My sewing studio is located near a small park. Last summer I observed many senior citizens enjoying themselves. Some use walkers for assistance in getting around. Quite a few seniors had tied plastic bags to the front or sides of their walkers to carry their items. When they moved forward it often caused them to get off balance.
The designer in me just jumped-out, so I decided to create a walker bag with quality features and a professional look. The importance of this design is that when the pockets are filled with the owner's treasures, it remains in balance so the user can lift or push the walker without difficulty. Another important feature is to have the bag secured to both legs of the walker.
I made several bags and gave them to the elderly who use walkers and they just loved it! With both front and back pockets they can have their glasses, water bottle, reading material, etc. within handy reach. I was able to make and give away about 35 of them in several elderly housing projects.
Here I share with you the materials and instructions on making a walker bag.
The finished size of the bag is approximately 13 3/4" Wide x 24 1/4" Long. The cutting size includes a 3/8" seam allowance. I rate this project for someone with sewing skills, but I hope my step-by-step instructions and pictures are clear enough to follow even if you are a beginner.
Materials and equipment to make a walker bag:
1 yard main fabric;
1/2 yard fabric for pockets;
1/2 yard fabric for pocket linings;
1/2 yard medium weight non-woven fusible interfacing (from a 48" Wide bolt);
1 yard 1" wide webbing;
1 yard 3/16" cord with lip (you can purchase it ready-made or you can make your own piping);
Pinking shears (use to cut your fabric so it will not fray. You can use ordinary fabric scissors if you don't have it);
1/2 yard of 3/4" Wide hook (male) and loop (female) fastener;
Iron and iron board.
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Step 1: Cut All Fabrics and Interfacing
From the main fabric, cut 2 pieces 14 1/2" Wide x 25" Long. Cut one piece of interfacing, in the same size, and fuse it on the back side (wrong side) of one of the two pieces of main fabric. The fabric with fusible interfacing will become the top of your walker bag. The other will be the underside.
Now, cut two pieces of fabric 14 1/2" Wide x 9 1/4" High from the fabric you've chosen for the pockets. Then, cut two pieces of interfacing, in the same size, and fuse each on the back side of each pocket fabric.
Note: The interfacing you purchase comes with instructions. Please follow the instructions before fusing on the fabric.
Finally, cut similar size of the lining fabric for the pocket lining. Set all aside and move to Step 2.
Step 2: Cut Cord With Lip, Webbing and Hook and Loop Fastener
Cut two pieces cord with lip 15" Long.
Cut two pieces webbing 15" Long.
Cut one piece of the loop 14 1/2" Long and cut two pieces of the hook 5" Long.
Step 3: Sew Cord With Lip on the Upper Pocket
Lay the cord with its lip facing across the top of the right side of the fabric as shown on the image below. Pin it down if you want and sew it across as shown in the third picture using a zipper foot.
Next, place the lining fabric right side down on top of the cording with lip as shown in the picture. The cording is now sandwiched between the fabric for the pocket and its lining. Sew across. Repeat the same procedure for the second pocket.
Then go back to the first pocket. Turn both fabrics' wrong sides together to reveal the cording. Iron across the cording and top stitch as shown in the image. Repeat the same procedure for the second pocket. Cut extra cord with lip on both pocket( Don't forget to remove the pins after sewing). Continue to Step 4.
Step 4: Sew Pockets on the Top Fabric for the Bag
Now arrange the first pocket on the main body fabric for the bag's top with the pocket lining facing down the right side of the main fabric as shown in the images. Pin pocket and main body fabric together and baste the pocket on both sides. Then top stitch in the middle to divide the pocket into two compartments. Finally, baste pocket across the bottom. Now, repeat the same procedure for the second pocket. Don't forget to remove the pins afterwards. When all set, go to Step 5.
Step 5: Sew Hook Into Webbing
Sew the 5" Long hook with its hook facing up on the end of each piece of webbing as shown in the image below. Continue to Step 6.
Step 6: Sew Webbing and Loop on the Bag's Underside Fabric
Arrange the webbing with the hook sewn on it facing up on the right side of bag's underside fabric and sew 1" away from the edge as shown in the picture below. Repeat the procedure for the second webbing on the other side of the fabric.
Next, sew on the loop across the full width of the underside fabric for the bag. Don't forget to locate the loop 1" away from the edge of the fabric. View the image for reference.
Step 7: Assemble the Bag
Arrange the bag's top with the underside fabrics facing each other. Use pins to hold the fabrics together. Start to sew from one of the short sides of the bag. You will need to leave about 10" unstitched length on one of the short sides so it is best to begin sewing about 2" from the corner and stitch all around the bag until you get to the last corner. At this corner stitch about 2" past the corner thus leaving about a 10" unstitched portion. You can view the complete stitch on the image below. Don't forget to remove the pins.
Step 8: Turn Bag Inside Out
At the 10" long unstitched length, reach into the assembled bag and grab one of the far corners to begin slowly turning the bag inside out through the opening. After turning, iron the bag throughout. Tuck 3/8" of the opening edge, iron it and top stitch this area shut. Voila! Now you have brand new walker bag!
Step 9: Install the Bag on the Walker
Place the bag over the horizontal front bar. Center the bag and make sure it drapes equally on both sides. Wrap each strap (webbing with hook) around the front vertical uprights of the walker and secure to the loop on the back of the bag. Now you have a very professional looking walker bag - a great gift to your loved one who needs it for their walker.
Note: This walker bag is suitable for a walker with a front cross-bar only. On a collapsible walker it will need to be removed before folding the walker.
Disclaimer: The instructions are provided as-is to assist in making a bag for a walker only. The author is not responsible for other use, misuse or modification(s) of the instructions.
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