zippers #2 and #3, securing fully functional pockets on the outside of the bag. Both are lined in quilters cotton. And on the inside (and oh so difficult to photograph)?

thank you bag for teacher Sam

Zipper #4 is across the top of a divider pocket. There is also a patch pocket on the inside just the right size to slip in a mobile phone. There is a key leash in there too but you can’t see it in the photo. The lining fabrics are quilting cottons, other than the decorator weight fabric used for the divider pocket.

thank you bag for teacher Sam

This bag was a delight to make, with Nicole’s instructions helping to give a very professional result as always. I also added purse feet to make it a little more sturdy, and included an internal structured base. Luckily for me I still have some of the exterior fabrics left and am considering making myself a similar bag.I still have some more zipper techniques to practice – maybe I need to make more than one!  Now I need to consider what to make for Clare’s teacher – she has a male teacher AGAIN this year!  Maybe some of my husband’s home brew would be a successful home made gift for him instead of a bag…


16 thoughts on “a bag for Sam

  1. I love the bag. I would love a gift like that. It is so professional looking. My youngest also has a male teacher. We will be giving him Rocky road in a Kmart striped cereal bowl and wrapped in cellophane. I will get young J involved in the project. Thankfully the older kids don’t do gifts at high school.

  2. What a fantastic bag you have made – well done! Male teachers would use a messenger bag as they are great for taking home your marking in and your pattern would be easy to adapt to a ‘landscape’ version. An ipad also fits into a messenger style bag. You have my vote for a ‘male’ version 🙂

  3. This is absolutely impressive. Also I really appreciate the link to Nicole’s website. I can’t do a class (SOB!!) as I’m in Sydney but I sure will be perusing the pdf patterns.

  4. I wish I was the teacher receiving this! As for the male teacher – home brewed beer would be good, but a male version of this bag would be fantastic. My husband has his messenger style bag over his shoulder most of the time.

  5. You’ve done an absolutely marvelous job of this bag. It looks so professional. The teacher will find it hard to believe that it is handmade. I think a male version of the bag would be appreciated by Clare’s teacher.

  6. Beautiful bag – you have inspired me to attempt bags. A good idea as I have quite a bag habit.

    Male teachers can be tricky to create gifts for. I think a messenger bag would be appreciated with detail coming from textured fabrics rather than prints. Check out companies such as Crumpler and Chrome to get fabric and colour ideas.

    Does he ride a bike? A trouser cuff is a fantastic gift. is a Castlemaine based company that make bags and trouser cuffs. I saw retroreflective tape at Spotlight. You would similar materials and techniques for a trouser cuff as for bags. Also good is a waterproof saddle cover.

    Failing the bag or bike gear ideas, consider tech aids. Wallets for ipads, laptops, kindles, USB keys or portable hard drives are all excellent gifts. Lastly – consider a hat. Primary school teachers always need one (or three). It could be a beanie style or a proper sun hat.

    Eek! a rather long response. I will finish now.

    1. Wow, what excellent suggestions! I have actually made bloke bags for Clare’s male teachers in the past, but have run out of ooomph to get one done again this year. I really like the trouser cuff idea – I could do with one of those! Thanks so much everyone for weighing in with your ideas.

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