Ok, it's a diaper bag, but a darn good one! It's stylish, has pockets, and pouches galore and did I say stylish?
It seems the diaper bags on the market are either ugly, an organizational mess, or cost an arm and a leg; so, I designed this beauty. It takes a while to get it all ready but if you can sew a straight line and have a bit of patience, it is worth it. There is a zipper in the bag but don't be chicken! If you want to leave it out you can just skip those steps, but you should at least try. If you fail, just recut your inside lining and no one will know the difference!
This is an entry to the SewUseful contest. See it listed on Etsy here.
Step 1: Materials
3/4 yard of your main fabric (woven)
1/2 yard of a coordinating fabric (woven)
1/2 of fusible fleece
1/2 yard of lining fabric
1 magnetic clasp
9 inch zipper
1 yard of ribbon (optional)
Water soluble marker or laundry pencil.
Step 2: Cutting the Fabric
Lay your main fabric out. Fold one long edge up 15 inches.
Measure from side edge of your fabric 18 inches and mark in a few places.
Cut the fabric out (you will end up with a 30inch x 18inch rectangle that is folded in half)
Repeat that process for your fusible fleece, and lining fabric.
Using the same process, mark your coordinating fabric. Measure and fold up 7 inches and make it 18 inches wide again. (Leaving you with a 14inch x 18inch rectangle that is folded in half)
Lay your 4 cuts on top of each other, lining up the folds. Pin corners together. Measure and mark a 3 in X 3 in square out of the 2 corners on the fold. Cut out the corners. (I use sharp scissors and cut them all out at once. You may want to cut and measure them individually)
Cut an 18 inch by 11 inch rectangle out of your lining material and your main fabric material.
Cut a 10 inch by 12 inch rectangle of lining material.
Cut a 18 inch by 10 inch rectangle of lining material.
Cut a 22 inch by 10 inch rectangle of lining material.
Cut 2 two strips both the main and coordinating fabric that are 4 inches by 30 inches.
Cut an 18 inch strip of elastic.
Hand tired yet? That was a lot of cutting.
Step 3: Putting on the Magnetic Clasp.
Lay out the lining piece that is 18 inches by 30 inches with 2 squares cut out. (This piece will be referred to as the main lining piece from now on.) Measure and mark 9 inches from both sides and 1 1/2 inches down.
Follow directions on packaging of your magnetic clasp to add the clasp at these marks. Where the directions say to use cardboard to stabilize the clasp, I use scraps of the fleece and material from the corners that were cut out. (See pictures for step by step pictures from my packaging)
Step 4: Zippered Pocket/pouch (This Step Is Optional, But Don't Be Scared by the Zipper. It's Not As Evil of a Sewing Step As Most People Believe)
1. Mark a straight line that is 8 inches long on main lining piece 2 1/2 inches from the top on one side of the lining. Cut along that line. Snip diagonally from the end of that line 1/8 of an inch.
2. Press these flaps open.
3. Hand baste (wide stitches) your zipper centered into this opening. The pull for the zipper should be seen through this hole on the right side of the fabric.
4. Pin the 10 inch by 20 inch piece of lining fabric to the top half of the zipper as shown.
5. Using your zipper foot, sew the pocket lining, zipper, and main lining piece together.
6. Fold back the pocket lining revealing the zipper again.
7. Pin the opposite end of the pocket lining to the zipper and main lining piece.
8. Sew as before.
9. Sew the edges of the pocket together as pictured
TADA! a zippered pocket. Pat yourself on the back. That is a step many people would have skipped but you now have a place to store your keys! SCORE!
Step 5: Adding Organizational Pockets to the Right Side of the Main Lining
1. Fold over one long end of the 18 inch by 10 inch piece of lining material 1/4 inch. Press. Fold over another 1/4 inch. Press.
2. Fold over one long edge of the 22 inch by 10 inch piece of lining material 1/4 inch. Press. Fold that same edge over again 1 inch. Press.
3. Top stitch along the bottom of both folds.
4. Push strip of elastic through the 1 inch casing of the longer piece of lining material. Sew the edges of the elastic to the fabric.
5. Make 3 pleats on the lower edge of this piece of fabric to shorten it to 18 inches.
6. Roll up the zippered pocket from earlier and pin it out of the way. (This will save you heartache later!)
7. Pin the pockets to the main lining material matching the non-hemmed edges to the corners that have been made by cutting out the squares.
