Sewing challenge: Tote bag for a walker/stroller


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My elderly mother lives in a nursing home and to get about she needs to use a walker.  Attached to her walker is a bag (see below) that holds everything she needs when she is away from her room. However her current bag is looking a very sad and she asked me to make a replacement (2 bags in fact) when I was visiting her last week. 


I could have just copied mum's old bag, but no . . . I decided to set myself another one of those  "sewing challenges" and do something that would push my skills a little!!  At this point I could tell you it all worked out well.

But I will be completely honest . . .

I made one that worked beautifully (for a beginner) and I made another that was my test and no it wasn't perfect. In fact it is a long way from being perfect which is why there is no photos of bag no. 1 But I learn a lot when I made the first bag so bag no. 2 was much easier - I learnt from my mistakes as we like to tell children!! 
Mum wanted something cheery and bright - what do you think of this?
As usual, in need of a pattern I searched the internet and came across this one at Skip to my Lou Blog (a blog full of great ideas for sewing, craft and cooking). I might even attempt some of her other tote bags - here are 10 different ones that I could try!  http://www.skiptomylou.org/2010/11/09/10-free-tote-bag-patterns-and-tutorials/

This is the finished product and I am very pleased with myself. It is fully lined in bright red fabric and I added a pocket at the front.  Whilst I am really pleased with what I achieved, I do need to work on the straps, they are not perfect at all.  Bag no. 3 will be even better! 

Whilst this bag was designed for a walker, it would be just as good for a stroller as well or for hanging off a back of a chair as I have done here. Many possibilities. 

This bag has a flat bottom making it easier to find things - a new skill for me and I am pleased at how the bottom has turned out. It also gives the bag a professional look!
Now a question - I would like to add these lady beetles to the bag but decided against sewing them on (it would have been very fiddly).  Could I use fabric glue? Would this work? The other option was to make lady beetles out of felt. What do you think?

Hopefully I will get back to skirt making shortly.  One more bag to make. 

PS Waiting (with great excitement) for 6 patterns to arrive from eBay, a range of tops, skirts and dresses for summer.  Looks like I will be busy over summer!

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More bag patterns:
http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/bags-pillows-gifts/bags-and-purses/reversible-purse

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/05/how-to-sew-a-stylish-tote-bag-tutorial/



Comments

  1. Replies
    1. I went to my local quilting store and the choice was overwhelming, I could have walked out with a huge stack of cute fabric, I was saved by the fact I was in a hurry!!

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  2. I made something similar earlier this year and I've really enjoyed using mine since it's so light weight (when empty). But I never thought of putting buttons on the straps and making it more useful for other things. Great job.
    Gail

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    Replies
    1. After I finished mum's bag I realised all the possibilities for a bag like this which is why I might make one for my self - this time using cat fabric!!

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  3. Great work, Jo! It looks beautiful! The red is very bright and cheerful, I'm sure your mother will love it! :)
    For the ladybugs, you could try glue - I'm not sure how it would work, but you would have to be careful that you got it stuck right to the edges so it wouldn't fray, and that the glue didn't go straight through the fabric and glue the pocket down as well!
    The other thing you could use would be fusible webbing - the kind people use to put up hems if they don't know how to sew or are in a hurry (not sure how it wears), or the kind used in applique (called pellon). You would have to be sure to make it go right to the edges so they wouldn't fray, and not past the edges because once you melt that stuff with the iron to make it stick, there's no way you're getting it off. :) Have fun!

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    Replies
    1. I did think of using the double sided sticky "stuff" but I might test it first and see how it goes, don't want to ruin this bag after the effort it took me to make:))

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