Free diaper bag tutorial.

Description:
A hip diaper bag that your friends will envy and you will love for both its style and its practicality. Large enough to hold all your baby’s needs with room left over for your must-haves too! Features include being fully lined and spacious interior pockets that you can customize. Interior pockets can be made using lining fabric or exterior fabric for contrast.

You will need:
Exterior Fabric – 1 yd (1.25 yd if making interior pockets using exterior fabric for contrast) – home décor weight fabric works best

Lining Fabric – 1.25 yd (1 yd if making interior pockets using exterior fabric for contrast) – home decor weight fabric works best
Lightweight Woven Fusible Interfacing – 1.5 yd
¼” elastic – 1 yd
½” double fold bias tape – 1.5 yd
Magnetic snap
Your favorite sewing music (I recommend John Mayer, Ben Harper, and Jack Johnson)

Pieces to cut (see diagram if you want to ignore my writing):

Exterior fabric:
Cut 2: 20×18” rectangle for main body of bag, with 4×4” square cut out of bottom corners *double check direction of pattern in fabric before cutting is correct*
Cut 2: 3×26” strips for straps
Cut 1: 3×6” rectangle for magnetic snap closure tab, angle corners on one side if desired
If making interior pockets out of exterior fabric for contrast: Cut 2: 8×26” rectangles
Lining fabric:Cut 2: 20×18” rectangle for main body of bag, with 4×4” square cut out of bottom corners
Cut 2: 3×26” strips for straps
Cut 1: 3×6” rectangle for magnetic snap closure tab, angle corners on one side if desired
If making interior pockets out of lining fabric (do not cut out of lining fabric AND exterior fabric): Cut 2: 8×26” rectangles

Interfacing:Cut 2: 20×18” rectangle for main body of bag, with 4×4” square cut out of bottom corners (along 18” side)
Cut 2: 3×26” strips for straps
Cut 2: 3×6” rectangle for magnetic snap closure tab, angle corners on one side if desired

Double fold bias tape:
Cut 2: 26” length

Elastic:
Cut 2: 14” lengths

*All seam allowances are 1/2” unless otherwise noted.*

Directions:

1. Iron interfacing to corresponding exterior fabric pieces on the wrong side of fabric including the main body and straps. Iron interfacing to magnetic snap closure tab pieces of lining and exterior on wrong side of fabric.

2. Right sides together, sew the 2 main body pieces of exterior fabric together at bottom seam and press open. Sew side seams and press open. At the opening where you cut the 4” squares, match and pin the bottom seams to the side seams and sew using a ¼” seam allowance. Press seams towards top of bag.
3. Mark placement of magnetic snap by measuring 4.5” from top center of bag and attach bottom half of magnetic snap using manufacture’s instructions.

*Turn fabric right side out and place somewhere that you can see it when you are getting frustrated later on to keep you motivated (that’s why I always do the exterior first)!

4. Attach top half of magnetic snap to closure tab piece of lining. Right sides together, pin to exterior closure tab and sew ¼” seam, angling at corners if desired. Turn right side out and topstitch 1/4″ from edge.
5. Right sides together, pin and sew exterior fabric strap to lining fabric strap. Sew ¼” seam down each side, leaving ends open. Turn right side out, press, and topstitch along each side close to edge. Repeat for other strap.
6. Sandwich bias tape over top edge of interior pocket fabric and sew close to edge, forming a casing for the elastic.

7. Press 4-5 evenly spaced pintucks into bottom edge of interior pocket, until width of interior pocket is 20”. Stitch along lower edge to secure pintucks. Turn lower edge under ¼” to wrong side and press, turn another ¼” and press.
8. Thread elastic through backside of casing and backstitch at both ends to secure. Pin wrong side of pocket to right side of main body lining 5” from the top of the lining, matching up side edges, and topstitch two rows along lower pintucked edge. Stitch pocket to lining at sides.

9. Stitch vertical lines through lining and interior pocket to form individual pockets that fit your needs.
10. Repeat steps 6-9 using 2nd interior pocket and 2nd piece of main body lining fabric.

11. Complete lining of bag using step 2 above.

12. Right sides together, place exterior fabric main body inside lining main body, pinning at side seams. Sandwich closure tab on back center of bag (opposite of side that bottom half of magnetic snap was attached), ensuring that the exterior fabric right sides are facing each other. Sandwich outer edge of straps 3” in from each side seam, again ensuring that the exterior fabric right sides are facing each other.
13. Leaving a 4-5” opening, stitch along upper edge of bag, through exterior fabric, lining fabric, straps, and closure tab. Turn bag right side out, trim seam to reduce bulkiness if needed, and press. Hand stitch opening of bag closed and top stitch 1/2″ from edge. Top stitch another row 1/4″ from top edge.
14. Take a good long look at your bag because you are done and can start filling it up!

