Skip to content

Made by Me Monday – Sew Much Ado Diaper Bag à la Thread Riding Hood {tutorial}

2013 May 27

I made an amazing diaper bag when I had my youngest. I used Abby’s tutorial, from Sew Much Ado to make it. As usual (since I can’t seem to follow someone else’s directions without making changes!), I did a few things of my own. Little did I know when I posted it here, that so many people would like it and it began to get some interest on Pinterest (hee, hee!). Lots of people liked the fabrics – so I posted this to help them out. But, there was also interest in a tutorial on the changes – so – here it is! And, I have to say that Abby has been super kind in allowing me to use her tutorial to post this! Thanks Abby!

The nice thing about Abby’s bag is that it can double as an amazing tote bag, which is great for me since I don’t need a diaper bag anymore (Hurray!). The extra exterior pockets are great for keys and your phone. The inside works perfectly for holding water bottles, sunscreen, hats, toys and snacks. Great for a trip to the park or an impromptu picnic. A picnic blanket will even fit in the bottom of the bag!

Sew Much Ado Diaper Bag à la Thread Riding Hood

You will need:

  • Exterior (Top) Fabric * – 1 Metre/Yard – 44″ wide
  • Exterior (Bottom/Pocket) Fabric * – 3/4 Metre/Yard, 44″ wide
  • Lining Fabric * – 1 Metre/Yard (1 1/4 to be safe), 44″ wide
  • Medium/Lightweight woven fusible interfacing – 1.5 Metres/Yards
  • 1/4″ elastic – 1 Metre/Yard – You will need 2 pieces 14″ long
  • 1/2″ double-fold bias tape – 1 1/2 Metres/Yards – You will need 2 pieces 26″ long.
  • Velcro – 2 pieces, 1″ long (both hook and loop sides)

* Yardage is for pre-washed fabric. Abby uses home decor weight fabric, I used quilting cotton because I like the larger selection of fabric choices. Abby’s is likely a bit stiffer/more bag-like as a result. You could use quilting cotton with a heavy weight interfacing and/or interface all pieces instead of just the ones indicated in the tutorial to make quilting cotton stiffer.

Before you begin:

  • Cut out all pieces from their corresponding fabrics following the cutting diagrams below. The outer line surrounding the measured pieces indicates the 44″ wide yardage selvage to selvage.
  • For photo reference: Exterior Top is Comma Asterisk in Chalk (Creme/Orange), Exterior Bottom is Comma Intersecting Circles in Slate (Gray/Creme), Lining is Kona Cotton Carrot (Orange) - I ordered my Comma fabric from Fabric Spot.
  • All measurements in the drawings are Width x Length.
  • Take care to ensure you are cutting any one-way-up fabrics the right way up. (Reference the drawings – Top of the drawing = Top of the fabric)
  • Cut out and iron on interfacing for Light Gray pieces ONLY in the diagrams. I used medium interfacing for the Exterior Bottom pieces and lightweight interfacing on everything else.
  • Cut 4″x4″ squares (indicated by the dotted line on the drawings) out of the bottom corners on your 2 Exterior Bottom pieces and your 2 Main Lining pieces
  • Angle the bottom corners on your Tab pieces if desired - (indicated by the dotted line on the drawings)

As an aside – Something fun I ran into (hang on, the tutorial is coming!) – One of my friends has come up with an idea that I think would be fun to give along with this diaper bag as a baby gift. Or, if you are pregnant and making this bag for yourself I think you’ll find them useful too! They are called Mood Magnets and you can check out this fun video they have on YouTube to see how they work. I asked for a write-up on their “Pregnancy Mood” magnet, so here it is.

Expressing yourself has never been so much fun! Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but Mood Magnets from Fun Fridge Magnets ( is a great way to tell your household just how you feel in a simple and fun way. 

Featuring the ‘Pregnancy Moods’, ‘New Mom Moods’ and the ‘New Dad Moods’ magnets, these fun products are placed on your fridge and allow the user to move the indicator to a wide range of feelings or moods that best describe how they’re feeling at that moment. 

Pregnancy and Parenthood can be a constant roller coaster of emotions, which can be difficult to express, but with ‘Mood Magnets’ it becomes much easier. Meant to be light and playful, the Mood Magnets also have a therapeutic element to them and for under $10, it’s well worth the money. 

So while your sitting on your couch with your belly bigger than a beach ball or you’re knee deep in dirty diapers remember one thing – a quick trip to the fridge can be just what you need to survive.

They are great, eh?! Now, on to the tutorial.

Here we go:

The first part of the tutorial focuses on the portion of the outer part of the bag – this is the part that I changed. The inside of the bag is exactly the same as Abby created it, aside from the pocket lining I added. We will be using both tutorials for this one – I will let you know when you need to link to her tutorial from mine.

Note: All seam allowances are 1/2″ length unless otherwise noted.

