Friday, October 9, 2009

Baby Diaper Bag

I am not particularly interested in sewing kid stuff, baby stuff or new mom stuff, but recently (like 3 days ago, a close near relative had her first baby and I promised to make a diaper bag for her. I have become more confident in my sewing skills so I told her that she could help design it, by picking out her fabric and telling me what size, number of pockets, etc.

Last Friday we met at JoAnn's and she chose the fabric. I had a sketch pad drew something as she was talking to me about what she wanted. Here is what I came up with at the store:

So when I got home with the thread, fabric and zippers, I went into a minor panic, because sewing skills are not the same as pattern drafting skills. How the heck was I going to make a pattern so I could sew a bag that looked vaguely like the drawing that Amber had seen? So then I came up with this:

Which is just a more detailed description of the sketch, and then I realized that I still needed a few pieces to make the adjustable strap. After that I came up with this:

And this is just trying to figure out what all the pieces I needed to make the bag including interfacing for the bag, lining and pockets. That piece of paper turned into this, so I had all of my pattern pieces before cutting the fabric.

I then had a minor panic because I realized that I needed to embroider some dragonflies on the pockets and I had no dragonfly patterns for the machine embroidery I planned to do. So I searched for some dragonfly patterns that were not too expensive and not too cartoony because Amber is not really a cutesy, cartoony kind of gal. I found some, and I just figured that I could choose whatever color I wanted in the pattern rather than following what the pattern told me to do. (Amber asked for green and white dragonflies). So that is the first thing I did was embroider them on the pockets:
The next thing that I had to think about was the double zipper for the top. I had never done one of these, but just figured that I would put one zipper in and then treat that whole piece like just another piece of fabric. Here is the top zippers with zipper pull:

And then I did the side pockets. The biggest challenge here was where to locate them on the gusset so they appeared in the right place once the bag was constructed. I sewed the front and back to the gusset, and then made the strap. I sewed the strap to one side and then the loop with the short strap to the other side:

After that I put the pockets in the lining and sewed the gusset to the lining front and back.

Then I put the inside out bag in the lining and stitched around the top with the top zipper panel (with the double zippers) sandwiched in between the lining and the outer bag. Going around the corners was the tough part. Then I turned the bag inside out, put the stiffer in the bottom through the hole I left in the lining and stitched the lining closed. The lining was kind of floppy inside, so I tacked the bottom corners down inside the bag.

And yes, finished product looks somewhat like the original sketch I made. I do hope Lilian Orianna and Amber like the bag I made for them.
If anyone wants a copy of this pattern, I am willing to send it to you. I don't know if I will have time write up any instructions, but i you are a bag maker, you can pretty much figure out how to do it. Let me know. I can recreate the order in which I did it.

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