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Big & Beautiful Diaper Bag

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Plenty of room, lots of pockets, PUL lining, adjustable strap... this diaper bag has it all. Plus, most importantly for a bag that's your constant companion for months: it's GREAT looking! In fact, it might be hard to give up this pretty bag once your baby has become a more compact traveller. We used a coordinated pair of twill-weight cottons. To this medium weight fabric, we added a fusible interfacing on all the main pieces, and the sides and bottom have the extra stability of a fusible craft fleece. Our bag is meant to stand up to heavy daily use! 

Part of the appeal of this bag is the beautiful fabric combination. What you choose will depend on the mom-and-dad-to-be and what they're looking for in terms of style and tone. Check out the new combinations we put together from the wide selection of Premier Prints available now at Fabric.com

          

          

There's a handy elastic topped pocket on one side for easy access to a bottle. The opposite side is flat, so the bag lays more comfortably against you. It's nice to have a bag without bumps and bulges on every surface.

The lining for this diaper bag is the popular, easy-clean Polyurethane Laminate (PUL). If you're new to working with PUL, check out our tutorial. There are lots of inner compartments on the lining, some elasticized and some plain, to keep all the baby's necessities sorted.

This project is a bit more advanced, but we know you can do it! Our top suggestion is always to read all the way through the directions a couple times before starting. We call this "making it in your head." 

For style and function, this diaper bag really does have it all. Make one for yourself or generate a round of spetacular ohhhs and ahhhs with the most popular gift at your next baby shower.

The bag finishes at approximately 14" x 14" x 6".

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • 1½ yards of 54"+ wide medium to heavy weight cotton fabric for the bag exterior and handle top
  • ⅝ yard of 54"+ wide medium to heavy weight cotton fabric for the flap lining and handle bottom
  • 1¼ yards of 60" wide of Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) for the bag lining; we used 1 ml PUL in Optic White
  • ⅝ yard of 45" fusible craft fleece; such as Pellon Fusible Thermolam
  • 2 yards medium-weight fusible interfacing; such as Heat 'n' Bond fusible interfacing
  • 4 yards of single fold bias tape: we used Wrights single-fold bias tape in Mocha(not shown in photo above)
  • ONE 6" x 14" rectangle of plastic canvas(not shown in photo above)
  • 2½ yards ¼" elastic (not shown in photo above)
  • ONE ⅞" - 1" swivel hook for inside key holder
  • THREE 1¼" - 1½" rectangular rings
  • ONE 1¼" - 1½" rectangular slider 
  • ONE magnetic purse clasp
  • All-purpose sewing thread in colors to match fabric and binding
  • Fabric marking pen or pencil
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • See-through ruler
  • Straight pins 
  • Clips for PUL
  • Seam gauge 
  • Seam ripper
  • Small safety pin
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started

  1. Download and print TWO copies of the Diaper Bag Flap Bottom pattern, TWO copies of the Diaper Bag Flap Top pattern, and ONE copy of the Diaper Bag Strap Tab pattern.
    IMPORTANT: Each pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out each pattern along the solid lines.
  3. Following the diagram on the Diaper Bag Flap Bottom page, butt the four pieces together to create one full flap pattern. Do NOT overlap. Tape together.
  4. From the fabric for the bag exterior, cut the following: 
    TWO 15" high x 21" wide side panels 
    TWO 7" high x 15" wide bottom panels 
    ONE 11" high x 23" wide rectangle for the outer pocket
    ONE 2½" x 44" strip for the long strap
    ONE 2½" x 12" strip for the short strap
    ONE 3" x 4" rectangle for the interior key hook
    Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE flap
    Using the pattern, cut FOUR strap tabs
  5. From the fabric for the interior highlights, cut the following: 
    TWO 3" x 21" facings 
    ONE 2½" x 44" strip for the long strap
    ONE 2½" x 12" strip for the short strap
    Using the assembled pattern, cut ONE flap
  6. From the PUL, cut the following
    TWO 13" x 21"rectangles for the side panels 
    ONE 11" x 27" rectangle for the pleated pockets 
    ONE 11" x 21" rectangle for the flat pockets 
    ONE 7" x 15" rectangle for the bottom panel 
    ONE 11" x 23" rectangle for the outer pocket
  7. From the fusible fleece, cut the following: 
    TWO 15" x 21" rectangles for the side panels 
    ONE 7" x 15" rectangle for the bottom panel
  8. From the fusible interfacing, cut the following: 
    TWO 3" x 21" rectangles for the facings 
    ONE 11" x 15" rectangle for the outer pocket
    TWO 2½" x 44" strips for the long strap
    TWO 2½" x 12" strips for the short strap
    Using the assembled pattern, cut TWO flaps
    Using the pattern, cut FOUR strap tabs

