Monday, February 14, 2011

Simple Diaper Bag Tutorial

As promised, here is a tutorial for making the diaper bag I shared last week. I called it "simple" because all I really did was tweak and embellish a basic tote bag. There aren't any exterior pockets like alot of diaper bags have because the mommy-to-be didn't want any. If there are any questions, please leave them in the comments.

You will need:
-1 yard exterior fabric (you'll have some extra)
-1 yard lining fabric (you'll have extra)
-1/4 yard pocket fabric
-1 yard fusible fleece interfacing, or other sturdy interfacing of your choice
-magnetic snap
-1/4 inch elastic, about 16 inches
-coordinating thread, etc

* All seams are 1/4 inch unless otherwise noted.
1. Apply interfacing to exterior fabric. Cut your exterior and lining fabrics according to the above template. Total width is 22.5 inches. Cut out the little corners, and SAVE these pieces. You will use them to make the tab. Thrifty, huh?

2. Make the strap first. Cut a piece of exterior fabric to 5" x 36". Cut interfacing to 4.5" x 36". Fold the long edges of the fabric in half an inch and iron. Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of the strap fabric, between the 2 folds you just ironed. Fold in half lengthwise (the hot dog way) and iron flat. Top stitch along both long edges.

3. Make the tab. Take the 2 rectangles you cut out of the body of the bag above. Apply one half of the magnetic snap to one of the rectangles according to package instructions. Position the snap about 1.3 of the way down from one short end. Place tab pieces right sides together and sew along 2 long edges and one short edge (red lines).
3. Clip corners and turn right side out. Iron. Top stitch around the same sides.

4. Ok, time to move on to the body of the bag. First we have to make the pockets. I cut one pocket piece to 9" x 16" and the other to 9" x 22".
- For the smaller pocket, fold all edges over 1/4 inch and iron. Fold one long edge over another 1/4 and iron. Top stitch along this edge.
- For the larger, stretchy pocket, fold over both long edges 1/4 inch and iron. Now fold just one edge over again and iron. Stitch along the first fold. Attach a safety pin to the elastic and thread it through the casing you just created. Stitch each end in place.
5. Place the pockets on the bag as shown above. Position both pockets about 1/4 above the rectangle cut-out. I centered the smaller pocket along the width of the body piece. For the larger pocket, line up the short edges with the edge of the main bag piece. Pin both pockets in place. For the smaller pocket, stitch along the sides and botton edge. Stitch up the center, from top to bottom to divide the pocket into two.
6. For the larger pocket, stitch along the bottom edge. You are going to have to create some pleats because this edge is wider than the width of the bag. See above photo. Decide how many pockets you want to divide the pocket into. I think I made 3. I figured 2 pockets would hold bottles, so I made them the appropriate width for that. Just sew from the botton edge to the top edge of the pocket. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end. At this point, you have not sewn the sides of this pocket.
7. Now, fold the lining piece, with the pockets, right sides together. Line all the edges up nicely and pin. Do the same for the exterior fabric. Stitch along the sides, making sure to catch the pocket edges in the seam on the lining piece. To create the gusset, pinch the cut out corners together and stitch. Sew all but 1 corner. You will leave one open so you can turn the bag later.

8. Before you assemble the bag, apply the last half of the magnetic snap to the main body piece. This will be the front of the bag. I centered the snap along the width, and placed it about 2.5" below the top edge of the bag. Now flip the lining piece right side out and stuff it into the exterior piece, so right sides are facing. You will also need to stuff the strap between the lining and exterior pieces of the bag and pin each end to the sides of the bag. At this time, if you want the strap to be shorter, you can cut some length off of it before pinning it to the bag.
9. You also need to place the tab between the layers also. It needs to go along the back of the bag. In the photo above, the snap is facing up. This is important, as you want to be able to snap the bag shut! So in the photo above, from top to bottom you have: front exterior, front lining, back lining, tab, back exterior. Does that make sense?
10. Ok! Sew along the top edge. I sewed an extra time over the straps and the tab to add more strength.

11. Clip the sides of the bag where the straps are. This is to debulk the seam a bit so it isn't all bunched up when you turn the bag right side out.

12. Turn bag right side out through the open corner. To close that corner, finger press the raw edges under about 1/4 inch. Then sew close the edge.
13. Push the lining into the exterior and straighten everything out. Iron!
You should be done. Gosh, I hope I didn't leave out a step!

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1 comment:

cecimaginary said...

i made my own diaper bag referring to your tutorial! thank u for sharing!


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