Book Reviews, Sewing

On the Go Bags: Van Organizer

This week, I’m celebrating 2 years since I sold my first pattern. I never would have imagined that it would lead to one of my patterns would be published in a book just 2 years later. It’s is a pleasure to join the On the Go Bags—15 Handmade Purses, Totes & Organizers blog tour with some of the best bag designers in the business. These ladies have put together a beautiful book with modern sewing projects that will keep your home organized with style.

I’m also giving away a copy of the book! (This giveaway has ended! Congrats to Lunebeam!) Details are at the end of the post…but first I thought I would share a little about my inspiration for the pattern I designed.

On the Go Bags | Van Organizer | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

I enjoy designing bags and home accessories, but I especially love creating practical items to help you simplify your life. When Lindsay shared the premise for the book—bags and organizers for specific purposes—I knew it would be a fun project to work on. I spent a couple of days thinking about what would be helpful to organize around my house. Anyone with kids knows the van can get crazy messy, so I designed this van organizer to contain some of the mess! It won’t magically clean your van for you, but at least it will keep it all from rolling around the floor and out the sliding doors…

This version was made by Lindsay Connor for Art Gallery Fabrics. The new canvas is perfect for this project!

On the Go Bags | Trunk Organizer Radiant Home Studio

The pattern has a variety of elasticated pockets on each side, plus a removable divider. I wanted the inside to be big enough to carry a casserole to a potluck. A 9 x 13 dish will easily fit without the divider. Then you can pop the divider back in (it attaches with hook-and-loop tape) when you want to fill the organizer with smaller things. It’s great for the trunk, but I also thought it would be perfect to have in the front, between the seats, for road trip supplies. When we take long trips, there’s always a pile of stuff between the seats…and tons of trash. How great would be to throw a grocery bag in one end for trash, while the other side is filled up with snacks?

Now I’m wondering why I haven’t made another one for myself after I sent this one off to be photographed…my van is still a mess!

Here’s a sneak peek at a few of my favorite projects from the book. And thank you to Lindsay & Janelle for including me and for all of your hard work on this book!

On the Go Bags Blog Tour | Mom's Minivan Organizer | Radiant Home Studio

Would you like to win a copy of On the Go Bags—15 Handmade Purses, Totes & Organizers by Lindsay Conner and Janelle MacKay (Stash Books). The book is available this month at and January 7th on Amazon! Add it to your holiday wishlist now, and comment below for your chance to win a copy!

On the Go Bags (Dec. 2015, Stash Books)

To win a copy of On the Go Bags, leave a comment on this post telling us what style of bag is most useful in your everyday life and why. Giveaway ends 12/15 at midnight EST, and I’ll choose one random winner. U.S. winner will receive a hard copy, and winner outside the U.S. will receive an e-Book.

Find out more about the book, the designers, and the projects by following the posts at these blogs!

On the Go Bags Blog Tour

Tuesday, Dec 1: Shannon Fabrics / Sew Sweetness
Wednesday, Dec 2: Clover & Violet / Ann Kelle
Thursday, Dec 3: Radiant Home Studio / Melly Sews
Friday, Dec 4: Sew Caroline / Mia’s Creations
Saturday, Dec 5: ikat bag / imagine gnats
Monday, Dec 7: sewVery / The Girl Inspired 
Tuesday, Dec 8: Stash Books / Fabric Mutt
Wednesday, Dec 9: Pellon
Thursday, Dec 10: Simple Simon and Co / Mrs. H
Friday, Dec 11: Emmaline Bags / Lindsay Sews
Monday, Dec 13: Sew, Mama, Sew



83 thoughts on “On the Go Bags: Van Organizer

  1. Vontina says:

    Happy 2 years, I enjoyed your story and I to love making handbags and other crafts.

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m inspired to try the van organizer too.

  3. Cindy says:

    Happy Anniversary! Due to a shoulder injury, I can’t use a traditional “shoulder bag”. So I like bags that I can hold in my hand. Either a clutch or a short handled bag. I’d like to try the bag on the cover of your book, I think that might work.


