Its September (October)!! For College student like myself.... School commenced, and a busy semester is about to storm its way... As a physics student I am gonna show u how to build a Hadron Collider !! haha just kidding we have more pressing issues...

Some university students have a “smart phone” or 7”+ tablet for viewing lecture notes & checking emails, flappy birding... Or a little paper notebook, pens, wallet and other personal belongings... But going around in campus, switching classroom and lecture theater with everything is quite tough... I found the pocket in my jeans isn't enough, especially for tablets... I am not a careless person, still I've forgot my water bottle once, I lost my wireless mouse once too... the list goes on... When we are on the go, it's easy to loose stuff...

This instructable introduce the making of a Customized “On the Go Bag” at perfect size holding items mentioned above... A crafty/stylish life saver to perharps the most annoying problem of étudiant, loosing stuff!! Come Follow this step-by-step, low-budget instructable and never loose you stuff in classroom ever again!!

I would like to include both video tutorial and written tutorial for different audiences... Enjoy!!


It is absolutely possible to hand sew this if you have the time and patience...

Step 1: Game Plan

7“ tablet can fit in most jeans' pocket, but when one try to run or seat with the tab in the pocket... well my verdict: not comfortable, it drops out easily... I saw a wonderful cylindrical bag on Ubiworkshop (official merch from Ubisoft, my dream game publisher). I think that is a stylish bag and wanna make one to a customised size... I have no background in bag making, so I consulted my mother who has... Keeping durability and simple design in mind, Here is a my game plan...

Design: A cylindrical bag of 2 color... a light color for the body, a dark color cord-like décor a dark décor

and base on the bottom... I also plan the contactable opening on top of the bag with a rope... a little loop on the top so we can wear the bag on my belt... Only 1 light color thread will be use, so we get a nice white stitch line/pattern on the darker fabric...

Measurement: My tab is 11cm x 19cm big... so our cylindrical bag should have at least circular base of 12cm diameter ( ⇒(12cm)π = 38 cm circumference). Also the height should be around 25 to 26cm so that the opening can close up tightly above the tab...

Then just unfold the cylinder in our head!! We got:

  • 1 dark circle as base,
  • 1 dark strip for cord-like decor
  • 1 dark strip for the décor
  • 1 dark strip for the belt connection
  • 1 white rectangle for the main body
  • some rope for the core of cord-like décor also the contraction of the opening

Like most fabric project we have to leave 1 cm bleeding edge for sewing... so that the cloth wont fall apart...

Here is the final measurements (refer to the picture)

Step 2: Gather the Material

This is the part to keep the project low-budget... I got most of my material in IKEA...

not that they paid me to say so... but they do have some nice offer from time to time, or some cheap left over curtain fabric from other costumers in curtain section... Afterall affordable craft supplies are everywhere if you look for it...

Material I used (well-under 5 U.S. dollars):

  • (HK$17∼USD 2.20) 30cm Minna L light brown curtain cloth , which I used ∼⅓ only(or any fabrics with some thickness)
  • (HK$4.9∼USD 0.63) 50x60cm TEKLA dishcloth (or any light color fabrics with some thickness )
  • (HK$7∼USD 1) 1 roll of cotton rope which I used <⅕ only

Tools I used:

  • White Sewing thread & Needle (if you are desperate, go to hotel lobby for a sewing pack, use English with a foreign accent, lol)
  • Sewing Machine (optional, but I prefer one)
  • Measuring Tape (if u dun hv one just take 1 of those free paper tape from IKEA)
  • Masking tape
  • safety pins (optional)
  • Scissors

Step 3: Cut Out the Pieces

I bring up the picture of the measurements again... cut accordingly


  1. Draw & cut 1:1 shapes with paper, pin the the paper on fabric b4 cutting the fabric itself
  2. For Rectangular shapes, stick masking tape on the cloth to mark the dimension to ensure straight cuts.
  3. I use double layers of the white cloth and the circular base... to give more durability...
  4. If you find a thicker fabric or hand sewing... feel free to reduce the layer...

Step 4: Optional Tricks...

For the rope used in the cord-like décor and fastening the opening... I couldn't find a rope with desirable diameter at the time I was making the bag... And I was feeling extra crafty that day, so I kinda knit a rope from thinner ropes I already have. Go Find a rope with suitable diameter and ignore the step...

Only For those interested... I used a technique I pick up at a young age... When my family went to the Moomin Vally in Finland... There was this booth teaching a way sailors making bracelet from four loops of strings... Its fun, but its a bit of a challenge to knit a 60 cm long rope... Took me a lot time and afford. But I like how it turns out... And I am crazy about D.I.Y. So....

