Making an Athena Crossbody Bag 

It was a normal Friday, and I was running errands in Brandon. Although it wasn’t on my list of “places to go”, I found myself driving towards the quilt shop. Before I knew it, I was in Fabriculous, picking out fabric for an Athena Crossbody Bag!

A turquoise and pink bag featuring a goldfish print and gold-coloured hardware lays on a counter top.

How did this come to be? Christmas was fast approaching, and I realized that I was about to lose the use of my sewing room for the duration of my Mum’s stay (the sewing room is also the guest room). 

I had the urge to make one last project before converting the studio, and decided that the only possible option was to make a bag (because they’re relatively fast). I had been eyeing the Athena bag for a while, and decided on a whim that I had better get the fabric I needed *right then and there* if I wanted to make this project a reality! So off to the quilt shop I went!

An iPad displays the front cover of the Athena Crossbody Bag Pattern, and lays next to half-completed bag pieces.

Picking Fabric

Although I’ve never made a quilt using Tula Pink fabric, I often find myself drawn to her designs when working on a bag. I like that I can purchase a yard of a wild print, and use it in moderation on small projects like the Athena Crossbody Bag. 

The latest Tula line in the quilt shop was Besties, and although I have no affinity for fish otherwise, I couldn’t help but reach for the bold goldfish print. Maybe it was the turquoise? Or the pairing of the orange fish with the background? Whatever it was, I decided that I HAD to make a bag with this adorable fabric (I see that the actual name for this print is Treading Water in the Blossom colourway). 

I always like to use a light-coloured print for the lining of a bag, and I loved the look of the Daisy Chain print (in Meadow) for the inside of my Athena. There weren’t any  coordinating prints that I loved for the accent fabric, so I chose something from a different Tula Line (Baby Geo in Moonlight from the Moon Garden collection). 

Armed with my wild and wonderful fabric pull, I headed home, excited as can be.

A turquoise and pink coloured fabric that features a goldfish motif is folded onto itself to show a light coloured lining fabric.

Quilting Fabric

There are many great things about owning a longarm machine (running a business from my home, never having to baste another quilt, choosing literally ANY design I want, etc), but my favourite use for it is quilting bag panels.

It feels like a LUXURY to be able to buy two yards of fabric, slap them together with some stabilizer (I used Soft & Stable), and then let the machine stitch out an intricate pattern while I make supper (or watch TV).

Even though the Athena Crossbody Bag only requires a fat quarter, I quilted a full yard knowing that I’d be able to use the leftovers for other projects (definitely a Hemingway Pouch, and maybe an All The Things Tote??)

I used Butterscotch Ripple for the pantograph because it looks like waves. 

Fun fact: my Mum created this panto!

Choosing Accessories

Is it me, or is the best part of making a bag choosing the accessories?? 

The Athena Crossbody Bag calls for:

  • Hardware (D rings, swivel snap hooks, and a slider)
  • A zipper
  • Mesh, and
  • Fold-over elastic

I had a lot of fun sorting through my stash and choosing all the different finishes and options. I used gold-coloured hardware, a turquoise zipper and mesh, and pink fold-over elastic. The combo is so cute!

Small pieces of quilted fabric, a rotary cutter, a zipper, some mesh, and spools of thread lay atop a cutting mat.

If you’ve never worked with mesh or fold-over elastic, I can assure you that they’re a cinch to sew, and they add such a professional touch!

I also chose this fun orange thread to use with the accent fabric. It adds a little something without being too distracting. 

Shelly holds a small spool of orange thread in front of a turquoise and pink quilted panel.

Fast and FUN!

I finished my Athena Crossbody Bag in an afternoon, which felt like the exact amount of time I wanted to work on this project (and the exact amount of time I actually had). 

It’s such a kick that you can create a practical, adorable item in only a few hours. From cutting the quilted panel, creating all the pieces, sewing them together, and attaching the hardware, I finished this project before supper time. It took everything I had to set the bag down so I could go make something to eat!

A collage of four photos of a turquoise and pink bag featuring a goldfish motif.

Size and Function

The Athena Crossbody bag finishes at (approximately) 7” tall, 5” wide, and 2” deep, which makes it a great bag for running a few errands with just the essentials.

I can fit my cellphone in the rear exterior slip pocket (what a great feature), and a small wallet in the main compartment. There’s room enough for a lip balm, pair of sunglasses and a pen, but not much else. It’s a compact and sweet little bag.

You can wear the Athena crossbody style, or as a fanny pack by clipping the strap to the third D-ring. Love that versatility!

Shelly stands, wearing the Athena Crossbody bag, while Claire the cat walks away.

Need a kit? I’ve got you!

If you’re looking to make your own Athena Crossbody Bag, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to pick up a few accessories. Lucky for you, I’ve made a bundle available in my shop that includes every single item (except the pattern and the fabric). 

Shop the bundle here!

Your turn!

What do you think of the Athena? Cute, or what? 

Let me know if you plan to make one in the comments below! 

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