  4. Krista says:

    It’s hard to pin myself down to a specific style–I’ve tried a lot of different ones, but I like a medium-sized bag the best (because then I don’t fill it with extra things). It’s nice to have either a shoulder strap or long enough handles to slip over the shoulder.

    Congratulations on your book project! How exciting it must be to have an accomplishment like that! 🙂

  5. susan dennis says:

    I’m really interested in making that cover ‘back pack’ bag! But, honestly, I’d give all of them a go.

  6. bekki says:

    I like your van organiser. A small one would be useful for my car. I don’t have children or a van but I do have a messy car! My favourite type of bag is small and crossbody. I don’t carry a lot around with me and like to have my hands free.

  7. Kath S says:

    Sure wish I’d had the van organizer about 10 years ago! The car doesn’t get as messy on road trips since the kids are older now, but would still be very nice to have for the usual errands and such – so you know where things are when you need them. Thanks for this opportunity to win the book.

  8. NancyR says:

    I love the over the back pack style that is on the front cover. It is hard to find just the right pattern that is not too boxy but has lots of room. This looks like it would fit the bill

  9. Stephanie says:

    This looks like such a fun book, congratulations!

  10. Jamie N says:

    I love tote style bags and midsize purses. I have a tablet (8″) that I often want to take with me, and I often looke for purses that will accommodate it so I dont have to change purses or carry an extra bag.
    This book has lots of great ideas!

    1. Anne says:

      I like to carry my 7″ tablet in Sara’s Fairport Pouch – it’s the perfect size.

  11. Barbara says:

    My hubs and I, septuagenarian retirees, are planning to move into a THOW (Tiny House On Wheels) in about a year, so ALL my bags will have to be “on the go”, to serve as storage, immediate use, temporary use, and gifts. I am bag-obsessive, and your book would be so perfect to accompany us on our tiny house adventures, living frugally in state and national parks! My sewing machine and I are inseparable, will certainly have place in our next home, and I have a feeling your book would be in that category as well! I plan to showcase (via a blog) the tiny house and how we carry and store our possessions, which will include a lot of fabric solutions rather than wood in order to eliminate weight. I look forward to seeing your book, and I’d so love to win one! Thank you for the opportunity!

  12. My favorite bag for carrying everyday is a cross-body style with lots of pockets and a zipper closure for the top. I like the hands-free ease when shopping and the way a cross-body causes less shoulder pressure than a typical shoulder bag. Would love to win the book. Really like the variety of items that are being oreviwed on the blogs.

  13. Anne says:

    Sooooo excited that you’re published in a book! How awesome is that? I think we’re on organizer #3 or #4 for our van… it hangs from the back seat and holds everything from paper dolls of our friends (you’re all there!) and car sickness remedies to hand sanitizer and paper towels… oh, and don’t forget the bear bell we’ve never used, but always bring along in case someplace we visit requires bear bells!

  14. Holly says:

    Nice van organizer…very useful. I would love to have this book. I like Crossbody bags with lots of pockets. Why? I like to have my hands free, and while shopping, I don’t want to accidentally forget my purse somewhere.

  15. Jennifer says:

    I need a crossbody bag, with 3 kids the last thing I need is a bag skipping of my shoulder or a hand taken up holding a purse

  16. Amanda says:

    This looks super useful. I’m in full toddler and baby stage right now, so we’re big on diaper bags.

  17. Kristin M says:

    I am a big fan of totes!

  18. tac says:

    I love tote style bags as I am always carrying things to grandkids and others.

  19. Angie H. says:

    I love making large tote bags. I seem to always have a use for them. Whether it’s at the gym or in my car or shopping, they come in handy!

  20. Rebecca K says:

    Congrats – the book looks amazing! I can’t wait to see it in person. Anything to help organize is always a huge help :). Thanks for the chance to win.

  21. Claire Sutherland says:

    I love all bags. I find cross body styles most useful, prefect for hands free shopping!
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

  22. Kathryn Laposata says:

    I love the Airport Sling. It leaves my hands free.

