Bonsai! Rae’s New Fall Bag.

Here’s my newest bag. I’m calling it the “Bonsai Bag”*


I’m really digging orange right now, and these colors really get me in the mood for fall. The ties even look like little leaves. Since it’s pretty much felt like autumn all summer long here in the Midwest, I’m not experiencing the usual shock to the system, round of denial and all the wishing that summer would last just a little longer. No way man. Fall, bring it on! Stop messin with me already.

I’m really interested in your feedback on this bag. I can’t tell if it works or if it’s too much. I tend to go over the top with stuff, and I’m aware that the orange poms might qualify as Too Much. But I saw a bag in an Anthro catalog with pom-poms around the top a while back (not there any more) and ever since then I’ve wanted to make a bag with them. Does it help to know that I also wanted to put orange poms around the neckline of the unicorn top, but restrained myself? I’m not sure.


This fabric (Good Folks fabric by the lovely Anna Maria Horner) lent itself perfectly to a little hand embroidery (you can just see the orange stitches in the pic above). I already have plans for another one; I’m imagining so many options for the center panel — maybe some more embroidery on a solid background (birds? trees? an owl?), quilting, applique, or another showcase fabric? It makes my brain hurt thinking about what you could do with this if you had one of those fancy embroidering sewing machines (I don’t). And instead of the pom-poms, maybe some ric-rac or a ruffle…

I can see this with metal hardware too…maybe those silver rectangle thingies?

I really like the size of this one; it’s pretty large so it holds lots of stuff. I made it with a magnetic snap but I think it would work better with a recessed zipper. I took pictures while I made it, so I’ll put this out there like I usually do: if there’s enough interest in this I can make a pattern available. Meanwhile I’m on to bigger projects. I really really need to finish Elliot’s quilt before it starts to cool off outside.

*the name was my seester Elli’s idea. It makes no sense but I like it. And I love that it reminds me of that ridiculous show Banzai! which was completely insane but the Mr Shake Hands Man segment still makes me laugh when I think about it….

103 thoughts on “Bonsai! Rae’s New Fall Bag.

  1. I love it! I think you paired the colors with perfection. It looks like you spent a bundle on it, which is normal for all the projects you share. There is definitly interest here in you making another great pattern. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Seriously Rae?!?!
    Just making up new bags while the wee one sleeps? You are too much!! How about you move closer, I'll hold the baby and you can take care of all the sewing ;).

    I love the bag and I'm thinking a corduroy outer with a print in the middle and a ric-rac trim would be so great for fall. In fact, I'm picking up some rusty orange corduroy this week … how fun would that be.

    So happy to see you posting and creating … happy week!

    Oh and I need to finish E's quilt too. I think I need to start taking a day a week for that until it's done. Even at that rate it might be March, LOL.

  3. This bag Rocks Rae!!! Seriously I hope there is a pattern in the future – too cute!! I can just imagine all the fabric combos!!

  4. Dear Rae- Please blog more. We miss you. Beautiful bag, but looks labor-intensive. How long would it take once you got the hang of it? I'm an immediate-grat girl, and hate not being able to finish a project in one sitting. I am ready to buy a serger, and am looking at your sam model. Any gripes? Hope you guys are adjusting to being a fam of 4!

  5. This bag is awesome, Rae. It's not too much but I think if you'd have used two prints instead of one and a solid on the outside, it could've been busy. As it is, it's lovely.

    I think the zipper idea is fab. Not crazy about rectangles at the straps. The rounded style suits the line of the bag much better, methinks. I'd buy the pattern for this one.

  6. Thanks for listing me, Rae. I bought some darling printed twill from Hancock Fabrics last week and the strap adjusters but have been busy with orders in my shop. I am anxious to use that great twill, though. If you have a Hancock Fabrics near you, you should check it out. — michele

  7. I can't believe you are up to such cool project with two now! It seriously took me about 6 month just to be able to get my second out of pajamas for the day. poor girl! I love the bag, love it! ruffle would be super cute too. A pattern or something would be awesome.

  8. This is a gorgeous bag! When you're ready to sell a pattern, I'll definitely be in line. (I'm in love with the pom poms!)

  9. It totally looks Anthro-inspired. For me, a non fan, the poms are a bit much, but I know I'm in the minority. You do such lovely work, Rae!

  10. I think it looks really, really good. I don't think I'd do the pompoms, but maybe ric rac. And you are right, there's so much more you could do too!!

  11. This bag is gorgeous! I never thought you can top my favorite Buttercup Bag! But you did! This is actually quite weird – I am busy crocheting a bag from a Japanese pattern and the shape of the bag is EXACTLY the same as this bag of yours. Since the first moment I saw this pattern I wanted to make the bag. Please tell us when we can buy the pattern? Please make it available as a download soon!

