The Joy Of Sewing Can Be Found In Small Projects

Lazies, Susan Gable makes me want to hug my sewing machine. Her enthusiasm and creativity remind me of the sense of joy and fulfillment that comes from sewing. Susan recently discovered the fun of our Runaround Bag, one of our smallest bags and simplest designs.

A collection of Runaround Bags made by Susan Gable.

Here’s Susan:
I was on a personal mission to find a shoulder bag that was the right size, had at least one zipper closure, a pocket, ability to use leftover scraps of fabrics, and easy to sew. That led me to the Runaround Bag.

I needed the bag to wear for my future sewing classes. The bag had to be light enough to wear for several hours and not get in the way while teaching or demonstrating.

I also needed the bag to wear at work (my full-time job) as I have desk keys, two cell phones, small bills and change that I would like to keep in my immediate possession. I found all this in the Runaround Bag.

Susan models two of her Runaround Bag creations.

Easy And Great For Gifts
When I first opened the pattern and read through the instructions and diagrams, I realized the bag would be easy to make.

Then a light bulb went off in my head. The bag would make wonderful gifts. I ended up making four bags in one day and gave them to my family members for Christmas. I also made a bag for myself and for a friend. Currently, I am using mine to carry my Blackberry, a small point and shoot camera, and a small wallet.

I love making bags using home decorating fabrics. I like the durability, the different textures, and colors. I found this type of fabric works wonderfully for this shoulder bag. This Runaround Bag is definitely a dynamite pattern for me.

A peek inside the bag reveals more fun fabrics.

Susan’s Sewing Aspirations
I love the process of coordinating and constructing fabrics to produce unusual and creative clothing and accessories. I use my experiences from my other hobbies to see the potential in the fabrics.

I have an eye for color and texture, and I like to sew with all types of fabrics and materials. I enjoy the construction process as I learn new techniques and challenge myself to try something different. I always look forward to my end product. Sewing is my passion. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn to sew.

A great use of stripes and florals is
visually dynamic on this small project.

Sewing Experience
I started sewing in Home Ec in high school and I’m self-taught from there. Over the years, I sewed off and on making pillows and simple curtains. I could tackle sewing straight seams on a Singer mechanical hand-me-down. In 2005, I was crocheting some bags and needed to line them. I purchased an inexpensive ($100) White sewing machine as I was not too sure how long this hobby would last.

Well one thing led to another and I started sewing woven tank tops for myself. Then I tackled tank tops with buttons down the front. I had to learn how to make buttonholes manually.

The centered floral motif adds drama and
elegance to this simple design.

Within a month I bought my first computerized sewing machine and I realized there was no limit to the sewing possibilities. Several machines later (upgraded/purchased), sewing is my passion. My other hobbies and interests include computers and gadgets, photography, watercolor painting, machine embroidery, making beaded jewelry, crocheting, learning to knit, and vegetarian cooking.
– Lazy Girl Susan of Manassas, Virginia

Thanks Susan! Read Susan’s complete project review at


[tags]zippered purse, Runaround Bag, Lazy Girl Designs[/tags]

Leave a Lazy Comment

18 Responses to “The Joy Of Sewing Can Be Found In Small Projects”

  1. Beverly — January 7, 2008 @ 9:46 am

    I like the look of this purse and would like to know where I can get the pattern, if it is out yet.

    – – – – –

    Hi Beverly

    Our Runaround Bag pattern is available through quilt shops or online retailers. Check with your local quilt shop or you can find a list of shops here:


  2. Penny — January 7, 2008 @ 10:01 am

    Susan what a great story, I too love the Runaround Bag, it is sooo useful. I like it for quilt shows because I can hang my id on it as well as the plane ticket. What lucky family memers to receive one of your goodies that you are so passionate about. By the way the bags are gorgeous!

    Penny D in Chesapeake

  3. monique — January 7, 2008 @ 11:47 am

    Oooh.. love these bags! So pretty; now I want to go make some 🙂

  4. Sandi — January 7, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

    I’ve made many runaround bags for gifts. College girls and alumni love bags made out of the their school material, for a perfect lightweight game day purse. They are also perfect for using up novelty fabrics for your favorite golfer, dog lover, etc. Thanks Lazy Girls.

  5. Mary — January 7, 2008 @ 1:05 pm

    Once again I’m left thinking “If SHE’s a LAZY GIRL, what am I?”