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Fusing

  1. Find the TWO 15" x 21" exterior side panels and ONE of the two 7" x 15" exterior bottom panels. Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse the craft fleece to the wrong side of all three pieces.
  2. Find the four strap strips, the four strap tabs, the two facings, and the two flaps. Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse the matching interfacing piece to the wrong side of each of these pieces.  
  3. Find the 11" x 23" outer pocket piece. Place it right side down on your ironing board, but make sure the top and bottom edges are correctly oriented. Place the remaining 11" x 15" piece of fusible interfacing on the fabric, aligning the left side and the top and bottom edges. This will leave the right side with just fabric showing. Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place. 

Straps and tabs

  1. Match each outside strap to its coordinating inside strap (long to long, short to short).
  2. Sew each pair together, using a ½" seam allowance, leaving one end open on each for turning. 
  3. Trim the seams and clip the corners
  4. Turn right side out. 
  5. Edgestitch along the three sewn sides of each strap. 
  6. Place two of the strap tabs right sides together. Sew together, using a ½" seam allowance along the sides and top. Leave the straight edge open for turning. 
  7. Trim the seams and clip the corners.
  8. Turn right side out. Edgestitch along the sewn seam. 
  9. Repeat with the remaining two tabs.
  10. Slip the tab end through a rectangular ring and fold the end over the ring just enough to allow you room to stitch the end in place (approximately ½"). 
  11. Following the original edgestitching, stitch across the end to secure. 
  12. Repeat with the remaining tab and ring. 
    NOTE: We used a 1¼" rectangular ring, which caused our tab to have a slight gather; this matched the gathered pocket on either side. If you'd prefer a completely straight tab, get a 1½" rectangular ring (an option mentioned in the supply list above).

Outer pocket and body of the bag

  1. Cut a length of the single fold bias tape just a bit longer than the top edge of the outer pocket.
  2. Unfold one edge of this length of bias tape. 
  3. Pin the single layer bias tape to the top edge of the outer pocket; the raw edges should be aligned. The wrong side of bias tape is against the right side of fabric. 
  4. Sew the bias tape in place, using a ¼" seam. 
  5. Place the outer pocket (with the binding sewn in place) right side up on your work surface. The interfaced portion of the pocket should be on the right. 
  6. Measure 8½" in from the left edge and draw a vertical line. This will be used as a stitch line to follow to create your pocket.
    NOTE: You are working on the right side of the fabric, so make sure to use a fabric pen or pencil that washes away or fades with exposure to the air. 
  7. Find the 11" x 23" rectangle of PUL for the outer pocket.
  8. Place the PUL outer pocket and the fabric outer pocket right sides together. Pin in place, keeping the pins within the seam allowance.
  9. Stitch the two layers together, following along in the bias tape seam. Remove the pins as you go. 
  10. Fold the PUL to the back so the two pieces are now wrong sides together with a seam along the top edge. Press in place from the front.
  11. Press down the free, folded edge of the bias tape. 
  12. Edgestitch along the entire free, folded edge of the bias tape through all the layers. You are creating a casing for the elastic.
  13. Cut a 24" length of elastic. 
  14. Attach a small safety pin to one end of the elastic and insert the elastic into casing, threading it through until approximately ½" extends out each end. Pin the elastic in place at each end.
  15. Find one of the two 15" x 21" side panels. Place it right side up on your work surface. 
  16. Place the outer pocket piece, also right side up, on top of the side panel. Align the right sides and bottom edges of the two pieces. The opposite edge of the pocket will extend beyond the panel. Pin in place along the right edge.
  17. Carefully take the two pieces to your sewing machine. Stitch the two layers together along the drawn vertical stitch line, backstitching across the casing to reinforce this point. This vertical seam line is creating the flat portion of the outer pocket. 
    NOTE: The extreme close-up image below almost makes it appear that there is a break in the bias binding. That is an optical illusion. What you are seeing is the locked seam at the top of the pocket panel - the point where we finished our vertical seam line.
  18. Take the layers back to your work surface and again lay them right side up. 
  19. Match the left side of the pocket with the left edge of the side panel, and pin in place. 
  20. Along the bottom, create a box pleat to accomodate the fullness, and pin it in place.
  21. Pull on the left side of the elastic until gathers form and the upper edge of the pocket lays neatly against the side panel.
    NOTE: Only pull to gather the left side; this will become the side panel bottle pocket. The remaining elastic should lay flat against the side panel. It is there to act as reinforcement with just a bit of give for the main pocket across the back.
  22. Machine baste the pocket to the side panel. Start in the left corner at the casing, stitch down, pivot at the bottom left corner, stitch along the bottom edge (across the pleats), pivot at the bottom left corner, stitch up to the top right corner of the casing. This machine basting secures the two layers to one another, and secures both the elastic and the pleat in place.
  23. Trim away the excess elastic.
  24. Lay the remaining outside side panel right side up on your work surface. It should lay in the finished direction - with the 21" sides top and bottom and the 15" sides left and right. 
  25. Mark a vertical stitching line 6½" in from the left edge of the panel. Stitch along the line.
  26. Place the two side panels right sides together, aligning the 15" sides. 
  27. Stitch along both sides through all layers, using a ½" seam allowance. This forms the body of the diaper bag (it is just an open tube at this point - no top or bottom).

