Belle Bag and Birthday Boy

I used to coach gymnastics.  When the end of the school year came, a few of my kiddos would include me in their end-of-year gift giving and it always meant a lot to me that they would give gifts to their other “teachers” at the end of the year.  After coaching for a while, I was an occupational therapist in the school system, and again, a few of my kiddos would include me on their gift list.  I made a mental note that when I had kids, I would try to remember not just their teacher, but also the other people in their lives that had guided them in some way.  I didn’t know at the time that I would homeschool and therefore I would have to buy myself Christmas and end-of-year gifts – he he.  So when the kids took swimming lessons all summer and had the same 2 teachers, I decided this was my chance to do something nice for them.  It was a great excuse to turn my new Belle fabric into (what else?) a purse!

Smart Bag - Belle

This is Amy Butler’s smart bag.  The matching grosgrain ribbon across the front, was inspired by this talented bag-maker.

Smart Bag Inside - Belle

The only other differences from the pattern were in interfacing all fabrics before sewing and making the pockets 2 layers with interfacing.  Included in this gift were cards from the kiddos, a picture of the kids with their teacher, and a gift card to Starbucks.  (Thanks for the Starbucks idea, blogging friends.)  She really seemed to appreciate it, but with all gifts, it’s hard to know.  This purse went to the other teacher who was out sick today.

In addition to being the last day for summer swimming, it was also my second son’s birthday.  He’s four today!  The theme of his gifts was “dress up” and he has been changing between each of his new outfits all day.  Instead of birthday parties, the kids pick any family they want to come and have dinner on their birthday.  Josh picked the biggest family we know.  So with 15 people eating dinner, cake and playing together afterward, it was just like a party.  What fun!

I just have to mention one of my sweetest thoughts about his little guy.  He likes taking showers in Mommy and Daddy’s bathroom and when I go to get him out, the shower always smells so nice – he uses a little bit of every shampoo, conditioner soap, and body wash in sight and comes out smelling so sweet!  I love you big boy!

25 Responses to “Belle Bag and Birthday Boy”


  1. 1 beki August 3, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    As usual, your bag is gorgeous! I really love that fabric.

    Happy Birthday Josh, what a big boy!!

  2. 2 Stacy August 3, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    Wow, I love your new bag! And a very happy birthday to Josh!

  3. 3 Ali August 4, 2006 at 1:10 am

    That is a really amazing bag – I LOVE your fabric choice for it. And happy birthday Josh – looks like you had a fun one.

  4. 4 Gina August 4, 2006 at 2:50 am

    Awww how sweet, happy birthday. Love the bag, that lining, wow!

  5. 5 Kate August 4, 2006 at 2:53 am

    How thoughtful you are – a lot of people don’t really give too much thought to the ancilllary teachers a kid has, and such a lovely bag too!

    I love the fireman outfit!

  6. 6 sueb August 4, 2006 at 3:09 am

    Lovin that fabric ! What a beautiful bag and what a terrific gift it will make.

  7. 7 kerry August 4, 2006 at 6:19 am

    The bag looks great, bags are huge here in Australia, I will have to share some of the patterns I have used with you
    Have a great weekend

  8. 8 Cathy August 4, 2006 at 8:47 am

    Happy Birthday, Josh!!!

    I love the bag, I knew I would when you flashed the fabric. The swim teachers will love the gifts!

  9. 9 Randi August 4, 2006 at 9:17 am

    WOW! How I wish that I was one of your kids swim teachers! Both bags came out so nice–love your new AB fabric!

    Happy Birthday to your little guy!

  10. 10 capello August 4, 2006 at 10:22 am

    I’ swooning over that bag — it is awesome!

    And happy birthday Josh! Turning four is AWESOME.

  11. 11 weirdbunny August 4, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    I love the pattern and the colurs in the fabric that you have used.
    Happy Birthday!!! How wonderful to be a super hero and four years old!!!!

  12. 12 Lyn August 4, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Very pretty bag. It was nice to look at something fun and creative today.

  13. 13 Debbie August 4, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    Wow, thanks for the lovely compliment. I’ve been a bit down in the dumps lately and what a pleasant pick me up from you. Thank you, thank you.

    Our DSL has been down for over a week so I’m just catching up and I’ve got several comments for you: First – Love the Belle bag. Beautiful and such a thoughtful gift. I was anxious to see what you were doing with your fabric as I just received my fabric order and not sure what design to use. The prints are big so the bag needs to be in scale and yours was just right!

    Happy happy birthday to your big boy! Love the idea of inviting over a family – what a special day.

    I am so jealous! — where did you get the Martha Negley fabric. I’ve been searching high and low but haven’t found it anywhere. Love it.
    Enjoy! debbie

  14. 14 Kimberly August 5, 2006 at 9:39 am

    Another great bag-you are so generous to give those to the kids’ swim teachers!! Hey, soon I’ll be the swim teacher. Hehe Anyway, I did the same thing-I made a needle holder and gave Alexander’s preschool teacher some yarn and needles to go with it. I think teachers deserve it.
    Happy birthday, little man!!!

  15. 15 rebecca August 5, 2006 at 10:08 am

    Oh, it was so fun to catch up!!!!!!! Loved reading 104 things about you. And what a treat to see a beautiful bag……like I never see those on your site! ha

    Congrats to your four year old! What a sweet comment about his cleaniness. I will be going home next week, for a little respite from the kids, and will be in the comforts of my own computer! I will definately be in touch!!!!! so we can catch up! I sooooo miss my blogging friends!
    rebecca

  16. 16 lizzie August 5, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    What a gorgeous bag! You know I’m envious of his swim teacher!!

    Glad little Josh had a great birthday!! Speaking of birthdays, sorry we didn’t get to visit this morning! Hope you’re having a nice weekend, so far!

  17. 17 Megan August 5, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    A really beautiful bag, good job.

  18. 18 Cindi August 5, 2006 at 9:10 pm

    Oh, happy birthday Josh. He is so sweet looking also!

    I love the bag. The ribbon looks stellar there!

  19. 19 lera August 7, 2006 at 7:49 am

    happy birthday to your little guy. hope he enjoyed his day! (some of my boys LOVE to dress up! they would be very happy with presents like that.)

    that bag is gorgeous!!! love it!

  20. 20 Randi August 7, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Linda,

    i posted the tutorial link on homeschoolblogger today, here is the URL. Thanks again for letting me use it!

    http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/HSBCompanyBlog/179441/

  21. 21 quenna August 7, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    As usual, very wonderful bags! Happy birthday Josh!

  22. 22 Karyn August 10, 2006 at 6:39 am

    I am so in love with Amy Butler fabrics, but I live in Canada and it is only available to me online. I am anxiously awaiting my eBay order! I love your bags. Those are two lucky swimming teachers!

  23. 23 kathy August 10, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    Lovely writing on your son and his birthday celebration. Sweet, sweet, sweet, you wonderful mom you!

  24. 24 Andi May 30, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I love your Belle Bag… and what a fantastic idea for the teachers.

    I have been searching for the messengar bag pattern. Do they not sell that one anymore??? If they do could you kindly lead me in the right direction. Thank you in advance.


  1. 1 Favorite Things: Interfacing « Craft Apple Trackback on January 15, 2009 at 11:10 am

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 10, 11, and 12), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
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