This gorgeous little Baby Nappy & Wipes Travel Pouch will fit into your regular handbag for those short trips. When my two were still little I used to drag around a rather large baby bag (diaper bag) everywhere we went. When they got a little older I so wanted to use a regular handbag that I ended up putting a nappy and a packet of baby wipes in with my regular handbag contents. Not a great look standing at the counter to pay trying to find your wallet hidden in between the nappies! One of these Baby Nappy & Wipes Travel Pouches would have been perfect. Too late for me now but I’m sure I have a few friends that would like one…and of course plenty of you here will have a use for the pattern too!
It’s that time of year again, school swimming. Which is great for them, the weather has been hitting 30°C regularly and they could use the cool off. But the wet togs and towels crammed into their school bags soaking everything else…not so much. I am not a plastic bag fan, I prefer to use re-usable when possible. So here we have a super easy tutorial for waterproof swim bags! It is very simple you only need to know how to sew straight lines on a regular machine, which I have a tutorial on if you need it.
Hannah has just started Scottish Highland dancing, and she is loving it. She has been loaned a pair of dancing pumps (shoes) and we were recommended to keep them in a zipper pouch rolled up. So of course I wasn’t going to buy a zipper pouch! I won’t write you a whole tutorial on zipper pouches because quite frankly that is pretty well covered online.
This is the tutorial I used, and it is nice and easy to follow. Dana from Made Everyday has plenty of great tutorials and a non fussy style, which if you follow this blog you will probably already know that I like!
It makes a nice lined zipper pouch in any size you want (depending on your zip). My zip is upcycled and both fabrics are from friends’ fabric stashes that they have kindly given to me. For Hannah’s Size 2 pumps A5 (an A4 page folded in half) worked perfectly. The measurements in case you don’t have an A4 page handy are 14.8cm × 21.0cm or 5.8 inches × 8.3 inches.
Depending on the size of the pumps you may need to make the zipper pouch bigger or smaller. Of course you can use these zipper pouches for just about anything!
Hannah’s dance teacher has recommended that the pumps be kept rolled up with the laces wrapped around to hold them in place. She said that this prevents the soles from going hard. So the zipper pouch I made was specifically designed to keep them in this position and to prevent them unrolling.
They fit just neatly inside and once zipped up they are not able to unroll! I love that they are nice and small to store, and I think the breathable nature of the fabric is a pretty good thing too!
I love this gorgeous print, so sweet but not too overly girly or pink that Hannah won’t like it as she grows. At the rate her feet grow I will probably have to make a bigger bag for bigger pumps in the not too distant future anyway!
What do you use zipper pouches for?
I don’t know about yours but my kids seem to ruin book bags at an astonishing rate! The plastic backing peels off in places in about three seconds flat. So why not make my own! And I’ll give you the usual step by step instructions so even the newest beginner can make one too!
What you will need
Outer – a medium weight fabric is ideal. Like Cotton duck or lightweight denim. As it is double layered you don’t want to go too thick.
Lining – PUL waterproof fabric. This is often used for making modern cloth nappies, and can be found online and in fabric stores (mine came from spotlight).
Bias Binding – You will need two pieces one of 33cm (13”) and one of 120cm (47.25”)
Domes – 2 sets (or you can use Velcro)
This design is based on the school book bags my kids already use.
Step 1 – Cut fabric
All you need is a rectangle of outer fabric and one exactly the same size for the lining. Make sure if you have a pattern (like my elephants) that they are up the right way.
Step 2 – Attach Bias Binding to bottom edge
Lay your pieces with the wrong sides facing each other. This means that the right sides of the fabric are on the outsides.
NOTE: Please read ahead if this isn’t making sense! Then you will be able to see how the fabric folds to make the book bag!
Now we need attach the bias to the bottom, this piece of bias will be the inside part of the opening later once folded. Insert both layers of fabric into the middle fold of the bias.
Then peg in place. You can use fabric clips or bulldog clips too. You can also pin if you prefer, the reason I haven’t pinned is to prevent any unnecessary holes in the waterproof lining.
Once the whole edge is pegged/clipped/pinned we can sew it on. If your bias is slightly narrower on one side than on the other, sew with the narrow side up so that you don’t risk missing the underneath layer.
I don’t recommend sewing over pins, but well pegs I’m sure I don’t have to mention to remove them as you go! Sew nice and close to the edge of the bias.
And it should look like above!
Step 3 – Sew Layers Together
I prefer to sew the two layers together before adding the next bias as it will be folded and four layers thick. You would be very likely to not catch every layer, especially since the PUL lining is quite slippery on one side.
