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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Really, I'm not kidding, you're done. That's it. Check the seams, if you must. Decorate. Enjoy!
Step 8: Examples
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!