October 11, 2010

Journey to a better diaper bag, Part 1

I have very few indulgences, but one of them is a really great, custom-made diaper bag.  I thought you might enjoy reading my journey to the Perfect Diaper Bag!

When I had my daughter, Camille, 5 years ago, I bought a cheapo diaper bag, thinking myself clever for saving so much money.  A week after she was born I was combing Toys R Us and Target looking for a better bag.  I needed one that was big enough for my stuff, but not huge.  I wanted something non-babyish.  I couldn't find what I wanted and I ended up with a backpack diaper bag.  That worked for a while, but the thing was a black hole and I couldn't find anything.  It was around this time that we switched to cloth diapers.  Again, I needed a better bag. 

My 2005 custom bag

I met a mom who'd had a diaper bag custom made.  I visited the same online store and bought a very custom, every-detail-made-just-for-me diaper bag.  It was much cheaper than a boutique bag, much better quality and way more fashionable than a discount store bag.  I LOVED it and carried it for the next 3 years.

When I was expecting our son, I wanted the same diaper bag experience.  I just couldn't settle for anything less!  But the seller I'd purchased from had stopped sewing diaper bags, so I went on a hunt for someone new.  Do you know how many hits you get on Etsy for diaper bag? 

That's right...over 26,000 results!!  Egads.  Even using the words "custom diaper bag" yields over 2000 entries.  I scrolled through hundreds of bags and sellers.  And then....

*cue angels singing*

I found this:
Emma Medium in Orchid Ginsing fabric

This bag caught my eye.  The seller is Babyeverafter, also known as Hot Mama Handbags.  I looked around at her other things and knew I'd found my custom diaper bag creator!  Her patterns are simple, classy, and hip.  Her eye for fabrics is unique and fun.  The quality is unmistakable, evident even in photographs. 

I soon ordered a custom bag (the one above!) along with a changing pad, wet bag, wipes bag, mama clutch, and key chain, all in coordinating fabrics.  I added in a nursing cover since I was having so much fun! 

I got my order a week or so later, much faster than expected.  Everything was simply perfect. 

My medium Emma bag holds so much without being huge...changing pad, wet bag, nursing cover, my small mama clutch bag (wallet, cell phone, keys, chapstick), 2 cloth diapers, a full change of clothes, a couple small teethers, a stack of restaurant coupons, baby tylenol, two tiny notebooks and an 8-pack of crayons.  Whew! 

Fast forward 6 months.  Colby is here now and I've used my beautiful diaper bag every day since we came home from the hospital.  But I am realizing that I chose too small...I need a larger bag, especially as he starts needing snacks and a sippy cup.  Guess I'll have to shop again!  Back to Hot Mama Handbags. 

Maranda is now creating my second custom order.  This time, I've chosen some funkier fabrics than I might normally go for, but I know it's going to turn out great.  Here are the fabrics I've chosen:

I've chosen an Emma Large this time, since I love the way my medium Emma bag looks. 

Outside Fabric
Inside Fabric

Then to go with my bag, I ordered a medium clutch to use as my mommy bag. 

Medium Clutch
I can't wait until my new bags arrive.  When it does, I'll take photos and post Part 2.  

Disclaimer: The review for both bags is unsoliticited and I paid full price for my first custom order.  Maranda did graciously give me a discount on my new order in exchange for a blog post.   


I'm still on the search for the perfect diaper bag. I need one big enough for two in cloth diapers but not too big. And I like to hang mine on the back of the stroller since I've usually got the baby in the carrier. Right now I'm using a luggage bag. Definitely not perfect and certainly not as beautiful as these! But it was free because it was already in my closet.

Kansas Mom - you need a Hot Mama Handbag gift certificate for Christmas! My bag hangs beautifully on the bag of our stroller. No special attachments, it just loops over the top, but it fits as well as my hubby's made-for-the-stroller bag.
Free, however, is a wonderful thing!

I like that bag! The choices on Etsy are overwhelming, and there are so many pretty bags to pick from. I have three months to go until I need a bag, so I guess I better start shopping now :P