So peg/clip/pin all the way around the fabric. All except the bias edge that is already joined.
Sew with a very narrow 1/8” seam allowance. This seam will not be visible after you attach the bias binding, so don’t worry if it is not perfect!
Step 4 – Round the Top Corners
You will need to fold the bias edge up as shown in photo above. Adjust it till the folded piece is 35.3cm (14”), as you can see on the measuring tape in the photo.
Grab something big and round! The closest thing near me was my roll of elastic, you could use a saucer, ribbon reel etc. And mark out the curve on the lining side.
Repeat on the other side, so that both sides are roughly even.
Stitch along the drawn line.
Now you can trim away the excess and you have a nice curve!
Step 5 – Attaching Bias Binding to Remain Seams
Recheck that the fold is still in the correct position
Pin the bias in place. Leaving a tab at each end for folding in later. I have used this method for attaching bias many times, the first part is the same as in my Bandana-ish Bib Tutorial.
Yes I did use pins this time, as you can see I have made sure to stay inside the seam line (fold closest to the raw edge) to prevent extra holes. Attaching bias around corners needs pins!
Starting at one end sew all the way around in the fold closest to the raw edge.
When you get to the top of the pocket where the bias sits in your seam, sew over it then reverse and sew over it again. Then carry on the rest as normal. These few extra stitches will give this area a bit of extra strength, when the kids pull on it trying to get their book in there!
Folding the ends of the bias is a little fiddly but can give a great result! Sometimes photos just describe it so much better. So that are the four steps in photos.
Now back to the pegs I go! This is quite thick now so I find it easier with the pegs, than trying to pin through so many layers.
Time to sew! You sew this just the same way as the first bias. Start from one end and sew all the way around to the other end.
Don’t forget to or over the opening area an extra time!
Step 6 – Attach Domes or Velcro
I won’t show you all the dome steps this time. I have detailed instructions in my Baby Doll Nappy (Diaper) Tutorial if you would like to read those.
If you are using Velcro you can use one piece in the centre if you wish. Just position and sew around the edge to hold in place.
Step 7 – Add a Label
If you want to add a label you can! If you have an in-seam label then hopefully you tucked it into the bias binding earlier!
* Great tip!!! Use glue stick to hold your label in place while sewing. Just put the glue on the back of your label and stick in place. Then sew around the edges, and you are finished. When I remember where I saw this I will credit accordingly!
Welcome to my Tote Style Handbag Tutorial! I love handbags but am always struggling to find one I like. No matter which brand I buy, they fall apart after not nearly long enough for my liking! So I thought I would make my own! This one has an optional Internal Pocket.
My Tote Style Handbag had its first outing to the Fishing Club for lunch. The verdict…I love it! It’s just the right size for me, it can fit everything including my cardi when I got too hot. Perfect!
I wouldn’t just make one to show off and not share the pattern and tutorial with you! That wouldn’t be fair would it!
Back to the beginning…I bought this fabric on a weekend away in Hamilton a couple of months ago. When I saw it in the shop I just had to have it! Even though I had no idea what I wanted to use it for, I bought a couple of meters anyway. Probably have enough to make 10 Tote Style Handbags!
What you will need to make my Tote Style Handbag
Fabric – Measurements in Chart Below!
Heavy(ish) Fabric like cotton duck or denim is ideal. I washed mine first to be sure it would wash well later…it’s amazing how dirty handbags get!
Lining can be lighter weight than the outside but doesn’t need to be. I used a lightweight denim.
Internal Pocket Fabric of your choice.
35cm (a little less than 14”) Zip for top opening
18cm (7”) for Internal Pocket
Step 1 – Cut your Fabric
I haven’t created a PDF printable for this pattern as it is all rectangles! Check out the chart below for the measurements and quantities.
Step 2 – Sew Main Pieces Together (*Only if using 2 piece pattern for patterned fabric)
This really is as easy as it sounds. Lay your fabric with the right sides facing and pin the bottom side together. Match your pattern up if you wish, but the seam will be on the bottom of the bag so won’t really be seen.
Sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
I then overlocked the seam for extra strength, as the bottom will carry a bit of weight. Zigzag or an overlock stitch on your regular machine will be fine too.
Press the seam over ready to topstitch.
As you can see I haven’t matched my pattern. It didn’t worry me as it is on the bottom of the bag.
Topstitch the pressed seam, making sure you are sewing on the side the seam is folded under on. So that the topstitch will hold it nicely flat and again provide extra strength.
Step 3 – Adding Internal Pocket (Optional!)
Take your lining piece, and lay it down flat right side facing up.
