I had decided it was time to ditch the diaper bag and prepare for summer with a new tote bag. The traditional size was a bit big for what I was looking for, so I went with making a smaller sized one.
If you would like to make your own, I invite you to follow along with me and I hope to not lose you along the way. I love to sew, but I am not an expert. Just a girl with a sewing machine, trying to make things happen.
1 yard of fabric for the outside
1 yard of fabric for the lining and pocket
1 yard of pleather belting for the handles
1 7-inch zipper
First, I wanted my bag to be more wide that tall, so I used my rotary cutter to make two 12″ x 9″ sections of fabric for the outside, two 12″ x 9″ sections for the liner, and one 9″ x 14″ section of lining fabric for a pocket. (These dimensions can be changed if you are looking for a different size bag.)
Next, for the inside of the bag, I added a pocket with a zipper. (I referred to this tutorial for installation and used one of the 12″ x 9″ lining pieces along with the 9″ x 14″ pocket piece to do so.)
Then, with right sides facing each other, I sewed three edges of the two outer fabric pieces together. I did the same with the pocket section and second liner piece.
To give the bottom of the bag a squared shape, with the pieces still wrong side out, I made a stitch that went across the seams in the bottom corners of the outside and liner sections. (This is really simple but sounds confusing, so please refer to pictures below.)
For the handles of the bag, I cut two 16″ long pieces of 1 1/2″ wide gold metallic pleather belting. I folded them in half width wise and sewed using 1/4 seam allowance down both edges. This created two flat thin straps.
After that, I put the liner section in the outside section with right sides facing each other, making sure to line up the seams. I took one handle and tucked it in between fabric pieces where the right sides touch. Making sure it wasn’t twisted, I pinned the ends of the straps 2″ from where the seams lines meet up. I did the same on the opposite side too and pinned around the whole top edge of the bag.
Then, I sewed all the way around the top leaving a small area open. I turned the bag right side out through the opening. I learned that pulling the handles out first, made this process easier.
To finish off the bag, I closed up the hole by top stitching around the bag 1/4 inch from the top edge. This made it lay flatter and be less bulky.
This bag is pretty awesome! It can also be reversible, which puts the pocket on the outside.
Click on the edge of the next photo to see what’s in the bag and how we are preparing for summer outings with toddlers.
We would love to see what is in your bag! We invite you to take a photo and share it on Instagram with the tag #ejdmybag.