DIY Diaper Bag

DIY Diaper Bag

Created by: Blue Susan Makes

Hello sewing friends! Sarah from Blue Susan Makes here. My “baby” just turned 2 and he is busy, busy, busy! Since he can run now and is becoming a little more independent, I don’t need to bring along so many things when we are out and about these days. So, I designed a smaller diaper bag that still has plenty of pockets to help me stay organized.

Diaper Bag

It has a wide base so it stands up easily in the car, and can fit a handful of diapers, toys, snacks, and drinks for a day the park. It has an easy to zip and easy to sew Sport separating zipper as well as handles that are long enough to throw over your shoulder one handed.

Diaper Bag

My favorite thing about this bag are the side pockets. They can easily hold water bottles and more, but I like to throw my keys and phone in them so they are easy to grab. The finished dimensions of this bag are 12’’ high x 16’’ wide x 5’’ deep

Want to make one? Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials

Cutting

All measurements are height x width in relation to the finished bag. This is important to note if you are fussy cutting the fabric or using a directional print.

From the Exterior fabric cut:

2 rectangles 10 1/2 ’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the lower exterior panels
2 rectangles 16’’ x 11’’ for the Exterior pockets (these cuts will be folded widthwise and the top of the pocket will be the fold)
2 rectangles 12’’ x 10’’ for the interior zipper pocket

From the Accent fabric cut:

2 strips 40’’ x 4’’ for the handles and d-ring tabs
2 strips 3 1/2’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the upper exterior panels
1 rectangle 6’’x 12’’ for the exterior bottom panel

From the Lining fabric cut:

2 rectangles 13’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the lining panels
2 rectangles 9’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the Large interior pockets
2 rectangles 12’’ x 7’’ for the small interior pockets
1 rectangle 6’’x 12’’ for the lining bottom panel

From the fusible woven interfacing (Shapeflex) cut:

4 strips 20’’ x 4’’ for the handles and d-ring tabs
2 rectangles 10 1/2 ’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the lower exterior panels
2 strips 3 1/2’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the upper exterior panels
2 rectangles 16’’ x 11’’ for the exterior pockets
2 rectangles 13’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the lining panels
2 rectangles 6’’x 12’’ for the exterior and lining bottom panels

From the Fusible Fleece cut:

2 strips 1 1/2’’ x 40’’ for the handles
2 rectangles 10 1/2 ’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the lower exterior panels
2 strips 3 1/2’’ x 17 1/2’’ for the upper exterior panels
2 rectangles 8’’ x 11’’ for the exterior pockets
1 rectangle 6’’x 12’’ for the exterior bottom panel

Getting Started

Using an iron, fuse the woven interfacing to the wrong side of the corresponding fabric pieces according to manufacturer's instructions.

Fuse the Fleece to the upper and lower exterior panels according to manufacturer's instructions.

Make the handles

Fuse 2 strips of interfacing to the wrong side of the handle fabric overlapping it slightly in the center. Fold each long edge toward the center a scant 1/2‘’ with wrong sides together and press.

Diaper Bag

Fold the handle in half, wrong sides together matching the folded edges. Press. Open the folds and insert a strip of Fusible fleece into one side. Refold the folds and press.

Diaper Bag

Topstitch 1/8 ‘’ away from each folded edge. Cut two 3’’ pieces from one end of the stitched strip to make the D-ring tabs.

Diaper Bag

Sew a 7’’ fold in the center of the handle strip: Find the center. Place a pin 3 1/2’’ away from the center on each side. Fold the handle strip in half lengthwise matching up the topstitched edges. Sew on top of existing stitches between the outer pins. Backstitch at each end.. Repeat for the second handle and set aside.

Diaper Bag

Sew the Exterior panels

Prepare the D-rings by threading a tab through each ring and basting the tab ends together within the seam allowance. Make 4 altogether.

Diaper Bag

Place a Lower Exterior Panel right side facing up on the table. Position a d-ring 4 inches away from each side along the top edge. Pin in place. Lay an Upper Exterior Panel, right side facing down, on the lower panel sandwiching the tabs between the 2 panels. Pin in place.

