Monday, January 24, 2011

My Quasi-Tutorial on Sewing a Snowshoe Bag

This is the year we took up snowshoeing... along with it, of course, we needed snowshoes and poles. And, although my mother got me a bag along with my shoes, I did not get Ariana one. I was not sure it was necessary... until the first time we walked out the door and she was trying to finagle her 19" shoes and 2 poles.

I thought it would be fun to make her a bag. Snowshoes bags are only $20-$30, so this is no real money saving endeavor... but I though it would be great for her to have her own, one-of-a-kind, uniquely designed bag.

Here is my quasi tutorial. I did not take step by step photos, but I thought I would share the basic outline of what I did. I followed the very easy tutorial from Skip To My Lou on sewing a reversible tote bag. All I did was change the dimensions, the strap placement and added a simple top flap. You should go peruse her tutorial to see how simple this bag is to put together.

I started by purchasing a nice, sturdy fabric (in this case, corduroy) as the snowshoes have spikes that would most likely rip right through a standard weight fabric. Ariana picked the pink corduroy but I had to add the olive in because... well... we have a ridiculous amount of pink everything in this house! She then picked the polka dots because I wanted it to be a bit more interesting than the 2 solid colors.

To make my strap (and I only have one strap here, so it is more of a messenger-type bag, whereas Skip to My Lou has 2 straps to make it a tote) I cut a piece of 5" by 44" fabric from my colorful polka dot corduroy. I sewed my one strap exactly as Skip to My Lou did.

I cut my 4 pieces for the body of the bag (2 pink and 2 olive) at 12"x 27". (I used 1/2" seam allowances on all my seams) I put together my inner lining and outer lining just as she did. The only difference is when it came time to box the bottom, I made sure that my seam across was 6", so that the bag would have a nice wide box bottom.
I then placed the lining fabric inside the outside fabric, right sides facing eachother. I placed my completed strap in between the right facing fabrics. Unlike Skip to My Lou, my one strap was centered on each seam at the ends of the bag.

Here, I added a flap to go over the top, which was 2 pieces of fabric 21"x12" sewn together to make a finished rectangle (still using 1/2" seam allowance). At this point, I put the rectangle flap in between the right facing inner and outer linings, just as you had done with the strap. I pinned the strap and flap in place and then stitched around the top of the whole bag, leaving about a 6 inch hole to turn the bag right side out.

I topstitched around the entire bag, then closing the hole I had left open.

I also had to add 2 straps to the front of the bag to hold the poles. This was as simple as making 2 little straps like the bigger one. I started with 2 pieces of the coordinating polka dot corduroy at 9"x2" and sewed them into small straps. I simply centered these on the front of the bag at about 9 inches apart, turned the tops and bottoms of the straps in a bit to hide the frayed ends and topstitched them right on the front of the bag. (You can do this step before you stitch the inner and outer linings together and you won't have to sew through quite so much corduroy.)
These measurements I have provided will fit either the youth 19" snowshoes or my women's 21" version.

The only thing I might add is a buckle or piece of velcro to the front to hold it closed. Other than that, this bag has worked out perfectly so far for Ariana and it only cost $9. More importantly, she has something her Momma made her, which is way cooler than just buying it at a store.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice Michele! I might have to add that to my list of things to make. Thanks!