You will now need to sew your insert pocket. Due to the length this tutorial would be all in one, I have added a separate tutorial for Sewing Internal Pockets. Head over there to complete this step.
Step 4 – Sewing Up the sides
Fold fabric piece in half right sides facing and pin side seams together. Sew both sides, I again like to overlock for added security.
You can repeat this step for the lining piece too! Whether you chose to do the internal pocket or not the steps are the same.
Step 5 – Boxing Out the Bottom
Now we need to box out the bottom corners. Get your ruler (or measuring tape is fine too) ready!
Measure 5cm (2”) up the side seam and mark with a pin (or washable marker/pencil).
Measure 5cm (2”) in from the SIDE SEAM (not from the edge of the overlocking) and mark again.
After I have pinned I like to add a pencil (washable marker) mark. You can do this straight away instead of pinning, but it was easier to show the measurements with the pin over the ruler!
Fold the fabric so that the two marks (pins) line up. I use my pin to ensure the marks line up. Pin in place.
Being careful to stay square pin out to the edge of the fold. I’m sure there is a fancy way to make sure you stay straight but I just eye ball it, as long as it looks right it will be fine!
Sew along the pinned line. Then overlock just next to the seam. You can also zigzag and trim away the excess.
Now that you’ve got it sorted, you get to practice it three more times on the the other corners! By that I mean the bottom corners of the main fabric and the bottom corners of the lining.
Step 6 – Making the Straps
I made my straps using the same fabric as the bag, but you can mix it up with different fabric or even webbing straps. To make the fabric straps you will need to have cut out the two strap pieces on the chart.
Fold in half lengthwise with the right sides facing (Use a small seam allowance here – see photo!)
Turn the straps around the right way. I have created some photo steps to show you how I do it.
Then feed the safety pin down through the tube, you may need to help it turn at the end it is gathering at by pulling the outside layer over top of the inside one.
Now you will need to press it flat. You may need to wiggle it to make sure it is not folded in at the seam.
Now the last thing for the straps is to topstitch both sides to give the strap some strength and rigidity.
Woo hoo! Another step closer to the finish line!
Step 7 – Attach Straps
With your main fabric the right side facing out
Lay the straps on top of the bag in this rough layout. Then better grab that ruler again!
Measure 10cm (4”) in from the side seam, and leave 2.5cm (1”) of the strap over hanging the edge. Pin in place. Repeat for the other half of the same strap.
To do the other side turn the bag over and lay flat making sure the side seams are at the folds. That way you can match the straps up with those on the opposite side, without having to measure again!
Sew all four straps in place, I like to go over them a few times to be sure. I used the edge of my presser foot for the seam allowance, so as long as your seam allowance is less than 1cm (3/8”) that way the stitching won’t be visible later on.
Step 8 – Join the Outer Fabric and Lining Together
Tuck the outer part of the bag inside the lining.
Line up the raw edges.
Pin at the two seams first. I like to fold one seam in each direction so that it sews nicely and will fold over neatly. I use two pins to keep it in place.
You can pin all the way around the top of the bag, but you do need to leave a 10cm (4”) gap to turn the bag around the right way. If your fabric is very thick you may like to leave a little more. I use different coloured pins to mark the opening, double pinning also works well!
Sew starting from the edge of the gap and sew all the way right round to the other gap marker. Reverse a few stitches at each end (or lockstitch).
Time to turn the bag around the right way. Push it all through the gap you left. Here is another set of photo steps!
Once you have it around the right way press the seam with your iron. Fold the opening pieces to match the rest of the edge.
Pin the opening closed and topstitch the whole top edge to secure the seam. This will also close the opening.
If you are not adding a top zip then you are finished!
Step 9 – Add Top Zip (Optional)
Change to your zipper foot if you have one!
Pin the zip in place on one side of the bag, I folded the tabs at the ends of the zips back in underneath the zip. It’s OK to have a little gap at either end.
Starting sewing down your topstitching seam at the open end of the zip, with the zipper head moved out of the way. Sew up to the zipper head and stop with the needle in the fabric. Lift the presser foot and move the zip head past the presser foot. Lower the foot and carry on sewing till the end. And guess what? …Yep another set of photo steps!
Once you have sewn all the way down the one side of the zip it should look like this.
With the zip closed pin the two strap areas in place. This is so that the straps line up when the zip is closed.
Then open the zip to make it easier to pin the rest in place.
Again sew from the open end, you may need to swap sides with your zipper foot (or needle position settings).
You will get to this point where it gets hard to reach. Again leaving the needle in the fabric lift the presser foot and move the zipper head past the foot.
Once you have done that you should be able to wriggle it around to get to the end.
Congratulations on your new Tote Style Handbag!