    Joan, I love your patterns and love your blog. I always open it right away when it hits my inbox, and it never disappoints. I am always inspired by patterns, color, organization, motivation…I think I will go find a pattern and get busy NOW! Please keep up the good work!

    I think this one will be a great one for my daughter to carry in college, to keep her ID handy. It will be fun to make in seasonal fabrics.

  6. Kindra — January 7, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

    I “LOVE” the Runaround Bag. It is easy to make and fun too.
    I have made several for myself and friends. I make them to mach tote bags also. A matching “wonder wallet” would be great toas well.

    I made one for a friend and she calls it “her Gad about Bag”

    Thank you for helping me get over my “zipper phobia”

    It is amazing how much this little bag will hold and stay so organized.

    Thanks Joan and Lazies for your great patterns, your newsletter and blog.

  7. Alice Andrews — January 7, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

    soooooooooo lovely

  8. Judy Meyer — January 7, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

    I just purchased a computerized sewing machine as well and made 20 of those wonderful little purses. The only problem is that I kept having to go out to find more zippers to match. It was so much fun and my friends and gift exchange groups loved receiving them. I quilted the backing, fleece and lining to make it a little more sturdy.

    You did a great job. Now that the holidays are over with, I’ll start in on trying my hand at quilting larger items.

  9. Jonnie Egleston — January 7, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

    Wow I just love the look of this bag. I have to look and see if I have that pattern as I have several LazyGirl patterns and need to try them. Keep up the good work as people would much rather have something homemade than something store bought.

  10. Susan Pedersen — January 7, 2008 @ 11:23 pm

    I made this pattern for myself for vacation and Loved it! Everyone asks me where to get one and now I am busy making them for all of my friends. The most popular fabric is made from casino fabric. It seems to work out great since one of my friends had her purse stolen while playing the slots. this Purse is perfect and keeps all belongings well protected and now we all don’t go out to play unless we are wearing one.

  11. Susan Gable — January 8, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

    Hello Fellow Lazies…thank you for your kind words and complements. After making several of the featured bags, I am hooked on Lazy Girl Designs patterns. I am looking forward to trying out other LGD bags and selecting the unique fabrics. After sewing a bag, I just love turning it right-side out and seeing a wonderful creation.

    Joan…thank you for providing us with unique and wonderful patterns that inspire creativity. Thank you for sharing your easy zipper installation technique. And I really like being a Lazy Girl. 🙂

  12. Mary — January 9, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

    Susan, you did a great job on all those bags. And yes Joan’s patterns are wonderful. I also made many for gifts, last Christmas each one of my 10 granddaughters received one. I had a few left over, after a great production day, and gave them for door prizes at our local quilt guild. Try the rest they are so easy and soooooo much fun.

  13. Linda Ramage — January 9, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

    Susan – your color choices are sooo inspiring and exciting. I’ve made several runaround bags to match the vests I make. I love Lazy Girl Designs and have most of the patterns – some yet waiting to be given life in fabric. Thank you Joan for all your wonderful patterns.

  14. Kay Poke — January 10, 2008 @ 10:28 am

    Will there be a tutorial for this bag? I am on a fixed income and really can’t afford to buy the pattern but would love to try to make some of these bags.I too have problems with zippers.Love the color choices you made also.
    Thanks and keep the bags coming!!From another lazy sewer!!

  15. jan yates — January 10, 2008 @ 1:27 pm

    I love these little bags!!!! I made about 5 of the summer totes as Christmas presents and all the recipients loved them. I used co-ordinating Ashley fabrics from the home decor dept of JoAnn’s and they turned out beautifully. They were a little stiffer than the cotton ones. but either way they were fun to make and turned out great. I can’t wait to start on the little bags. What a great way to use up all those small pieces of material laying around

  16. MartiH — April 15, 2008 @ 9:49 am

    I love the look and the fabrics used for this bag, oooh, can’t wait to try making one for ME!

  17. conishkee — April 22, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

    Hi Susan, I am so inspired by your story. I love your bags and the colors/pattern of fabrics you chose. I just received my Runaround Bag pattern yesterday and I cannot wait until this weekend to make one, hopefully two! Joan always has a way of making her instructions so easy to follow. Although I’m a bit intimidated by zippers, I’m not gonna let it stop me from trying. I can’t wait to get busy.

  18. Amanda — October 6, 2015 @ 1:49 pm

    I brought a bag like this in Barcelona, I have hunted for one in England and can not find, I wish I could find someone to make me a couple I love them. I have friends who love them to but we can not find any one to make them . Well done Susan yours are lovely x