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Maternity Bag Tutorial & free pattern |Sew-a-bration of Womanhood||

You might have heard about the Make for Mom Series last year. It was hosted by the Shaffer Sisters, and this year it's back with a brand new name (see why they have changed it here), and it is co-hosted with Ajaire from Call Ajaire (she's got her own series going on too, called Monthly MashUp, have you heard of it?).

I feel more than honoured to be part of this Series, and join all these wonderful and talented ladies in a celebration of the womanhood. Because we are just more than moms, and because we deserve to love ourselves the way we are.  

I first thought about making myself an outfit, but because I've been participating in Challenge Create, I was able to sew myself some brand new pieces to fill my wardrobe. So, I quickly knew I needed to make something else. Apart from the clothes I made through the competition I mentioned above, I don't get to sew much for myself lately... or ever since I became a mom. My daughter, and now the baby that's making his way into our family pretty soon, take all my attention and sewing time. I was happy I had to make something for myself this time. It forced me to sew what I really needed. And I made myself a maternity bag, to take to the hospital when delivery time comes. It will also work great as a sports bag later, or other purposes. 

I confess it turned out better than I had expected. Only one thing went wrong, I tried to home-laminate my fabric (I have done that before for small wallets), and was planning a tutorial for that too, but my fabric just wouldn't take the plastic. It would fuse to the iron board fabric, or the fabric I had betwen the plastic and iron, and still wouldn't fuse with my polka dot fabric. After two tries I gave up. I was just hoping to get my bag a little thicker but it worked just as is. 

This bag is quite easy to sew, simple. There are only a few features to point out... the long hangers and the side pocket, perfect to hold a bootle of water or anything else you need on hand when using it. I picked this fabric I had in my stash since my daughter's birthday last year. It is the same I used to make her birthday outfit, and more recently a skirt. The hangers were recycled from two men hoodies and the zipper was previously part of a leather bag I destroyed a few months ago. 

Of course, making a pattern to share was on top of my intentions, so a pattern was created. And, you can find it HERE. If you want to make your own bag too, grab the pattern in the previous link, check out the supplies needed and follow the next steps to make it. 

* My measures are in metrical system in the picture, but I'll add it in inches in the steps, so pay attention. *

Let's start our bag, shall we?! Just one more thing, you can do option one which is exactly like mine, or option two with an extra pocket on the other side. If you chose to make option two, note that you should cut two pocket pieces. 

Start by cutting all your pieces. Grab pieces number one, it will be the zipper "panel" on top of the bag; and press 1cm (3/8") towards the wrong side as shown in image 1. Get your zipper (21" or longer - you can cut the excess later) and sew the pattern pieces you just pressed to it. First one side (2) and then the other (3). 

Let's get pattern piece number two now. It will make the side and bottom of our bag. Press 1cm (3/8'') to the wrong side again at each shorter edge (4). Pin one edge to the previous pieces you sewn to the zipper and sew too (5). and the other edge to the second edge of the zipper pieces too. You'll get like a full circle piece. 

We'll go to the pocket now. Pin and sew the corners with a 1/6" seam (6), fold about 2,5 cm (1'') - as marked on pattern piece, press (7) and sew in place (8). 

With a savety pin, inssert your elastic (5 1/2'' long, and 5/8'' wide) in the seam you just sewn (9), pull it carefully until it reaches the edge, pin in place (10), and keep pulling your elastic until it reaches the other edge (11), pin too and take your savety pin off. The red from the fabric in the photos, doesn't make it really easy to understand, but I will try my best to explain it to you. Grab the previous pieces you've sewn together. Match the top of your pocket (the elastic side) to the edge right before where your zipper starts (the pocket should be lined with pattern piece number two). Pin it in the sides (12) and bottom (13). Sew the bottom of the pocket. If you want to add a second pocket, just repeat the steps. 
I did this before I sewn those previous pieces together while making mine, and then I realised it hasn't been the greatest idea ever), so I am trying to show you the easiest way to make it. 

Not much left to do, right now. Get pieces number 4 ( I call them side panels) and your ribbon/hangers. Start by pinning one edge to the bottom of the bag piece, following the pattern marks (14) and sew in place. Note that you don't sew all the way up, only until the marking on the pattern. Then add the other edge to the second marks, and sew in place too. Repeat with the other piece. Find the half of you bottom piece (pattern piece number two), and the half of the side panels too. Pin them together (with right sides together) and start pinning the rest of the patterns from there. Sew them in place. Once you get one side panel attached, repeat for the next. Your bag is done. All you have to do is to finish your seams. I did a zigzag stitch, but you can also finish it with a bias tape, it will look prettier on the inside. 

And that's it. We're done. I hope these instructions were clear enough. You can always contact me if you have any doubts. 

Don't forget to follow the series, on Shaffer Sisters and Call Ajaire... looks how many guests they have all along:


  1. Está o máximo Magda!! ;) Há tanto tempo que não faço uma mala/saco, este é uma óptima inspiração!!!

    1. Obrigado. Experimenta fazer este saco, é super rápido e fácil. =D

  2. What an awesome bag! I had considered making a diaper bag but since I still had mine from my last baby, I didn't. I really like those side pockets too- I ALWAYS carry a bottle of water with me so I don't forget to hydrate. Great job!

  3. A great bag, Magda, that could be used for so many things. Love the outside pocket and of course, the polka dot fabric.

  4. So cute! Adorable. You did a fabulous job!

  5. Obrigada pelo tutorial, Magda! Vou tentar fazer!

  6. fabulous! Thanks for linking up to Inspire Us Thursdays on The Inspired Wren.

  7. Ooh, I love the polka dots and it's perfect multi-purpose bag!

  8. Great bag. I was hoping all you beautiful pregnant women would make some badass maternity look but a bag works too.
    I, too, am a bit of a metalhead and one of my pregnancies I listened to Lacuna Coil a lot and my daughter would always be bouncing around while it played. My husband is hoping one of the girls will be the next Maria from In This Moment lol


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