Monday, 28 September 2015

Free Nappy Bag Pattern and Tutorial

Nappy bags are an almost inescapable part of being a parent. They come in many shapes and sizes and at many different prices. Even if you try to avoid having one, you will still have to carry around nappies, wipes, spare clothes, wraps, bottles, dummies, change mats, toys and other things. So why not embrace the nappy bag and make yours truly unique?

I spent some time recently searching for a free nappy bag pattern to replace my old one. I found an attractive pattern and made it up, but it turned out just too small to fit all those things mentioned above. Most other patterns were rather complicated or required special bag fixtures for the straps and handles. So I designed my own. 

Click on the link below to download the free PDF pattern.
Free Nappy Bag Pattern

You will Need:
- the pattern
- 1 metre of outer fabric
- 1 metre of quilt wadding or batting
- 1 metre of lining fabric
- 50cm of 0.8cm wide elastic
- 1 magnetic bag snap kit

All seam allowances are 1.5cm unless otherwise indicated.


1. Print and assemble the pattern. Follow the instructions given on the pattern.

2. Cut out your fabric. Start with the outer fabric. Cut 2 main bag pieces on the fold. Then cut the bag strap to the measurements given on the pattern.
Cut out the quilt wadding in the same way as the outer fabric (both bag pieces and the strap).
Cut out the main bag pieces from the lining fabric.
To cut the inner pocket, fold the pattern down on the dotted line and place it 5cm back from the fold of the fabric. You can see this in the image below. This will give the extra fullness needed for the pockets.

Cutting out the inner bag pockets
3. Place your outer fabric on top of the quilt batting. Pin in place and using your sewing machine, quilt the two layers together. You can do this in many different ways. I have run diagonal lines across my bag to create diamonds. You could simply sew vertical lines about 10cm apart across the bag, or get creative and use wavy lines or even free form quilting.
The quilting holds the outer fabric and the wadding together as one piece of fabric while adding some stiffening to the bag.
Do the same for the bag handle (see image below).

Quilted bag strap
4. With right sides together, sew the darts on the bottom corners of the bag pieces. Do the same for the bag lining and pocket pieces.

5. Pin your two quilted outer bag pieces with right sides together. Make sure you match the dart seams. Sew around the outer edge (see image below).

6. Make the pleat at the top of the bag by folding the pleat line in to the centre line on both sides. Pin pleat and stay stitch in place. (You are making a large box pleat.)

Quilting, outer edge seam and pleat pinned at bag top
7.  Turn under top edge of bag inner pocket piece twice to create a tunnel for the elastic to run through. Thread the elastic through.

8. Pin the inner pocket to one of the lining pieces around the outer edge. Take in the extra fullness at the top of the pocket by drawing up the elastic. Create small pleats the the bottom of the pocket to fit it onto the bag lining. Stay stitch around the outside to hold the pocket and lining together.

9. Measure three even sized pockets and sew vertically down from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the bag. If you want more pockets, simply sew more vertical lines. I made my pockets the right size to fit  2 disposable nappies, nappy sacks and a wet wipes pack.

Pin the pocket to the lining
 10. Place the two lining pieces with right sides together. (The pocket will be between them.) Sew around the outside edge leaving a 10cm gap along the bottom through which you will turn the bag later.

11. Fold the bag strap in half long ways and sew down the side. Turn right side out and over stitch around the outside to hold it in place.

Bag straps after over-stitching
 12. Create the pleats on the tops of bag lining.

Bag outer and lining with pinned box pleats
13. Attach the magnetic bag snap to the inside of the bag lining. I used some wadding to help hold the snap in place as my lining fabric was quite thin. Make sure that you place the snap down from the top of the bag so that the highest point of the snap is at least 2cm from the edge as you will need a 1.5cm seam allowance. It is very difficult to sew the top seam if you place the snap too high.

Magnetic snap in place
14. Pin the bag strap with right side to the right side of the outer bag. Stay stitch both ends in place.

Bag strap pinned in place 
15. Place the outer bag inside of the bag lining. Right sides should be together. Match the pleats and bag side seams. Make sure that the strap is tucked between the outer and the lining and away from where you stitch. Pin and sew around the top edge of the bag. Clip the curves before turning the bag through the hole left open in the bottom of the bag lining.

Bag top seam (you can also see the wadding that I have used to support the magnetic snaps)
16. Turn the bag through the hole in the lining.

Bag turned through to right side.
17.  Pull the lining to the outside and pin the hole at the bottom closed. Stitch across the hole. Put the lining back down inside the bag.

Stitch the turning hole shut.
18. Over stitch around the top of the bag to hold the lining down inside and prevent it from rolling to the outside.

Bag over stitching around the top

Your bag is now complete. You can begin filling it with all the fun things you get to carry around as a parent!

Completed nappy bag!

For other patterns by RP Original hop onto  my Etsy store here!

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