  23. Booth says:

    Very interesting looking book and congrats!

  24. Lori Morton says:

    For every day I love a shoulder bag…so much more convenient! 🙂 But I admit to being a “Tote Addict”!!!! giggle.. LOOOOOVE Totes….use them for everything from storage, craft bags, overnight trips & the Grankiddo’s…and my Hubby’s stuff too!! Thanks for chance to Win this Awesome book!! 🙂

  25. Linda says:

    I love this book. The van organizer looks great. I’d love to try that pattern..

  26. Cecilia says:

    I use a small shoulder bag every day, but I also use a tote for carrying my sewing project and tools. I love the idea of your divided bag,

  27. Michele says:

    I use a small crossbody bag when running errands and a large tote stays in my car to hold the junk that won’t fit in the smaller bag. I LOVE the organizer that you designed. It’s the main reason I need this book.

  28. Crystal Chadwick says:

    Congratulations on 2 years. Can’t wait to read the book!

  29. Marsha Law says:

    I would like to say I use a beach bag every day, buuuuuut… For as long as my everyday consists of taking buses and trains in the cold, I like to have crossbody or shoulder bags that can hold the milk from my impromptu grocery shopping, but keep my bus pass and keys handy.

  30. Karen says:

    I love bags with lots of pockets and compartments to help keep me organized. I see some ideas for bags I could use in the book.

  31. usairdoll says:

    Happy Anniversary! Lots of great bags! I really need the mini van organizer. I have a five year old grandson that I see several times a week and who sleeps over as well. My car definitely needs an organizer! From books, toys, clothes, so many things seem to find their way in and soon I have a huge pile. This is going on my to-do list!

    Awesome giveaway!


  32. Melissa says:

    I am starting to get more into photography and I’m shopping around for a new lens or two for my camera, so that camera bag would be perfect for my expanding gear collection! 🙂 Congrats on the book & 2 years!

  33. Chris says:

    I go for small bags these days to make it easy on my shoulder. I sure do enjoy making lots of bags.

  34. Kristy says:

    I currently love diaper bag style bags. I have a toddler and have #2 on the way so they come in pretty handy!

  35. Octavia says:

    I am in love with the car organizer. I have had something like it on my mind for a long time. It drives me crazy when items roll around the back of my SUV. Thank you! Thank you! I can not wait to get busy and make my own!

  36. Judy says:

    Love your van organizer, the book looks great!

  37. Patty says:

    Love to win that book! Right now I want a small bag or purse, but need a medium sized for grandsons diapers and snacks, and granddaughters crochet hooks and maybe a small ball of yarn, and for me? My tablet goes in. Thanks.

  38. jane d says:

    The mini van organizer would be great for the stuff I keep in the trunk of my car!

  39. Carissa says:

    I love the van organizer! I like bags with lots of pockets!

  40. Mama Lusco says:

    I love a big shoulder bag to carry my planner and laptop or tablet. Looks like a great book!

  41. Debbie M. says:

    I love totes, but I need a car organizer and a iPad bag 🙂

  42. Tina Jeo says:

    Love the van organizer! I carry a large shoulder tote for all my necessities!

  43. Mamie says:

    Love this idea. I like to have different bags for different occasions.

  44. Danette says:

    The most useful bag for me is a cross-body bag, plus I really need wallets or card holders. I have so many cards now, I can’t keep them straight. Thank you,

  45. Debby says:

    I guess I am kind of a bag lady. I love all bags, in different sizes and shapes. I use them for everything. With three kids, it seems like I always need a tote bag, zipper pouch, etc. to hold on to everything. And they are just fun to make.

  46. Kate says:

    I like a bag that will hold my clutch, my tablet, and my current sock knitting project.

  47. Melanie W. says:

    Cross-body bags are my go to bag of choice. Though, a sturdy tote bag is always good to have.

  48. Tara Sinclair says:

    Looks like some super handy items to make in this book. I love the ideas that are put in here.

  49. I use my messenger bag the most because it carries everything I need throughout the day. Thanks for the chance to win!