Diaper Bag

Sew the panels together with a 1/2‘’ seam allowance. Reinforce the tabs by sewing a second line of stitching over them. Press the seam allowance toward the lower panel. Topstitch about 1/8‘’ away from the seam on the lower panel. Repeat for the 2nd panel and set aside.

Diaper Bag

Make the exterior pockets

Fold interfaced Exterior pocket fabric in half widthwise finger press to make a crease down the center. Fuse a piece of Fleece to one half of the wrong side of the pocket. Make sure to use a pressing cloth or fuse the fleece from the fabric side. It’s no fun to melt fleece onto your iron! It is not necessary to fuse the fleece all the way to the edges. We will be cutting some of it away in the next steps.

Diaper Bag

Fold the pocket in half with right sides together and pin the long sides. The fleece should be facing out.

Diaper Bag

Sew the sides and trim the fleece away from the seam allowance.

Diaper Bag

Turn the pocket right side out, push out the corners, and press.Topstitch two rows of stitching 1/4 ‘’ and 1’’ away from the folded edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each row. Repeat for the 2nd pocket and set both aside.

Diaper Bag

Make 2 pleats in the bottom, unfinished edge of the pocket. Use 4 pins to mark the edge at 2’’ and 3’’ away from each side. Pinch a fold at each inner pin and bring it to meet the outer pin to form a 1/2‘’ pleat on each side. Pin pleats in place and sew a basting stitch about 3’’ up each pleat. Repeat for the other pocket and set aside.

Diaper Bag

Make the Small inside pockets and the zipper pocket.

Pin the 2 Small Pocket pieces with right sides together. Sew around all 4 sides leaving a 3’’ opening in one side. Trim off each corner.

Diaper Bag

Turn the pocket right side out through the opening. Push out the corners with a dull point of a pencil and press the seams flat. Topstitch along one long side about 1/8 ‘’ away from the edge backstitching at each end.

Find the center of the pocket by folding it in half widthwise and finger pressing a crease. Pin the pocket to the center of one lining piece about 5 inches from the top. Stitch around the sides and bottom of the pocket and sew a divider line down the center.

Diaper Bag

Place a zipper pocket piece on the lining over the pocket. Position it about 1’’ away from the top edge with right sides together. Pin each corner to hold it in place. Draw a rectangle on the zipper pocket piece using a pen as follows:

Draw a 9’’ line 2’’ below the top edge of the zipper pocket piece and in the center. Draw a second 9’’ line 3/8 ‘’ below the first one. Connect the 2 lines on each side to make a rectangle. These will be your stitch lines.(blue in the photo) Draw another line between the two lines with a little “Y” on each end.This will be your cut line (red in the photo).

Diaper Bag

Stitch around the outer rectangle right on the line. Using sharp pointed scissors, cut along the center line and into the corners being careful not to cut the stitches. Push the pocket fabric through the cut window, push out the seams and corners, and press. Trim any excess zipper tape.

Diaper Bag

With the right side of the lining window facing up, position the zipper under the opening with the zipper teeth facing up. I like putting the zipper pull on the left side when closed. If your zipper is longer than the opening position it so that the zipper stop is just inside one end of the window and let the extra extend past the other side.Pin the zipper in place.

Sew around the window about 1/8 ‘’ away from the edge. Be careful as you sew through the zipper teeth on one side. Just take it slow and advance the stitches by using your hand wheel to make sure your needle doesn’t break. Trim any excess zipper tape.

Diaper Bag

Turn the lining piece over and pin the 2nd Zipper Pocket piece to the 1st piece with right sides together. Make sure to pin just the pocket pieces together and avoid pinning the lining. Sew all the way around the pocket folding the lining out of the way as you sew. Set this piece aside.

Diaper Bag

Make the Large inside pockets

Place the 2 Large Interior Pocket pieces together and sew 1 long side.

