When I met Jak from Nickorbob’s Home Decor Craft Mall, she indicated to me that they have several customers coming into the place looking for a particular item. She asked me if it was at all possible to make walker tote bags, for those that use walkers. I said sure no problem.
I don’t work from patterns. I usually think it out and then start from there. As we have a walker from when my husband had hip surgery, I was able to construct a tote bag for the walker. I don’t often youtube either, but lately I check youtube out first. There were two youtube videos on walker tote bags, however I didn’t like either one. Yeah I get fussy.
One of the videos showed how to use velcro to attach the tote bag onto the walker, the other one used straps that tied to the side of the front of the walker. I went ahead and started to make one, however instead of using velcro I used heavy duty snaps. Both videos were good but I felt that a lot of fabric was wasted because they used the main fabric throughout the whole thing. My prototype I used one fabric throughout, but then again it was clearance fabric, so it didn’t matter.
Once I got my prototype made, I was able to revisit the design. Since I purchased limited fabric (military, air force, navy) I only bought a yard and I wasn’t thinking, I need more than a yard. I also purchased some fabric that was 13.00 a yard. When I make items, I want the end result to look like a quality piece. To tell you the truth, I’m glad I used the fabric I did for the prototype, I don’t like the pattern. But I know there would be others that love it. Enough said.
So once the prototype was completed, I felt that it was not long enough and the pockets were not deep enough. The dimensions of the bag is 36 inches long and 18 inches wide. When I made the pockets I said to myself, why use the same fabric for the backside of the pocket. That is wasteful, especially if you are using a quality fabric that is expensive. So that is when I decided I would use a solid, inexpensive fabric for the backside. So another tote bag is completed. But then I ran into a issue where I only purchased a yard of fabric and I didn’t have enough fabric to make the outside pocket. Stumped no. Thinking cap back on.
Yes this new idea takes longer, however I will be able to make 2 tote bags with one yard. Cut the fabric at 18 inches, making sure the fabric is squared, then cut 36 inches from the 44 inches. You don’t have enough fabric to make two (2) pockets (one pocket is in the front, one pocket is on the other side towards the person). Lay the fabric out and cut 10 inches off from both top and bottom sides. Then you take a solid fabric and cut four (4) pieces 18 x 10. Two (2) of the solids will be for the backside of the pocket (lining) and the other two (2) of the solid fabric will be sewn to the middle of the tote bag. See Diagram.
When you cut the pattern fabric into 3 pieces, you will take two of the solids and sew them to the middle main fabric pattern. Then the pockets will be sewn to the other solid fabrics. You turn the fabric so the seam is in the inside on the pockets, iron and then stitch on the top of the pocket a top stitch. You will need a solid piece of fabric 18 x 36 for the inside lining or back side of the tote. You place the pockets accordingly on the solid areas making sure that pattern is on the outside. I run into another issue….
Both videos I watched just either had the velcro or the straps. Well and she roll her eyes. Someone who will remain nameless cause “he” doesn’t sew, said what if something heavy is put in the pocket, the bag will collapse. Yeah it did. The sides of the totes gathered into the middle of the walker. So I had to add the straps right about even with the top of the pockets. I used a grosgrain ribbon on each side of the front pockets, on the back pockets I adhered velcro. The velcro is also adhered to the end of the ribbon. Now we can go back to sewing.
Place the ribbon at the top of the pockets, pin in place and make sure you have them laying correctly so when you turn the fabric right side the ribbon is not inside the finished product, don’t look at me, I didn’t do it. Yeah I did, rolls eyes. Then lay your solid 18 x 36 on top of everything and then sew all edges leaving enough open area to turn the whole thing. Make sure you cut the corners in order to make a square corner. Then the small open area, turn it in, pin and then do a top stitch all the way around. You will then make a topstitch to make two (2) pockets. Then add your snaps right below the front bar of the walker. I believe I placed my snaps 4 inches from the middle of the tote bag, but don’t take my word for it, use a walker for proper placement.
NOTE: If your fabric you are using runs one way in one direction, you will have to also make a cut in the middle of the main piece of fabric, so everything goes in the same direction on both sides. You will notice in the examples above, most of the designs have a one directional design and I had to cut the middle.
Hope I was successful in my explanation and diagram. Its only 1:30 in the morning.