Happiness = my Miranda bag!

my “Miranda” bag - pattern by Joan Hawley

TA DA! I made this bag last night (and a teensy bit this morning.) It’s the Miranda Day Bag pattern from Joan Hawley’s Lazy Girl Designs. ( I bought my pattern from Punch With Judy, but there are a lot of places you can get it.)

The fabric is a Hoffmann ( I think!) that I’ve been hoarding for years. So the bag is part of my new policy about fabric generally and my stash in particular – I have so many “holy” fabrics that are so nice I don’t want to cut into them. But I am being strong and making them into things that I will enjoy. That way at least I get to see them, rather than bury them and forget how much I liked them.

I am so IN LOVE with this pattern! Joan has really gone all out – it’s more like a book than a pattern. There are step-by-step photos for EVERY Step. The instructions are clear and well written, and in a font that’s easy to read. Even a beginner would have no problems with this pattern – just cut and stitch in the order listed and you’ll have a fabulous bag too!

I’m a slow sewist, (I refuse to write sew-er, because even with the hyphen it looks like I’m talking about municipal drainage) but I got this done in about 5 hours. (I have taken longer on this same pattern when I’ve done much more intensive quilting for the outside, but really you don’t need to go overboard.)

So I spend time making sure the threads are knotted and buried, and press the seams over a tailors ham, etc. You could probably do it faster, but it’s not a huge project – it would certainly be something you could sew in a day.

I ran out of the interfacing I had wanted to use, and so used a fusible pellon wadding as the interfacing in this bag – it makes it a bit squishier but is still firm enough so the bag stands up ok. (Nothing worse than a floppy bag when you’re trying to find something…)

LOVE the size!

And how good is this – it fits in BOOKS! and magazines. And a whole heap of other things that you might need to take along to your quilters meeting. Yeah baby! Notice that the orange binding on the top of the bag is actually a “Faux” binding – it’s the lining, but attached and stitched in a very clever way. When Joan says “Lazy Girl” she’s not kidding – this is a real time saver, and makes such a neat transition between the inside and outside of the bag.

Love those pockets!

Here’s a shot of the inside so you can see those groovy pockets better. (That’s my coin purse – a little vinyl ladybug. I have a bit of a thang for ladybugs.) And that rectangle at the bottom is what makes the bag so stable. You can buy specially cut inserts to use but I managed to scrounge some scrap Perspex (ahem, that’s a brand name – of course I mean “Sheet acrylic”) that I cut to size.

I’ve used the short handles option – knowing that if I make long handles I would be tempted to sling the bag over my shoulder and carry way too much stuff. I think it looks awesome with commercial handles (rather than fabric) but I didn’t have the $$ to buy any – or the patience to wait.

Joan keeps adding updates on her blog about her own and other people’s groovy Mirandas, and things that make it even better. (Feet! That’s what I should do, like Tracy has done on her Miranda – bag feet! They stop fabric bags from wearing out so quickly.)

Ah well, there’s always the next bag – I’ve promised one for my best friend M (who gave me the sheet acrylic). Her favourite colour is green and she adores paisley – so let me know if you see any fabric that would be just right.

I was going to make up Lazy Girl Designs “Chloe” bag next – but do you think I can find the pattern in my sewing room? ARRRRRGH! I reckon I have enough of the “Fresh Air” charm squares left after making my journal cover to just about do a Chloe in patchwork.

Although now I think of it, darling Annie (she has a SHOP! Wooohoooooo!) sent me a groovy tool especially designed to help make woven strips from bias, (meshwork! Ahhh, that’s what it’s called!) since it looked so gorgeous when Joan made a Chloe up with this technique, and I’ve been inspired by some of the gorgeous woven bias handbags that Luana showed on her blog from the Tokyo International Quilt Festival

This post brought to you by the word GROOVY, the colour orange, and the letter Yogh….



  1. Joan Hawley, Lazy Girl’s avatar

    Hi Caitlin!

    Your Miranda is fantastic! Congrats on your new found bravery for cutting into prized fabrics. I know, that first cut is a doosie!

    I love your fabric choices/combination. And it’s such fun to take a peek inside and see how you are using the bag.

    Thanks for letting us take a tour of your Miranda – she’s wonderful.

    My best,

  2. Annie Morris’s avatar

    That is unbelievably COOL!!!! Well done Caity! It looks fantastic! Love all the little hidey hole compartments. I think your shoulders will bless you for not having commercial straps….

    Well done


  3. Caitlin’s avatar

    Thanks, Joan! Your patterns are such a pleasure to make!

  4. Chriss Jasper’s avatar

    OOh, I got to see this in the flesh ( so to speak) and was immediately taken with it> I shall have to acquire the pattern and make myself one or two…… So love the colours, can see a Kaffe Fassett Miranda coming on….

  5. Caitlin’s avatar

    Chriss, A Kaffe Miranda would be AWESOME!! Ya gotta do it!

  6. Caitlin’s avatar

    Annie, it’s a super pattern – and though I am still bad at overloading it, the handles seem incredibly strong. Can’t wait to make the next one!

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