Here we are with April quickly closing in and I can't believe that Fidget is already 6 weeks old and we're figuring out this whole life with a baby thing. At times pregnancy seems like it was just yesterday and other times it feels like a lifetime ago. Time and how we experience it can be such a mystery.
One of my favorite parts of getting out of the house with Fidget, aside from leaving the house of course, is grabbing my diaper bag. I absolutely LOVE this bag! Early on I knew that a regular diaper bag probably wasn't for me, I didn't want something super girly or that screamed diaper bag. I also thought it would be nice if it was something that The Husband wouldn't mind carrying. Because of this I began looking for ways to either make a diaper bag from scratch, something where I could pick the fabrics used, or use a bag I already have. That's when I settled upon using my all-time favorite bag. This leather Fossil bag was what I used when I was a teacher and I absolutely love it! The only issue was that the bag itself wasn't washable should a bottle leak, wet clothes get thrown in, etc.; I mean, sure, small leaks could be mopped up from the inside but anything big might pose a problem. That's where the idea of creating my own insert formulated and that's the tutorial I bring to you today.
|Here's the bag before I had done anything to it. It needed a bit of cleaning up before the transformation could begin.|
|All the stamps I used for checking off music, metronome/tuner, screwdrivers for last minute instrument repairs, it all had to come out.|
|And here it is after. Granted this is after a couple weeks of wear but there are fewer scratches and the leather is a tad darker than it was when I began.|
|The inside all cleaned out and ready to be repurposed.|
Here are my measurements and number of pieces I needed to create my insert. The following measurements include an extra 1/2" that was added to each side of a fabric that would have a seam so this is exactly the sizes they were cut to:
- Front & Back (half will be for the interior of the bag and half for the exterior)
- 4 pieces of main fabric (the flowers) 11"x16"
- 2 pieces of interfacing 11"x16"
- Sides (half will be for the interior of the bag and half for the exterior)
- 4 pieces of main fabric 4.5"x11"
- 2 pieces of interfacing 4.5"x11"
- Bottom (half will be for the interior of the bag and half for the exterior)
- 2 pieces of main fabric 16"x4.5"
- 1 piece of interfacing 16"x4.5"
- Straight pocket
- 2 pieces of lining fabric (the stripes) 16"x6"
- Long elastic pocket
- 2 pieces of lining fabric 22.5"x6"
- Side elastic pockets
- 4 pieces of lining fabric 6.5"x6"
|All of my pieces cut ready to be put together.|
|Once you've done that and you flip it over you'll see what the outside of your insert will look like.|
|Now go ahead and add the exterior side pieces. They should match up at the top and will be too long at the bottom. Don't panic, this will all sort itself out soon.|
|And we're almost finished with the exterior of the insert!|
|Go ahead and finish sewing the exterior sides to the front and back so that you have the basis of the bag but will still have the bottom to complete. Remember to stop sewing 1/2" from each end.|
|Here's the bottom at which point you're going to do your best to sew from one seam to the other based on where you stopped 1/2" from the bottom. This will help to create a nice crisp corner.|
|And voila, you have the exterior completed!|
|Once the top and bottom are secured, determine how wide you want each pocket to be and sew vertically. Be sure to go over the elastic a couple of times to keep it extra secure.|
|Sew the interior sides to the interior bottom like you did with the exteriors.|
Once you have both the exterior and interior parts complete it's time to put them together. Turn the exterior piece so that the wrong side is facing outwards. Next, insert the interior piece into the exterior so that the right sides are facing each other and the wrong sides are out. Line up the seams and sew 1/2" from the top all the way around. Remember the whole in the middle of your interior seam? Now is the time you'll pull the whole insert through that whole and then sew it up. At this point you could very well call the whole project done, slip it into your purse or bag and be on you way!
Because I intend for this bag to be in heavy use for quite some time I wanted a way of securing the insert to the existing bag in such a way that it could easily be removed to be washed while maintaining the integrity of the existing bags lining such that I could use it as something other than a diaper bag down the line.
|Velcro to the rescue! I lined up pieces of velcro around the top edge of my insert using only the soft side so that it wouldn't catch on things in the wash.|
|Sewed around the edges so that it is securely attached.|
|I was then able to line up where the other part of the velcro would attach on the existing lining and hand sewed just a couple of stitches around the edges. Nothing too much as I don't expect to be pulling the insert out all that often.|
|And there we have it!|
|A completed insert ready to be used!|
|And now that I've had some time, here's what it looks like in use.|
|It's been working out absolutely perfectly and I'm even using some of the pre-existing pockets to help keep it that much more organized. :)|
Tips & Tricks:
- Since using the bag I find myself wishing that the interior pockets were deeper, cutting those pieces so they were 8" tall instead of 6" would make all the difference.
- I'd also go ahead and use elastic all the way around. I find those pockets to be much more useful to me on a daily basis.
- When it comes to the elastic pockets on the long side I chose to have 4 equally spaced pockets. These have ended up being usable, but just a tad small. In hindsight I'd rather have had fewer but larger. So putting 3 on either side would have worked since the ones on the side end up relatively small and work for anything you really need to keep contained.
Please let me know if you have any questions. If you choose to make an insert or even a bag I'd love to see what you do!
Thanks for reading and happy crafting!
***This post is linked up at Living Well, Spending Less***