Sunday, 17 March 2013

Nappy bag for cloth nappies, or wet bag

Hello! I'm back. Yay for me (because that means I've found time to craft again). Sure noticed a need for the creative outlet and a few weekends ago I made it back into the 'Button Room', my craft haven. It was a bit of a mess as I'd just kind of left it post Christmas creativity so there were bits everywhere. And dusty too - not good. A big spring clean & I was back in action though.

I made a kind of water / smell resistant nappy bag for Little Imp not long after she started day care. Daycare was happy to use our cloth nappies, but were sending each wet one home in a plastic nappy bag! - not really in line with the eco/cloth nappy ethos. The one feature I didn't include though at that time was a separate pocket for dry/clean nappies. So this is version 2 of my nappy or wet bag, with space for clean nappies included. A girlfriend has just had a little boy & plans to use cloth, so hopefully sh will find this useful! I now also use Little Imp's bag for swimming clothes - it will leak eventually, but still holds up pretty well.

How To:

Materials - 

  • Block out fabric (purple), 
  • Large tooth jacket type plastic zipper - the length of the long edge of the bag (mine is longer as this is what I had)
  • Plastic (I bought a $2 plastic table cloth from a Reject Store & cut that up, you could also use shower curtaining)
  • Velcro (hook & loop, about 5cm)
  • Cotton fabric for whatever you design on the front of the bag & a coordinating strip for the back

For the main bag cut 2 pieces (12 x16) inches from the blockout fabric (I'll refer to these as A & B)


2 pieces (13 x 17) inches (roughly) from the plastic
For the back 'dry' pocket (Piece C) cut 1 piece of the block out fabric (10 x 16) inches.

From the cotton fabric cut a strip about (2.5 x 17) inches.

To create the 'Dry' Pocket:

Position and pin the hook piece of velcro onto the wrong side of piece C, approximately 1.5 inches from the top and positioned so that it is in the centre.
Lay Piece C on top of Piece B as shown in the picture above, aligning the bottom corners and then marking where the loop velcro needs to be attached to Piece B. Pin the velcro in place.
You might also want to lightly mark the fabric using a ruler so that the velcro is nice & parallel to the edges.
Sew the velcro in place on both Piece B & C.

Next take the cotton fabric strip & press over approx 1/4 inch along both long ends.

Lay the cotton strip right side down. Using the crease along one of the long edges of the cotton, take Piece C, right side down, and butt the top edge (the edge with the velcro) into the crease.

You then need to make another 1/4 inch fold, this time with both the cotton and block out fabric so that the raw edge of the cotton is hidden in the seam.

The picture below shows me sewing this seam.

 And then the finished seam. I actually decided to sew another row of stitching along this seam to reinforce it (not shown).

Flip Piece C back over so it is right side up. The next step is to sew the cotton strip down, thereby hiding the stitching for the velcro). Re press the folded edge of the cotton and then flip it over to hide the velcro stitches & stitch in place.

Decorating the Front of the Bag:

Use Heat and Bond or any similar product to trace out the design you want, iron and cut out the fabric pieces and then arrange them on the front of the bag until you are happy. Iron them in place (cool iron - don't warp the block out fabric).
Then use coloured cottons to stitch the edges down (terrible photo this one, but I used small, close together zig zag edging). Now is the time to iron out any creases or add facial features etc. if you are using a fabric pen that needs ironing to set the ink (you will understand why I say this if you keep reading...)

 If you want to add a label or anything else to embellish the back, now is the time to do that too.

Adding the 'waterproof' layer'

Spread out the plastic pieces and then pin one to the wrong side of Piece A and stitch in place around all four edges - keeping close to the edge. For the back of the bag use the velcro to attache Piece B and C together and align edges and bottom corners before positioning onto the plastic, pinning and stitching all 3 layers together.
Then trim away any excess plastic.

 The back layers stitched together before trimming away excess plastic:

 Next attach the zipper to the top edge of Piece A & then Piece B. I double stitched each zipper seam to help hold the zipper in place.

Then, with the zipper open part way fold in half along the zipper, right sides together, align edges and pin. Then sew around the 3 sides, using a larger 1/2 inch seam so that you stay inside your previous seam lines. Depending on the size of your zip, you might find hand stitching the top edges easier than clunking away around the zip on your machine. (Becuase my zip was too long I also needed to cut the excess off at one end and hand stitch to secure)

Then clip edges, turn bag right side out (this is why you left the zip partly un-zipped) & you are done...unless you are then a TOTAL IDIOT like I was, and decide to set the fabric penned giraffe face using a HOT IRON. IDIOT!!!

You can guess what happened I'm sure. Table cloth melted inside the bag... stuck to itself...couldn't be pried apart...DISASTER (and a few muttered cusses/swearwords too).   Please learn from my mistake!!
I ended up having to cut out a large circle from both pieces of plastic & then managed to reline the bag without unpicking more than the second line of stitching along the zipper. Disaster averted. But pride hurt!

The Finished Product: