I recently made a bag from old denim jeans. It was a bag I wanted to take away on holiday that would contain all the essentials and be practical for days out. The bag worked really well and travelled with me on holiday and has been all over the place ever since. I am working on the pattern and instructions so I can share it with my followers.
The bag prompted new ideas including a water bottle carrier. In this post I am going to show you how you can make this simple water bottle carrier from left over fabric. Denim is ideal for bags as it is robust and hard wearing.
Water bottle carriers have been popping up as a new accessory all over the place. I love the idea! Everything about buying water seems so wrong from the unnecessary plastic to the waste of money. There are so many great well insulated water bottles on the market these days that investing in a good one made from materials that align with your values over and above endless throw away bottles seems to be a good choice.
This water bottle carrier can be made to fit any water bottle size. By adapting the strap length this can be made for kids or adults.
Measure and make a pattern:
Its a good idea to make a simple pattern on a piece of scrap paper as you will need to cut the shape out in fabric, lining and interlining.
Start by taking some measurements from the bottle you would like to make the carrier for. There is a good chance the carrier will fit lots of other bottles, but as we are aiming for a fairly snug fit I think its best to work to fit the bottle you use most.
My water bottle tapers in shape so I measured around the bottle at the widest point at the base.
Take a measurement across the base of the bottle.
Using these measurements and following this diagram you can create the pattern.
1.Divide the circumference measurement in half, add 3cm for seam allowances (1.5cm each side seam) and 0.5cm for ease.
2. Measure the height you would like the water bottle carrier to finish, I opted to have the carrier finish around a third from the top of the bottle. Add half the base depth to this measurement and 3cm for seam allowances.
3. Draw a square in the corner from the base up at a right angle to the base line. The measurement should be half the base depth minus 1.5cm. Draw a right angled line from the side the same measurement. Cut away the square.
Denim, worn out jeans or other heavy weight fabric.
Printed cotton or lightweight woven fabric for the lining
lightweight non-fusible batting.
webbing – approx 1.5m
2 x D-rings (the same width as the webbing).
How to make:
1. Cut out 2 of the pattern piece in denim, 2 in lining and 2 in batting. As you have 1.5cm seam allowance there is a bit of flexibility if your pattern is very close to the edge. Just make a mental note if you have the odd corner of the pattern missing so you can take this into account when sewing. The pattern is small and as its lined and interfaced you don’t need to worry too much about trying to get it on the grain line.
2. If you are cutting into old jeans be mindful of what you will need to sew through at the seams. I wanted to include the pocket. The only way I could fit the pattern on was taking in some of the waistband and belt carrier. As I knew my sewing machine would be able to sew through these I went ahead. Not all sewing machines are created equally. Some will struggle to take this thickness. If you are unsure run a test through a few layers of fabric to see if your machine can cope.
3. Place the batting on the reverse of the outer pieces. With right sides together (RST) pin the two outer pieces together at the side seams and lower edge. Stitch reinforcing at the start and finish of each seam. Leave the corners un-stitched.
4. Trim the batting away from the seams on the outer piece. This will reduce bulk at the seams.
5. Pinch the corner so that the side seam matches to the lower seam. Pin in place. Do the same with the other side.
6. Stitch in a straight line across the corner. The stitching will start and finish beyond the opening.
7. Make the straps – I cut one piece of webbing measuring 35cm and the other measuring 105cm. These measurements are good for average height women, I am 5’6″ tall.
Thread the long piece through two D-rings, fold the raw end in by 1cm and then a further 3cm. Pin this in place. Fold the same turning on the short piece without any D-rings.
8. Stitch a box around this turning. Get as close as you can to the D-rings. You might like to switch to a zipper foot for the D-ring piece. You can stitch a box with an X through the centre or simply stitch around the edges.
9. Pin the unfinished raw end of one strap RST next to one side seam of the outer. Pin in place. Machine tack in place.
10. Pin the other unfinished raw edge of the other strap next to the other side seam on the opposite side. Pin in place. Machine tack in place.
11. With RST pin and stitch the lining pieces together along the sides and base. Leave a gap of about 8cm in one of the side seams for turning through.
12. Pin and stitch the corners using the same method as for the outer piece.
13. Turn the outer bag to the right side. Leave the lining inside out. Push the outer inside the lining so right sides are together. Push the straps inside between the outer and lining.
14. Stitch the two pieces together around the upper edge.
15. Trim the batting away from the seam.
16. Using the gap in the lining seam turn the water bottle carrier to the right side.
17. Before pushing the lining inside. Press the seam with the gap. Pin and stitch close to the edge.
18. Top stitch around the upper edge, ensuring the straps are in the correct position.
19. To fasten pass the short strap through the D-rings bringing the end over the first and under the second. Adjust as you like.
Your water bottle carrier is complete and ready to go.
I’ve enjoyed using mine when I’m out and about and not needing to carry a bag. I also like using it with my back pack. Its to hand straightaway without needing to stop and take my back back off for a water bottle. Now I just need to make some for the kids and try and inspire them to use them!