Jul 8, 2013

Gym bag redo

The bag I had been using to go to the gym (which was just a reusable tote bag) broke last week. I decided I should make myself a cute new gym bag that incorporated all the features I really wanted. I've been designing my heart away and adding so many little details that it's turning into a slightly bigger project than I anticipated. But I needed a new bag to go to the gym on Monday, so I grabbed one of the many drawstring bags that I have collected over time and made it a little cuter.

I grabbed my basic drawstring bag and some scraps of fabric and a little interfacing and got to work. I measured the logo (8 inches by 2 inches) and made it a little bigger so I could make sure it would all be covered. I also made it taller to be able to use it as a pocket. My final fabric size was 8 1/2" by 6 1/2". I cut two out of the fabric and one of interfacing, to give the pocket some body. 

I ironed the interfacing to one of the pocket pieces and then placed them wrong sides together. I sewed around one long side and both short sides using 1/4" seams. On the other long side, I also sewed with a 1/4" seam, but left a small part open, so I could turn the pocket right side out. I clipped the corners, turned the pocket right side out and ironed it flat. Then I topstitched the top edge of the pocket. I pinned the pocket in place to make sure it stayed centered and then sewed down the sides and bottom, leaving the top part open. Make sure you are only sewing on one side of the bag and not both, or you will sew your bag shut!

This was a little too plain, so I decided I needed to cover the top part of bag, where the drawstrings are. The drawstring pockets were about 1 inch wide, so I knew I had to make them a little wider to make sure the drawstring would still work. I cut 3 inch strips for each of the sides of the bag. I made them a little wider than the bag itself (I eyeballed it), so I could fold in each side to keep the seams clean. After sewing in the short sides, I ironed in a 1/4" seam allowance on each of the long sides.

I then folded these strips in half leaving one side slightly longer than the other (like in bias binding). I sandwiched the strips around the edge of the bag, and sewed them around the existing drawstring pockets on the bag.

There was one strip for each side of the bag and it really gave it the finishing touch it needed.

And voila! I took an old junky bag and gave it a makeover. And now I can show up to the gym without having a half broken bag.

I'm still working on my huge gym bag, and I hope to be able to start working on that one soon. I'll keep you updated on that one.

Have you ever revamped an old item to make an even better one?