I travel a lot with young teens and always worry about them losing their valuables, particularly their allimportant mobilephones. I developed this design after seeing a similar idea at a market in Europe. The zipper is positioned on the front of the bag rather than around the outside, and the straps are stitched into tabs that easily fold towards the front or the back of the bag resulting in a bag that is comfortably worn either way.
When the bag is worn with zipper facing out the bag can easily be accessed, however when it is reversed with the zipper facing in, the 'hidden' zipper provides the wearer with extra protection from would be thieves.
The design is quick and easy to create but more suitable for an experienced sewer rather than a beginner.
Step 1: Materials and Equipment
Materials: 1m of thick fabric, Thread to match, Zipper (50cm - 60cm), Webbing for straps.
I recycled straps from an old back pack.
Equipment: Sewing Machine, Scissors, Pins, Zipper Foot.
Print on A4 paper.
Tape Bag Front and Back - top and bottom - together matching along red dotted line.
Cut out templates.
Pin templates to fabric.
Place Front and Back template and base template on the fold, as indicated by the blue dotted line.
Carefully cut out pieces -
2 x Front and Back
2 x Side Gusset
2 x Zip End
1 x Base (on fold)
2 x Tabs
Remove templates from fabric.
Place the Back and Front template back on top of one front piece only, as shown above.
Cut out the Centre Front bag piece along the black line.
Remove template from fabric.
Zig zag neaten the outside edge of the Centre Front.
Zig zag neaten the inside edge of the Outer Front.
Clip along each edge of the zipper, approximately 2cm apart.
This will allow your zipper to follow the curve of the bag opening.
Zig zag neaten the top edge of the Zip End pieces.
Fold over 1cm and iron.
Pin to each end of the zipper. Stitch in place.
Zig zag neaten remaining edges.
Fold the Centre Front in half; mark with a pin along top curve.
Repeat with the zipper.
Open out Centre Front, place on table, match the centre of the zipper with the centre pin on the Centre front.
Pin Centre Front along the zipper, folding under 1cm as you go.
Stitch in place, using a zipper foot.
Fold the Outer Front in half, mark with a pin.
Repeat with the Centre Front.
Open out Centre Front place on table, match the centre of the Outer Front with the centre pin on the Centre front.
Pin Outer Front along the top edge of the zipper, folding under 1cm as you go.
Stitch in place, using a zipper foot.
Trim bottom edge of Zip End to match the Centre Front.
Pin right Side Gusset on to the base, stitch in place.
Measure the base against the bottom edge of the Bag Front to get accurate length.
Pin left Side Gusset to the base, stitch in place.
Trim if required.
Collect Tab pieces. Fold long edge over 1cm and iron.
Fold Tabs in half, as shown above.
Place right Tab on the bottom right corner of the Front piece, as shown above.
Make sure that the opening, with the folded edge is along the top.
Carefully fold Side Gusset over the top and pin along the right edge.
Repeat Step 17 with the left Tab and Gusset.
Fold the Front in half, mark the centre top with a pin.
Repeat with the back.
Match the pins, and pin front and back together around all edges.
Trim Back if necessary.
Collect bag straps.
Roll back the top edge of the bag.
Fold the Bag Back in half again, mark the centre of the top edge with a pin. Position the straps either side of the pin, as shown above.
Make sure that you fold the straps into the middle. This will prevent them from being stitched into the seams.
Roll the Bag Front over the straps, pin around top edge.
Stitch around bag.
Zig zag all edges to neaten.
Turn the bag through.
Push the bottom end of the strap into the Tab. Stitch the Tab closed around all edges.
Sew 4 rows of stitching to ensure that the strap is secure.
Repeat with remaining strap.
Your Bag is done.
Check that the zipper opens and closes easily and the there are no twists in the straps.
Add a decorative feature to individualise your bag.
Your bag can be worn with the zipper against your back to prevent pick pockets in unfamiliar surroundings,or when you are around friends and family reverse it and wear it with the zipper on the outside.