May 2009

Joanne's Blue Swirls Custom Onbag Classic Set

This is Joanne's new Custom Classic Onbag.  

She has chosen a deep navy blue cotton drill outer, and a shimmering blue taffeta with a swirling design for the lining.

The valuables bag matches, and uses the swirling taffeta to great effect on the straps.

I love the way that the similar colours of the lining and outer fabric work together.  The effect is very subtle but there is real luxury there.

I hope Joanne will enjoy her set, it is very beautiful!

Shorty Conversion

Materials used:

2.5m Hoppediz Florenz 1m (1.4m wide)

Pale Green Taffeta

a: I cut the following pieces from the wrap:

1. Front (30 x 30cm with rounded bottom)

2. Back and Flap (65 x 30 cm with rounded top and bottom)

3. Straps (all 20cm wide, 2 long pieces and 1 piece of 40cm)

4. Inside Pockets (just scraps – I didn’t measure)

5. Side Pockets (15 x 25cm)

I also cut matching pieces from the lining for 1,2, and 3.

b: I prepared the pieces for the front and back as follows: (All hems are rolled)

1. Hem all around the side pockets.

2. Hem the top of the inside pockets.

3. Sew the inside pockets to the lining.

4. Tack the lining to the Front and Back/Flap pieces.

5. Hem the top of the Front.

6. Hem the bottom and sides of the Flap.

c: I pieced together and lined the straps, then added side loops.

1. Pin the strap pieces right sides together so that you have the short piece in the middle, and the long pieces on the outside.

2. To make the seams, do one line of running stitch, then reinforce behind it with zigzags. I did a close zigzag right at the edge of each seam as well to help prevent fraying. (If I had an overlocker, I would have used that instead).

3. Iron the seams flat.

4. Piece together the strap lining pieces in the same way.

5. Tack the lining to the straps.

6. Find some scraps that are approx 30 x 10 cm. These will be the side loops (for if you want to convert the bag to a rucksack) Fold the long edges into the middle, then fold again and sew together.

7. Fold the strap in half to find the mid point. Lay the back of the bag down over the middle and line the side loops up at the edges. (haha – the proper Onbag instructions explain that bit much better than me!! :) )

8. Attach the side loops to the straps using xboxes. Make sure you leave lots of room at the edges of the straps so that you don’t struggle to do your rolled hem later!!

9. Attach the side pockets to the straps.





d: I put the bag together…

1. Simple… hem the long strap, and attach it to the front or back with the same rolled hem. It takes quite some time to pin it, and should be sewn slowly because there are quite a lot of layers to go through.

2. Reinforce the stitching where the back becomes the flap – this is quite a stress point.

3. I added a button to the front of the bag (because I didn’t use velcro).

e: I sat back and admired my handywork! 

Some thoughts….

Because the strap is pieced together, I probably wouldn’t do this for a full sized onbag classic.

You naturally don’t carry so much in a smaller bag, so I feel it will stand up to the job.

I am not a fan of velcro, so I didn’t use it on mine. I used a pretty antique looking button instead.

I didn’t add the inside elastic either, purely because I have never used it on my other onbag.

However, when I get time I am going to use a small scrap to add a little loop inside for my slingview mirror to attach to.

I made the straps a little wider than standard. It makes the bag a tiny bit deeper, and also lets the strap spread over your shoulder and back more.

Oh, and I have used it just about every day since making it – I’m pleased to bits with it, and can’t wait to make another some time! :)

Sarah's Feast of Berriliciousness!

This beautiful set of bags was created for Sarah to match her Rumba Lucia Wrap/Ring Sling conversion.

We've used the wrap to make front and flap panels, and also to create an impact with contrasting side pockets and loops.


The lighter outer fabric works beautifully with the darker taffeta lining - the shades really pick up the colours of the wrap.

And if it is beautiful to look at then it is even more lovely to touch!

She will look quite stunning wearing this ensemble - I do hope we get some action photos!

Very very glamerous!


Jitka's Bag

Jitka says:

"I love the bag! I can fit everything there and that's great. I regret I kept postponing making the bag for such a long time - I had bought the fabrics half year ago!

I bought a piece of brown fabric long enough and also a piece of fabric with flowers for the lining - both were very cheap.

Both fabrics were quite thin so I used some old corduroy I had at home to put in between them."

Jitka is very kindly working on a translation of my pattern into Czech, so watch this space!

First Action Shot of the ByEthicals Bags

Brooke... Thank you so much for this lovely action shot! 

I'm putting it right up on the front page because I'm so excited to see the first evidence of these beautiful bags being used, and loved.

Brooke says:

"I have been planning on making an Onbag for a while now, and I still will, but I need something for travelling in a month and wasn't sure I would have time by then.