Make sure you have all of the following pieces of fabric:

Step 1: Creating Outer Pockets with Faux Piping: (1) Stitch your Exterior Pocket to your Exterior Pocket Lining along the top edge with a 1/4″ seam. (the Lining will be 1/4″ longer than the Exterior piece) (2) Press the seam allowance toward the Exterior side. (3) Fold the new piece that you have in half, right sides together, and press. The Lining will extend about 1/8″ over the Exterior pocket fabric creating the Faux Piping. (4) Stitch down the sides (not across the bottom) of the pocket pieces with a 1/4″ seam. (5) Clip the top corners to reduce bulk and turn right side out. Press. (6) Top-stitch the top edge of your pocket aprox. 1/8″ away from the top edge of the Exterior fabric. ~ Now stitch the other Exterior Pocket the same way.

Step 2: Adding the Velcro and Pocket Pleats: (1) Back Pocket Velcro: Use a glue stick to attach the soft side of a 1″ piece of Velcro to the top-centre of your Back Pocket Lining, right under the top-stitching. Use a small zig-zag to attach the Velcro (this stitching will show on the outside of the pocket). (2) Front Pocket Velcro: Use your glue stick to attach the soft side of a 2nd 1″ piece of Velcro to the top-centre of your Front Pocket Exterior, 1″ down from the top of the pocket. Stitch as in (1). (3) Fold the Pocket in half so the side seams are touching and iron lightly to mark the centre. (4) Mark a line, 1″ over from the centre seam, that is 1 1/2″ long. Stitch on the line. Pin the pleat (from the Exterior side) so it is centred evenly. (5) Top-stitch around the pleat. Baste the bottom of the pocket to hold the pleat in place. (6) Add a label/tag to the top edge of the pocket or cut out a patch (like the first diaper bag I made) and stitch it to the Front Exterior Pocket.

Step 3: Attaching the Exterior Front Pocket: (1) Iron your Exterior Top piece lightly to mark the vertical centre. (2) Line up the bottom of the Front Pocket with the bottom of the Exterior Top. Use the centre line to line it up. (3) Baste the bottom of the pocket to the bottom of the Exterior Top. (4) Pin the pocket sides. They should be parallel to the sides of the Exterior Top piece. (5) Top-stitch the side seams to the Exterior Top, make a triangle at the top of the pocket for extra stability.

Step 4: Attaching the Exterior Back Pocket: (1) Iron your 2nd Exterior Top piece lightly to mark the vertical centre. (2) Mark the Back Velcro placement: Use the ironed centre line to line up the Back Pocket with the bottom centre of the 2nd Exterior Top piece. Mark the top of your Pocket Velcro on the Exterior Top fabric. (3) Use a glue stick to adhere the Velcro (aligned to your mark) to the Exterior Top fabric. Stitch with a small zig-zag. (4) Follow Steps 3(2) through (3)5 to stitch the Back Pocket to the 2nd Exterior Top piece.

Step 5: Attaching the Exterior Top to the Exterior Bottom: (1) Pin the top of the Exterior Bottom to the bottom of the Exterior Top – right sides together. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam. (2) Press the seam allowance toward the Exterior Bottom. (3) Top-stitch along the top edge of the Exterior Bottom.

Step 6: Finish the Bag Exterior: Follow the Sew Much Ado Diaper Bag Tutorial Steps 2 & 3. You do not need to follow the directions for the magnetic snap as we are using Velcro.

Step 7: Make the Tab and Straps: Follow the  Sew Much Ado Diaper Bag Tutorial Steps 4 & 5. Again, you can omit the magnetic snap directions. Instead attach a 1″ piece of Velcro (hooked side) to the bottom centre of the tab before continuing with Abby’s other directions.

Step 8: Making the Inner Pockets: (1) Stitch each Inner Pocket piece to a Inner Pocket Lining piece. Stitch along one long edge of each with a 1/4″ seam. (If you have one-way-up fabric, stitch along the BOTTOM edge.) Open, “fold” along the seam line and press. Line up and baste the raw edges together. (2) Note: The basted raw edges are the TOP edges of your pockets and the seamed edges are now the BOTTOM edges of your inner pockets. (3) Follow the  Sew Much Ado Diaper Bag Tutorial Steps 6 through 10 to complete the pockets and attach them to the Main Lining.

Step 9: Making the Bag Lining: Follow the  Sew Much Ado Diaper Bag Tutorial Step 11 to finish the lining.

Step 10: Stitch the Exterior to the Lining: (1) Pin/Baste the Tab to the Exterior on the top centre edge of the side opposite the Front Pocket. Make sure the Velcro is facing out and the outer side of the tab is right sides together with the Exterior when you line it up. (See the photo) (2) Follow the  Sew Much Ado Diaper Bag Tutorial Step 12 to line everything up. You can omit the instructions about attaching the tab. (3) Follow the  Sew Much Ado Diaper Bag Tutorial Step 13 to stitch the Exterior to the Lining – IMPORTANT: Omit Abby’s directions regarding the top-stitching.

Step 11: Add Faux Piping and Top-Stitch the Exterior: (1) Pull the lining of the bag up slightly higher (roughly 1/8″ – to match the Faux Piping on your pockets) than the Exterior Fabric and pin all around the top of your bag. (2) Top-stitch the top edge of your bag roughly 1/8″ away from the top edge of the Exterior fabric.

