A couple months back I decided I was sick of my make-shift diaper bag and decided to sew my own. I just used what I had in my stash and I love it!
the sudden need for a new diaper bag???
After this little monkey found the lollipops and lotion in my old bag and made a nice big mess I decided I was through with that bag. Mostly because it was covered in lotion and I wouldn’t be going to the laundromat for a few days… And yes it actually was quicker to make a new one
The 1st item on my design list- a well hidden zipper pocket
Perfect for hiding my emergency items (dum dums, toy cars, etc.) and the no-no items (pens, lotion, and chapstick)
And I really wanted a key fob, so I don’t have to spend hours digging through my bag while I’m standing in the parking lot
And lots of space with lots and lots of pockets
Pockets inside and outside- for holding all of the necessities and keeping everything we need close at hand
The finished bag!
just ignore the horrible lighting and ugly apartment stairwell….
Let’s get started!
- Heavyweight Fabric for the exterior
- Lining Fabric (wipe-able is great but not necessary)
- Little Extras: key fobs, etc.
1. Decide on your bag dimensions and start cutting! For my bag I used:
- 13″ (tall) x14″ (wide) panel for the large sides (cut 2 for the outside and 2 for the inside)
- 6×14″ panel for the bottom (1 for the outside, 1 for the inside)
- 13×6″ panels for the 2 narrow sides (2 for the outside, 2 for the inside)
- 36×5″ piece for the strap
The pocket sizes are really up to you- here’s what I used:
- 9×14″ piece for the outside pocket (cut 2)
- 7×6″ piece for the cup pocket on the exterior
- And lots of pieces for the inside pockets:) It seems I didn’t write them down, but each pocket will be your desired height and then the same width as the bag
2. Let’s start with prepping our pieces. Add interfacing to all of the main components of the bag and if you want to the pockets as well. Make sure you add interfacing to the strap since it takes quite the beating. I should’ve used more interfacing than I did- so don’t skimp
2. For the pockets you have 3 options. For the 1st is to fold the top edge over twice towards the wrong side and top stitch it in place to create a finished edge. This is what I did for the sippy cup pocket
Or you can do the same thing but leave a bit wider opening and thread elastic through it to create a nice snug hold (I did this for my bottle pocket). You will need to cut the pocket piece a bit wider and then do a pleat on the bottom edge.
Or you can make a pocket with a piped edge- I did this for my outer pocket. Sew a long skinny strap of fabric around a piece of cording to create your piping
And then take 2 pocket pieces and sew them together with right sides together and the piping in between the 2 layers with all of the raw edges lined up
I did this for the outer pocket
3. Next you need to add your pockets. Lay out our pockets where you would like them to go and baste the edges in place. If you want multiple compartments you can topstitch the pocket in place down the middle to section it off
For the interior pockets of my bag I did 2 levels. So I added the tiny row of pockets to the bottom of the big pocket and then added the big pocket to the interior panel of the bag
4. If you want a zippered pocket now is a good time to add it. Mark off the opening for your zipper (same length as the zipper and 1/4″ wide) on the wrong side of the pocket lining. Then sew the lining to the inside of your bag with right sides together right along the lines you marked. Cut through both layers making sure you snip in close to the corners
Push the pocket lining through the opening and press flat. Pin your zipper in place and then topstitch all the way around to secure the zipper
Now cut a 2nd piece of pocket lining and sew it the 1st piece with right sides together. This will be completely enclosed in your bag so don’t worry too much about how it looks
Good to go??? Great- let’s continue…
5. If you want key fobs we’ll make those next.
Take a strip of fabric (length is up to you- mine were maybe 2×5″???) and with right sides together sew across one short end and the long end. Turn right side out, press flat and top stitch around the 2 finished edges.
For a key chain just fold the finished edge of the little strap around a key ring and the top stitch the end in place. And/or you can use hammer on snaps- great for snapping around toys and other larger items
6. For my bag I did a magnetic snap closure and I love it! Go ahead and add that now following the instructions on your package. Make sure it’s far enough down from the edge that you’ll have room for a seam allowance
7. For the strap just fold in in half with right sides together and sew the long edges together. Turn right side out and top stitch the 2 long edges. Alternatively you could use webbing
Still there? Let’s put it together!
8. With right sides together sew the 2 short ends to 1 side piece. Repeat with the inside of your bag
9. Next add the bottom panel (again right sides together and repeat with the bag interior)
10. And then the remaining side panel
You should now have 2 bags- 1 exterior and 1 interior
11. On the outside of the bag, baste your 2 strap ends in place on the short sides of the bag- make sure you don’t twist the strap and it should wrap around the bottom of your bag for now
Then baste your key fobs in place on top of the strap (or anywhere along the edge you’d like)
12. Almost there! Slide the 2 bags inside each other with right sides together and sew them together along the top edge. Leave a 3-4″ gap
13. Turn the bag right side out, tuck in the raw edges from the gap you left and top stitch all the way around.
Enjoy your new custom made diaper bag!
I promise it really isn’t that hard- I whipped this up in one day