Bottom of the bag

  1. Find the two bottom panels in the exterior fabric. One is fused with the craft fleece and one is plain.
  2. Place the bottom panel with the fusible fleece wrong side up on your work surface. 
  3. Fold under one short end of the plain bottom panel ½" along one 7" end and press. 
  4. Place the plain fabric panel, right side up, on top of the fleece panel. Align the raw edges of both pieces. The folded back edge of the plain panel will sit ½" back from the base panel's raw edge.
  5. Baste the two pieces together along the three raw edges. The short side with the folded edge should not be basted.
    NOTE: Both sides of this panel have the fabric right side out, but the side with the folded edge (which forms a little pocket) is now considered the "wrong side" as we move through these next few steps.  
  6. Find the body of the bag. Turn it wrong side out.
  7. Insert the bottom panel into the bag, aligning the right sides of the bottom of the bag with the right sides of the bottom panel. It's like setting a lid upside down into a box. 
  8. Match the corners of the bottom panel to the corners of the diaper bag body. Pin in place all around, adjusting as necessary and using plenty of pins to insure the panel sits in the bag evenly and square.
  9. Clip the diaper bag at the corners. You are clipping into the corner at a diagonal at a depth of about ⅜". This frees up the seam allowance so you can stitch each side of the bag independently.
  10. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew the bottom panel to the body of the diaper bag. Start and stop ½" in from each corner.  
    NOTE: When you get to the side with the folded edge, take care to not catch the folded edge in the stitching. This becomes the base panel pocket open, which will allow you to insert the stiffener that will create the solid bottom of the bag. 
  11. Insert the plastic needlepoint canvas into the bottom panel 'pocket.'
  12. Hand stitch the pocket opening closed. 
  13. Turn the diaper bag right side out.
    NOTE: If you are new to inseting a base into a bag, check out our full tutorial: How to Insert a Rectangular Base into a Tube.

Flap

  1. Find the two flap pieces and the remaining single fold bias tape.
  2. Place the flap lining wrong side up on your work surface.
  3. Mark the placement for the outer half of the magnetic snap 3" up from the lower edge and centered side to side. Following the manufacturer's instructions, or our own helpful snap tutorial, insert this half of the snap.
  4. Find the diaper bag body. Place it on your work surface with the front (the non-pocket side) facing up. Mark the placement for oppostie half of the magnetic snap 4½" down from the upper edge and centered side to side. Again following the manufacturer's instructions or our tutorial, insert this half of the snap. 
  5. Find the exterior flap.
  6. Cut a length of the single fold bias tape a couple inches longer than the curved edge of the flap. The straight edge does not get bias tape.
  7. Unfold one edge of this length of bias tape. 
  8. Pin the single layer bias tape to the curved edge of the exterior flap. The raw unfolded edge of the bias tape should sit ¼" in from the raw edge of the flap. The wrong side of bias tape is against the right side of fabric. This is similar to how you attached the bias tape to the outer pocket above.
  9. Sew the bias tape in place, using a ½" seam (½" from the raw edge of the fabric).
  10. Place the flap lining and the flap exterior right sides together, sandwiching the bias tape in between the layers. Pin in place around the curved edge only, leaving the straight edge open.
  11. Stitch the two layers together, following along in the original bias tape seam. 
  12. Trim the seam back to ¼" and clip the curve.
  13. Turn the flap right side out through the straight edge opening.
  14. Press well, pressing down the free, folded edge of the bias tape to the front of the flap.
  15. Edgestitch along the entire free, folded edge of the bias tape through all the layers.
  16. Pin the flap in place on the diaper bag, right sides together. The flap is positioned against the back of the bag body, the side with the outer pocket. Align the raw edges of the flap and the bag body, and center the flap side to side within the panel
  17. Find the two strap tabs.
  18. Pin one to each side of the bag body. Each tab should be positioned so the raw edges of the tab and the raw edges of the bag body are aligned and the tab is centered side to side within each side section. When each tab is in position, there should be about 1" of space between the flap and the strap tab.