Comments

  1. Wow! Great tutorial! Abby you are so clever! I was skimming through the tut saying to myself – oh, so that is how you do that! The bag is amazing.

  2. wow abby! great job on the tutorial. every now and then i think i should do a tutorial for something and then i decide its was too much work. great job!

  3. one more thing, i like the materials list, very important to have music…

  4. You are so creative and crafty! I love all the things you have been doing. How are you?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank yoy, great tutorial! Now i’ve just finished my first sewing-project with great success!

  6. I linked to this bag! Thanks!

  7. Hi, I found your site on a referral of someone. I LOVED the diaper bag! SO I made it. I love it, I made some changes to it, but nothing big. I posted it on my blog.
    http://burnhamadventures.blogspot.com

    • Raj - Belgium says:

      our daughter soon to deliver our first grand daughter – my wife planning to stich one bag like this will you share your changfes please, so that she can use your input also !

      thank you !

  8. I love this bag and just finished it for a friend. Here’s a pic…http://www.flickr.com/photos/durhamse/3618728628/

    I am a newbie to sewing and following patterns…there was one piece of the instructions that I found challenging – when to sew together the lining of the bag. I was able to figure out what to do because I’ve made other bags before. Maybe I missed this in the directions, but if I didn’t then it might be helpful to add it in for people like me who are new to sewing. Thanks so much for the pattern, I know my friend is going to love this bag!

  9. love the pocket lining! great tut!

  10. bookmarking this page, i need to make this bag for school use :D i love small pockets lola

  11. bookmarking this page, i need to make this bag for school use :D i love small pockets lola

  12. Oooh! I can’t wait to try this. I just made a similar simpler one from another blog, but yours is next! Can’t wait!

  13. I really liked your tutorial for the diaper bag and nursing cover, I made them this week, although mine are smaller, they are going to be great. I added pockets on the outside of the diaper bag, and a tab with our name, as well. Thank you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can you tell me the finished dimensions of this bag?

  15. I Loooove this! I’ve been needing to make a new diaper bag with some fabric I found recently, and I couldn’t figure out quite how to do it, but this is perfect!

  16. This is so cute, but I’m finding the finishing instructions (i.e. sewing the lining to the bag without leaving a raw seam at the top, and sewing the straps on) to be really confusing. I think I will probably just make it work, but if you could clarify it at all, that would be wonderful!

    @ the poster who was asking about the dimensions, it’s pretty large – maybe 18×18 or so? I ended up trimming it down a little bit before I started sewing.

  17. Anonymous: As far as sewing the lining and straps and bag all together, I’m wondering if you’re missing that you need to sew them all RIGHT sides together? That way there are no raw edges when you turn the bag inside out. The straps should be sandwiched in between the lining and exterior of the bag, and all right sides should be facing in. Hope that helps!

  18. Anonymous says:

    That did the trick!! Thanks so much for replying! It turned out very cute. :)

  19. Thank you for your wonderful tutorial you inspired me to make my diaper bag! I really enjoy your website and I look forward to seeing more of your creativity! Thanks again!
    ~little foots

    http://www.little-foots.com/2010/02/diaper-bag-project.html

  20. This looks great! I can’t wait to try it! One question: since I am new to sewing and have yet to work with fusible interfacing, what kind of needle should I be using in my sewing machine for this project? Will the all-purpose needle that comes with the machine suffice? Or is it better to use a particular kind of needle? Any advice anyone could give would be much appreciated. Thanks so much!!:)

  21. Elizabeth: I would use a needle for heavier fabrics, such as a 14 or 16. Hope that helps, good luck!

  22. Thanks for the tutorial! I just finished my diaper bag tonight. I was a little worried about how it would turn out since I made a big change to it and I am new to sewing but am happy with the results and am planning on making more.

    you can check it out here

    http://jenijones.blogspot.com/?zx=c9f04c5b049e4388

    my blog is private so I’ll send an invite to your sewmuchado@gmail email

  23. I love this tutorial. Thank you for sharing. Here is my take on it.

    http://loveinthehome.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/i-love-my-baby-diaper-bag/

  24. I apologize for resurrecting this post, but I thought you would like to see the bags I have made using your tutorial. One of these days, I’ll make one for me! LOL!

    http://www.redeemedsheep.com/2009/12/diaper-bag.html

    http://www.aquiltingsheep.com/2010/04/bags-are-done-whew.html

  25. great job on the tutorial ,,
    the bag is amazing

  26. It looks so chic! and you make it sound so easy!!

  27. I’m a little confused about sewing the exterior and the interior together. Your instructions say to put the lining in the exterior, but the picture looks like the exterior is in the lining. So which is it and does it matter?

