Seatbelt bags and purses have become all the rage! I purchased one and got so many compliments I wanted to try making one of my own. This bag is made of 2 inch wide heavy duty nylon seatbelt webbing. It was super fun to make, and is very sturdy.
I hope you try making one of your very own!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- An industrial sewing machine or vintage all metal sewing machine (Note: If you try to make this with a regular sewing machine with plastic pieces, you will break needles left and right, your sewing machine will jam, and you will be shouting at it wanting to throw it out the window. So for the sake of your sewing machine and your sanity, use a metal machine!)
- A jean or leather sewing machine needle.
- Sewing pins
- Cutting mat
- Cutting ruler
- Rotary blade cutter
- Sewing scissors
- Marking pen or pencil
- Measuring tape
- 30 ft or 10 yards of 2" seatbelt webbing
- 1/2 yard material for bag lining
- 1/2 yard muslin or scrap material for sewing the seatbelt together
- Heavy duty thread
- 4 Metal loops for handles
Step 2: Make Seatbelt Shell
First you need something to sew your seatbelts to.
• Using some scrap material (I had muslin), cut two 18 x 18 inch pieces with a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat.
• Use a light colored pencil draw lines the width of your seatbelt material one row after the other. My seatbelts were 2", so I drew the lines 2" apart all the way down the fabric.
Step 3: Cut Initial Seatbelt Material for Front and Back of Bag
- Cut 7 12" strips
- Cut 3 15" strips for the ruffles
- Cut 7 12" strips
Step 4: Sew Front of Bag
- Begin by sewing the second 12" strip from the top of the bag on. Sew with a straight stitch on both sides of the seatbelt.
- Take one of your 15" strips and lay it over the sewn 12" strip with about 1/4" offset.
- Begin sewing the top with a straight stitch, until about 1.5" in. Then fold part of the seatbelt over to create a pleat. Sew over the pleat with a straight stitch.
- Every inch or so create another pleat and sew until you have reached the end.
- Take another 12" strip and lay partially over the ruffled one and above the 2nd 12" strip. Sew with a straight stitch over the ruffles and at the top of the 12" strip.
- Repeat steps with the second and third set of ruffles, making sure each strip stays close to one another.
- Sew the last 12" strip at the bottom. This will be for the bottom of the bag.
- Go back and do a zigzag stich over the seatbelt seams that touch one another.
Step 5: Sew Back of Bag
- Sew each 12" strip one after the other in the predesignated drawn lines. Sew each one on both top and bottom with a straight stitch.
Step 6: Sew Sides on Front and Back of Bag
- First measure from the top to the bottom of the first 6 strips. It should be about 12".
- Cut 4 12" strips for the sides. If your first 6 strips aren't 12" sewn together then adjust the length of your side strips accordingly.
- Pin your side strips perpendicular to your front and back strips covering at least 1/2" of the horizontal strips.
- With a straight stitch sew the side strips on both edges.
- Go back and sew another straight stitch over each original straight stitch.
- Do this for both the front and back of the bag.
Step 7: Trim Fabric Around Seatbelt Material
- Trim the muslin fabric around the sewn seatbelt webbing 1/4" away from the webbing.
Step 8: Sew Outside Pocket
- Using your lining fabric, cut a 6" x 7" patch with your ruler, mat, and rotary cutter.
- Then cut 3 8" strips of seatbelt webbing.
- Sew the corners of your lining folded over wrong sides together about 1/2".
- Fold the edged over wrong sides in 1/4" and pin, and then sew down with a straight stitch. Do this with all 4 sides.
- Take your webbing and fold ends over and pin so the total length is 6". Sew a straight stitch keeping fold down. Back stitch a few times.
- Sew your webbing strips wrong sides together with the lining material.
Step 9: Sew Pocket to Back of Bag
- Position your pocket on the back of the bag with webbing facing out.
- Pin to the back.
- Sew to the back with a straight stitch on 3 edges, leaving the top edge open.
Step 10: Sew the Back to the Front
- Take your front and back pieces and pin together wrong sides facing each other.
- Sew the sides and bottom with a straight stitch making sure to sew right on the edge of the seatbelt webbing.
- Sew over your straight stiches two more times.
- Sew the corners of the bag by popping the bottom up to align with the sides of the bag.
- Pin together and sew with several straight stitches like you did the sides and bottom.
Step 11: Turn Right Side Out
- Gently turn your bag right side out.
Step 12: Sew Bag Liner and Pockets
Cut bag lining and inside pockets
- Take your lining fabric and fold it over. Cut 15.5" raw edge to raw edge by 14" folded edge to raw edge.
- While still folded cut a 2" x 2" square out of the folded corners. Set aside.
- Using the rest of the lining material cut two 7" x 11" rectangles.
Sew inside pockets
- Take your pocket material and fold wrong sides together and pin.
- Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving about a 1.5" opening to turn right side out.
- Turn right side out making sure corners are pushed out.
- Pin flat and sew all the way around with a 1/8" seam allowance.
- Position pockets on inside lining and pin.
- Sew each pocket to the lining leaving the top edge open.
Sew lining together
- Pin lining right sides together.
- Sew the bottom and side edges together with a 1/2" seam allowance.
- Sew corners together the same way as the outside of the bag.
- Do not turn right side out, but set inside the outside shell to test the fit.
Step 13: Make Handle Fasteners
- Cut 4 3" strips of seatbelt webbing.
- First using a lighter or match burn the ends of the webbing so it doesnt fray.
- Take one piece and fold sides in the center.
- Pull through loop and fold over fastening the ends with pins.
- Sew ends together with a straight stitch, back stitching several times.
- You can also go back and burn the edges again to make them stick together.
- Repeat steps for the other three handle fasteners.
Step 14: Attach Handle Fasteners to Outside of Bag
- Make sure you remove the lining from your bag before you sew the fasteners on.
- Position them on the outside of the bag where you and them and pin.
- Sew them to the bag with a straight stitch, back stitching several times.
- Repeat with the other 3 fasteners.
Step 15: Sew Lining to Outside Shell With Seatbelt Rim
- Using a measuring tape or string and ruler, measure the circumstance of the top of the bag. Mine measured about 29".
- Add 1 inch to your measurement and use it to cut the webbing for the top edging of the bag.
- I cut a 30" strip.
- Burn the edges.
- Put lining back into bag and line up the side seams.
- Fold the 30" seatbelt webbing over the front of bag and inner lining pinning in place. Make sure you start the webbing near one of the side seams and end it overlapping the other end on the same side seam.
- Sew around the folded edge with a straight stitch making sure to back stitch and the start and finish.
- Sew around the raw edge in a similar fashion.
Step 16: Sew Handles
- Cut two 22" strips of webbing for the handles.
- Fold each edge to the center of the webbing and pin.
- Sew the edges at the center with a straight stitch.
- Burn the ends.
- Repeat with the 2nd strip.
- Fold end over loop and sew together with a straight stitch making sure to back stitch several times.
- Fasten the other end to the adjacent loop on the same side of the bag.
- Sew the second handle onto the other side of the bag.
Step 17: Finished Product
Enjoy your finished bag! Carry it around and enjoy the compliments!
Third Prize in the