So, in a moment of madness, I bought the ByEthicals Spring Stripes classic set!

It is so much prettier in real life than online.

I liked it a lot online, but I love it now that I can see the textures and true colours.

It looks gorgeous with my Indio! ...

... I wasn't quite sure how an Onbag would work, but now I know that it works however I want it to!  

The sling pouch is so clever, too. I didn't think I would be able to fit my long wraps or mei tai in it, but they actually fit rather perfectly.

I'm excited to make my own and seeing this one has inspired me to use more interesting fabrics, though I think mine will be a little more plain in hopes that my husband won't ask to borrow this one!"

It certainly does look gorgeous with that Indio!

Customer Comments

I wanted to include some of the lovely things my customers have said...

"I got your parcel today & I have to say, I am absolutely over the moon... I even let out a little squeal!! lol! Thank you so so much, I really appreciate the time & effort you've gone to in producing such gorgeous things. I am so glad I got Helen to send you the wrap direct though, as I don't think I'd have been able to part with it!!" - Onbag Classic Custom Wrap Conversion 17/05/09

"The Onbags arrived safely this morning, and all I can say is WOW!  I love them : )

The thought that has gone into them and the attention to detail is fabulous.  The big one came out with us today, and it is so nice to have room for everything without having to empty the bag to find a bib, and all the pockets mean that the valuables aren't going to fall out over the floor when changing the baby.   I especially like the pockets on the sides - big enough for sun glasses case and a couple of toddler toys to get at without having to open the bag.  You are a genius in designing these : )  I'll get some action shots to you over the next couple of weeks." - Onbag Special Editions Competition Winner - 10/05/09

"I have been planning on making an Onbag for a while now, and I still will, but I need something for travelling in a month and wasn't sure I would have time by then. So, in a moment of madness, I bought the ByEthicals Spring Stripes classic set! It is so much prettier in real life than online. I liked it a lot online, but I love it now that I can see the textures and true colours. It looks gorgeous with my Indio! ... I wasn't quite sure how an Onbag would work, but now I know that it works however I want it to!  The sling pouch is so clever, too. I didn't think I would be able to fit my long wraps or mei tai in it, but they actually fit rather perfectly. I'm excited to make my own and seeing this one has inspired me to use more interesting fabrics, though I think mine will be a little more plain in hopes that my husband won't ask to borrow this one!" - Onbag Classic - Special Edition ByEthicals 09/05/09

The Onbag baby arrived today and is really, really lovely - it looks just perfect for my needs, and I love the colours and the design - I can't wait to use it as my everyday bag!... I have already started transferring all my bits to my new Onbag baby - it is soooo wonderful and the colours are just perfect!  Really do need a matching regular Onbag now though... :) - Onbag Baby 14/04/09

JIM's here !! Thank you so much for just a beautiful bag ! I already know he and I are never going to part ;-) The straps are just long enough to tie a rucksack with Tibetan finish. So no need for me to hem them down. ...I love him, I definitely do ! - Onbag Baby Wrap Conversion 05/03/09

You solved all my bag problems!! I am just completely in love with your design! Being a SAHM with a husband currently unemployed I was just so happy to see your sewing instructions, because I just don't have the money to buy anything (even though I think the price is very fair and would love to support your work!). I'll be making an Onbag for myself in the coming week, that's for sure :-) Just wanted to let you know that your idea is fabulous :-) And I have posted a link to it on a Danish sling community site, and they were all crazy about it! - DIY Onbag 01/03/09

I recieved the bag a few days ago and have used it a few times allready. I LOVE IT! I'm so impressed with the smallness of it if you don't have much to carry but the ability to stuff it once we add cloth diapers to the mix! - Custom Onbag Classic - Jan '09

The bag is fantastic, used it on my first proper outing today you are very clever! - DIY Kit - Feb '09

I picked up the bag yesterday. Not too good on tying knots but with little in it any old knot will do :o) It is lovely & soft and will be truly versatile - I only ever carry a travel napy pack but the other things like cup hat, gloves, tissues etc now have a lovely bag to go in rather than a shopping bag! - Custom Onbag Baby - Jan '09

It came with the mail today. I've packed it and tried it on while wearing my baby and I'm ready for my trip! It's a beautiful bag, well-thought out! Onbag Classic - December '08

I went for the Brown/Blue combination in the end as thought it would go with most of my things. I just love everything about it, I've never been so organised and now I can actually carry a change of clothes for M and a cloth nappy. I've just been squashing a disposable and a few wipes into my normal handbag. And the best bit is I can also fit all the 'junk' oh I mean paintings that I collect daily from preschool (imagine how much stuff twin girls paint daily) Onbag Baby - 19/10/08