  28. Andrew and Ester:

    You’re right! It actually doesn’t matter which goes inside the other, but I’ll change the wording so that the picture matches the words! Thanks for letting me know :).

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I just finished my bag. WWWWonderful !

  30. Love it!!! Here’s my post/pictures about my very first major (well major for me) sewing project!

    http://jsburrow.blogspot.com/2010/07/toot-toot.html

  31. Brilliant pattern & tute TY
    Made mine over the weekend and its such an easy pattern but with a lovely finished product :D

    piccies of mine here..
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs127.ash2/39690_458671158824_691888824_6072666_3458064_n.jpg

  32. Thanks for the tutorial! I had so much fun making this, I decided I needed two! I posted pictures and linked to your blog here: http://johnandangemcculloch.blogspot.com/2010/08/diaper-bag-number-one.html
    and here:
    http://johnandangemcculloch.blogspot.com/2010/08/ready-set-go.html

  33. Hi! Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial!

    I really enjoyed making this bag, it’s going to make such a lovely gift for my expecting friend!

    Here are a few pics: http://twitpic.com/2cgdr5
    http://twitpic.com/2cgee9

    Thanks again,
    Sarah

  34. Anonymous says:

    Love your diaper bag – it has lots & lots of pockets which is very handy. I’ll post pictures once I figure out how to get them over here. crzyquilter in Queen Creek, AZ

  35. Thank you, thank you. Since I am an internet, tutorial taught sewer, I really appreciate all the hard work that you put into this. I love the way mine turned out!

  36. Thank you, thank you. Since I am an internet, tutorial taught sewer, I really appreciate all the hard work that you put into this. I love the way mine turned out!

  37. Thank you !!!! This is just AMAZING I love the colors and the style. I am just about done the one I am creating and will be giving mine away in a drawing I am having on my blog. What a great tutorial.

    You can see mine almost done at the link below.

    http://www.northerngirlstamper-shannon.blogspot.com

    Northern Girl Stamper

  38. Hi! just letting you know–we’ve been using your diaper bag for charity!! We love it!

  39. Love it! I can’t wait to make it for my daughter.

  40. Diaper bag? I want to make this for a purse! Can’t wait to try it out and of course, John Mayer makes EVERYTHING better!

  41. Just started making my bag and realized I used non woven interfacing (too late to go back), do you think that will be a problem?

  42. Natasha – not a problem at all :). You can use non-woven interfacing, I just prefer woven.

  43. thank you so much for the awesome tutorial! i am a beginner sewer, and was able to make this bag! i love the way it turned out..granted it took me a long time..but thats due to my skills haha.. thanks again!

  44. I’m so going to make this with ruffles on the outside of the bag, got to doll it up(: Thank you for the free pattern. At my local quilt shope they are selling these patterns for $12 a pattern! Crazy huh?

  45. This is such a great bag!!! I’ve been looking for just the right beach bag and cannot find one big enough… in either a store-bought bag or in a commercially-produced pattern. This looks like it will be PERFECT for my beachside or poolside needs!

    Pair this fantastic tutorial with one I just saw on making your own oilcloth using clear contact paper and VOILA you have a perfect, WATERPROOF beach bag!!! Yay!

    I’m so looking forward to making this cute bag and then using it when I go to Lake Tahoe in June!

  46. Anonymous says:

    This is a great tutorial! I made a diaper bag using your directions for my sister-in-law. Thanks for a fun and useful project! Here are a couple photos of the finished project.

  47. Thank you so much for posting such a great bag pattern! I found it easy and gratifying to have it completed within the day! It looks great and i cant wait to start using it for my as yet unborn baby girl! Thanks!

  48. I love this bag and I’m making it for my pregnant daughter. However, I noticed that it is not insulated. I bought some Insul-Bright and was wondering if I can use it for the pockets too. The only thing that may cause an issue is that the pockets may be too bulky and I will have to add another piece of fabric for the other side of the pockets to sandwich the Insul-Bright. Any suggestions?

  49. I’m not sure if someone mentioned this, but in the written instructions, it says to cut one 18×20 set of the exterior, interior, and interfacing fabrics, and it should be two.