Done! And… you have enough scraps of fabric to make a matchy pacifier pocket, pacifier clip and/or a diaper pouch to go with your Mood Magnets! The perfect gift!

Just in case you are wondering, I did not receive compensation from Fun Fridge Magnets and all opinions are (as always) my own. Also, you can use this tutorial for personal items and charity sales, but (as usual) please do not sell items made from this tutorial. Thanks! Sherri

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
30 Responses leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    May 28, 2013

    I love the colours! It came out amazing!

  2. May 30, 2013

    Great tutorial that even I could follow. I’m just gaining sewing confidence and am going to have to give this lovely tote a try. I’d love if you came and shared at my first ever link party

  3. May 30, 2013

    Such a great bag. There is always a need for big bags around here with four kids.

  4. June 5, 2013

    I love this! I chose this as a feature from my link party last week. I’m so glad you linked up. Feel free to grab an “I’ve Been Featured” button from the Link Parties page of my site. Have a great week!

  5. Lisa permalink
    June 17, 2013

    Just a little note to let you know that I love your blog! I’ve just discovered it and am slowly going back through some of your older posts. This may be a diaper bag, but I love it (I don’t have kids)! I’m all about large purses (somehow I’m always carrying a TON of stuff) and this is just too cute. I love the pleats! Yay to another sewing project, I can’t wait to try this one out!

  6. July 15, 2013

    On its fabulous! I’ve not had tons of success with bags, but I’m going to try again soon! Great tut, thanks!
    Amy mayen recently posted… Roller Skate Hi-Low TunicMy Profile

    • July 15, 2013

      I’m glad you like it! The bag really is amazing. Follow the directions and you’ll be fine! I’d love to see yours if you make one. :) Your Hi-Low Tunic top is really cute -I’ve got to make something with a Hi-Low hemline…

  7. July 16, 2013

    Thank you for making this tutorial available to all. I made one and I just LOVE it.
    Here is a link if you would like to check it out.

    • July 16, 2013

      LOVE it! You did an amazing job – I especially like the orange/gray chevron-ikat fabric!

  8. July 27, 2013

    Can i just say that I think the use of orange velcro is that professional touch that makes this bag 25% better than it already is? I MUST add some colored velcro to my notions stash.

    • July 27, 2013

      Hi Ophelia, I’m glad you picked up on it! I’m addicted and keep buying new velcro colours whenever I see them. Thankfully local fabric stores are realizing that we want to make more professional looking end products and are providing it more readily! I love your Bugs in Jars messenger purse, by the way – such a great use of the Birch pattern. And the fabric is great – of course!

  9. Sandy Page permalink
    October 17, 2014

    I could not be more happy with the results…..I just made one for my granddaughter and cannot wait to mail it to her. I love the faux piping. My little embelllishment was button that If found with the letter “E” for little Elliot (Ellie).

    • October 22, 2014

      I’m so glad Sandy! I still use the bags I made ages ago – even though my kids are bigger, they end up being “overnight bags” for grandma’s house. :)

  10. Glenda Ward permalink
    March 4, 2015

    this is my first bag and I’m excited to start! I bought quilted fabric do you think it’s still necessary to use interfacing in the sides of the bag? I was going to use it for the bottom.

  11. April 17, 2015

    Hi Sherri, Thanks for this tutorial! I’ve made a diaper bag for my youngest following this tutorial.

    • April 17, 2015

      Oh my goodness Mirjam! It’s amazing! Even though you aren’t fond of pink the pandas had to be used – perfect! I hope you enjoy using it! :)

  12. Taylor Frenton permalink
    September 4, 2015

    i just finished making my bag from your tutorial and it turned out great!! This will definitely be my go-to pattern/tutorial for any future bags! I wish I could post a link for a picture but I’m not sure how to do that. Email me if you want pictures!

  13. Tina permalink
    January 7, 2016

    I just finished this bag. I am very happy with it. Thank you for the tutorial. I love the pockets you added to it, they make it much more functional and look super cute. I also made the pacifier purse you provide the link for. Thanks again. I will definitely be making another.

  14. Laura permalink
    September 3, 2016

    Hi! Thanks for sharing this tutorial. The bag is awesome and spacious enough. I’m pregnant with twins at the moment and all diaper bags look so small… so I might definitely give it a go :)
    I only have one question: what if I prefer a zipper closure? When would be the best moment to attach it?
    Thanks a lot,

    Laura, from Italy

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Link Love Thursday | Easy Living Mom
  2. Diaper Bag Love! | Thread Riding Hood
  3. Made By Me Monday – Diaper Bag | Thread Riding Hood
  4. 10 Diaper Bags That You’ll Want To Make Even If You Don’t Have Kids | Fukushima
  5. Top Ten Tuesday {Baby} | AURIbuzz
  6. 10 Diaper Bags That You’ll Want To Make Even If You Don’t Have Kids | The Viral Beat
  7. 100 Sewing Patterns – Tote Bags – Sewing
  8. 100 free sewing patterns for Tote Bags – Sewing

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

CommentLuv badge