Baby Stuff Organization
If you have ever looked at baby bags, you will quickly see that they are really really “cute”. There is a lot of pastels and baby animals (tell me why jungle animals say “baby”?). Or, they are trying so had to be a “guy bag” that they are simply camo and brown and blah. These bags also assume you will carry everything baby needs to survive the zombie invasion — with all items cleverly hidden into a million little pockets requiring a compass and map to locate while holding a child with a dirty diaper and snotty nose.
With my son, I knew I hated carrying things in my hands, was not into “cute” and was pretty active. So, I wanted a system that could easily move between different bags, and be visibly clear without labels or tags to try and read with a squalling kiddo in hand.
So, I created three zipper-bag system or, at least, I discovered it for myself. I’m sure I’m not really the inventor.
- Bag 1 – Feeding
- Bag 2 – Diaper changing
- Bag 3 – Clothing
You just pack the necessary items into each bag. Then, you can grab the zippy-bag you need when you run into the bathroom for a diaper change or are needing to feed the baby. When you switch outer bags, you don’t have to worry about missing something in the 50,000 pockets inside a typical baby bag. The great thing about these is that they will continue to be useful well into primary school if you choose your fabric wisely.
Design wise, keep each bag clearly different looking. Avoid the temptation to overly coordinate them. Use durable fabric (e.g., cut up fabric painters/drop-cloth, canvas, upholstery fabric, sunbrella if you machine can handle, etc.). Here were my additional criteria:
- Must be machine washable.
- Slightly flare the bottom (not too wide or you can’t fix multiple in a bag).
- Wide open at top.
- Nothing that screams newborn.
- Gender neutral.
There are a million tutorials out there. But, I like these two. The great thing about this tutorial by Noodle-Head from 2012 and amended by Stitch Mischief in 2014 are that the inner and outer are attached at the bottom, so they don’t invert as easily. This method takes a bit of focus to be sure you turn the various layers the correct way, so maybe not the best choice for a new mom at 2 am. But, I greatly prefer this construction and outcome over the more typical “boxed” bag for this use.
I changed the size overall and I changed the size of the boxed corner.
- Finished Size: 12″ wide by 9″ tall finished
- Cut fabric: Cut a lining and outer at 13″ by 9″
- Cut square to box bottom corners: 1″ tall x 1.5″ wide (since this is cut as one large piece, you don’t need the seam allowance on the bottom; if cut as two separate outer and inner pieces than cut 1.5″ x 1.5″)
- Seam allowance: 1/2″ (this is for the bag/body construction). Sew the zipper with a narrow zipper foot and a 1/4″ seam allowance.