Sunday, January 15, 2012

HE #33-Homemade Diaper Bag (With Rainforest Modifications)

So, just a quick recap of what I did today: I attempted to make my own diaper bag, and I'm so glad I did. I used this free pattern from  I was drawn to the idea of using canvas for the bag since I live in a temperate rainforest that sees a lot of inclement weather.  For the most part, I just followed the pattern as-is with the exception of a few mods. They are:

1) On the side of the interior lining that is opposite the zippered pocket, I added an elastic, ruffled pocket that is divided into three sections.  I did this by cutting a length of lining fabric that was double the width of the bag. I sewed a 1 1/2" casing across the top edge and ran a piece of 1" elastic through it that was 1" shorter than the width of the bag. In hindsight, it has a little sag to it, so I should have probably cut the elastic 2" shorter.
Materials to make my ruffled pocket: cut piece of lining, pocket fabric 2x longer than width of lining piece, and elastic.

Both long sides of my lining. One has the ruffled pocket that I sewed into three smaller pockets. The piece on the left is my zippered pocket as shown in the pattern. So far so good!

2) Next, I opted to insert a zipper in lieu of the cute little tab. I have never made a zippered bag before, so I just made up my own method. I used a separating zipper to keep it easy, and then after the bag was assembled, I went back and converted it into a non-separating by whip stitching across both ends of the tracks to block the zipper.

3) From there I pretty much just followed the pattern. She uses a mix of cotton fabric on top of interfacing and canvas for sturdiness. I made my entire exterior out of canvas.  This is how it turned out:
Front side: There is a seam going from the point to the bottom of the bag. On the right of the seam is one large pocket. To the left of the seam is another seam to make two smaller pockets (as shown in the pattern).

The back side of the bag with one large, velcro'd pocket.

Looking on the inside at my ruffled pockets and 'floor' of the bag. I cut a piece of plastic to fit from the plastic that comes in cloth grocery sacks. This just gives it a little more stability and shape. Since this pic was taken, I have since covered it in a 'sleeve' of leftover lining fabric so it blends in.

4) I still have yet to complete my last mod. As with my previous store-bought diaper bags, I plan to spray the exterior with a water repellent coating.  First, I will try it with some of the canvas scraps to make sure it won't mess up the fabric.

**I did notice that my straps were a lot longer than how they appear in the pattern pictures (distorted from my printer?). At first I was resigned to rip them out and shorten them, but then I realized they are the perfect length to wear across my body (like a messenger style) which is what I prefer when I'm carrying a carseat anyway. Yay! However, if you prefer a shorter strap, be sure to take a look at that before attaching to the bag.

Overall, I love my bag, and am SO GRATEFUL to Amber over at!  Her pattern is very well laid out and easy to follow. I especially love that she's sharing it with her readers for free :)  Thanks Amber!

Blessings to you and your homestead,
Hillary At Home


  1. Nice project Hillary! A very attractive and useful bag! Love it!

  2. I love mistakes that turn into blessings... God is good! The bag is adorable... Look forward to seeing itin person... Tammy

  3. Thanks! Mrs. DillyDally, do you realize how many homes you have blessed with all of your patient teaching over the years? i think some of the most important things I learned in my schooling happened in that classroom! Thank YOU for teaching me the skills that allow me to make things like this :)

  4. I really like the bag! Especially the pattern you chose. This would make a cute bag just to carry around all the "stuff" us moms see to have.


  5. That looks fab! What a great idea to put in the ruffles pocket.

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