"I got the Onbag on Saturday, and it is gorgeous!! I can't wait to try it out - I've put it on and played with tying it a bit, but I'm really looking forward to wearing it out and about! You really have an awesome product here, it's exactly what I've been looking for - I've been searching for the perfect diaper bag for babywearing, that has enough room for cloth diapers as well, and this is it! Thank you so much!" Onbag Classic - 03/09/08

"We spent all day in Seattle yesterday and I carried all I needed in my Onbag baby. I wore my little guy about half the time. It worked so well! What an amazing design. The straps are so versatile. I used it with the double slip knots at first, then found I was tired of a knot always ending up on my back. So I switched to using a basic slip knot ~~ so comfy! And for a while it was tied around the handles of my umbrella stroller, and even helped tie down a backpack I was pushing around in that stroller. I give this design a 10." DIY Onbag Baby 06/10/08

"I got the Onbag today, and I love the print and the design of the bag. Those straps are super comfy... I've been using it as a purse and diaper bag, and it's fab. Sooo comfy without any metal parts, and no slipping!" Onbag Unique Print Nov 2008

Alison's DIY Onbag Classic.

Alison has created a rather fine black denim and shimmery green taffeta bag.

She says:

"I finally got it finished, just in time for a weekend at Centerparcs where it was used plenty by both myself and my husband, we both found it really comfortable.

We got lots of compliments on it too.

I used a shot green/black taffeta lining with black denim outer.

The only thing I altered was the rolled hem round the bottom of the bag as my poor old 1960s singer machine couldn’t cope with the amount of material involved so I did the hem on the inside.

Next on my to-do list is the baby onbag."

I think the green shot taffeta works really well with the soft tones of the black denim.

This is a very beautiful but also dad-friendly bag - we like!

Now we're just waiting for action shots!

And the Winner is...

Thank you everyone for the huge number of entries I received - it is so exciting to see the interest there is in these new bags!

I have read through all the interesting ideas as to what should be done with these repurposed bags once they (finally!) wear out...

Some of the responses were great - here is a selection of my favourites:

"As I am guessing these bags will last many a year, so by the time they have worn out I may have actually learned how to use my sewing machine. So I'll make them into teddy bears for my grandchildren :-)"

"When I have worn out this set, I will wrap it up carefully and put it in my (soon to be born) daughter's "Memory Box". Inside it will be a legacy wrap, a first size nappy and an item of her baby clothing, something knitted for her by MY mother, her favourite baby toy, pictures and mementos of things we did when she was young. I hope that when she is a mother herself she will recycle the items for her children."

 "Growing up I had a 'lovey' blanket that my grandmother made for me from the back panel of one of my grandfather's 'well-loved' flannel shirts and from a scrap of silky, smooth material she had left from making my auntie's prom dress years before I was born. I think that, once these bags have been 'well-loved' and are no longer useful as bags, that the materials they are made of would make excellent scrapies for making a very soft and unique 'lovey' blanket for a lucky little baby! (I would imagine that I could use these bags for my child(ren) and then lend them to friends to use for their little ones and, by the time I got them back, several families and a dozen or so kids and many years later, they would be perfect for 'lovey' blankets for my grandchildren! Wishful thinking, maybe, but you asked!)"

"As these would be a very important memory of my childrens early years - I would cover and/or line my daughters memory box with them."

 But my favourite... and the winner of the Onbag Special Edition ByEthicals Set is....

Julie Babis with this response:

"I'm collecting fabric from clothes, toys, slings etc from different stages of my children's lives, which I plan to make into a memory quilt.  So should I be lucky enough to win this set, I would aim not to wear them out completely but to incorporate them into my quilt as a reminder of many happy times not just wearing my children, but being out and about with them.  I hope that this will become an heirloom for them in the future."

Your set will be on its way to you soon!


Special Edition Competition - Full Set up for grabs! The competition ends today..!

Your last chance to enter this competition!  The contest will end at midnight tonight and I will announce the winner on Monday...

This beautiful set of Onbag Special Edition ByEthicals bags is up for grabs, for one lucky babywearer!

The set includes:

1x Onbag Classic

1x Onbag Baby

1x Valuables Bag

1x Sling Pouch

In other words - everything you could ever desire!  All completely unique and entirely free.... if you can answer the following questions:

1. What is the name of the lady who makes the ByEthicals range for Onbag?

2. What colour label do special edition Onbags carry?

3. These bags are made from reclaimed fabrics, which would otherwise have gone into landfill... so what will you do with this set (after many many years!) once you've finally worn it out?

Email me at with your answers... This competition will end on the 1st of May.