Inside pockets from the PUL

  1. Collect all the remaining PUL pieces.
  2. Find the 11" x 27" panel. Fold down ½" along one 27" side. Topstitch ⅜" from the folded edge to form a small casing. Mark the panel for pockets: place the first vertical line 8½" in from the left raw edge and a second line 9" from this first line. 
  3. Cut a 28" length of elastic. 
  4. Attach a small safety pin to one end. With this end, thread the elastic into the casing and pull it through until there is about ½" extending from each end. Pin the elastic in place at each end. The pocket unit should still lay flat at this point.
  5. Find one of the 13" x 21" PUL side panels. Mark this panel for pocket placement: place the first line 6½" from the left raw edge and the second line 7" from this first line.
  6. Place the 11" x 27" panel with elastic over the 13" x 21" panel marked for pocket placement. Both pieces should be right sides facing up (marked sides facing up). The bottom edges of the two pieces should be even.
  7. Align the first line on the bottom panel with the first line on the top panel and pin in place. 
  8. Stitch along the drawn lines through both layers, back stitching across the elastic to secure it at this point.
  9. Align the left edges of the two pieces of PUL and pin in place. Unpin the elastic at the left and gently pull, adjusting the fullness to fit the pocket width. Re-pin the elastic in place. 
  10. Create a box pleat at the lower edge of the pocket to accommodate the lower fullness. Machine baste along the side and across the bottom of the pocket. Trim excess elastic. 
  11. Align the second set of marked vertical lines, the lower edges should still be even. Pin in place. Unpin the elastic at the right and gently pull, adjusting the fullness to fit the pocket width. Re-pin the elastic in place. Stitch along the marked vertical line through both layers, back stitching across the elastic. Create a box pleat at the lower edge of the pocket to accommodate the lower fullness and machine baste in place along the bottom edge, stopping at the vertical stitch line.
  12. Finally, align the right edges and pin in place. Pull the elastic from the right again, adjusting the fullness to fit the pocket width. Pin the elastic in place. Create a box pleat at the lower edge of the pocket to accommodate the lower fullness. Machine baste along the bottom and up the side of the pocket. Trim the excess elastic. 

    NOTE: You can wait until all the pockets are adjusted and pinned and then do just one line of machine basting. We did it in steps for those who are new to working with the slipperyness of PUL. Doing it in stages insures your pockets stay exactly in position. 
  13. Fold down ½" along one long side of the 11" x 21" PUL panel. Topstitch ⅜" from the folded edge to form a small casing. 
  14. Cut a 22" length of elastic. 
  15. Attach a small safety pin to one end. With this end, thread the elastic into the casing with about ½" extending from each end.The pocket unit should lay flat. Pin the elastic in place at each end.
  16. Mark the panel for pockets: place the first line 6½" from the left edge and a second line 7" from this first line.
  17. Find the remaining 13" x 21" PUL panel. Mark it for pocket placement: placing the first line 6½" from the left edge and a second line 7" from this first line.
  18. Place the 11" x 21" elastic casing panel over the 13" x 21" panel with both panels right sides facing up. Align the sides and lower edges, and machine baste in place along both sides and across the bottom.
  19. Align the marked vertical pocket lines on both pieces and pin in place. Stitch along these marked lines through both layers, back stitching across the elastic. Trim the ends of the elastic flush. 
    NOTE: For this pocket unit, the elastic acts as a stabilizer, but is not gathered. 
  20. Place the two PUL lining panels right sides together and stitch the side seams with a ½" seam.
  21. With the lining unit still wrong side out, insert and sew the lining bottom panel into the lining body, following the same steps you used above to attach the main bottom panel to the main bag. Remember, we have full tutorial: How to Insert a Rectangular Base into a Tube.