Basically, we got four loops on index fingers and middle fingers of both hands... by exchanging the loop on right index finger (r.i.f) with the loop on left middle finger (l.m.f), then exchange the loop on left index finger (l.i.f) with the loop on right middle finger (r.m.f)... this is a full cycle.... Keep repeating the cycle till the the bracelet is done... for the sake of demonstration, I can show you guys with two different colors in the pic and video.

Alert!! this is really abit crazy to knit a 30 cm and a 60cm rope like I did!! So this part is really purely for sharing... dont say I didnt warn you!! haha

Step 5: Sewing Pt.1

Lets handle the cord-like décor first,

  1. Wrap the 40cm rope with the dark stripe of cloth...
  2. Roughly hand sew the cloth around the rope tighly...
  3. Secure it with a sewing machine...

Then overlap the Dark décor onto the white body cloth,

  1. Fold a 1 cm bleeding on the dark fabric.
  2. Hand Sew (roughly) the cloth around the rope tighly...
  3. Secure it with a sewing machine...

Close the white and dark body combination into a cylinder

  1. Fold the combination in half where the dark decor in the inside
  2. Hand sew (roughly) the layers together next to the red line (around 20 cm mark , result in 40 cm circumference)
  3. Secure it with sewing machine. Sew from bottom up, stop sewing at around 22cm... the few cm left will be handle in the next step.

Step 6: Sewing Pt.2

Finalize the fastening part on the opening... with a cylinder which the dark décor stripe face inwards. (I mean the cylinder should be fliped inside out, so that the outside of the actual bag is facing inwards now)

  1. Sew a U-turn at the few cm left from previous step with a 1 cm of bleeding.
  2. Fold down 2.5 cm of white from the top, forming a tube.
  3. Make sure the tube is wide enough for the rope to pass thru, ideally twice as wide.
  4. Hand Sew the the tube all around
  5. Secure it with sewing machine twice for durability.
  6. Push the 60cm rope thru the tube

Attach the cord-like décor to the bottom of the body...

  1. Overlap 1 cm of bleeding for the cord-like décor onto both the dark décor and the white body..
  2. Hand Sew the layers together
  3. Secure it with sewing machine.

Close the bag at the bottom of the body...

  1. Overlap 1 cm of bleeding for the dark circle onto both the dark décor and the white body..
  2. Hand Sew the layers together
  3. Secure it with sewing machine.

Step 7: Touch-Ups Almost There...

What you now have should be a functional bag filped inside out...

Just flip it now and you have a working bag...

Last component: the belt connection

  1. Fold the strip in half along the long side.
  2. Sew the 2 layers, forming a tube.
  3. Flip the whole tube.
  4. Sew the both ends of the tube together, forming a loop.
  5. Sew the loop on to the bag with the iconic cross square pattern.

Step 8: Enjoy You Semester


There you have it!! A custom made On The Go Bag!! With style and convenience, you are the proud owner of a life without fear of loosing your belongings ever again!! With well under 5 U.S. Dollars, you get a hand made fashionable bag probably priced at USD 24.99 even USD29.99!!

You like red and blue over white brown? Is the bag a bit small for you tablet? No worries, the choice of fabric, colors and dimensions and totally up for customization... look forward to seeing what u guys made... I hope this instructble showcase a clear work flow for a beginner(like myself)... My apologies for not knowing the correct terminology and some missing photos, I was a bit focus at getting the bag right and forgot to take pictures sometimes...

Is my description too briefed? Too detailed? Any confusions or suggestions? Tell me in the comment below!! Your feedback and comment means a lot and help make instructable a better place!! I really appreciate it and will reply your comments ASAP!!

Anyway, thank you for reading my instructable to this point!! If you like my tutorial pls fav and vote for me in the University Contest!!

