I am beyond excited to introduce you to my first bag pattern – the Emerson Crossbody Bag! Not only is this my 20th pattern … this might just be my most exciting release yet!
Picture this. It’s 2017, back in the early days here at The Blanket Statement. I was designing, sewing and selling quills locally here in Winnipeg, as well as online. I was also selling a wide selection of quilted goods.
What were most of those “quilted goods”? BAGS! Zipper pouches, tote bags, laptop sleeves and more!
But by 2018, I did a quick pivot to designing and writing quilt patterns … and I knew it was the right direction for TBS! With that being said, releasing this pattern feels like a full circle, past meets present type of moment. And I am DELIGHTED!
The Emerson Crossbody Bag is a quilted bag that will not only take your sewing/quilting skills to the next level, but is the perfect blend of utility and style! Small enough to wear crossbody, or more traditionally as a belt bag – yet it still offers a surprisingly spacious interior with a handy slip pocket.
Keep your belongings secure with zippered closures for the main compartment, as well as a convenient front pocket (great for your phone or passport)! Perfect for travel or adventure, but also day-to-day running around... seriously, this bag is up for anything!
Finished Bag Size: 9"W x 5"H x 3"D
Now, before you get totally freaked out by zippers, buckles and binding ... I've got you! This pattern is FILLED with every tip, trick and hack I've learned over the last 30+ years behind a sewing machine.
I mean it … I’ve got you!
So, how did this pattern come to be?
The very first bag was a “just for fun, I need a bag for my trip and I can’t find one I love, so I’ll just make one” type of project! My family was heading to Disney World and all I wanted was a bag that was big enough, but not too big … comfortable, functional and, of course, cute!
I quickly drafted a very rough “pattern” and got to work!
I fell in love with not only the design, but also the process of making that bag! I literally couldn’t stop myself from making a bunch more. Keep reading to see them all!
But first, WHY EMERSON? Excellent question!
One, it's important to note that all TBS Patterns are named after places in Manitoba (where I live). I’ve used a variety of towns, lakes, parks etc and Emerson is no exception – but I must say, this one might have an extra dose of cheese and I am here for it!
Winnipeg is just a short 112 km (70 mile) drive to the US/Canada border and Winnipeggers are known for making a habit of zipping down to Grand Forks, North Dakota for a weekend away. (Yes, you read that right!)
Hotels with waterslides and access to Target make for a great mini-road trip, or even day trip.
And do you know where the border crossing is … (get it??)
That’s right! In the small town of Emerson, Manitoba - population, not quite 700.
To say I giggled A LOT when we first came up with the Emerson CROSS(ing) name, would be an understatement. And it stuck! The Emerson Crossbody was born.
This pattern is FILLED with comprehensive instructions, extra tips and tricks on every page, plus over 60 diagrams to help you each step of the way!
I know a bag pattern might be venturing into new territory for you and learning new things can be HARD! (Seriously, my parents can confirm I was a serial quitter growing up.)
BUT ... learning new things is also exhilarating!
Trust me when I say that the first thing out of my mouth after completing every Emerson Crossbody Bag is, “This is my favourite thing I've ever made”! I've also heard some pattern testers say the same thing. :)
Now, let's look at all the bags!
This is the first Emerson Crossbody I made! I didn’t have to think very long about what colours I wanted to use for this bag. Right from the get-go, I wanted a classic ‘90s, retro Patagonia, sporty vibe. And honestly, there hasn’t been one day where it doesn’t make me smile.
Here are the Kona Cotton colours that I used:
I quilted each panel with a 60° diamond grid to mimic X-Pac fabric (which was originally designed for sailing, but has since been adopted by many outdoorsy companies and bag companies!)
As this was the first bag I made … and I tend to be a “make it RIGHT NOW, use what you have on hand” kind of person, that’s exactly what I did!
I used two vintage brass zippers, black nylon webbing and a parachute buckle I had picked up at the salvation army sometime over the years. If you’re ever in a thrift store, make sure to check out their craft section!