Key hook and facing

  1. Find the 3" x 4" tab piece. Fold under both 4" sides ½" and press. 
  2. Fold the tab in half so the two folded edges align. Pin in place. Edgestitch along the double folded edges to secure. Run a second line of edgestitching along the opposite single folded side.
  3. Insert one raw end of the tab through the swivel hook. Fold back the raw end ½" and press, then fold an additional ½" and press again, encasing the raw edges and forming a small hem. Stitch the hem in place as close to the hook as possible. 
  4. Find the two 3" x 21" facing pieces.
  5. Place them right sides together, pinning along the 3" sides.
  6. Stitch each side seam, using a ½" seam allowance, to create a ring. Press the seams open. Turn the ring right side out.
  7. Pin the key hook tab to the right side of the facing, 3" from one seam and with the raw edges of the hook and the facing aligned. Machine baste the tab in place approximately ⅜" from the raw edge.
  8. Find the lining bag. It should be wrong side out. 
  9. With the facing still right side out, slip it into the lining bag so the two layers are now right sides together. Align the top edge of the facing (the edge with the tab basted in place) to the upper edge of the lining. Adjust the ring all around, matching the seams. The ring should lay nice and flat against the lining. The tab should sit above the gathered pockets. 
  10. Sew the facing to the lining all around, using a ½" seam allowance.
  11. Finger press the lining ring up and away from the lining bag. The seam allowance should be pressed up towards the facing. Edgestitch all around to secure the seam allowance in this up position. Stay as close as possible to the seam on the facing.

Finishing

  1. With the body of the diaper bag wrong side out and the lining right side out, slide the lining inside the bag - so the two pieces are now nested and right sides together.
  2. Match up the top raw edges all around (the raw edge of the facing with the raw edge of the exterior body of the bag). Align seams and the corners of the bottom panels. The flap and strap tabs are sandwiched between the layers. 
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew the lining to the diaper bag along the upper edge. Leave about a 5" opening along the back edge for turning the bag.
  4. Turn the diaper bag right side out. Push the lining down inside the bag, poking the corners of the lining's bottom panel into the corners of the bag so the bottom lays as flat as possible. Pull up the flap and pull the strap tabs up into place.
  5. Press, making sure the raw edges of your opening are pressed in so they are flush with the sewn seam.
  6. With the flap and tabs out of the way, edgestitch around the top of the bag, closing the opening you used for turning and finishing the top of the bag (we started and stopped our seam behind one of the strap tabs).

Assemble the adjustable strap

  1. Find the long and short straps, the remaining rectangle ring, and the slider.
  2. Insert the raw-edge end of the short strap through the ring. Fold back the raw edge ½" and press, then fold an additional ½" and press again, encasing the raw edges and forming a small hem. Stitch the hem in place as close to the ring as possible.
  3. Insert the raw-edge end of the long strap through one side of the slider and around the center bar. As above, fold the raw edge under ½" and then fold ½" again and stitch in place as close to the center bar as possible. 
  4. Place the short strap on the right with its ring facing left (the strap is right side up). Place the long strap on the left with the with the slider also facing to the left. This strap is right side down.
  5. Pass the finished end of the long strap through the top of the ring. Go in from the bottom and come out over the top.
  6. Flip the slider over so the full rectangle is visible.
  7. Thread the finished end of the long strap through the slider, working from right to left, up and over the center bar.
  8. Adjust the strap to your desired length. 

    NOTE: If you are having trouble wrapping your head around these steps, open your lingerie drawer and look at your bra strap. Most bra straps work the same way.
  9. Looking at the assembled bag from the front, attach the short strap on the right and the long strap on the left.
  10. To attach, simply slip the finished end of the strap through the ring of the strap tab, fold the end to the back approximately ½" and stitch in place. Repeat to attach the second strap.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler

Section: 

Comments (37)

DoreenS said:
DoreenS's picture

I saw the instructions for adding the snap to the flap, but I didn't see where to add the other piece to the bag itself.  Where do I place the other part of the snap?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@DoreenS - It is right below the step where you are marking the flap:

Find the diaper bag body. Place it on your work surface with the front (the non-pocket side) facing up. Mark the placement for oppostie half of the magnetic snap 4½" down from the upper edge and centered side to side. Again following the manufacturer's instructions or our tutorial, insert this half of the snap. 