I just got into sewing. this would be my first ever project. I used a military jacket and salvaged the patches. I am really happy with how it came out!
<p>you should be proud!!!! your bag is so cool looking!!</p>
I made one based off this instructable. Used a plain red woven fabric, black duck cloth, and some manner of fake suede for the inside. In place of actual rope, I braided 3 strands of paracord for the bottom decor, and used a bit of leather cord for the top. I think it turned out pretty well. I plan on using it for tools and the like when I'm fixing things, or just like it's extra pocket space.
<p>Also, forgot to mention, all the thread is thick nylon thread, in red and black, for contrast and durability.</p>
<p>the red tone is a brilliant idea!! very well-thought choice using nylon!!</p>
awesome idea. had to make my own. had a bit of trouble with the bottom circle, but got it to work. it turned out to be an awesome wearable duffle bag.
<p>cool man!! this so awesome!!</p>
<p>for us old guys a bluejean leg from worn jeans would make a great start point. </p>
<p>Hey I made one out of a jeans leg when I worked as a boom operator! Perfect to have the right stuff on hand!</p>
wow... care to share a pic? love to see your bag...
<p>Hey! sorry for the delay, I was away from home.<br></p>
<p>looking super handy and well made.... btw goes well with the jean... Good job</p>
<p>dirt simple. the string and washer are the belt loop</p><p>just slide the washer under your belt from the bottom and out the top.</p><p>you can adjust position easily without half undressing</p>
looking super practical... this definitely one way to go with the belt loop too! good idea... but if things get a bit heavy (water bottle+tab+novel) or if one want a slightly loosen belt... then a fabric belt loop still serve it durability. .
<p>worn jeans is a fabulous idea... and hey we are never too old to be creative!! </p>
<p>Wow, this is the most work I have seen go into any bag!</p><p>Good job on the win, I hope you enjoy the prize/s!</p>
I tried haha... the contest is still in judging phase, other instructable are epic too! dunno what prizes I will have... fingers crossed
<p>Multicolor pack of Sugru!</p><p>Good job!!!!</p>
Otzi a 5000 year old guy gets credit for the belt hook.. I've only hauled 4-5 pounds but I'm confident it will take more.<br>Otzi is a great teacher for campers survivalist and just everyday. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Don't let a couple of nay sayers hold you back. I've been around for almost three quarters century and try to learn something every day
incredibile good looking bag! <br>but too much work for that much utility, for a lazy guy like me.
thx... it suits my need, and I am quite crafty so yeah... glad you like
<p>As a utility worker, I am going to add this to my favorites. When the work hours slow down, I plan on making something similar to this (in denim as someone suggested). This would work great for my small tool swaps. I lose tools all the time - on my own body! In my pockets of my jeans, or my firesuit, or my protective vests. Pockets EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I just need a magic a bag...</p><p>Also, I have seen the mushroom farmers use something similar to these. So many uses.. Thanks for your time!</p>
Glad you found this useful, love to see ur denim bag
<p>I like the idea, and I think the sewing is many times better than what I could do, but... In the Uni I'm at everyone carries backpacks, messenger-style bags or laptop cases, me included (DIY bag though) so the idea seems weird to me...If I didn't have a bag, it'd probably be something I'd want</p>
<p>This is great!!! Always brilliant to see people designing and making stuff for themselves. I would suggest that it could be made flatter - a slim rectangular base rather than a round one(it can still be drawstring) and then it would be more streamline and would fit to the side of the hip(its a little vulnerable at the back) . This one is very stylish and simple and I give it 10/10....I must admit I winced at the spelling....but English spelling is so stupid and I cannot even imagine how hard it is coming from a first language like Mandarin or Cantonese.....</p>
wow 10/10 I am flattered haha... rectangular does make a more streamline design... especially when the bag is bigger..
<p>I know your inspiration was a game merchandise site, but it reminds me of the bags linemen use with leather bottoms to get tools back and forth to the crane bucket: http://goo.gl/4B9dLL I've been considering making one for awhile, but I've been lazy, I admit. I'll make the bottom of mine of leather, as I need it for tools and have to sit on concrete while I work. It might benefit from a couple of heavy snaps or a big button on the belt loop, so you can take it off without removing your belt. Great job!</p>
greatpanda? cool name... leather base would be super cool...
<p>Keep the grammar mistakes - so what - we've all seen worse. It is a great 'ible as-is. </p><p>Now to the real comments, I have paid a pretty big chunk over the years for gear bags. I would think an option for the one you have might be a second loop a few inches from the first one - i think i might try that as a bag for storing my oversized camera on my hip. </p><p>love it. good job. </p>
<p>You are right... i am gonna keep it... my canon 500 camera fit in my bag too!! </p>
<p>You should also share this on Pinterest. I think there's definitely an interest.</p>
<p>Very cool, maybe a littler one will also be good for climbers to put their powder for climbing.</p><p>Kudos! ;)</p>
<p>Go to Walgreens. I don't think they cost much but they have several assorted sizes from very small, like for change and they progress in size to grocery bag size. Granted they are not a make it yourself deal but if in a hurry they work. And if I'm not mistaken they also have ones with leather bottoms. If you don't have Walgreens, I can find out the company name for you and then you can order directly from them. Good luck. </p>
<p>I forgot to mention that they are made of canvas and there is another one of some sort of nylon type material. </p>