  50. LOVE this! I just made it and use it now all the time. I’ve had a few people ask if I’d be willing to make it and sell it to them? Is there a license I could buy or are you open to others selling the finished product?? Thanks so much!

    http://www.thecraftproject9.blogspot.com

  51. Great tutorial!! I will defenately try one of these for my friend who is expecting!!
    Esther.

  52. I loved your tutorial so much, I made a bag too. Go to this link to my blog and you can see a picture of it. I put your link at the bottom of my post.
    http://dianewingpurses.blogspot.com/2011/09/sewing-tip-elastic.html

  53. Thanks for the AWESOME tutorial! I love my diaper bag! I linked back to you. You can check mine out here:

    http://kerraftycreations.blogspot.com/2011/10/lovin-my-homemade-diaper-bag.html

  54. I love this tutorial, now I know how to make a purse thanks for sharing

  55. Thanks so much, Abby. I live in France..patterns are so expensive, so I typed in “free diaper bag pattern” and fell in love with yours. I’ve just made one for my daughter who is expecting in March.. You explained it SO well..I’ll be back to your sites for more advice!

  56. I made one for myself over a year ago and it has been my favorite diaper bag! I made another one for a friend who really likes it too, thanks for the tutorial it was very thorough.

  57. Hi!
    I made your diaper bag this summer for my second born – who was born in November – but I haven’t had a chance to tell you about it until now. I finally have a chance to thank you for the tutorial!!! :) I LOVE your blog and I LOVE your ideas!!! Thank you for sharing! Here is the link to my bag, I hope you like it! :)
    http://kcmillernest.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/az-elso-my-first/

    Kata

  58. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this great tutorial. I am only new to sewing so also had problems with fixing together lining and outer, and it took three attempts and two unpickings to get it right.
    For other novices – pop the outer with the right sides facing out, into the inner whih has been turned inside out.
    I used the basic shape/pattern, but changed handles, didn’t use a flap, put pockets on front, and only one set of non elasticated pockets inside.
    The back is plain green, in case my friend fancies .
    [IMG]http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i468/Stephsterno1/Sewing%20projects/327891_10150623270336972_510241971_11032096_828499492_o.jpg[/IMG]

  59. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this great tutorial. I am only new to sewing so also had problems with fixing together lining and outer, and it took three attempts and two unpickings to get it right.
    For other novices – pop the outer with the right sides facing out, into the inner whih has been turned inside out.
    I used the basic shape/pattern, but changed handles, didn’t use a flap, put pockets on front, and only one set of non elasticated pockets inside.
    The back is plain green, in case my friend fancies .
    [IMG]http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i468/Stephsterno1/Sewing%20projects/327891_10150623270336972_510241971_11032096_828499492_o.jpg[/IMG]

  60. Anonymous says:

    I made this bag this weekend and I just love it. The button tag was a bit hard to sew along at the indented part but other then that I found it great. I had to read a few parts several times to get it thru my head lol. This was my first ever sewing project. So a beginner should be fine.

  61. I just finished my diaper bag, and I am in love. Instructions were easy to follow. I added a zippered pocket to the bag of the bag. Great tutorial!

  62. Thank you for your tutorial!
    I realized your bag two years ago for the birth of my nephews.
    Here are the links to my blog: http://milouetcompagnie.over-blog.com/10-categorie-11415367.html

  63. I wish I had sewing machine to begin with. You make such a wonderful pattern and I had lots of pretty fabric to try. My bag is packed and bigger bag is all I need, if I could make it myself I’ll be even happier. I can sew by hand but I think I need stronger stitches. Sigh.

  64. I have made this bag at least a dozen times and LOVE it. However, I really want to put pockets on the outside of the next one I make too. Can anyone share how I would do that. For some reason I can’t wrap my brain around it. Thanks!

  65. @ jana you would make your pockets on the outside before any lining. You can cut a square what ever size you want hem the raw edges with a 1/4″ seam and top stitch it on. Hope this helped.. Sorry if I stepped on toes but didn’t see any reply.
    Blessings, Gweny

  66. Gweny – Thanks! No worries about stepping on toes :). I had actually forgotten to reply to Jana so I’m glad you did!

  67. Thank you, thank you! I LOVE this bag. I have made two – both are blogged here: http://tdcell.com/threadridinghood/wordpress/?p=331

    These have been used so much. I appreciate the time you spent to make the tutorial!

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  69. I made this bag and I like it a lot. However I had some trouble with sewing the outside and the lining together. I would suggest to baste the handles first, and then assemble outside + lining. Like this, the handles would be securely in place and not shifting while sewing.
    Except for this small point, thanks for the tutorial.

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