Ruth Z said:
Ruth Z's picture

I'm sorry but I'm confused as why you used Hear and Bond rather than regular fusable interfacing.  Explain?  I don't see where you say to remove the paper except as per manufactrers instruction but then the fabric is sticky.

Ruth P

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Ruth - It is just standard medium-weight fusible - we just offered a link to the brand we used. You could use any brand. The Heat 'n' Bond brand covers a wide variety of fusibles, not just what I think you might be referring to, which is their fusible web for appliqué - that is indeed a paper-backed product, but is not what we are recommending here.

Jessica Bardwell said:
Jessica Bardwell's picture

Hi Liz, 

I have a question concerning the PUL pockets on the inside of the diaper bag. I bought my PUL from hobby lobby and it is only waterproof (slippery) on one side. Is that normal? Shouldnt that PUL be lined with PUL so the pocket is waterproof? Thank you!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Jessica - There are different brands and types but in general only one side of the PUL is usually supposed to be waterproof. The other side may be to some extent, but it's not as repellent as the shiny side. Our bag is not designed to have two layers for the lining, but you can adapt if you feel that is more to your liking. We show the more waterproof side facing out as spills seem to occur more often in the larger center section than the tighter pockets. But you could certainly switch that around. 

Burnetta said:
Burnetta's picture

When I went to down load the Top Flap and the Bottom flap, both links were just the top flap. There was no bottom flap. Is the bottom flap different than the top flap?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Burnetta - We've double-checked the download links on several browsers and they are delivering the correct PDF files. There are two files: one for the bottom (print two copies) and one for top (print two copies). Make sure you are clicking on each link correctly. You could also try re-loading the page. Everything is delivering correctly from the server on our end. 

Jo..... said:
Jo.....'s picture

I live in a rural area and our store is out of fusible fleece (not sure when it will come back in stock). I'm a beginner sewer but I'm going to attempt using sew-in fleece interfacing instead. Any tips on the best way to do this? I'm just concerned about seams showing. Thanks

Lynn R said:
Lynn R's picture

I love this project! I am mainly a fashion sewer, but I am making this gorgeous diaper bag for my first granddaughter and enjoying it.  Just a few comments/suggestions:

1. Many of the heavier weight 54" fabrics are dry clean only, not wise for a diaper bag.  it's very easy to convert the yardage to 45"-wide fabric, which opens up many more possibilities. 

2.  I pressed all the seams, including the PUL ones.  You  may want to caution your audience to be very careful if doing this - even with a press cloth I did melt the pocket edge to the body of the lining in two spots. I had to carefully reheat the PUL  to separate the pocket from the lining body. 

3. There is a stress point where the stitching lines for the pockets meet the lining body. I have concerns about ripping. Suggestions  for reinforcing?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Lynn R - so glad you are enjoying our pattern - I'm sure the new parents will enjoy it! 1) Above, we do recommend a medium to heavy weight cotton fabric in the supply list, and all the suggestions we show are that - there are a lot more "canvas" type fabrics now that are outside that dry-clean-only realm. But yes - folks can certainly use the fabric of their choice - we just want people to understand that a standard quilting weight cotton wouldn't work well. And, of course, we chose PUL for its wipe-clean finish on the inside since that's where most spills happen. 2) Sorry you had some issues with your PUL - we do link above to our full tutorial on working with it, but your pressing reminder is a good one. 3) A generous backstitch is traditionally what we recommend at the top of pockets. In this case, the elastic itself also helps stabilize. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Jo - there are several places you can order the fusible online (the link above is to fabric.com) if that could work for you. If not, and you are planning to use regular fleece, you'll want to baste it in place so it doesn't shift during assembly. Keep your basting close to the raw edge (apx 1/8" - 1/4" would be good) and then it will be within the seam allowance and won't be visible at all from the outside. If your local store has a fabric basting spray adhesive - that is another option to adhere the fleece to the fabric. 

