Mail Bag for a Junior Postal Worker
My son’s school just got a mail box last week, complete with mail bag and letters. The kids loved it, but I heard that there was going to be a knock-down, drag-out over the mail bag.
Megan asked if I could make another bag for the room. I was told that the only requirement was that it said MAIL on it in big letters. I decided to do the label in felt, as I have a TON of it (shocking, huh?) and because I am pretty comfortable working with it. I was going to write out MAIL in Word in a big font, print it, cut it out and use the letters as a template…but I got lazy and just free-handed it with chalk on the felt and cut it out.
I sketched out the front as a half oval and the back/flap as a full oval. The picture is of the full oval.
I decided to do the handle and sides/bottom in one continuous loop. I didn’t do any measuring. I just know I wanted it about 3 inches wide, so I sewed a tube and flipped it inside out to hide the seam allowance.
Speaking of sewing, I used both my sewing machine and my serger. If you don’t have a serger, you could use a zig zag stitch. The fabric I selected was some green canvas that I already had around the house. I chose it because it was stiff enough to hold its shape.
Here are the pieces cut out and laid out without the edge piece. It gives you an idea of the shape.
Ignore my chalk note. I just wanted to make sure that I got the bottoms to line up together.
When I started sewing, I started with the half oval and the tube and just serged all the way around the curved part. Once the front was done, I attached the back the same way. I attached the bottom part to the other side of the side strap and just serged the top flap part to keep it from fraying.
As you can see, I used some wacky colors, but since it was going to be exposed anyway, I thought I’d go for “I knew you were going to look, so I made it pretty.”
Once the front and back were on, I cut the handle to the right length and sewed the start to the finish, thereby making the edge a complete circle. I then serged any remaining unfinished edges and went over stress points again.
I was hoping that I could just be done then, but the strap was kind of wimpy-feeling, so I did a row of stitching with the regular machine down each side of it to make it stronger.
Once I was done, I flipped it to put the sewing on the inside and sewed the MAIL sign on (although I seriously considered leaving all of the seams on the outside since the colors were so cute). I used the machine to sew it on so that it would be neater on the inside.
Here is Jude with the bag that he is taking to school tomorrow.