It became clear that the train bag for Angelo had to take top priority. So, I made it! It was really fun and I think it turned out pretty cute. The pictures pretty much explain it, but I'll add some details.
I haven't measured the pieces, but I used a paper bag/lunch sack as the inspiration for the shape and size. I cut off a bit of the length and used half of the side for the width of the sides and bottom of the bag. Using the other side of the lunch bag, I free handed the geometric shapes for the train and used those pieces as the pattern for the engine and cars. The wheel I traced is from one of the many wheels Angelo's taken off of his wooden name train. I took a measuring tape across Angelo's shoulder to his hip to get an estimate for the strap length. It is made from wool felt I got from A Child's Dream Come True. I got the wool felt quite a bit ago and am so happy to be making use of it. And I'm really glad that Angelo is enjoying the bag so much. I had plans of doing a decorative whip stitch around the edges, but he grabbed it as soon as I brought it back from the sewing room and put his trains in right away. :)
Speaking of stitches, I appliqued the train on first (tacked the pieces on with non-toxic tacky glue). The stitches around the train on the front are whip stitches around the window and wheels and a fake blanket stitch around the rest. (I did a whip stitch one direction and a running stitch the other direction. If you want to learn how to do a real one, here are directions. I've never done a blanket stitch and thought this might be quicker than learning a new stitch and getting enough practice in for it to look nice. I was right. I tried the blanket stitch a few times, and it wasn't looking so great, so I went with plan A. I'll practice the blanket stitch for later... :) )A chain stitch makes the connections between the engine and cars and the smoke.
I'm sure there are other ways to go about this, but I machine sewed the sides to the front, then the bottom. Then I sewed the back to the other three pieces. I overlapped the two pieces for the strap and zig zagged around in a square for strength. I did the same zig zagging in a square to attach the strap to the sides.
Need to get going...