<p>Great job, I like your bag! Here is my suggestion.<br>I would make this bag out of the legs of old denim jeans (recycle). I would double fold a strip of material (or use a piece of webbing) at least 1&quot; wide and 2&quot; (finished size) longer than the bag and sew it from the top to the bottom (vertically) along the side seam for extra support. Since I have paracord 550, I would braid a cord for the drawstring. and put a cord lock on the drawstring as well.</p>
<p>I actually just finished something a little like this, but I did it as more of a cloth &quot;box.&quot; Now I'm wondering if the cylinder might have been a better plan. This looks very nice!</p>
<p>From reading other comments, I think English is not your native language. I would suggest that for any future Instructables, you ask for help proofreading your work. There are quite a few basic errors in conventions that get in the way of readability. I like your idea, though, and think you may have a future in making these and selling them to fellow students, if you need $$ for books or other costs of college.</p>
<p>Good instructions. A good way to waterproof it,is buy a can of &quot;Camp Dry&quot; spray like they sell for waterproofing tents,canvas shoes,etc. Just spray on and let dry. Does not make the fabric stiff.</p>
I gotta check where can I get this spray in my neighborhood... it's a good idea cuz the fabric will still be soft... thank you...
Walmart,Target,local hardware store,sporting goods store. They even sell a waterproofing spray in Payless Shoes for sneakers. That would also work,although not quite as good as the Camp Dry in my opinion.
<p>Cool pouch design I like it, the basic design is like a sailors ditty bag with elements of the modern dump bag. BTW on the subject of hand sewing a pouch like this, back in the days of sails, a ditty bag was one of the first projects for an apprentice in the sail-maker's trade or for a working seaman. So patterns, instructions and tips exist for hand sewing a pouch like this. Also things like fabric glue and sewers double sided tape are available to help with hand sewing.</p><p>I'm now inspired to hand sew a ditty bag with your belt loop and hopefully make a instructable of it, but I think I'll use paracord and a plastic toggle for the drawstring. Granted I like your drawstring and how it's made. </p><p>Since you asked for feedback, overall I say good instructable. It could have been broken down a bit more, like steps 5&amp;6 could have been split up into more steps to concentrate on the individual parts and steps in assembly. </p>
Thx so much for the sailor related origin... so informative, cool... and the ubi workshop inspiration is related to pirate theme so yeah.... i can totally see the double side tape works its magic... but sometimes in low-budget project a man gotta do wt he's gotta do haha... love to see your bag soon.... you are probably right about the length adjustment...
<p>It's actually amazing how the term &quot;ditty bag&quot; has survived and spread(see use in film production as one example alone). Totally relate to the low/no budget aspect of projects but I have encountered the lack of access to sewing machines way too many times, so I find the ability to make do without one a good asset. I currently have a sewing machine but its a rather cheap one. </p><div><p>On the subject of sewing tape and glue, around here (Southern California area) they are pretty cheap and easy to find. I almost wish I found out about them sooner, as a House-husband with a fast growing boy they have really helped with repairing and modifying his clothes and gear(much of that work is easier done by hand). For some reason the idea of making bags and pouches like these didn't click till I read your instructable, I guess too much studying gear(bags and gadgets) and trying to figure out how to fit them in the budget. </p><p>BTW If you make a Mk2 you might consider adding inner pockets for smaller items or writing instruments. Another commenter mentioned padding, I've found foil backed foam sheets at stores like the Daiso store(100 yen or dollar store not sure where they are in HK but they list a location there) or used for the packaging for ice cream bars would combine padding and insulation. </p><p>Wow this has gone too long. Take care, hopefully I make my pouch/ditty bag instructable soon(if I survive an up coming hiking camp out with my sons scout troop). </p></div>
<p>haha. the fanny pack reborn!! :) i admit, i use to have one.</p>
<p>really? what color was yours?</p>
haha. black leather from wilson's. i might have had a light brown leather one also. ;-)
<p>Great Instructable, very detailed. Your misspelling of &quot;lose&quot; is forgiven because you really did a super job! Thanks!</p>
<p>Congratulations on getting featured! Exciting, isn't it? </p><p>While this is great for Version 1.0, I would like to point out some improvements for others to consider. A padded bag - so the first time it you drop it things might not break. Pockets - inside and outside. Different shapes - I can see an oblong shape to hold various things, but a circular or square base might sit up by itself better. Leather - Leather will wear better and last longer. Consider at least for the bottom. For Version 1.0, though, cloth is the way to go. Tweak it as you will. And yes, a &quot;ditty bag&quot; is much more manly than a &quot;murse,&quot; but a &quot;Go Bag&quot; is good. I like it!</p>
<p>Nice one, man! : )<br><br>I waterproof cloth (cotton) by rubbing a tablet of beeswax all over it, quite thickly, laying some denim (I use old jeans pants cut in half) over it and ironing it at a high temperature. The wax melts and penetrates the weave, leaving the cloth completely waterproof.</p><p>I read that it makes the cloth flammable, but I did some testing and it was just as flammable as the cloth without the wax. : )</p>
<p>FABULOUS! It looks awesome! :-) </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: i am now a college kid, constantly believe i can be a better man, Just be the change you wanna see in the world, thats ... More »
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