8. Sew along this bottom edge on both pocket sets.
9. Sew from the bottom seam to the hem in 2 locations to make 3 pockets. (You can make as many or as few pockets as you like.)
The lining is done for now!
Step 6: Preparing the Outer Shell
1. Iron the fusible fleece to the main outer fabric piece.
2. Pin the "outer pocket piece" to the "outer pocket lining" (The 18 inch by 11 inch pieces of lining and main fabric) right sides together and sew. Unfold and refold wrong sides together. Press making a nice seam.
3. Open the seam.
4. Match the coordinating fabric to the outer pocket by lining the bottom of the pocket to the top of the cut out on the coordinating fabric.
5. Pin parallel to seam on the outer edges (see picture).
6. Fold the coordinating fabric over the pins. The wrong side of the coordinating fabric should unfold between the pins. Pin between the parallel pins. (Pinning the wrong side of the coordinating fabric to the right side of the main fabric- see photos)
7. Pull the parallel pins out.
8. Sew the seam.
9. Pin the outside pocket to the main bag piece matching the bottom of the pocket to the bottom of the edge of the cut out. Sew.
10. Press the coordinating fabric down.
11. Fold the unsewn edge up to match the height of the sewn edge. Press in place.
12. Top stitch both sides of the coordinating fabric. Make sure to fold and pin the main part of the bag that is under the pocket. You don't want to shorten it!
Step 7: You Mean We Need Straps?
1. Sew one side of the strips right sides together. One of the coordinating and one of the main fabric.
2. Open the strap up.
3. Remember that ribbon I said was optional? This is where it comes into play. Lay it in the seam Sew it SECURELY (go back and forth a few times) as close to the short edge of the strap as possible.
4. Put the right sides of your fabric back together.
5. Sew the other long edge of the trap together making sure not to let the ribbon get caught in the seam.
6. What was that ribbon for you ask?
Well, let me start this off with a little antidote. I was making a tube once that was very long (about 60 inches). My husband the ever so helpful sort wanted to help. After pushing and pulling and poking with a dowel to try to turn the tube right side out, my husband informed me this process was like "performing a manual colonoscopy" (how he knew this I will NEVER know. If you've ever done this process before, you will probably agree.) So we brain stormed a better way. Inspired, my husband said "SEW A RIBBON ON IT!" And this process was born.
7. Ok, on with the show! Pull on the ribbon while holding the tube in your other hand. . You may need to help it out by tucking the first Â½ inch of the tube inside itself, but it will come easily after that.
8. Snip the ribbon as close to it's attachment point as possible.
9. Repeat for the other strap.
10. Press the straps flat.
11. Topstitch Â¼ inch from the edges.
Step 8: Let's Make It More Bag Like!
1. Seam the 2 loose edges of the outer bag right sides together. Do NOT sew the parts of the notches together.
2. This is the more complicated part of sewing the bag together. Make sure to look at the pictures for clarification. Put your fingers in the notched out corners of the bag making sure to have the coordinating fabric on each side.
3. Pull your fingers apart.
4. Pinch the notch together and pin.
5. Do the same to the other side.
6. Sew the pinned sections together.
7. Follow that same process for the lining, but to only ONE of the corners.
Step 9: Turning Straps Into Handles
1. Measure 5 inches from the seam and pin the center of the first strap in place facing the main fabric side of the strap to the bag. (The loose ends should stick out of the bag and the handle should go inside the bag.) Measure 6 inches from the opposite seam and pin the other end of that same strap onto the bag. Make sure there are no twists in your handle.
2. Do the same for the other handle.
Step 10: Putting the Lining and Bag Together.
1. Turn the lining right side out.
2. Match the lining seams to the Bag seams and pin around. (Right sides together)
3. Sew around the "mouth" of the bag attaching the lining to the bag.
Step 11: It Looks Ugly Now, But WAIT!
1. Pull the lining back out of the Reach inside the hole created by the bag.
2. Grab a corner of the outside of the bag and PULL! You will have to wiggle and tug the bag out through this hole.
3. Fold the edges of the unsewn hole inward and topstitch the hole closed.
4. Put the lining back inside and straighten the bag out. You now have a BEAUTIFUL diaper bag perfect for gifting (even if it's to yourself!)
Step 12: FIN!
You now have a beautiful bag that you can be proud of making yourself!