Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stroller Bag!

You have to love Pinterest. I get so many ideas on there that there is absolutely no way for me to keep up. Like, for example, this Convertible Stroller Bag over at Make It And Love It.

Of course, being me, I made a few changes.

First off, I wanted it to have a more structured bottom. So I decided to add a bottom panel and side panels. Note: You need to convert the measurements of the front and back panels if you want the flap to fit exactly. I made my front and back panels too big, so there are slight openings on either end. Handy when you need to reach in quickly, not so much for aesthetics!

Use 1/2" seam allowance all around unless otherwise specified. Be warned, about halfway through the tutorial I will use steps from the original tutorial that can be found here with a few changes because of the other structural changes I have made. This means that there are no pictures because I don't want to take those from the original author. Please reference the original tutorial for pictures (she does not number her steps, so look closely)

1 yard each of a heavy home dec fabric, coordinating cotton fabric, and medium weight interfacing (I use Pellon SF101)
3/8 yard fusible peltex
1/2 yard extra wide velcro
6 Heavy Duty Snaps (they come in a kit with the tool and 7 snaps for about $8 at Joann's)
4 purse feet


1) Cut your panels:

From Exterior Fabric:                                   From Interior Fabric:                From Interfacing:
2 12X17.5 pieces (front and back)               Same as Exterior                      Same as Exterior
2 12X6 pieces (side panels)
1 17.5X6 piece (bottom panel)                     From Peltex:                             From Velcro
1 17.5X14.5 piece (flap)                              2 5X16.5 (for bottom)              1 15 inch piece
1 43X3.25 piece (long strap)                                                                        1 3 inch piece
2 10.5X3.25 pieces (short straps)

2) Fuse your two peltex pieces together following manufacturer's instructions.

3) Fuse Interfacing to all corresponding exterior fabric pieces EXCEPT for the bottom panel.

4) Center your fused peltex pieces on your exterior fabric bottom panel. Place the bottom interfacing piece over the peltex, fusible side down, and fuse in place, thus securing the peltex. Attach the 4 purse feet following package directions (don't get too close to the edge, you still have to sew it!

5) Take one side panel and the front panel of you exterior fabric. Sew right sides together along the 12" side. Then use a serger (or a zig zag stitch) and sew over the edge, reinforcing the seam.

6) Repeat step 5 with the other side panel. Attach the back panel on the other side of the side panels.

7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 with your interior fabric.

8) Attach your bottom panel. Take the exterior bottom panel and, right sides together, pin to the exterior sides/front/back panels. Now carefully sew around the perimeter, being careful not to sew through the peltex. Reinforce with a zig zag stitch. (I didn't to that, but should have) Clip your corners.

9)  Place the two Flap pieces together with right sides together, then sew along the sides (14.5 inches) and the bottom (one of the 17.5 inch sides).  Leave the top open. Clip your bottom corners.

10) Then turn the bag flap right side out, poke out the corner and then press flat.  Then top-stitch around the 3 sides, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge.

11) Then sew the two long Strap pieces together along the sides and one end, with right sides together.  Then sew each shorter piece together with its matching piece of lining, with right sides together.  Again, sew along the sides and one end.  Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

12) Then trim each corner on the one end of each strap piece, turn right side out, and press flat.  Then top-stitch around the 3 sides, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge.

13) Take one of the short straps and place it face up on top of the long piece, which is also facing up. Match up raw ends.

14) Then turn the two straps over and line up the exact middle of the straps up with the middle of one of your side panels on the bag.  The right side of the fabric will be facing the right side of the bag exterior fabric.

15) And instead of lining up the upper edges of the bag opening and the raw edges of the two straps, raise the straps up about a half inch above the edge of the bag opening and then pin in place, making sure the center of the strap is still lined up with that center side seam of the bag.

16) Then attach the other short strap to the other side seam of the bag, raising the strap above the top edge of the bag by about a 1/2 inch.  Make sure to have right sides together and center the strap on the other side panel.

17) Next, grab your bag flap, turn it over, and attach it to the back of the bag with pins along the top……placing right sides together.  Make sure to match up the raw edges of the bag flap (the un-sewn edges) with the raw edge of the bag.  And also be sure to center the bag flap between the two side panels, along the back of the bag.

18) Once your straps and bag flap are all securely pinned into place, drop your bag down inside of the lining.  At this point, your bag is right side out and your lining is inside out……..making the two fabrics rights sides together after you drop it down inside

19) Line up the seams and the top raw edges, and pin it into place all the way around the bag.

20) Sew all the way around the top, securing the straps and bag flap into place but leave about a 10 inch opening along the front side, opposite the bag flap.  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

21) Then turn the bag right side out, pulling it out through that hole that you left (this is a little difficult with the peltex, but possible..  Then fold the raw edges of the opening down towards the inside of the opening hole, a 1/2 inch.  Pin into place.  Then iron flat all the way around the bag opening.

22) Top-stitch around the top opening of the bag, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the upper edge.  Even continue sewing all the way around to the back of the bag, keeping the back seam flat and in place.

23) Feel for the extra 1/2 inch of fabric you left on the side straps that is now on the interior of the bag. On both straps sew a rectangle with an 'X' in it to reinforce the strap's attachment to the bag.

24) Add two snaps (female side) to the base of each of the short straps……and the male side of the snaps to the other end of the short straps. Hint: You want the short snaps to attach to themselves so that they can be hung from your stroller handles.

25) Then on the long piece, add two male snap pieces to the end.  Then on the short piece (that is on the opposite side of the long piece), add the female sides of these snaps about 4 1/2 inches from the end.  Then place the 3 inch section of  wide velcro along the underside of the long strap and then on the front side of the short strap (between the snaps).  This will give the strap extra strength when being used as a messenger bag. Hint: on the long strap place the velcro on the lining side, on the short strap place it on the exterior fabric side.

26) Lastly, add the 15 inch section of velcro to the under side of the bag flap and then along the front of the bag. (I put the rough side of the velcro on the front of the bag. May I suggest not doing this? It's killing my leg if the bag is facing the wrong way and the velcro isn't lined up. I'm going to have to change it).

All done!!!

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