Sunday, June 5, 2011


I feel like I might have built too much suspense. It's nothing spectacular, but I finally made myself a diaper bag.

I have been thinking, planning, daydreaming about making myself a diaper bag for along time. I started out with a Fleurville Sling Tote. I love the shape of it, but it's just not big enough for us. Then I got a Sugar Booger Day Tripper because I liked how big the main pocket was. There are several things I don't love about this bag and it was not doing it for us. Then I really, REALLY wanted this Baby Kaed Jacey Bag but I would prefer it in brown and I can't spend that much on a bag without seeing it in person first. So I have been planning my own bag for awhile.

There are a lot of make-your-own diaper bag tutorials out there and I really like this one. I love the front pockets and she picked some really cute fabric. But I like something that looks a little more tailored... and bigger.

So I drafted myself a pattern and got fabric and started sewing. I got the outside finished and realized I had made a bag so large it could double as a pack and play (I kid, but only a little). So I ripped it apart and cut it down. Then I realized that I needed to taper the sides more, so I did it again. I was finally happy with the shape and size and made the lining. It came together pretty easily. (I constructed it much like my Flea Market Bag). I wanted a divider down the middle and planned to just sew it in by hand after I was finished (I know, it would be better to build it into the bag, but I didn't want to). So I ended up putting velcro tabs on the divider so that I could take it in and out if needed. I'd do that part slightly differently if I did it again, but I'm not planning on doing it again (at least not anytime soon).

I also made a trifold changing pad with Peltex interfacing (this is what I used to give the bag it's shape too). Peltex is stiff and I wanted to make a stiff changing mat because when you are changing a baby in public you usually only have one free hand and I wanted it to be easy to fold and shove back in the bag (and large enough too... it amazes me how small most changing pads are). I also made a sling to replace my ring sling. I liked my ring sling while Michael was still growing so fast and changing size, but now that things have slowed I think a pouch style sling is fine and folds up very small and neatly. (I always carry a sling with me in case a sudden fussy spell.)

So the bag...

It's made of green duck cloth and some outdoor fabric called "Button Blooms" by Waverly and tons of interfacing. It's about 19" wide, 6.5" deep, and 14" tall. The exterior has two front pockets and one large back pocket for the changing pad.

The interior has two zippered pockets on the back, two cavernous elastic pockets on the front, two smaller elastic pockets on the sides, and a removable divider.

It holds A LOT and there is room to spare in it.

And you might be wondering about the strap. Yes, I made it very short on purpose. I like a bag that can tuck under my arm and that I can clutch 'under my armpit' while bending over so that it doesn't flop all over the place. This is especially nice while strapping a kid into a carseat. I also think it's more comfortable to carry a bag like this. I miss my small purses that tucked neatly under the arm like this.

It would have been a fairly easy bag to make had I not have gotten the size wrong initially. I'm toying with making a smaller bag to complement it for quick trips, but for now I should probably focus on some higher priority projects.


I hit publish and I just realized that the bag matches my blog. Figures. I wasn't going for that. It was originally supposed to be gray and orange but I couldn't find a fabric to pull it together.


Rachel said...

I love the bag! Such a neat design and it looks like it fits tons of stuff (I also love bags right under my armpit - I wish that they made more like that). And I love that you are carrying a sling and cloth diapers in your bag (I used to do that too but now my bag is overflowing with spare underwear and sunscreen so the sling and diapers get stuck under the stroller). I'm definitely impressed.

Michelle said...

It looks awesome! Great job!!

Celia said...

That is amazing! I could not come up with that if you locked me in a craft store for an entire year. Do you know I actually failed highschool sewing? True.

White Picket Fences said...

Great job! Can't sew a damn thing myself. Can't even hem. Go figure. Love love the short shoulder strap. Super cute!

Sophie said...

It looks awesome! You did a great job. The zippers look flawless. I hate adding zippers!

Kate said...

Nice! I can't believe you fit all that stuff in it and it still looked half empty. Wow.
I could never sew anything that would look anywhere near as professional as that bag. Looks pretty challenging to me!

keeksaz said...

That is an awesome bag! I tried out several as well and looked all over and finally settled on something, but it's not quite right. You should think about selling them...maybe on Etsy. I would buy one!

Nic & GinaLynn said...

I ABSOULTELY Love the bag!!! Are you planning on making this into a pattern??? :)