Introduction: Insulin Pump Garter

Picture of Insulin Pump Garter

This instructable shows you how to make a quick and easy insulin pump garter or "leg band." These are sold by insulin pump manufacturers, but often, they are hideous, scratchy, bulky, or only come in patterns for kids (baseball motifs, rainbow crayons, etc). I wanted to make one for myself that was soft, durable, and interesting. I hope you enjoy the instructions! This wide and streamlined version lies flat on your leg, and is very easy to make. You only have to sew four straight lines and cut a few things out! Have fun.

OR - - - order a custom made one here at Etsy: http://www.etsy.com - search for Vanfan "Insulin Pump Garter Belt"

FYI: Some Type 1 (Childhood Onset) Diabetics wear insulin pumps that give them a steady supply or "basal rate" of insulin 24 hours a day. For me, this technology improved my self-care regime tremendously. I've had my pump for 5 years and I love it. After years of multiple shots a day, it really makes life easier. In addition you can be more flexible about how you eat. If you are curious about insulin pumps or diabetes, check out www.jdrf.org.

Step 1: Materials Needed

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For this garter, you need very few materials. Scraps of fabric larger than your device and strong elastic will do it. For mine, I used great pieces from old costumes, as well as scraps collected from Purl Patchwork in Soho (a bargain! $5 for 8 very unique scraps!).

The materials needed include;

  • Good scissors
  • Strong Elastic that is at least 5cm thick and doesn't stretch out easily
  • A material for the cover/outside (note: this works like underwear; subtle colors if you want to hide it, bold colors if you are showing it off!)
  • A lining material (not entirely necessary but looks nice)
  • A fabric pencil
  • Your insulin pump or other device

Step 2: Unecessary Materials

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You can always add ribbons, flat buttons (nothing that will irritate your leg or arm), felt creatures, etc. If you plan on wearing this garter with stockings, for example, a little square of burlap or a soft zipper will help hold the thing in place. If you feel like you need to close your pump off from the elements, and the flap looks too flimsy for you, you can add a zipper, snaps, or velcro to the top.

Step 3: Measure Your Pump

Picture of Measure Your Pump

First, measure your pump's dimensions. You will need two pieces of fabric that will wrap around the pump/device as well as create a flap. Don't forget that its 3D; add some space horizontally. For my 9cm by 5cm pump, I measured a rectangle that was 23cm by 12cm.

Use this rectangle to cut out two pieces - a lining and a cover.

Step 4: Hem the Edges

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Using your rectangle pattern, cut out your two pieces of fabric.

On the top of your two pieces (wrong sides facing), hem along the edge. If your garter is going to be horizontal, the short side; vertical, the long side. Remember that the lining should just roll over the edge of the cover if you are using one, and be careful to sew the edges well so that they don't fray.

Step 5: Measure Elastic and Assemble

Picture of Measure Elastic and Assemble

Next, measure a piece of elastic around your chosen appendage. If it is your leg, decide where you want the pump to fall, and measure a piece of elastic that will be snug (not too tight) and have an extra 2 cm or so on each side to be sewn into the garter. You can always trim the extra edge on the inside off at the end, but it is not easy to adjust the tightness of the elastic once you've sewn it. Therefore, take some time to feel it out before you cut and sew it.

Next, you will turn the case and lining inside out, and fold it up around your actual pump to make sure you have the correct size. Once you've got that lined up, take the pump or device out, and put your piece of elastic inside.

Step 6: Bind the Sides

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Sew the sides several times so that the binding is strong. If you are handstitching, use a backstitch. If you are machine stitching, go over it 3 or 4 times.

Step 7: Turn It Inside-out and Try It On!

Picture of Turn It Inside-out and Try It On!

Really, I'm not kidding, you're done. That's it. Check the seams, if you must. Decorate. Enjoy!

Step 8: Examples

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Here are some other styles I've tried out.

An important note: Don't use thin or cheap elastic. It won't hold the stitches and won't stay on your leg! I made the ones I wear now about a year ago, after, of course, trying thinner elastic, and they've lasted quite a while. The thin ones fell apart in days. The thick elastic gets wonky looking, but holds up.

