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Walker Bag

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I'm going to make a Walker Caddy -- this is a shallow, but wide bag that hangs from a set of straps. The idea is you attach the bag to a walker for the user to store small items. The same idea would work for any device with a bar -- a hospital bed, a crib, a stroller, etc.

I'm going to follow the directions for a Walker Caddy found at's Charitable Sewing section.. has a nice offering of free patterns and sewing instructions.

I want to use some sturdy fabric -- I have some pieces of black denim left over that should work fine.

We need three pieces for the walker caddy -- a rectangle about 14 inches by 16 inches, plus two straps each about 1 1/2 inch by 15 inches.

Note: I originally cut the straps out of denim -- but I had a terrible time trying to turn them inside out after sewing down one side. In fact, I finally gave up and remade the straps out of a sturdy broadcloth. Keep this in mind when selecting your strap fabric!
Following the directions at we'll start with the large rectangle. Fold over 1/4 inch on each of the shorter sides.

Since I'm using denim, I had to press this seam flat ... finger pressing didn't work.
Next, drop a seam along this fold line. Sew this seam line along both "short" folded over sides of the large rectangle.
Next, fold over about 1 and 1/2 inches on each of the long sides of the large rectangle. Be sure the fold is in the same direction as the shorter folds you've just done.

Again, I had to press this denim to make the fold stay long enough for me to sew it.
Sew along this large fold.
This is kind of what your bag should look like at this point.
We'll leave the bag portion for right now and will begin on the straps. Fold each strap in half lengthwise. I pressed this fold on my two denim straps.

Mess up alert! I made my straps out of thick denim. When it came time to try and turn these straps inside out, I couldn't do it ... they were just too thick! I had to scrap them and make another set of straps out of lighter weight (but still sturdy) broadcloth. Be aware of your turning skills when you make your straps. If you know better than me how to turn denim (and it's not hard to know more than me!), then feel free to do so! Otherwise, be sure you'll be able to turn your straps!
To make a strap, sew along the open side of the folded strap. Sew all along the strap to make a long "cylinder".
Now, we've got to turn the cylinder inside out. This will place the seam inside the tube and finish it.

I don't really know good ways/bad ways to turn narrow cylinders. I'm sure there's some tool that makes it real easy to do ... but here's how I did it.

Here's my tool -- a safety pin tied to a strong piece of string!

I'm going to feed this safety pin through one end of the tube out to the other end.
When I get to the other end of the tube, I'm going to open the safety pin and securely pin the other side of the tube.

Then ... I'm going to use the string to pull the safety pin back through the tube -- that should turn the tube inside out.

You might have to manually start the turning by sticking the pinned end inside the tube before you can pull successfully.
Here's what things look like once I got the safety pin back to the original end -- note how the turning is only about halfway done. I grabbed the pinned end and pulled it to complete the turning.
Once you get the strap completely turned, fold back in a 1/2 inch or so on each end. Tuck it back inside the tube. You can then sew across these ends to "close" the tube. This will finish the seams on the ends of the tube.
Do the same procedure to complete both straps. Use the diagram on the to position the straps on the bag. Each strap is about 3 inches in from the side. Be sure and place the strap on the "outside" of the still-open bag.

I positioned the strap so that it lay along the bottom of the 1 1/2 inch fold. Then, sew a line across the bottom to tack in in place.
Who knows what you'll place in this bag when it's done -- so make sure the straps are securely attached. After you sew the first tacking line, leave the needle down, raise the sewing foot, turn the bag/strap combination 90 degrees, then lower the sewing foot. Sew another line till you reach the end of the strap or the bag (whichever comes first). Repeat until you've sewn a "rectangle" attaching the strap to the bag.

To make it super strong, when you reach a corner of the rectangle, turn the bag at an angle so that you sew diagonally across the rectangle to the other corner. Do the same thing from the opposite corner.
When you're done, you'll have a rectangle with an "X" inside (you'll sew along some lines twice to complete the "X"). This should securely hold the strap to the bag.
Now we're going to make a button hole on the bag. I folded the bag in half (like it will be when we're finished) to see where I wanted to place the buttonhole. It'll be on the side opposite the strap attachment. You should place it so that it falls in the center of the 1 1/2 inch foldover.

I roughly marked mine with some pins to see where I needed to make the buttonhole.
This is the first buttonhole I've made with the Necchi Sylvia Multimatic; I placed a button alongside my foot to give me an idea of how long to make the buttonhole.

The Necchi uses a 5 step button hole. I set the stitch selector to step 1 (which is also step 5) and set the stitch length to about a 1.

The first step sews a bar tack across the width of the button hole. I sewed about 4 or 5 zig-zag stitches.

Step two sews along the left side of the buttonhole. It sewed a narrower zigzag down the left side.

Step three moves the needle to the right side of the buttonhole ... then sews a reverse straight stitch back up to meet the original bar tack. Note that all these position steps are manual -- you have to stop sewing when you think you've reach the proper position!

Step four positions the needle on the right side of the bar tack, then sews the right side of the buttonhole.

Finally, step five sews a wide bar tack at the bottom of the buttonhole. This bar tack is the width of the right/left buttonhole sides.

All in all, it was a pretty easy multi-step buttonhole. When done, use a seam ripper or razor knife to open the buttonhole. Some folks like to use a few drops of Fray-Check on the open buttonhole.
I sewed the buttons manually to the end of the straps.

Finally, fold your bag in half (right sides in) and sew along the sides to close the side of the bag. When done, turn the bag out so that the right sides are out -- and you're finished!

Your bag is now ready to strap to any object with a horizontal bar! The bag is wide open inside -- this makes it easier for elderly hands to reach inside and grab something. Depending on how you plan to use the bag, you may want to make some dividers or pockets on the inside of the bag.

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