  12. This bag is perfect, not too much at all. The pom-poms give it a great vintage feel and work with the fabric beautifully. And since you offered, I would love the pattern! And I love the fact that a different trim or fabric could make this bag perfect for any season!

  13. I love your bag. Great colour combination and just the right amount of embellishment. PLEASE make a pattern for it!

  14. I love everything about this bag-the colors, the poms, the size and the gathers along the side. Please make the pattern available.

  15. Seems odd that my first comment on your blog should contain a negative, but it looks like I'm one of the few that doesn't love the poms. I mean you pulled it off, but I'm not a fan of them in any project typically! I'd definitely be interested in a pattern, esp. with a ruffle or rickrack option. You make amazing things, thanks for continuing to share!

  16. Hey Rae! I really like the bag, but to be very honest in pictures the pom's seem too much but in person they don't. (if that even makes any sense at all) Maybe we should bring our sewing machines together and finish some quilts. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  17. Beautiful!! I need this pattern! I don't know when you have time to create these gorgeous bags.

  18. The bag is perfect just the way it is…it would some snazz to a understated outfit and…I am loving the orange!

  19. I love LOVE this bag. All your creations are so great!! I would love to have the pattern for this bag! I love your buttercup pattern.

  20. That's really a lovely bag, I do hope you make a pattern available. I have made several buttercup bags and I love how easy that pattern is and I get compliments on them too! Keep up the good work!

  21. I love it. It's not at all too over the top. I would prefer a zipper instead of snap. I would love to see a pattern for this. I especially dig the straps…so cute.

  22. Once again…what a lovely bag! Personally I am not a pom-pom embellisher, but to my surprise, they don't bother me on this bag. Like the others, I would love to buy the pattern if you have the opportunity to make it. Please make it, we will all babysit! πŸ™‚

  23. I think it's darling! Not sure about the pom-poms one way or the other, but I love the bag. It's very similar to a bag I saw in a children's book, but couldn't figure out for the life of me how to actually make it!

  24. Very cute bag! I hope you put the pattern out. I loved making the other bag you posted. So cute!! I LoVe the idea of ric-rac or a ruffle and doing some embroidery on a solid fabric. So stinking cute!!

  25. I'm desperate for a new bag and something like this would be perfect. PLEASE can we have a pattern? And for the record, I think the pom-poms are perfect – but I like quirky things.

  26. EEEEEKKKK!!! Oh my!!! I am in LOVE! I know I am being way dramatic but my mind is racing with ideas for the middle panel as well. I am way into embroidery right now and have spent a small fortune on embroidery designs. A sweet little applique birdy would be super cute in the middle.

    I do like the pom poms, but I think I would like ric rac or a small ruffle better.

    Pretty please make a pattern when you have a few moments to do so. I will buy it grinning ear to ear all the while. This looks like the perfect fall bag. It can also be dressed up for Christmas parties.

    Thank you for some inspiration today. I am going to finish the buttercup bag I am working on!

  27. I'm loving my Buttercup bag, but it was a spring color and I'm craving a fall purse. PLEASE, you know, in between caring for an infant and toddler, loving your husband and home, PLEASE put up a tutorial/pattern for this purse. I would love to carry it for my fall season!

  28. I kind of like the pom-pom trim. The rest of the bag looks dark, and then BAM! POW! orange-in-your-face. I think the one-print + one-solid combo works – if it was two busy prints covering all that area, it might be too much. But this is, in the words of Goldilocks, "just right."

  29. I love it! I think the pom poms are cute as well. While I wouldn't add them, simply because it's not my style, that doesn't make it any less adorable. I think it adds a touch of whimsy. Too cute! Will this be a pattern? (Pretty pretty please???)

  30. I love it, pom-poms and all! It must be a personality thing. Thank you for sharing your creative ingenuities with the world.

  31. I like it! The pom poms work. I didn't even realize that is what they were until you meantioned it. I love the straps. I bet it would look great with some victorian inspired fabric and some lace too. Or no trim, japanese focal fabric, and bamboo handles. I don't think square metal handles would go with the shape very well. But that's just me.

  32. oooh so pretty- did you just whip that up in your free time? just kidding, i luv it, and would to make one like it!

  33. Dar.ling!! I would love to make one of these! Orange is my favorite color and Anna Maria's fabric is my favorite! I love your combination. The hand stitching looks awesome!

  34. Oh no you DIDN'T! The bonsai is Awesome (with a capital "A"). I love everything about it– especially those orange pom poms

  35. I love it! I think you are just on the good side of 'too much'. I tend to do the same thing though, going overboard, so I understand your concern, but I think you got this one right on! There is just enough orange in the rest to make the pom-poms fit. I need to send you photos of the travel baby bag I made, you'd be a great candidate for it with two little ones now! πŸ™‚

  36. Thanks so much for responding to my email to you and for the nice comment you left me. I am so glad that everything was okay! Thanks also for the Buttercup Bag pattern. It was a joy to make!

