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Back to School Sewing Series: Modern Ditty Bag – The Perfect Teacher’s Bag

Modern Ditty Bag – The Perfect Teacher’s Bag

Hi Sulky® readers! I am Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety and I am so excited to be here today sharing a project that I love to give as a back to school teacher’s gift, the Modern Ditty Bag. I made this bag for Janome’s blog last year and wanted to revisit it again this year to give to my daughter’s new teachers. I created this bag because every time I went to the school, the teachers would have a bag they carried when they left the classroom with the kids. The bag held all of the important things they needed, like a walkie talkie, the class roll on a clipboard, wipes, tissues, bandaids, and probably a snack because kids are always hungry. I loved the idea of making them a super cute one because, GASP!, they were carrying old grocery chain cloth bags. My girls are always happy to present the teacher with something their mom made, so it’s a win-win.

The Fabric

This bag is pretty simple to make but let me tell you that choosing fabrics is the best part. I am always a fan of scrappy when it comes to sewing, but if that is difficult for you, try using one line of fabrics like I did here. I used Heather Ross’s Kinder fabric from Windham Fabrics for this bag. It is scrappy but coordinates because I used several prints from the Kinder line, except the denim was something from my stash. You can also use the same fabrics for all of the pieces for a completely different look. It is such a versatile bag.


This bag needs stabilizers to make it hold up when you set it down, but also to help it last. Teachers need things that will last through wear and tear. I quilted the denim on the bottom with a piece of Hobb’s cotton batting, then ironed on Sulky Tender Touch™ over it for extra stability when I was finished. I used Sulky Tender Touch on the panels after attaching them together, pockets, and the straps. I really like Tender Touch because it really gives it some strength without making it too stiff. I did make this bag with two pockets instead of one like the original tutorial on Janome and I really like how it turned out.

Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky

I have to say, I am head over heels for Cotton and Steel Thread by Sulky’s 50 wt cotton threads because they match everything! I used Cotton+Steel’s Light Red (#753-1037) and Cotton+Steel’s Neon Yellow (#753-1901), which are two of my favorites! I was always a neutral thread user until these Cotton+Steel amazing threads came into my life. They are the perfect colors for modern fabrics and the spool will last you for a really long time. I usually piece and quilt a project with 50 wt. My advice is to get the neon yellow if you want to branch out of the neutrals because it is just enough of a color to venture outside of the neutrals.

Head on over to Janome’s blog to get all of the details to make your own Modern Ditty Bag. If you want to see the bags I made for this year’s teacher gifts check out my post at Modern Sewciety. And if you would love to hear more about Heather Ross, I chatted with her on episode 064 of my podcast, Modern Sewciety.

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