And then almost the whole family wanted one of their own! Well, everyone but my daughter. She caught sight of the quilted backpack I was also working on … hint hint! ... and immediately requested one of those!
But I was thrilled to have the chance to make a few more bags. It gave me an opportunity to test the best way to construct the bag and try new techniques along the way.
My husband Chris was heading out on a weekend snowboard trip with some friends and after he saw how perfect my bag was for travelling, he requested one for himself!
He chose Kona Terracotta for the exterior of the bag, and Moonrise Cups in Copper by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for the interior. I quilted it in the same 60° diamond grid as the original bag and finished it with brass zippers and black hardware from Hardware Kit 01. Check out Chris’s photoshoot here!
Next on the docket was my son! He was VERY excited to custom design every fabric choice, colour placement, zipper and buckle! We used nickel zippers and a special side release buckle in translucent plastic, like everything was back in the 90s!
He picked these Kona Cotton colours:He chose snow dyed fabric from Tara Evans for the belt wings and interior of the bag! I quilted it using a 45° diamond grid.
He now wears it everywhere filled with Mini Eggs, fidget toys and a whole party of Lego mini figures! Check out his professional modelling skills here!
Next up, I wanted to try a bag made from a pieced panel! When I was making the first sample of the South Cross Quilt, I made a slight calculation error and ended up with waaaaaay too many HSTs.
But past Erin’s error was future Erin’s reward!
I quickly pieced them together into a 18” x 22” panel, quilted it by following the seams of the HSTs … and away we went!
The Kona Cotton colours are:The interior of the bag is Moonglow in Dahlia by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for Ruby Star Society. It was leftover backing fabric from the Boho-Inspired Landmark Quilt!
I picked up two nylon zippers from my local quilt shop in the perfect matching shade to Cantaloupe. I decided to make the belt wings solid black to match the webbing and buckle. I thought this would make the bag POP a little more!
By this point, I was just HAVING FUN! I couldn’t (still can’t!) stop thinking about bags, and after making a few I started to get MUCH faster.
To save even more time, I knew that I had a quilted wall hanging that I made at least five years ago that was just sitting in my studio collecting dust.
The block was a wonky log cabin made from repurposed and upcycled fabrics I had collected at thrift stores over the years. I made it into a bag, finished it with Hardware Kit 01 and love how it turned out. See me making this one in action here!
Once I felt confident in the pattern, I wanted to make a sample with canvas because of its added durability! I had previously made a quilted tote bag for my mom out of Heirloom Canvas in Lilac by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for Ruby Star Society and I adored it. So, I went with the same fabric, but in Earth.
Why make one canvas Emerson Crossbody when you can make TWO!? I’m not sure why my brain works this way, but c’est la vie! I had this leftover backing from a Steep Rock Quilt sitting in my stash for YEARS. I think it was just waiting for the right project to come along because COME ON! Could it BE any prettier?
The exterior is Fable in Grey Canvas from Wildwood by Rifle Paper Co and Mixology Tonic by Camelot Design Studio in Brown Sugar for the interior. I finished this bag with my favourite Hardware Kit 01 and it is chef’s kiss!
Okay, last one … I promise! At least for today.
What can I say…I’m obsessed! Not only with this next Emerson Crossbody, but also with this retro fabric I thrifted a few years back! If you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember the quilted, fold-over clutch I made a few years back. And who doesn’t love a matching set?! If you look closely, you can even see I repeated the same multi-coloured matchstick quilting with 50wt Aurifil thread.
For a full tour of this version, inside and out … click here!
The shop is stocked with a selection of different colours and materials to suit your personal style, as well as multiple price points.
I have been filled with wonderful and nervous anticipation from the top of my head to the tips of my toes! I’m so happy to finally get this pattern into your hands!
I hope you love making this bag as much as I do!
Have questions about this pattern or any other ones in the shop? Please reach out to email@example.com and we’ll help you out!