Friday, October 12, 2007

Walker Bag Tutorial

My mother is an extremely active 76 year old who has arthritis in her knees, but she doesn't let that slow her down! She has started walking... more like running!... with a walker. She called me last night and said "I need some way to carry things on my walker. Can you take one of those totes you make and redo the handles somehow to hang it on the walker?" So I did some net surfing.. looked at various walker bags... read the how-tos... tweaked this and that and created this:

In case anyone wants to make one, here is how I did it.

I used regular 100% cotton fabric for the bag and a heavier cotton for the lining. I am sure a blend would work also, but you definitely need a lining to add some weight and stiffness. I cut 2 pieces of the outer fabric and 2 pieces of lining... 14 1/2" x 18 1/2".
Then I cut fabric for the tabs (handles). I used the outer fabric and, again, lining. I wanted these to be sturdy. I thought of using webbing like I do in tote handles, but I knew I would be putting buttonholes in these and didn't think that would work with webbing. So I cut 4 pieces from the outer fabric and 4 from the lining for the tabs. The pieces were 6" x 10".

I place a piece of the outer fabric, wrong side up, on the ironing board. Then I topped it with a piece of the lining fabric, right side up. I folded the top of both down about 1/2" and ironed in place. Then I turned them down again and ironed. I did this for the front and back pieces of the bag. I then sewed them down to create a clean edge that won't fray.

For each of the 4 tabs, I placed a piece of lining fabric and outer fabric together with wrong sides touching. Then I folded them in half, lengthwise, so that the outer fabric was touching itself.

I sewed around 3 sides of the tabs, leaving one short end open. Then I turned them wrong side out and ironed them flat.

Next I added button holes to each of the tabs. I put the side tabs about 1 1/2 in from the outer edge. I then added the side tabs to the front of one of the 2 fabric panels, pinning and then sewing in place. I also added the upper tabs. I sewed them to the back of the same panel, at the top, about 2 1/2" in from the outer edge. I used a box with an X in the center to secure the upper tabs.

Next I placed the 2 fabric panels with the right sides of the outer fabric together. The upper tabs are not effected as no sewing occurs on the top of the bag. The side panels are incorporated into the side seams. I made sure the tabs were facing into the bag between the panels, not sticking out. Pin the panels together and sew around the 2 sides and the bottom edges. I used a 1/2" seam allowance. Once sewn, I turned the bag right side out.

All that is left now is to add the buttons. I took the bag and, using safety pins, secured it to the walker. I then marked the placement of the buttons, removed the bag and sewed them on.
I feel certain I will make more of these and next time I will add some small pockets for keys, cell phone, sunglasses etc. These will be added to one side of the lining fabric before constructing the bag.
It took me a couple of hours to do this, but now that I have actually made one I think it can be done in about an hour. Not a difficult project at all.


She sure is strange! said...

OH MAN, that is NICE!! I wonder if I could make something similar and sell at Mark's office? He sells/rents walkers all the time! I had thought about making zipper fobs for all the oxygen bags they have. I may have to look into this!


BarbC said...

Molly- I think that is a great idea! This was quick and easy to make... doesn't take too much fabric either.