They are machine washable!

White and beige ones work well under light clothing.

I hope you enjoy it!

Comments

EmilyGrow (author)2014-11-24

I will try this soon (I intend to). Very nice.

Also thinking to create a diabetes accessories tool belt. I do a lot of gardening and other stuff that gets me covered in muck or on an unexpected mission. A"tool belt" with places for my pump, meter, glucose tabs, extra insulin/syringes/alcohol swabs, travel sharps container, etc. would make changes in plan and clothes easier.

Since I have sensory integration problems as well (yes, the adhesives on the infusion sets drive me up the wall, though less so than MDIs) I will spend some time and care on choosing durable yet non-spikey materials for the project.

Anyone want to beat me to this, feel free!

FatCatAnna (author)2013-09-08

Hey there! I wrote a blog a few years ago at Diabetes1.org about a D-Mum who made these great thigh pump holders. I was lucky enough to have one made up for me - but sadly - lost it (I know - how could I lose my fav thing in the world when I want to look girly???). I've been trying to make up one similar - using my memory of what it looked like - but just now came across your "instructions" - and love your post. I'll be linking my latest blog post - with your article in it - so hopefully you'll get more T1D's coming to your page here! Look for me on FB / G+ / Twitter !!!

Zaii (author)2012-01-03

I was unable to find these on etsy.com, only belts, bags, and such, no thigh ones. There were a few pouches designed for a flask that came up in search results for "insulin", but they didn't look all that functional or slim. I've got a friend who is unlikely to make one, but may enjoy it as a gift.

putrajustdoit (author)2011-02-19

It's a good information for who have been diabetic to how to insulin injection.
Good job

Biggsy (author)2011-02-16

This is a fantastic idea, well done... I'm a type two diabetic... but I shall keep this in mind for some of the other Diabetics I know

Safanu (author)2011-02-16

Kim

thanks for the Idea I will be making one for my wife ! She loves her pump as it has made her life so much easier.

Thanks for this instructable!!!

caitlinsdad (author)2011-02-15

May I ask, can you go swimming with the device? I guess you can make it out of the various neoprene stretch materials for a more sportier utility.

shoster (author)2010-02-26

Thanks so much for the idea!!! My friend has a pump and has been wearing pants to all her firefighter banquets so she could attach her pump! I am def going to make her one of these! For that matter I could make one for me to put my cell phone and a few dollars in when I don't want to bring a purse!!!

avkrisnik (author)2009-10-02

This is great. I have been stashing my pump in the hip area of my boy-cut panties which also works but it does give me a big bulge in my hip. I am looking forward to trying this out!

swinding (author)2009-04-16

Amen, sistah! I love this because when I clip said pump to my looser-than-usual clothes I tend to have lower than low riders! Not so hot. This is a million-times cuter that that or the crappy, saggy garters you can buy for, like, $20!

dawnrager (author)2008-08-05

Thank you for sharing your how-to knowledge! I can't wait to try this for my pump. Thanks, Dawn

clevergirl (author)2007-07-25

Yay! Cool pump pack! Oh how nice to be able to be clever and stylish with our pumps! And way to raise awareness! Yippee!

kimchal (author)clevergirl2007-07-25

Thanks! Really, its so easy to make and since my belt clips kept getting caught and broken, works way better. Sundresses are also no long a problem!

clevergirl (author)2007-07-25

ps everyone- this is also a great way to stash a celphone, ID, lipstick, etc when you don't want to carry a purse... And you get to feel like a Bond girl whipping out your phone from your top secret stash!

snipegoat (author)2007-06-24

yay diabetis i myself am working on some diabetic supplies projects

kimchal (author)snipegoat2007-06-24

Can't wait to see them, Yay diabetics!

AlisonEtsy (author)2007-06-22

This is SUCH a good idea. I had no idea there were other options for insulin use! Wow!

VanessaEtsy (author)2007-06-20

You rock, Kim.

kimchal (author)VanessaEtsy2007-06-20

Gadda ge! I just found out that is 'thank you' in Ethiopian! You are rather inspiring yourself.

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