  37. I'm in an orange phase right now, too. Maybe it's my fall spirit coming out, but I can't get enough of it!

    And, if you did make a pattern? I'd snag it.

  38. Love Love LOVE it!!! This bag is just delicious! And while I probably would substitute a ruffle or something shiny for the pompoms I think they totally work on this bag. Nice work! Now I want me one…..

  39. While I like the shape and design on the purse, I could not comfortably carry a purse with pom-poms on it! I would feel totally self conscious about it! But that's just me. I would love the pattern to include directions for a zipper.

  40. So I loved the bag when I saw it. the colors and shape are fab and you included my favorite color ORANGE. I probably would forgo the pom poms as with small children they would inevitably get pulled off, also I'm a bit of a klutz and dirty pom poms aren't that attractive but I like the color interest though. I would trade the pom poms for piping. I too would be interested in a pattern with the inset zipper and such.

  41. I love this bag! I'm tottaly interested inmaking this bag if you put a pattern out there! I love your buttercup bag and I'm thinking about buying the pattern and liscence!

  42. That bag is AMAZING! I would love to purchase the pattern if you make it available. Your creations are simply astounding!

  43. This bag is really very cute! Even though I'm not much for pompoms, they go very well here. Also, love the handles with the ties! Please share the pattern!!

  44. love it, love it!!! i LOVE the pompoms!!! it's not at all too much. rather, it's perfect! (though i totally get the whole "is this anthro, or is this just tacky/too much??" question – i ask myself that alot, too!!)
    you're so talented & quite amazing for sewing up stuff with a new one at home!

  45. Yup…the bag looks great. A pattern PLEASE!!!

    And again…I am in amazement. My "wee" ones are 4 and 2 *years* old and I still don't have my act together.

  46. Seriously, I love this purse and I love your ideas about the middle print! You are so talented and creative and I thank you for sharing your creations and patterns with us on your blog. I made a bag using your buttercup pattern and receive many compliments on it and have given your blog to people who like it and tell them wait until you see what else she makes! So thank you for sharing your projects with us. I would love to see a pattern for your Bonsai bag!! Thanks again for sharing everything!

  47. I want it rightthisverysecond. pretty, pretty please make a pattern. the pom poms make it. adore. love. need.

  48. I love the colors on your bag and I LOVE the orange pom-poms. I say just go with it. Very stylish. I love the style and I am now dieing to make one of my own, with pom-poms!!!

  49. I love this bag!! Can't wait for the pattern!
    I just finished my first buttercup bag last week, I posted it on my blog and in the flickerpool

  50. Haven't been blog-reading lately, so I'm catching up and I LOVE the new bag! I love it. I am not a big bag person–I love them, but usually don't ever get around to making them. But I was searching to see if there was a pattern because I WANT this bag! So, consider that interest in a pattern–'cause I need one! πŸ˜‰
    –kelli
    kellbell_6@hotmail.com

  51. Oh my, I love this SO much!!! Please please PLEASE do a pattern…it's too cute not to do one!

    And it's not too much AT ALL! I think the pom-poms are just perfect with it. It seems that pom-poms are in right now…I seem to find them everywhere and they're always cute!

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  52. i would love to make this bag!!! i'll buy this pattern for sure. i love it, don't change a thing!!! (everytime i pass the pom poms at the fabric store i think to myself "what could i put these on?" needless to say my dog has a bed with them around the edge)

  53. I love this so much! I just went shopping for a new bag tonight and didn't find anything so I thought I would look on your blog and you didn't disappoint! Great work and thanks for sharing! When can I buy the pattern?

  54. I really like the bag! The colors, fabrics, and the pom-poms all work together beautifully! I would love to have the pattern if you made one. I've made the itty-bitty dress and it turned out great. I plan on making the buttercup bag soon. Thanks so much for sharing your patterns.

  55. I don't know if it's too late to request a pattern, but I'd love to try making this if you ever do make a pattern available. Thanks!

  56. rI love the bag! I think the pompoms are done nicely. Not over the top. Please think about posting the pattern. πŸ™‚

  57. Love the bag! I'd love to make it. Can't wait 'til you release a pattern. The zipper would be fun to do. I love your work. Thanks for making it available to everyone.

  58. I would love to see a pattern for this bag…pretty please??? How about a PDF for purchase??

  59. Did you ever end up making a pattern for this bag? I just discovered it on your Flickr today and I LOVE IT!

  60. I have to agree – a pattern would be phenomenal. The bag is gorgeous! I don't think the pom-poms are too much. They make the bag! Thanks for posting all your creative ideas!

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