Jo... said:
Jo...'s picture

Perfect, thank you! This is a great tutorial, as a sewing newbie I found it easy to follow & the message posts most helpful. I especially like all the links; I've learnt a lot about sewing basics from this project alone!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Jo - Excellent - we hope you'll come back often for more inspiration (and bring all your friends!) - Let us know how your bag turns out.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Becky - There are only three pieces that require a pattern piece - these patterns are listed as links in the Getting Started section above. All the other pieces are simple rectangular cuts that do not need an actual paper pattern - just cut to the dimensions listed. 

Karen @sewwattscreative said:
Karen @sewwattscreative's picture

Thank you for this marvellous tutorial, however what happens with the elastic on the right hand side on the outer pocket?  Should I be gathering this up?  Thanks

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Karen - Excellent question. We added a bit of copy above to help clarify:

Pull on the left side of the elastic until gathers form and the upper edge of the pocket lays neatly against the side panel.
NOTE: Only pull to gather the left side; this will become the side panel bottle pocket. The remaining elastic should lay flat against the side panel. It is there to act as reinforcement with just a bit of give for the main pocket across the back.

Jennifer+9 said:
Jennifer+9's picture

For step 25 is it a vertical line along the 15" side or the 21" side down the middle of the side pannel?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Jennifer+9 - It's a vertical stitching line, so parallel with the 15" sides.

brienna said:
brienna's picture

could you please change the yards and inches into cm please as it would make it eaiser to make

 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ brienna - since we are in the US, all our projects are in inches and yards. However there are lots of great conversion programs online that make it quick and easy for you to do the math. Here's just one: http://www.inches-to-cm.com/

Susanna G. said:
Susanna G.'s picture

Is the plastic canvas meant to be fairly stiff?  I'm not in the US and I've found almost all of the necessary parts, but the plastic canvas I ordered online folds quite easily.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Susanna - You do want something fairly stiff. If you can't find the plastic canvas, any similar plastic would work. We've heard of some people who use stiff cardboard or even a thin wood - although for a diaper bag, something water resistant is best so I'm not a fan of cardboard. The end of the sleeve that holds it is meant to just be handstitched closed so you can insert something and try it and if you don't like it, simply rip out the stitches and try somethine else :-).

Susanna G. said:
Susanna G.'s picture

Thank you!  I'm going to try a few craft stores and see what I can find.

Another question, as this is my first time working with PUL- which is the right side for the purposes of this project?  I wasn't able to figure that out from this tutorial nor the linked guide to using PUL.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Susanna - it can be right to tell the right side of PUL and it depends on the brand how obvious it may or may not be. In general the laminate side should feel just a bit different -- more sticky or grippy is the best way I can describe it.

Susanna G. said:
Susanna G.'s picture

Sorry for the lack of clarity in my question- I can tell which side is the laminate, but I'm not clear on whether the laminate side is meant to show (for example on the outer pocket), so the inside is wipeable- or whether the knit is always the right side?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
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@Susanna - The laminate side is considered the "right side." 

Laura Wilson said:
Laura Wilson's picture

Hi,

I am planning on making this bag, but did not want to use PUL should I substitute it for fleece or just leave the steps out completely? Thanks

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Laura - Are you still planning on using it as a diaper bag? If so, you need some sort of lining to a) create all the pockets and b) finish the inside. Fleece would be too thick, but you could try sateen weight cotton. Even a quilting cotton would probably work, but without trying, I'm hesitant to say that would be a perfect choice. We chose PUL for the diaper bag use for a wipe clean surface, but if that isn't a worry, a cotton would be an option. 

Susan McQuone said:
Susan McQuone's picture

I have made this diaper bag several times and love it! I tweaked the pattern slightly by putting side pockets on each end and sometimes will add a slip pocket on the back. The size of this bag is perfect and very roomy. This bag is one of my favorites to make!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Susan - Thanks for letting us know. We love hearing success stories -- as well as about little tweaks people have added. So glad to know how much you've enjoyed the pattern. 

Melissa Hartman said:
Melissa Hartman's picture

i just wanted to say excellent tutorial. I made the diaper bag this weekend my first time and I am a beginner.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
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@ Melissa - That is great news! If you are on Facebook (sew4Home) or Instagram (sew4home_diy), we'd love to have you share a picture.

Pam T. said:
Pam T.'s picture

I tend to use diaper bags as EDC (every day carry) bags to work because of the pockets and huge amount they can carry!  I'd tweak the dimensions on this a couple of inches and see if I can convert the back to a padded laptop pocket.  So many options!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Pam - That's so great! You're right, they are very functional for carrying lots o' stuff at any age 

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