Diaper Bag

Turn the pocket pieces right side out matching wrong sides together. Press the seam flat. Sew a line of stitches 1/8‘’ away from the seam edge. Fold the Pocket in half to find the center. Pin the Pocket to the lower half of the remaining Lining piece. Baste the pocket along the sides and bottom. And set aside

Diaper Bag

Install the zipper closure

Using a marking pen or chalk make a mark the back side of the zipper tape on one of the ends. This will make it easier to remember which is the back side once you’ve separated the zipper. Unzip the zipper all the way and place one zipper half face down along the top of an exterior piece. Center the zipper so there is about 3/4’’ on each side. Fold the top zipper tape end out an angle into the seam allowance toward the lining side. Place a lining piece face down on top of the exterior piece sandwiching the zipper. Match the edges and pin in place.

Diaper Bag

Using a zipper foot, Sew along the edge with a 1/4 ‘’ seam allowance. Open up the piece and press the seam open a few inches on each side.

Install the other half of the zipper between the other lining and exterior pieces. Make sure the zipper tape direction lines up properly so that the zipper tops and bottoms will line up correctly when zipped together.

Diaper Bag

Install the Exterior pockets

At this point we will take advantage of being able to open this panel and lay it flat to make it easier to sew the pocket on. The next pocket will be a little trickier to install.

Lay both parts of the bag together, with right sides facing, matching the lining to the lining and the exterior to the exterior. Pin one long side. Make sure to line up the zipper seams with seams pressed open, as well as the exterior panel seams. Sew along the edge with a 1/2 ‘’ seam. It may be necessary to use a zipper foot to sew next to the zipper ends.

Trim a little triangle out of the seam where the zipper seams come together to reduce bulk and press the side seam open. Before sewing the second side seam install the first Exterior pocket.

Diaper Bag

Lay the exterior panels face up on the table. Find the center bottom edge of a prepared exterior pocket and match it to the side seam of of the exterior panels. Pin the lower edge in place.

Using the corner of a ruler, pin the sides of the pocket to the panel so they are perpendicular to the bottom edge.

Diaper Bag

Topstitch around all three sides 1/8’’ from the edge. Leave the pleat basting stitches in for now.

Diaper Bag

Fold the panels so that right sides are together again as in step 1. Pin and sew the 2nd side seam. Trim a triangle out of the zipper seam. Press the side seam open. You should now have a big tube.

Turn the tube right side out. Slide the exterior end over the end of an ironing board. Pin the 2nd prepared exterior pocket in place just like the first one. I like to slide my ruler underneath the bag as I pin so that I don’t pin it to the ironing board fabric.

Diaper Bag

Carefully turn the tube inside out again. Sew along the bottom edge of the pocket to keep it in place. Position the bottom of the pocket under the sewing machine and topstitch one side of the pocket from the bottom to the top. Backstitch 3-4 times at the top of the pocket. Repeat for the other side of the pocket.

Diaper Bag

Install the Bottom Panel

Find the center of each side of the exterior bottom panel. Find the center of the bottom edge of the Exterior Panels by matching the side seams and marking the fold on each side. With right sides together match the center on the long sides of the bottom panel to the center on the Exterior panels. Pin along each long side. Sew a 1/2’’ seam all the way through the end of each side.

Diaper Bag

Line up the bottom panel against the Exterior side seam and pin the center in place. If the Exterior panel fabric is a little longer than the bottom panel that is ok. Just make sure the difference is lining up straight. Pinch the corners so they lay flat. Pin and stitch with a 1/2’’ seam allowance. Repeat for the opposite side.

Diaper Bag

Repeat these steps to install the lining bottom panel, but this time leave a 4-5’’ opening in the center of one long side.

Diaper Bag

Finishing touches

Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Fold the raw edges of the opening to the inside and stitch the opening closed.

Diaper Bag

Push the lining to the inside and press along the edge of the zipper so the seam lays flat. Be careful to never put the iron on the zipper teeth, they will melt. Topstitch around the zipper seam about 1/8’’ away from the edge. Now you can thread the 2 zipper tapes together and zip up the bag. It’s coming together and looking so good!

Unpick the basting stitches from the side pockets.

Diaper Bag

Finally, attach the handles by threading an end through the d-ring, folding it over 1/2’’ and then 1 1/5’’. Sew 2 rows of stitching through the folds. Repeat for the rest of the d-rings and 2nd handle.

Diaper Bag

Happy Sewing!

Diaper Bag

Diaper Bag

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