  50. Mara says:

    Definitely making your “bag” but not for a vehicle but for my living room mess, the kids have so many art supplies and I just move them from table to coffee table and it would be great to have a storage solution and I think this would work since they like to have “their supplies separated” lol.

  51. Gill says:

    I love tote bags – especially ones with lots of pockets!

  52. Claire Ross says:

    I love all sorts of bags. I probably fund cross body styles most useful day to day x
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

  53. Nancy Hilderbrand says:

    I like rhe retro rucksack because I need a large bag that has a closure.

  54. Dyan Charron says:

    Really looking forward to this book ! I prefer crossbodies, but love all purses.

  55. Lise says:

    wow, love them all,, my fav would be the van organizer, I would love to make this one also for my daughter to organize the van, thank you

  56. Susan meacham says:

    Reading about the utility of your organizer, I’m in! At first I was thinking it wasn’t for me. Reading of the elastic pockets and divider (casserole size) had me change my mind.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book and your project.

  57. Cecilia O says:

    I like medium size bags with a cross-body strap so I can wear it while wrangling my two young kids. I also like a zip top because my bags often find themselves tipped upside down or dropped down quickly, durable fabrics as my younger goes to preschool in the woods so my bags have to be able to stand up to you being set down in the dirt, and I like lots of pockets for organization.

  58. Indianna says:

    I’d love to make a backpack to replace a shop bought one that I use.

  59. You say bag, and I am there! Do I need to pick just one? I can think of a reason that I need ALL of these in my life 😉 The tote for the car sounds awesome though….my car is a hot mess.

  60. I use A LOT of tote bags. I would love to try the van organizer that you designed! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  61. Debby says:

    I don’t think there is any way that I could pick just one style. There are so many great bags that work for different situations. And bags are so much fun to make.

  62. Denise Clason says:

    Love the trunk organizer! What a clever book!!

  63. Sherri West says:

    The Handy Purse Pocket looks promising.

  64. judith martinez says:

    I love the van organizer!! I’ve been wanting something like that for a long time.

  65. lesley says:

    i prefer structured totes with divisions to keep magazines and ipad and kindle standing upright

  66. I love that van organizer. So need this in my life.

  67. karen swann says:

    Since I’m waaay beyond the years of children at home, I’ve moved beyond diaper bags and big totes to things like cross body bags, grocery totes, and items for travel. Congratulations on being included in On the Go–looks like a great book!

  68. kelli says:

    I like crossbody bags — they feel secure and I can find what I’m looking for easily.

  69. Lunebeam says:

    I like large tote bags with organizational pockets. I want to be able to store lots in my bag, but not lose the little things!

  70. Jennifer K says:

    For everyday use, totes or messanger bags for carrying my work stuff.

  71. Ula says:

    Congrats! I especially love totes to carry all my stuff!

  72. Bonnijean Marley says:

    I find myself using totes frequently.

  73. Laura says:

    Cross body bags work for me as then I have hands free and these distribute the weight better as well.

  74. Elizabeth says:

    I love large shoulder and crossbody bags. Pretty much anything with tons of pockets!

  75. Carmen N says:

    I love tote bags – plenty of room for my daily stuff, a knitting project or book and lots of pockets

  76. Karrie Smith says:

    i love tote bags. Everything fits!

  77. Stephanie Daniel says:

    I love that trunk organizer! I need some organization in my car.

  78. B. Sadie Bailey says:

    The van organizer is great! mine would have to be made out of something wipe-able as the car and everything in it gets really dirty – I’m a gardener. 🙂

  79. Stacy Alfano says:

    I love big, roomy bags so I can stick all of my junk somewhere!

  80. Stacy Alfano says:

    I like big bags and I cannot lie…..

  81. Carla G says:

    A cross body bag with multiple pockets is my go to everytime I leave home. 🙂 That way I have 2 hands free to shop or deal with my kids.

  82. Leigh says:

    I love cross body bags; anything that can keep my hands free. Messengers are great to for busy grad school days!

Comments are closed.