Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tote-ally Transforming Bag/Pad

Several weeks ago, I saw an episode of "Sewing with Nancy" on PBS.  I can't recall the guest, but she made this very cool picnic tote.  With a few modifications, this is now a baby totepad for my granddaughter.

The ingredients:
* Cut two 36" squares of fabric (these pieces are heavy cotton from Ikea)
* Four 18" zippers
* thread
* 1 1/2 yards woven strap or belt material
* Two 1 1/4" D-loops
* 1 parachute buckle
* 1 large button
* 10" of elastic cord.

I found this 1 1/2" button at Jo-Ann's
Take the fabric for the outer bag, fold on the diagonal, as accurately as possible.  Steam and press.  Open and fold on the other diagonal.  Steam and press.

Along the fold, place a 3" mark on each side of the crease.  Measure and mark 19" up along this crease.  Mark 1.5" on each side of this last mark.  Draw a line connecting the two points, one on each side of the crease. ("Crease" is used too many times - sorry about that).  Flip the fabric over and repeat on the other side.  

Place the outside edge of one zipper on the straight line.  Pin and sew close to the teeth.

For the curved lines, I used a cake cover.  With the zipper closed, mark a point 3" from the end of the zipper (not the fabric part) nearest the fold.  This mark will be on the outer side of the zipper.  Place the large dinner plate or cake cover on the new mark and draw a circle.  Open the zipper and pin the fabric edge of the zipper. Sew next to the teeth.  Repeat for the other three zippers.  The instructions did not advise to do so, but I sewed the outer edges of the zippers.  Trim the zipper tips, if you desire.
Zippers sewn in place
With the right sides together, sew the two 36" squares together, leaving a 6" gap for turning.  Clip the corners, and topstitch the edges.
Sew the D-rings to the corner of the blanket.  
Attach the D-rings to the corner of the blanket.  Use the corners where the straight sides of the zippers would intersect.  Secure the woven strap to each D-ring and attach the buckle to the other ends.

Thread the elastic cord thru the button hole.
 Thread the 10" elastic cord thru the button hole so that the raw ends remain on the back side of the button. 
Secure the elastic 6" from the top point of the bag.
 Secure the button to the bag.  This button is about 6" down from the point.  Not the same point with the D-rings.

It's done.  Here's the bag opened to a blanket or changing pad.
 This handy tote can be used for a changing pad or a picnic in the park.
Zip the four sides together
Secure the top, wrapping the elastic loop around both points, then over the button.

Clip the parachute buckle and it's ready to go.
This project was so quick and easy I will make another one for ME!

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