Sunday, April 29, 2012

Diaper/Over Night Bag Tutorial

Its been a busy month, so I've been MIA for a while. I have about 10 half-done projects in my garage right now that I'll, hopefully, get posted soon. For now, here is my latest creation and my first attempt at making a bag or purse. I think it turned out pretty well...a few flaws that I now know to fix on my next one. I already have two orders for bags from my sisters.

I've never loved any of my diaper bags and I've had a hard time finding a reasonably-priced bag that I could purchase. So, I decided to make this bag after seeing a cute purse on pinterest that I thought I could alter to make my own. This is a really large bag. It would be great as an airplane bag or a weekend bag if you don't have 2 munchkins to pack for on a daily basis. It comfortably fit all the diapers, wipes, food and change of clothes for my two babies on Easter. And, best of all, its adorable.  This is a pretty long tutorial, but it's a fairly easy project. The longest part of the entire process was interfacing all the fabric.

Here is how i did it...

What you'll need for your bag: Some of this is personal preference, so feel free to use your own creative license on your bag.

3 coordinating fabrics. See below for measurements. Its about 2 yards of fabric total.
2 yards of heavy twill trim (for straps.You'll find this will all the trim & ribbon sold by the yard)
purse snaps
purse feet
faux leather for purse bottom
coordinating thread
light and heavy weight Interfacing

Step 1: Cut out all your bag pieces

Bottom Gathered Fabric- {2} 37" x 16"

Top Band fabric and straps- {2} 5 ½" x 19 ½" , {2} 3" x 37" (straps)

Coordinating ruffles- {2} 3" x 43"

Lining Fabric- {2} 35" x 16", {2} 5 ½" x 19 ½", {1} 18x9, pocket- 19"x 17"

Purse Bottom (I used a faux leather)- 18" x 9"

Step 2: Interface fabric

Interfacing your bag will give it strength as well as help stop any fraying. It's important to interface if you want your bag to have shape. I mostly used heavy weight interfacing because I wanted a bag that stood up when placed on the ground. Use your judgement as to what type of bag you'd like.

Interface bottom gathered piece with light-weight interfacing. This helps hold the gathers in place.

I used heavy weight interfacing for the rest of the bag- the lining and the top band of the purse. You don't need to interface the straps or ruffles. Interface the bottom of the bag with 3 layers of the heavy weight interfacing to give it more strength.

Step 3: piece together the outside of the purse

Sew a gathering stitch along the top edge of the gathered fabric pieces. You do this by turning your tension dial & stitch length up to the highest setting. Just sew along the edge and let the fabric gather as you sew. When done, hold one piece of thread and pull fabric along it until the fabric ruffles match the length of the top band- 19 ½". Do this for both pieces of fabric.

Take the top band and pin it right sides together to the ruffled part of the bag. Sew together. Do this for both sides. Press seams.

This is the outside of your bag.

Take fabric you'll use for the ruffle on the seam of the two pieces and sew long sides together to make a long tube for both pieces. Turn right side out. Press strip so that the seam is in the middle. 

Sew a gathering stitch for the ruffle. Adjust ruffles to fit seam of bag. Pin to the seam and sew down the middle to attach to the out side of the bag. Do this for both pieces.

Pin the two outside purse pieces right sides together and sew a half inch seam on each side.

Sew a gathering stitch along the bottom of each side of the bag. Pull thread to create gathers.

Attach purse feet to bottom of the purse, if using.

Pin seams of bag, right sides together, to each side of the purse bottom. Continue pinning around the purse bottom until attached all around. Sew along the pinned area.

Step 4: Piece together lining of purse

Take the two 35" x 16" pieces and measure 7 ½ inches in on the top on each side- mark this measurement. Cut on a diagonal from the 7 ½" mark to the bottom of the rectangle. Do this for each side of the fabric on each piece. Your lining fabric should look like a trapezoid. It should measure 20" on the top now to match the top band.

Match the short side to the top band piece and sew right sides together for both pieces. Press open.

Attach any pockets or snaps at this time.

Sew the two lining pieces right sides together. Sew a gathering stitch on each side of the lining.

Pin the bottom lining piece to the sides and sew a half inch seam, leaving about a 3 inch hole in one of the sides.

Step Four: Attaching the interior and exterior pieces together

Place the exterior bag piece inside the lining and pin the two sides together, matching the side seams together. Continue to pin the pieces all the way around.

Sew a ½ inch seam along the top of the bag.  Pull the bag right side out through the hole that was left in the lining.

Sew the hole in the lining. Top stitch along the top of the bag.

Step Five: Attaching the straps

Take the trim and cut it in half making two yard lengths. Take the fabric and wrap it around the trim, folding in the outside edge a half inch and wrap the bottom around the back of the strap so the inside trim is "wrapped" in the fabric. Top stitch along the top of the strap to attach the fabric to the trim.

Position the straps on the outside of purse about 3 inches from each seam end and tuck the ends under the ruffle so it's hidden. Top stitch to attach the strap to the purse. I made sure to stitch this very well to ensure the strap was secure on the purse.

Step Six: Embellishing the purse

Attach any embellishments to the purse. I made a flower from left over scraps by sewing a ruffle and gathering it into a flower.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think- leave a comment.



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